AppsFlyer: Helping apps take off with real-time data

About AppsFlyer

Founded in 2011, AppsFlyer is a leading mobile attribution and marketing analytics platform, used by top B2C brands worldwide to measure the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns, as well as the adoption and usage of their mobile apps. The platform serves more than 100,000 users and handles traffic of more than 80 billion events a day.

Industries: Technology
Location: Global

AppsFlyer provides more than 100,000 users with real-time access to petabytes of data on its marketing analytics platform, using BigQuery as a scalable, highly available, managed data lake.

Google Cloud results

  • Scales data lake to match 10% average monthly growth in traffic
  • Provides more than 100,000 users with access to raw data in real time
  • Enables internal queries on petabytes of data in order to drive innovation

Stores and serves more than 65 billion events a day

For today’s marketers, agencies, and developers, understanding how people engage with mobile app campaigns is both a top goal and a major challenge. Mapping out customer journeys helps them not only to see how people respond to features and services but also to make accurate, informed judgements about the effectiveness of their marketing efforts. But to do that means analyzing millions of interactions at speed and applying sophisticated algorithms to large datasets.

“Being able to access raw data in real time is a truly valuable feature for our customers, and BigQuery is perfect for delivering that service. There are other solutions that can provide raw data, but only BigQuery can get it to our customers in real time.”

Gilad Katz, EVP R&D, AppsFlyer

That’s where AppsFlyer comes in. Founded in 2011, the mobile attribution and marketing analytics platform has established itself at the forefront of the mobile ecosystem, processing more than 80 billion events every day. “Our platform essentially serves as the foundational layer of the modern marketing technology stack,” says Gilad Katz, AppsFlyer’s EVP R&D. “We serve the world’s leading B2C companies, giving them the data they need to optimize their apps and attract new users. They put a lot of trust in us, knowing that they can rely on the precision and availability of the data we provide.”

One of the core services AppsFlyer provides its customers is the ability to retrieve raw datasets from the platform in real time, ready to inform business decisions. But with traffic on the platform growing at a rate of 10% a month, AppsFlyer needs a service that can scale to match exceptional demand.

“Being able to access raw data in real time is a truly valuable feature for our customers, and BigQuery is perfect for delivering that service,” says Gilad. “There are other solutions that can provide raw data, but only BigQuery can get it to our customers in real time.”

Outlasting every other managed service in the stack

Raw data is the raw material behind many of today’s most important business processes, which often depend on accurate, up-to-the-minute information available on demand. Through its online dashboard, AppsFlyer provides more than 100,000 users with access to raw data from the platform, which they can download directly or receive by email.

“No other tool we explored comes close to the volume and scale we require. More than 65 billion new events are stored and served through BigQuery every day. Internally, it would be almost impossible for our analysts to query the petabytes of data we collect without it.”

Gilad Katz, EVP R&D, AppsFlyer

“Much of what we do is a background process,” says Gilad. “But on our dashboards, our customers interact directly with our systems when they request raw data in real time. So not only is this a key feature for their processes, it’s vital that it works well every time people use it. And people use it a lot. The feature is always in high demand.”

At the same time, AppsFlyer’s internal teams access the raw data for analytics, informing everything from product performance to research and development. To meet the needs of both groups, the company requires a data warehouse that can scale at speed, providing real-time access to data with high availability.

“We started using BigQuery in 2012, and it has outlasted every other managed solution we deployed. With 10% growth a month, we have to upgrade technology every year to keep pace. BigQuery is the exception. It’s now the only managed service in our entire stack.”

Gilad Katz, EVP R&D, AppsFlyer

To do that, AppsFlyer deploys BigQuery as a data lake. “No other tool we explored comes close to the volume and scale we require,” says Gilad. “More than 65 billion new events are stored and served through BigQuery every day. Internally, it would be almost impossible for our analysts to query the petabytes of data we collect without it. And that data is really valuable for testing new ideas to develop the platform. It drives innovation.”

“We started using BigQuery in 2012, and it has outlasted every other managed solution we deployed,” says Gilad. “With 10% growth a month, we have to upgrade technology every year to keep pace. BigQuery is the exception. It’s now the only managed service in our entire stack.”

Building real trust in managed services

Now AppsFlyer is looking beyond BigQuery to other Google Cloud managed services. “We’ve experienced remarkable improvements in the technical level of BigQuery,” says Gilad. “That development, alongside our discussions with Google Cloud clients and Google product teams, has encouraged us to explore managed services again.” Building on its experience with BigQuery, AppsFlyer is experimenting with Cloud Dataflow and Cloud Dataproc in order to free up time and resources for developing new features and optimizing the platform.

“The bigger we become as a company, the more our customers expect from us,” says Gilad. “BigQuery is an important component in a complex system, and we can rely on it to work. It’s hard to overstate how important that is, for a company growing this fast.”

About AppsFlyer

Founded in 2011, AppsFlyer is a leading mobile attribution and marketing analytics platform, used by top B2C brands worldwide to measure the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns, as well as the adoption and usage of their mobile apps. The platform serves more than 100,000 users and handles traffic of more than 80 billion events a day.

Industries: Technology
Location: Global