Roadmap Retrospective: Q1 & Q2 2018

Product Jul 23, 2018 Jozo Kovac 3 min read

The time flies and for us at Exponea, it feels almost supersonic with the sheer amount of development we managed to do over the past 6 months. That’s why we would like to highlight some of our most impactful achievements since the beginning of the year.
Without a further ado, here’s a quick recap of our top achievements for the last 6 months.

With GDPR incoming and concerns about the scalability of our platform, we have taken S-S-S as our top priority for 2018.

Scalability, Security, and Stability

Running on 200+ bare metal servers we had to ask the question: how do we scale 10x or 100x? Google Cloud Platform came to the rescue. We needed to learn new skills and migrate the whole infrastructure. Looking back, it was an excellent decision and its full benefits are just to be unleashed.

  • Successful migration of almost all public and private instances into Google Cloud Platform
  • Numerous improvements in the data pipeline to eliminate data processing lags
  • Numerous improvements in campaign execution engine to eliminate the possibility of stuck campaigns
  • Successful migration to Angular5+ framework and cleansing of migration-related visual bugs

Campaigns

Delivery on the promise of Experience Cloud required an intuitive visual interface for the design of personalization elements on live websites.

  • New Experiments enable business users to add personalization elements to live websites
  • Chrome browser extension for Experiments
  • Improved Asset manager that simplifies the use of assets in the Experiments studio
  • Reworked Google Adwords (Ads) and Google Analytics integration to improve performance

Analytics

Inventory management was the most important new feature in recent months. We changed the import of catalogs and related data pipelines. Then native BigQuery integration could bring our users the power of SQL. BigQuery is the powerful Petabyte scale SQL database and perfectly complements our real-time analytics engine.

  • Data pipelines for Inventory Management
  • Improved Catalog import process: add a schema, reduce the number of indices
  • Improved SQL Reporter

Compliance

GDPR compliance was the key theme and we didn’t want to just be compliant. We aimed to be a leader in the GDPR competence.

  • Growing set of GDPR related features, consents, Data API
  • Successful certifications for ISO27017, ISO27018, and GDPR

Application & ecosystem

GDPR was the main priority. We needed to create a data API, update or rework all mobile SDKs and improve integration with ecosystem with all remaining resources.

  • Data API & documentation
  • New mobile SDKs for iOS, Android, Unity
  • New implementation of Long-Term Data Storage (LTDS) module on top of Google Cloud Storage
  • Add support for SQL analytics on BigQuery

Artificial intelligence

The AI team migrated to GCP as the first one. With a robust infrastructure, they focused on improved usability and value delivered by our models. The recommendations team added new engines and a multi-armed bandit model selection.  The prediction team come up with the idea: why let users create their models if we can do it for them? And published auto trained models to all projects.

  • Improved Recommendations – NLP (texts) models, DL (images) models, grid search for CF, multi-armed bandits for recommendations engines
  • Automatic Predictive Campaigns – automatically trained ML models added to all projects as attributes in “Prediction” category, predictive campaigns scenarios created in enabled in all projects

Summary

Quality and compliance first” and “resilient desire for innovation” were the key themes of our first half of 2018.
Some believe that you can’t do both at the same time. We did it and looking back it’s impressive. At the same time, we have significantly grown our team and collected a lot of cool ideas from our precious users. In Q3 we’ll continue with the development of the robust platform and make some of those best ideas happen.
Read more about our Q3 plan in Exponea Product Roadmap Q3 2018 article.

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