Microsoft acquires Capptain to enhance mobile analytics

In a blog post today Microsoft’s Omar Kahn announced that they are bringing Capptain, the mobile analytics company, into the Microsoft fold in an effort to solidify their mobile and cloud offerings.

According to the post, “At Microsoft, we understand the power of mobile apps and have made significant investments in cloud services that power mobile app development. Today, I’m pleased to announce that we are continuing our emphasis on this key area by acquiring leading mobile push analytics provider Capptain. Capptain will bring a vital new element to our end-to-end story for mobile app development – real-time user and push analytics.  With Capptain’s solution, organizations can analyze customer and employee behavior in real-time, and respond by pushing targeted messages, announcements, information or offers.  This information empowers organizations to provide personalized, specific content to their customers in order to maximize business opportunities.”

Mobile analytics have been somewhat problematic in the past but there have been a number of recent announcements and developments that have opened the door to finding out exactly what all those smartphones are being used for.

High-profile companies have all started to invest in mobile analytics. Twitter’s purchase of MoPub and Facebook’s announcement of forthcoming video metrics for page insights and ads reporting have started to bring analytics to the mobile world. It’s not surprising that Microsoft wants a part of that pie too.

“We are hard at work integrating Capptain’s solution with the wider Microsoft Azure suite of services so that enterprises can not only build mobile apps to engage customers and employees, but also analyze and optimize that engagement. In the interim, Capptain’s existing solutions will remain available to both new and current customers,” said Kahn.

Analytics, whether for Web or mobile, can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand they can provide invaluable information to developers and website managers. On the other hand there are so many ways to slice and dice analytics information that the luster of the numbers wears off fairly quickly as the stack of reports grows higher and higher, leading to site managers and developers simply ignoring the data.

And, on yet another hand, analytics are being increasingly used by advertising robots to identify highly specific audiences with just the right demographics so that they can serve them with just the right ads.