CEO of Affogata – a platform that gathers and analyzes real-time data from the open web – Sharel Omer talked about how the platform works and what mistakes developers make when working with their customers.
My name is Sharel Omer and I am the CEO and Co-Founder of Affogata. Prior to Affogata, I served as CEO and Co-Founder at Commun.it, a market intelligence and social cyber defense solution. In addition, I’ve contributed to a number of companies and projects dealing with online reputation and bot networks and have seen the power of online reputation and the conversations taking place online for many years.
GDC was an incredible event and not only because it was great to see everyone in person. It’s the premier forum for understanding the upcoming trends in gaming, along with the challenges and opportunities those in the industry see firsthand, and it’s just a fantastic place to gather insights in addition to being an excellent venue for doing business.
Our original focus before Affogata was building Commun.it and providing the best possible service related to social media reputation and bot networks.
We work with dozens of major brands known for being “customer-obsessed,” helping them with market and product launches, pivots, marketing stories, and avoiding negative PR scenarios. In particular, we’ve developed a real expertise in gaming and fintech, where platforms like Discord and other vertical-specific integrations and considerations make us effective and the platform of choice for five of the top ten mobile gaming companies worldwide.
Our main product is the consumer intelligence platform that takes open-source data from relevant sources from Discord, Reddit, social media, and more and combines it with in-house information such as customer support tickets. But we don’t just stop at gathering information, we analyze that information constantly and provide actionable insights to companies in real-time. In gaming, that looks like telling a company the two customer complaints they received via their support team were outliers that don’t warrant attention. But there are three Discord threads that show one challenge in a particular level that was just released is difficult, glitchy, and needs to be fixed ASAP.
One of the beautiful things about our platform is that it’s plug and play; companies can gain access to our system and get insights within minutes. With that being said, our AI improves with more data analyzed, and so do the suggestions.
Our algorithm scours the open web and any internal data sources that are connected to it and can quickly rank which sources of data are more or less important, post sentiment, urgency, and a whole variety of additional factors that allow it to produce relevant insights. It’s up to companies to set up “streams” for particular keywords, themes, anticipated events, etc., and the algorithm takes care of the rest.
Mistakes Developers Make
One of the biggest mistakes we see is that information becomes siloed with certain teams and doesn’t make it across the organization, at least not in an understandable and actionable way. How often do customer success teams speak with developers? How many marketing team members can understand the highly technical terminology of a data analyst? And if those teams can communicate well, how long does it take to go from recognition to action?
In gaming specifically, many developers rely on surveys, which are not even close to real-time and can often have accuracy issues or quantitative data collected from the web. But data collected are seldom equal, and just because it is collected qualitatively still leaves communication breakdowns and challenges in actually identifying the real issue in time. Game developers do better when the gamer is at the center, and the forums that truly matter are identified and analyzed in real-time.
We try to address that by making insights available across an organization and easily understood and actionable. Building a better product is easier when everyone knows what the market is thinking in real-time, and those that flop can be adjusted quickly. We take information out of silos, ensure it’s accurate/relevant and that it matches the fast pace that consumers expect. It’s basically a cheat code for companies to be known as “customer-obsessed” brands with great products.