Working with the data
The results data may have reached the end of its journey, but that’s not the end of the story. In fact, this is where things start to get interesting for SamKnows’ clients, because they get to see what all these billions of test results show.
First, there’s the SamKnows One analytics platform, which “allows us to produce a huge variety of graphs and other methods of using statistical analysis on the data that we store,” according to Jamie.
“This is used really heavily by us internally, and also by many of our clients, and by our end users since it allows you to see what your connection looks like over time. It allows you to drill down to individual results. It allows you to compare, say, your FIFA latency to your Call of Duty latency and also to your standard SamKnows latency metrics. It’s a great tool because it’s really easy to use.”
SamKnows also has its own analysts, who prepare data on behalf of clients such as telecoms regulators – data that eventually helps consumers make better choices about their broadband suppliers. The analysts aggregate the data and perform “very heavy-duty number crunching, querying the raw data directly and going through an awful lot of statistical analysis that’s beyond my ability. I have great respect for it, but at some point my brain starts shutting down!” said Jamie.
Customers can see results in SamKnows One
That doesn’t prevent Jamie from wanting to add more and more tests to the portfolio. “I know we’ve talked a lot about speed tests in the past, but if you’re like me, then I’m not downloading that often,” he said. “I’m watching a lot of Netflix, I’m watching a lot of YouTube, I’m playing a lot of video games, and it just so happens that every single one of those things is something that we have a test for. We’re able to produce accurate data that looks a lot like what I’m actually experiencing. There is a direct correlation between my performance when I’m trying to browse Twitter, or watch YouTube or play Call of Duty, and what my SamKnows device is actually telling me is going on as well.
“So it’s very much about representing real-world performance and representing what a consumer is genuinely doing, or what one of our volunteers is experiencing when they’re using the internet.”