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What gets measured gets optimized

How Pinpoint enables engineering analytics and why Bessemer is leading its $13.6 million Series A

By Ethan Kurzweil 2.14.19 Companies

In the age of data-driven decision-making, Peter Drucker’s axiom has never been truer: “What gets measured gets managed.” This is a motto most teams and businesses live and die by, but some take it a step further. What gets measured gets managed, and what gets managed gets optimized—particularly for high-performing teams across software companies.

The proliferation of analytics tools empowers people to find objective answers to their most burning questions. For example, marketers use Twilio Sendgrid’s Marketing Campaigns offering to understand and optimize email campaign performance in order to drive conversion and ROI. Product leaders rely on user behavioral analytics tools, such as Amplitude, to see patterns in usage, conversion, and other key product metrics. And HR teams conduct surveys with Glint to capture internal metrics and pulse scores that provide insight into employee engagement and retention.

Across industries and functions, teams are using analytics to better understand their organization’s overall impact. Considering software is the lifeblood of technology-based businesses, analytics for engineering teams will play a critical role in describing developers’ productivity and success. This new category of analysis also reveals untapped opportunities for optimization and new avenues for enterprises to innovate faster through their engineering and technology organizations.

Bessemer’s Series A investment in Pinpoint

When it comes to measuring performance, most engineering leaders operate in a black box. That is, until now: Pinpoint, the advanced analytics platform for software engineering organizations, gives engineering leaders the tools to measure and assess high performance and growth areas throughout the development process.

That’s why we’re excited to announce that we led the $13.5 million Series A round in Pinpoint. We believe this new category of analysis pioneered by Pinpoint will change the way engineering teams work, and, as a result, increase company productivity levels and improve the speed, reliability, and quality of software that’s shipped around the world.

Unpacking software engineering analytics

Engineering analytics isn’t a magic wand: it won’t instantly lead to perfect software. However, engineering analytics will provide teams and leaders with an accurate understanding of their organizations so these kind of magical improvements are possible, repeatable, and scalable over time.

While software engineering is both a science and an art, we see huge potential in harnessing the measurement of engineering organizations so large enterprises can optimize-at-scale, leading to more innovative product development work, which in today’s software-driven world is a big deal.

“Think about the way CRMs changed how businesses thought about customers and the selling process,” said Jeff Haynie, co-founder, and chief executive officer of Pinpoint. “It gave businesses a unified view and data model for all things customer-related. The same goes for software. Providing analytics for engineering organizations is like turning the lights up so everyone can see what’s going on. Teams can make more informed decisions, and as a result, developers share a common language everyone can understand and benchmark themselves against.”

Many companies, inside and outside of our portfolio, tell us how difficult it is to understand the performance of their software teams. It’s an underutilized category of analysis which big players have yet to address. Historically, these types of questions have been answered through a combination of manual data collection and relying on gut instinct and anecdotes from emails, status reports, and standups.

“Every company has source systems that carry the actual record of what’s been done– the tickets, the code, the deployment data,” said Nolan Wright, co-founder, and chief product officer of Pinpoint. “From those sources, we can derive a more accurate representation of organizational performance, and we can do it without people having to query the data or change their behavior in any way.”

Just as marketing and product analytics are foundational to careers in growth, and sales analytics help inform training paths for sellers to hit their quota, we think Pinpoint and engineering analytics will give developer teams the data they need to optimize and figure out the most efficient ways to ship code and build amazing products quickly and reliably.

New categories of analysis have led to standardizations in measurement, industries, and careers, and we expect the same will happen in software development.

What teams measure is ultimately what businesses manage and derive value from. At Bessemer, we believe deeper insights gained from Pinpoint will spark a larger conversation in the development community so more people will share a common framework around success metrics and how to hone the craft of software development. As a result, we all get better, more usable software.