SiSense

What can others learn from the successes and failures of the way you’ve unlocked the value of big data?: 

We believe a beautiful front-end must be supported by a powerful back-end. For example, when calculating growth or past values and other deep time analytics, you need one tool that provides the visualizations and also calculates statistical functions, etc. In addition, the technology behind the visualization must work in tandem with that of the engine that powers the analytics. When it comes to big data analytics, pretty visualizations are not enough. You must have a solution that works quickly. Beautiful dashboards and infographics provide great insights into data but if your query takes five minutes to launch and dashboards take 30 minutes to load, you will leave users frustrated. Most businesses have 10-30TB so they require back-end that can handle it and achieve results fast. Offerings where it takes a dashboard 5 minutes or even an hour to refresh are not useful. That’s why SiSense spent so much time on back-end and on developing its unique In-Chip technology, which works 10x faster and can handle 100x more date than traditional In-Memory solutions. At the same time, SiSense spent a lot of time designing a front-end that is easy to use, practical, pretty, and accessible to non-technical users.

What were your expectations of the value hidden in your data, and how did they influence the design of your solution?: 

We realized that most businesses do not have a data science team. Often, there’s just one business analyst – if they’re lucky, maybe there are two or three. And these lonely analysts have everyone from the CEO down to customer service reps queuing up outside their door requesting a variety of data analytics and dashboards. We realized early on that if we empower these analysts and allow them to analyze data with no scripting or coding required and then share their analysis with their organization in an easy-to-use format, we’d be solving a major business problem. Our customer Act-On software, is a great example of this: They have one business analyst. He is able to analyze structured and unstructured data even though he does is not a data scientist. He is also able to share interactive dashboards with all teams so they can access the analysis in real time and query the data. EDA Data took things one step further. They began using SiSense to tackle internal business goals. Then they realized, they could create interactive dashboards for external use…ones their customers could consume.

Describe the aspects of the design of your solution that do the most to expose meaning in data that would otherwise be harder to discern.: 

It was very important to our users that they be able to access and analyze data effortlessly and we’ve always made this a top priority in the design. SiSense can be used on any desktop, smartphone or tablet. It has responsive design and you can subscribe to email notifications so when dashboards are updated, they come straight to your inbox. Dashboards are seen in context – so for instance, the CFO’s team can see a different dashboard than the CEO or the customer service team. For many analytics offerings, the dashboard IS the solution. For us, the dashboard is the starting point. We offer a wide range of beautiful visualizations. And we also offer a way for anyone across the organization to interact meaningfully with the data. There are also different ways of interacting with the data. Business analysts want to play with the data itself but others may want only to consume it. We realized we need to make it simple to access and that was why the email dashboard delivery is so important. Our goal is for users to share the data across the organization, to empower users – so once you get the dashboard, you can implement your own analysis. For example, we think it’s important to allow users beyond the business analyst to switch to view trends among males or females, or run a geographic search. 

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