Published on the 09/12/2015 | Written by Donovan Jackson
Australian BI vendor with big global footprint pops by NZ…
In a recent discussion, the chap in charge of analytics at Trade Me noted that more companies should be using more business intelligence to get an advantage from their data. The trouble is, BI systems are often complex, cumbersome and very expensive. It is exactly these issues that Yellowfin is setting out to address, by providing BI which is not only easy to use, but also collaborative like Facebook, and useful to more people so it doesn’t become that least valuable of things, shelfware.
Business intelligence vendors are thick on the ground but not too many of them are domiciled in the Antipodes. The exception is Yellowfin, headquartered in Melbourne, which is a company that enjoys a global presence thanks to a go-to-market that its channel director Daniel Shaw-Dennis described as ‘through ISVs which embed Yellowfin as a core building block in the products they take to market.’
Yellowfin noted that historically, BI tools have had low adoption rates, citing research from TDWI which suggests that on average around ten percent of people use BI within an organisation.
At its Auckland roadshow, the company took some pains to note the recognition it has earned from the analyst community, including that of Gartner which has noted that where Yellowfin has 44 business users for every one content author, most other BI vendors must be satisfied with a ratio of 15 to 1. This is a significant figure because it fits well with the ‘ease of use, and more users of BI’ message the vendor is pushing, and which it said the latest iteration of its software delivers.
The catchcall (and one which makes good sense) is that ‘data is more valuable when shared’. Shaw-Dennis said BI should be about ‘telling stories with data’. “We do collaboration differently from others by providing the ability to comment and interact, transforming the way people interact with analytics. Instead of an ‘analyst-centric’ workflow, we provide one which is more closely aligned with actual business processes,” he explained.
The typical analyst workflow is ‘Discover – Create – Publish – Share’; Yellowfin said its business workflow looks more like ‘Need – Brainstorm – Discover – Create – Review – Publish – Share – Act’. Collaboratively enabled, this workflow enables business users to connect with BI experts to raise trackable tasks, brainstorm ideas, and review content, the vendor said.
In a quick chat with iStart, APAC MD Martyn Reeves said the success of BI depends on its being more agile to respond to changing business needs, with a quicker time-to-market. “[With the] CFO as the owner of BI deliverables with short delivery timeframes, you’ve moved away from having highly paid BI analysts or IT guys being in charge of it. While I hesitate to say we’re dumbing it down, that is what we’re doing, making BI more accessible to those who will get a benefit from its use.”