If you're a user trying to leverage business intelligence you'll be aware of just how hard it is to extract relevant and useful analytical information from a mass of raw data.
This is made even harder as the usual process for getting a BI report with commonly used tools requires multiple interactions with the IT group to refine whatever view is wanted. Then, as the analytic focus evolves and more reports are needed the load on IT rises exponentially resulting in long delays getting at information that is usually time- and mission-critical.
What's needed is an end user tool that makes searching and reporting on BI data as easy as searching on Google and I just sat through a demo of a new platform that does just that.
The platform is an appliance called ThoughtSpot that can scale-out to 100 terabytes of data in-memory for high performance access with a novel and very user-friendly query interface.
When data such as a database or structured data file is loaded onto the system it's analyzed and the relationships discovered. When queried the command is interactively built providing the user with all available data items, data sets, and operations. The search results are then displayed as tables and graphs that can be exported and saved. Saved results can be static or updated as new data is acquired.
The ThoughtSpot appliance also supports fine-grained access rights to allow IT to effectively control data security.
The early access version I saw, which is now being made available to selected customers, appeared to be remarkably fast as well as definitely and remarkably easy to use.
The eponymous developer of the platform, ThoughtSpot Inc., is comprised of a storied team with backgrounds at Nutanix, Microsoft, BingGoogle, and Oracle and funded by a $10.7 million Series A from an equally storied group of investors.
This is one of the most interesting BI tools I've seen and brings complex enterprise-scale analytics out of IT and directly into users' hands making both groups happier and more productive.
Pricing starts at $50,000 with general availability around mid' 2014.