Analytics seems to be like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow—hugely valuable but generally difficult (or impossible) to reach. It was always too hard, too slow, too expensive and too technical to be used on a widespread basis.
Then things started to change. The rise of APIs meant that getting data into and out of core solutions became easier. The advent of cloud computing meant that standing up infrastructure on a short-term basis was easier, and a bunch of new approaches helped to make things far easier. One of the biggest proponents of this new way of driving analytics out to the business users is SAP, who is pushing hard for its HANA in-memory analytics service.
And then something new arises, this time in the form of in-chip analysis. Sisense, a little-known but impressive vendor, is looking to enable business PCs to become the analytic tool for the modern workforce. Sisense's "In-Chip" analytics optimizes modern CPUs to enable analysis within a standalone PC that formerly would have needed external infrastructure and resource. When tested with Intel’s newly released 6th Generation Core vPro processor, Sisense delivered a 300 percent improvement in speed over older chips.
“Our unique In-Chip approach allows every employee with a PC to participate in the Big Data revolution,” said Sisense CEO Amir Orad. “With the amazing processing power of the 6th Generation Intel Core vPro, everyday business users can now tackle the same volume and complexity of data as the world’s leading data scientists to uncover business insights with ease and agility.”
There are some interesting trends going on here. First, Intel, a company that it would be easy to write off as being simply about making silicon at scale, is continuously looking at ways to add more and more value down at a chip level. It is frankly amazing to see how much high-level functionality Intel has been able to expose, via API, at the chip level. Recent announcements around chip-level security are a good example of this. And seeing Sisense further leverage the chip for data analytics is another promising development.
The other interesting thing is the continued democratization of data analytics—increasingly analytics becomes something that every line of business worker can perform. As Orad pointed out in a Skype conversation:
“We’re excited to work with Intel to usher in this new phase of workforce transformation. At the core of this transformation is the ability to put powerful business analytics in the hands of everyday business users, enabling them to quickly analyze large, disparate data sets that were previously unavailable without significant IT resources and lengthy projects.”
As a company, Sisense has grown revenue by over 100 percent over the past five years. It also seems to be satisfying its customer needs, having delivered over 100 percent net renewal from existing customers. The company serves more than 1,000 direct and indirect clients in more than 50 countries. Clients include Motorola, Skullcandy and eBay.
Clearly Sisense isn't going to remove the need for more traditional approaches towards data analytics. But by bringing analytics down to individual workstations, the company is playing an important part in the future of analytics.
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