A few weeks ago, a company named Yellowfin began offering a free version of its cloud-based business intelligence software for a year to those customers on the Microsoft Azure platform. According to this report, Yellowfin has offered a similar free usage plan in the past on Amazon Web Services. “You can spin up an instance of Azure and just install Yellowfin on it,” said John Ryan, the company’s Director of Product Marketing. “Really this is about making it faster and easier.”
And therein lies the problem with “business intelligence.”
Yellowfin makes a great business intelligence product. The company has more than a million users. Its software is visually brilliant. It’s mobile. It provides its customers the ability to configure intuitive maps and colorful charts from data ranging from an internal database to a cloud hosted system to a simple spreadsheet on your desktop. And Yellowfin is not the only game in town.
There are other, excellent business intelligence tools on the market today that can enable people to do things that weren’t possible just a few years ago. Domo, for example, is a popular application that, like Yellowfin, produces great reports and information across platforms and on any mobile device. Domo has connectors to hundreds of very varied systems, from Salesforce to Hubspot to Outbrain to Exact Target. Domo is a well-funded, venture-backed business that was recently named one of Utah’s fastest growing companies and I predict will be a major player in business intelligence for many years to come. Domo and Yellowfin, two relatively new companies in the space are competing against powerful tools from Microsoft, Tableau Software, QlikTech, Logi Analytics, Pentaho, Targit and dozens of others.
Every client I have bemoans the lack of good data to run their businesses and complains about the insufficient reporting tools they have. They lack business intelligence. And yet, here are a bunch of great applications to solve that very problem. But all of these great applications and services are missing something. And that something is what excludes most of my small and medium sized clients from using them. Figured it out yet? Here are a few hints, taken from case studies on the companies’ websites.
More, here, FORBES