Get Answers Faster with ThoughtSpot
Date: Friday, December 1, 2017
Why wait for the answers to your business questions?
Martin and I spent last week at ThoughtSpot's first Delivery and Implementation Bootcamp, where we've been delving into how to deploy their Answer Engine. Village have partnered with ThoughtSpot, as an implementation and reseller partner.
As a Senior Business Intelligence Analyst and involved with leading our BI projects, I was interested in understanding more about the solution and how it differs from the competing BI technology solutions.
The value proposition for ThoughtSpot is straightforward: if you think you have some insight that could give you competitive advantage, you don't want to have to wait a week while an analyst digs out the data and to see if your hypothesis is correct. You need fast iteration to refine and pinpoint exactly where you can improve things, not an extended wait while your competitors fill the void that you were looking for.
ThoughtSpot is designed for use by business users, not data scientists or professionals, so with minimal orientation you could be answering your questions yourself. This frees up those highly skilled resources to really earn their keep, doing what they enjoy rather than working below their pay-grade adding another column to a report.
ThoughtSpot is a BI endpoint aimed at providing sub-second answers through an intuitive keyword-driven search interface. If you want to see your most profitable stores, type "top 10 profit store" into their search bar and you'll get a bar chart of the ten best stores. You can then drill into it to discover why they're doing so well or refine your search to break the results down by customer demographics or product lines. Of course, this is a trivial example, but it's remarkable that it could be returning results before you've even finished navigating the user interface of some other tools.
ThoughtSpot are very open about what they aren't. They aren't trying to be another reporting engine aimed at producing compliance or auditing reports. They aren't trying to be another dashboard tool, though you can use it as one. Their strengths are in scale, as no end-user licensing is required, speed and in the search and that's where you'll see the most benefits.
Have you ever found yourself waiting for months on end for the answers to simple questions, while the BI team work through their backlog? Have you ever missed an opportunity because you couldn't get some data fast enough? Have you ever found yourself buried in a 40-page report full of variations of the same chart? If this sounds familiar, perhaps you'd find benefit in ThoughtSpot.