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New ThoughtSpot tool advances embedded BI capabilities

ThoughtSpot this week unveiled ThoughtSpot Everywhere, an embedded analytics platform in preview, and a host of features on its roadmap, including pinboard filtering.

Embedded BI is a key part of the ThoughtSpot roadmap.

The vendor unveiled ThoughtSpot Everywhere, a new embedded BI tool, Wednesday during the keynote address of Beyond.2020, its virtual user conference. Now in preview, ThoughtSpot Everywhere is expected to be generally available in February.

In addition, ThoughtSpot, founded in 2012 and based in Sunnyvale, Calif., revealed a host of other features Thursday that it expects to release in the coming months.

ThoughtSpot Everywhere is a customizable tool developers can use to embed analytics applications into the workflows of end users, enabling the apps to be tailored specifically for users with augmented intelligence and machine learning the same way personal finance, health and fitness, and streaming music and entertainment apps are tailored for a specific user.

ThoughtSpot Everywhere

ThoughtSpot users -- as well as customers of other analytics vendors -- have previously been able to embed data in applications.

ThoughtSpot Everywhere, however, advances the vendor's embedded analytics capabilities beyond visualizing data. Fueled by AI and ML, the tool is interactive, enabling users to query data and get answers in the middle of their workflows, receive push notifications when a metric of interest changes significantly, and make data-driven decisions based on the insights they receive from their data.

"Simply embedding a static dashboard is like giving customers a check engine light," said Sumeet Arora, senior vice president and head of engineering at ThoughtSpot. "It's a great start, but the issue is that it ends there. It doesn't actually solve your problem. We need to know what is causing the check engine light. We need to take actions to address the real problem."

ThoughtSpot Everywhere was developed in response, so that customers could learn not only what happened but also why, and what to do next.

Beyond enabling end users to increase their engagement with data throughout their workflows, Arora added that ThoughtSpot Everywhere also lets developers more easily customize and embed applications.

The tool comes with a developer platform that includes APIs and SDKs so that developers can build and embed applications without having to write code, and do so in a matter of minutes and hours rather than the weeks and months it can sometimes take developers to build applications.

"It's a new paradigm in embedding analytics into applications and business workflows," Arora said. "It has full-spectrum capabilities, from data insights to actions. Second, it has a low-code approach for fast and easy integration with your applications."

Sumeet Arora, senior vice president and head of engineering at ThoughtSpot
Sumeet Arora, senior vice president and head of engineering at ThoughtSpot, introduces ThoughtSpot Everywhere during the vendor's virtual user conference Wednesday.

Customer response

Oswaldo Castillo is associate director of business intelligence at Verisk Analytics, a data analytics and risk assessment firm based in Jersey City, N.J., that provides tools that help organizations manage risk.

Verisk is a ThoughtSpot customer, and Castillo said he saw ThoughtSpot Everywhere's potential.

With ThoughtSpot Everywhere, Castillo said Verisk will be able to deliver its own insights throughout the risk-assessment process while also enabling clients to do their own risk analysis using tools provided by Verisk.

Simply embedding a static dashboard is like giving customers a check engine light. It's a great start, but the issue is that it ends there. It doesn't actually solve your problem.
Sumeet AroraSenior vice president and head of engineering, ThoughtSpot

"At Verisk, we are looking to evolve well past traditional BI, and ThoughtSpot Everywhere provides us the opportunity to offer a superior experience," Castillo said. "We can embed it as a big component in providing our internal and external clients with the ability to not only get curated content but discover their own insights."

Ritesh Ramesh, CTO at Hayes Management Consulting, said the healthcare management advisory firm first chose ThoughtSpot in 2019 in part because of its natural language search capabilities and out-of-the-box predictive modeling algorithms. Using ThoughtSpot Everywhere, Hayes built a platform it calls Revenue Optimizer, which enables customers to analyze their claims denial data, including understanding the reasons for denials, predicting denials, tracking cases across different medical facilities, and detecting compliance and revenue risks so customers can take corrective action.

The Revenue Optimizer includes embedded applications that enable users to view and work with data throughout the auditing workflow.

From concept to launch, it took Hayes less than three months.

"It pretty much proved the value proposition of ThoughtSpot," Ramesh said during a presentation on Thursday. "We could take it to market in a short time. It really helped us focus on the business problem, focus on the outcomes from the problem, and most importantly spend some time on visualizing what story we were trying to tell our customers with the Revenue Optimizer."

More on the roadmap

Beyond ThoughtSpot Everywhere, the vendor introduced a host of other tools and capabilities that will be generally available over the next six months. They include the following:

  • pinboard filtering and selective filtering, capabilities that enable users to configure existing pinboards (ThoughtSpot's term for dashboards) to include certain data points and exclude others;
  • a user adoption pinboard that lets analysts see how a given pinboard is being consumed by others within their organization;
  • a tool that enables users to drill down into charts and dashboards on ThoughtSpot Mobile, including the ability to scroll over charts and zoom in;
  • deep linking, a feature that links ThoughtSpot Mobile to ThoughtSpot's browser and gives users the option of viewing messages and data wherever they are working at that moment;
  • SpotIQ Monitor, a capability that enables users to monitor time-series pinboards with a page called Explain Change that can be emailed or accessed from the mobile app or webpage; and
  • capabilities for ThoughtSpot Cloud that include new connectors to Databricks Delta Lake and Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse, security passthroughs for Snowflake and Google BigQuery, support for Azure Data Lake and a guided data modeling tool called Automated Worksheet Creation.

All but the Automated Worksheet Creation tool and SpotIQ Monitor will be generally available later this month. Automated Worksheet Creation will be available in February, and SpotIQ Monitor in May.

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