With embedded BI now a primary focus, Sisense renamed its analytics platform Sisense Fusion on Tuesday to reflect its emphasis on delivering insights anywhere within a user's workflow.
Sisense Fusion enables developers to build applications that can be embedded throughout workflows to deliver analytics to business users on their desktop and mobile devices even while they're working in other programs. Business users can subsequently make data-driven decisions in the moment without having to leave their workflows to look at dashboards and reports and toggle back and forth between their work environment and the data.
The Sisense analytics platform enabled developers to build embedded applications prior to being rebranded Sisense Fusion, but as an indication of the heightened focus on embedded BI, it now includes more than 450 application programming interfaces to enable not only experienced developers but also no-code application development.
"Our end goal and new mission is to allow them to infuse analytics anywhere," said Ashley Kramer, chief product and marketing officer at Sisense. "We want to go beyond the dashboard and send actionable intelligence to people where they're spending time in the way that they need to consume it."
One example of going beyond the dashboard is a natural language processing Slackbot that enables users to ask a question while in Slack and get a response, according to Kramer.
"It's been proven over and over again that people are still not adopting analytics, [so] we need to go beyond the dashboard and bring the experience to people and make sure it's actionable for them," she said. "We want to break down the adoption barrier by infusing analytics everywhere."
Sisense's new emphasis on embedded analytics to enable data-driven decision-making, meanwhile, is a good direction for the vendor, according to Mike Leone, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group.
"Self-service in BI platforms is a launching pad for greater data usage across the business, but understanding how, when and where to apply insights is the next wave of self-service," he said. "Sisense is taking the last mile of analytics to the next level by making it easier for end users to understand the outcomes and shorten the time between gaining insight and applying it to the business."
Ashley KramerChief product and marketing officer, Sisense
Sisense, founded in 2004 and based in New York, is not the only BI vendor to emphasize embedded analytics. MicroStrategy, for example, introduced HyperIntelligence in 2019, and ThoughtSpot unveiled ThoughtSpot Everywhere in 2020. But not all vendors have made embedded BI a focal point, and therefore Leone said Sisense's capabilities and emphasis could be a differentiator for the vendor.
"Sisense is ahead of the curve here," he said. "Explainability of insights and outcomes is critical to future success. This offering is absolutely cutting edge, and arguably more important, differentiable. While there may be features like this in existing BI platforms, those features are not accessed or utilized by generalist or novice end users to a great extent within embedded analytics use cases."
Ease of use has long been a focus of the Sisense analytics platform, and recent updates have included natural language query and no-code application development capabilities. In addition, after it acquired Periscope Data in 2019, the vendor added capabilities such as in-warehouse data preparation and predictive analytics aimed at data scientists rather than business users.
Going forward, embedded analytics will feature prominently in the Sisense roadmap with the vendor attempting to enable both developers so they don't have to build applications from the ground up and business users so they can make data-driven decisions in real time, according to Kramer.
Sisense is launching a developer community in which customers can share information. And technologically, more low-code capabilities are in the works through what it terms building blocks.
In addition, Sisense plans to build more on top of the augmented intelligence and machine learning capabilities of its Knowledge Graph, first introduced in 2020. Using the information gathered and stored in the Knowledge Graph, the platform will be able to send insights to users without being queried -- and perhaps even before they've thought of the question -- in much the same way Netflix, for example, sends viewing recommendations to customers based on their past behavior.
"We want to make sure that we're sending analytics in a consumable way, so people start actually acting upon the data," Kramer said.
Kramer added the decision to make embedded analytics a central tenet going forward and to rebrand the entire Sisense platform to reflect that focus was driven largely by market demand. The vendor's research showed that the market for embedded BI over the next five years is $80 billion compared to $40 billion for standard BI.
In addition, because Sisense already had embedded application development capabilities, an entire platform overhaul wasn't required to make embedded analytics a core feature.
"We see a huge opportunity, and now we want to provide more and more capabilities to provide for our customers," Kramer said.
Enterprise Strategy Group is a division of TechTarget.