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Customer Experience First with Active Participation

Good Data - 1 hour 24 min ago

We enjoyed quite a day at the Customer Experience Exchange Retail conference co-hosted by IPQC at Turnberry Isle and I wanted to share some initial insights that revolve around the idea of meaningful experiences and active participation, not just engagement.

The conference started on May 23rd with the COO of Build-a-Bear describing the company’s transformation, all while focusing on in-store experience that leverages a workshop format. He provided three noteworthy observations that carried throughout the day. Number one, customer experience is about creating and instilling memorable moments in guests’ hearts and minds, and therefore transcends traditional branding rules.  Next is that meaningful success occurs when the entire company operates with an ‘Experience First’ mindset.  Customer experience is not simply an activity that happens in the field.  Last but least, any technology introduced should be fully integrated within the experience. We had an excellent discussion about some of the capacity planning challenges associated with children’s activities.  I anticipate “Snow Days” are big for Build-a-Bear.  

Later in the morning I hosted a Think Tank discussion about how analytics are currently in use as a revenue driver across different retailers.  Some clothiers are trying to break into the American market, some have great store-by-store analytics and some have none. Surprisingly, a major luxury retailer had very little commitment to analytics. Those retailers that operate online and on TV have different needs than those that are blending online and brick-and-mortar experiences.

The day’s discussions about transformation continued with studies on employee engagement and how ineffective employee engagement can have a negative impact on customer experience, as well as recognizing that employee happiness and customer happiness are indeed connected. And we were reminded that emotion drives sales.

Two of my other favorite presentations were from Jack-in-the-Box, who talked about how to optimize customer feedback, and why that information had a direct impact on revenue.  And Tommy Bahama, who is in full rebranding mode and is a Net Promoter Score practitioner, has adopted customer suggestions like, “I wish there were beach sand here…” or “I’m so relaxed, where’s my margarita?” In fact Tommy Bahama is incorporating a food and beverage experiences, to create a vacation-like atmosphere to help increase average order sizes for clothing sales. Very impressive!

All discussions in Miami shared a common theme that Drew Neisser, author of the CMO’s Periodic Table, covered in a DataTalk recorded last week. “We’re in a give to get economy and marketers have to give something of value to get the customer’s attention, and data can be very helpful for that," said Neisser. He recommends to "start with your customer, focus on the customer – don’t think of data as a way of increasing sales but instead, think of data as a way of improving customer experience.”

I hope you recognize that all of these observations would not be made possible without analytics. During one-on-one discussions, the retailers and I brainstormed on how to package analytics for each store, region or franchise owner, and how that can help drive the bottom line.

Follow us on Twitter @GoodData and @JeffmMorris. Thanks for taking time to read and share this blog with colleagues.  

Categories: Companies

Why We’re Focused on Smart Business Applications

Good Data - 1 hour 24 min ago

Over the years, GoodData has developed a strong thesis for where business intelligence (BI) is going and how we create the greatest value for customers, partners and end users. I’ll share our perspective with you now including some explanation, video, and examples of use cases.

BI has historically been about small, internal teams of analysts manipulating data separate from the core business applications that generate the data. The goal was consolidation of data from many silos in search of “1 truth”. The typical form of this activity is either static dashboard, Excel table, or series of PDF or PowerPoint slides.

The desired outcome of such efforts have largely been around hard-to-quantify benefits such as efficiency improvements or 'better decision making'.

The advent of Smart Business Applications changes this story dramatically – with the focus shifting to embedded analytics and data products that monetize and commercialize the distribution of data and analytics at scale.

DataTalk, Just 2 Minutes: Smart Business Applications Defined

This began with the Embedded Analytics sub-category, where the analytics widgets are embedded within a primary application. For the first time the analysis is being done in context and meaningful actions can be taken.

The next progression of this are the sub-categories of Packaged Analytics and Data Products. With these solutions, data and analytics permeate the entire application.

  • Packaged Analytics applications often serve internal networks of business stakeholders and drive business value indirectly by accelerating existing revenue streams.
  • Data Products are often distributed to external networks of business stakeholders - including clients, suppliers, and partners - and drive business value directly as revenue-generating products.

​The ultimate evolution of Smart Business Applications is the sub-category of Connected Insights, that realize the full value of a network of connected insights across companies, industries, or geographies to make the applications even more intelligent, resulting in the most powerful value-creation outcomes.

Smart Business Applications in Action

Customers including Allocadia and Demandbase are two good examples of independent software vendors collaborating with GoodData to design, launch, operate and continuously improve Smart Business Applications. Penton Media is a great example of an enterprise that has created a number of important data products, allowing them to automate the delivery of critical insights and ad hoc analytics out to their entire ecosystem. We’re thrilled to enable progressive companies like these who understand the incredible value of data within and outside their organizations.

Connect and Learn More

Follow us @BlaineMathieu and @GoodData to connect. Learn more about these topics by reading our blog, reviewing customer success stories, and watching our on-demand webinars.

Categories: Companies

Customers Talk Data and Value at 2016 Data Product & Monetization Summit

Good Data - 1 hour 24 min ago

At our 5th Data Product & Monetization Summit on April 21, GoodData experts, customers, and industry peers gathered in Palo Alto to explore the theme “Turning Data Into Value.” This year’s attendees represented companies of all sizes — from Fortune 500 enterprises to small businesses — and industries ranging from SaaS to hospitality.

"The information your company generates every day may be your biggest untapped asset,” says GoodData Chief Marketing & Product Officer Blaine Mathieu. “During our summits, GoodData executives and customers give actionable advice on how companies can truly productize and monetize their data with Smart Business Applications."

Roger Neel, Founder and CTO of Mavenlink, was among the GoodData customers taking to the stage to share his story. Mavenlink, a cloud-based project delivery solution for creative and professional services, integrates GoodData to let users analyze and compare efficiency and profitability among projects and among clients. (Read Mavenlink’s case study here.)

“I’ve spoken at the Summit before, and it was a pleasure to be invited back,” says Neel. “The attendees are always highly engaged, and we got some terrific questions from the audience, especially from other SaaS companies. They want to know how we embedded GoodData into our solution and how they can structure it within their own development cycles.”

This year’s theme, “Turning Data Into Value,” has been “the theme of our partnership with GoodData ever since it began in 2014,” Neel continues. “Our customers have reams of data around their projects, and GoodData allows us to turn that information into a real business asset. Every company wants to be a well-run company, and you can can only achieve that with good data, presented in a usable format.”

DataTalk: Eliot Towb, Invodo

Eliot Towb, Product Manager at Invodo, also spoke about his company’s partnership with GoodData. Invodo helps retailers and brands turn online shoppers into buyers through rich, interactive video and other visual experiences. Thanks to the company’s partnership with GoodData, its customers now have access to valuable data-driven insights around how their product videos drive customer conversions.

“Our presentation gave us the chance to talk about how Invodo works to solve problems for our customers, and how analytics fit into the picture of the services we provide,” says Towb. “We also shared some insights from our go-to-market process — from internal launch to external beta to full launch — and how we’re monetizing analytics within our platform.”

A GoodData customer since 2015, Invodo is now exploring a new frontier in its platform: predictive analytics. “We touched on how we’re starting to work on forecasting and predictive information,” Towb explains. “We want to help our customers understand not only where they are today, but also what they need to do next, in terms that are as clear and concrete as possible.”

In between speaker sessions, attendees enjoyed lively conversations around a variety of topics, including data’s role in powering Smart Business Applications, go-to-market ideas for data products, and best practices in the data product space.

Many thanks to all who joined us for the 2016 Data Product & Monetization Summit, and we look forward to seeing you again next year!

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Categories: Companies

FilmTrack and GoodData Partner for Success at NAB Show 2016

Good Data - 1 hour 24 min ago

On April 16‒21, more than 103,000 professionals from broadcast media, digital media, online video, and related communities gathered in Las Vegas for the 2016 NAB Show, presented by the National Association of Broadcasters.

This year’s slate of NAB Show exhibitors and presenters included GoodData customer FilmTrack, whose cloud-based software platform streamlines the complex intellectual property management process.

In the session “Industry MVPs Discuss Leveraging Technology to Unlock Hidden Revenue,” FilmTrack CEO and Co-Founder Jason Kassin hosted a series of “fireside chats” exploring how technological advances in data management can yield enhanced revenue streams. Among his guests was Gautum Kher, Vice President of Business Architecture for GoodData.

Kassin and Kher discussed the scope of big data being collected by the media and entertainment industry and the potential to mine it for a deeper understanding of what content, shows, movies, and music consumers want. Their “chat” extended to ways in which data can also help media and entertainment companies generate additional sources of revenue that they may not have thought of.

And that wasn’t attendees’ only opportunity to get to know GoodData at NAB Show: our own Spencer Warden, Regional Sales Director, and Ali Azhar, Vice President of Sales, were on hand at the FilmTrack booth to chat with visitors. “We wanted to invite GoodData to showcase the early iterations of FilmTrack Analytics Powered by GoodData,” says Theodore Garcia, FilmTrack’s Executive Vice President for Strategy and Development. “Both Spencer and Ali are deep subject matter experts, so almost any question offered by a visitor could be addressed by either of them.”

“We were happy to support FilmTrack and to talk with attendees about how they’ve integrated GoodData into their platform,” says Warden. “The booth was always full, and visitors had a lot of interest in unleashing analytics to let users view data in different ways — and to share those assets with business partners and distributors.”

“Our presence at the FilmTrack booth exhibits the true spirit of partnership we create with customers,” Azhar adds. “Together, we were able to showcase how GoodData helps customers revolutionize their own businesses, creating a symbiotic relationship where we both reap the benefits of a shared success model.”

Categories: Companies

Making Sweet Music at SiriusDecisions 2016 Summit

Good Data - 1 hour 24 min ago

Grab your guitar and get ready to make some sweet music with SiriusDecisions in Nashville, Tennessee. On May 24–27, 2016, the SiriusDecisions 2016 Summit will bring together 2,500 B2B sales, marketing, and product professionals at the Gaylord Opryland to explore “The Art and Science of Intelligent Growth.”

GoodData is proud to be a Gold Sponsor for the 11th annual Summit. Our team will be on hand throughout the event to discuss how our groundbreaking BI powers data monetization for enterprises, independent software vendors, and system integrators.

The 2016 Summit roster features an array of distinguished speakers, including Peabody award winner, chef, author, and culinary scientist Alton Brown, who will deliver the opening day keynote on May 24. In addition to general sessions focused on the latest B2B research and insights, this year’s event features nine specialized tracks where attendees will learn about new innovations across the B2B space:

  • Sales
  • Product marketing and management
  • Communications
  • Channel marketing and management
  • Marketing operations and strategy
  • Demand creation strategy
  • Demand creation execution
  • Content
  • Customer experience

For more information about the event, visit

We look forward to seeing you in Nashville!

Categories: Companies

Welcoming New Innovations at ARDA World 2016

Good Data - 1 hour 24 min ago

On May 1–5, 2016, the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) will welcome more than 2,000 attendees from all areas of the vacation ownership industry to Hollywood, Florida for ARDA World 2016.

Over five days of meetings, educational sessions, and exhibits — with a little fun thrown in — attendees will have the opportunity to learn best practices, network with peers, and forge new business relationships. Among the roster of distinguished speakers is opening keynote Jonathan Perelman, former Vice President of BuzzFeed Motion Pictures and former Global Lead for Industry Relations at Google, who will discuss the future of digital marketing.

ARDA World 2016 will also feature a new “Lion’s Den” program, where three industry leaders will evaluate a lineup of digital travel companies in a “Shark Tank”–like format, with audience participation. The event will close with a “Breakfast of Champions” featuring keynote speaker Curt Cronin, former Navy SEAL and expert on leading high-performance teams.

The GoodData team will be exhibiting at Booth 1018; stop by to find out how our solution gives hospitality and travel brands the insights they need to identify and take action on growth opportunities. If you’d like to schedule a meeting on site, visit our ARDA World page and complete the meeting request form — we look forward to chatting with you.

See you in Hollywood!

Categories: Companies

How to Design and Launch Data Products with GoodData’s Expertise and Platform

Good Data - 1 hour 24 min ago

First, I’ll provide a brief definition of a data product to create context and help you imagine more clearly the huge opportunity to unleash the value of your data:

A data product is an enterprise’s information assets wrapped in engaging analytics that drive significant value to its business network.

While it’s easy for your initial focus to be on development, we believe and have demonstrated with our clients that success of data products is determined by its design and alignment with customers’ needs. You may have all the data to satisfy those needs but it’s applying a design process that will inform engagement opportunities and utility of your data product.

I’m delighted to share with you how our Data Product Strategy team can help you identify an optimal, habit-forming design for your product from customer experience and revenue growth perspectives. We follow a well documented process, inspired by Nir Ayal’s ‘Hooked’ book, to achieve this for our clients. In addition to designing an engaging data product, we facilitate thorough research to provide insights and recommendations for your go-to-market strategy, pricing, packaging and launch support.

DataTalk, Just 2 Minutes: What We Do. How We Do It for Client Success.

Research, Ideation and Rapid Prototyping

We begin with a hypothesis about your value proposition. We conduct industry research, competitive analysis, S.W.O.T. (strength, weakness, opportunity, threats) analysis specific to your product, draw parallels from our other clients in the industry and develop a point of view on what will benefit your customers.

We then conduct a product workshop with your team where we collectively define your value proposition and establish goals for this data product because, ultimately, you are the subject matter experts in your field. We recommend spending no more than 6 to 8 weeks to create your minimum viable product (MVP) and sharing it with your beta users by applying a lean methodology which favors experimentation and iterative design – over more heavyweight upfront development. So how do we define elements of your minimum viable product?

Persona Mapping, Design and Roadmap

By developing a user-led product design, we help you identify your target personas, their pain points, motivations, and follow our model to ensure continued engagement. Once we have the personas and use cases defined, we design wireframes based on visualization best practices, a design that is oriented towards action. Clients are advised to share wireframes with their customers for feedback before beginning development. We help prioritize the elements for your minimum viable product. Based on the prioritization we create a roadmap that you can use to align stakeholders, and set the foundation of subsequent phases. For example, benchmarking is a common nice-to-have request because customers want to judge their performance relative to their competitors.

Packaging, Pricing and Launch Support

Once we validate our initial hypothesis and gather feedback from your end users, we help establish pricing and packaging for your data products – for those that intend to charge a discrete price for them. Invariably, you will have customers that tax your resources more than the others. You may want to establish product tiers such as standard/premier/enterprise to segment your customer base appropriately. We help define these tiers by identifying specific product features as monetization triggers that will enable you to upsell your customers to a higher tier.

Finally, we help you develop and execute on your launch plan. Some of our clients don’t think about the ancillary support they need to roll-out a successful data product until after the product is built. This is where the product roadmap comes in handy to bring all of the support organizations on the same page. Your Marketing team needs time to develop collateral, Sales has to enable the sales force and equip them with tools to sell your data product. We also formulate a strategy for training and enabling your end users on the product. We have a great deal of experience in these areas, and know what works in the market given a significant experience and industry expertise.

And this is certainly not a last step – it’s never a “launch and forget” scenario for a data product owner.  There is always trade-off between getting just enough functionality in place to create a compelling product quickly and then keep perfecting the product vs. waiting to launch until you have everything. This balancing act means that your differentiating data products are never finished; we’re always learning more about customer needs, adapting to changing circumstances, or completing functionality that wasn’t finalized at launch time. For this, we have our success plans where we can help you continuously iterate and stay well ahead of the curve.

Let’s Connect the Dots

We invite you to review and share this blog and DataTalk with your cross-functional team members. I’m happy to have a conversation ( with you to learn more about your analytics, customer experience, and revenue growth goals to help you imagine what’s possible with your first data product. I’m certain that after we have a conversation, you and your team will see tremendous opportunities by unleashing the value of your data.

Follow us @GoodData and @SumeetHowe and stay tuned for more data product insights and how-to information via this blog.



Categories: Companies

Panel: Learning to Love Supply Chain Analytics

Good Data - 1 hour 24 min ago

At last month’s inaugural Restaurant Franchising & Innovation Summit in Dallas, Texas, attendees learned that supply chains — traditionally seen as thorns in the side of franchisors as well as franchisees — need not be a source of pain and frustration. Why not? The answer lies in analytics.

As reported by Fast Casual magazine, GoodData Vice President of Product Bill Creekbaum (pictured, left) moderated the panel discussion “How to Create A Franchise-Friendly Supply Chain,” which also featured (left to right) Jeff Linville, president and CEO, Taco John's International; Chris McNutt, VP, Brand Programs, CSCS (Applebee's); and Jason Valentine, VP, Operations, Cousins Subs.

Panelists shared several insights on the importance of data and analytics in enabling transparency among franchisors, franchisees, and vendors, including:

  • The right technology can simplify distribution, reduce human error, and facilitate pricing decisions.
  • Analytics helps improve safety by enabling managers to quickly trace sources of food-borne illnesses and shut them down.
  • Supply-chain technology provides valuable data that can help restaurant operators launch new products.

To learn more, read the full recap at the Fast Casual website.

Categories: Companies

Spotlighting Hotel and Casino Analytics at HTF 2016

Good Data - 1 hour 24 min ago

On April 20–22, 2016, more than 100 hotel executives will gather in Niguel, California for the 2016 Hotel Technology Forum (HTF). Presented by Hospitality Technology magazine, HTF is dedicated to educating hotel technology leaders on the timely issues that are most critical to their businesses.

As a trusted partner for hotel and casino companies, GoodData is proud to be a Silver Sponsor of HTF 2016. The GoodData solution enables hospitality chains to distribute valuable analytics to individual brand owners, hotel operators, and even suppliers. By sharing this information, they’re able to increase bookings and customer loyalty, maximize the ROI of corporate programs for hotel operators, and improve sustainability across properties. (Learn more about our hotel and casino solutions.)

The theme of HTF 2016 is “Embrace Disruption,” and the event kicks off with the keynote “How the Crowd is Disrupting Hospitality and What You Should Do About it” from Jeremiah Owyang, leading expert on the collaborative economy and founder of Crowd Companies. Other speakers include Mihai Bote, Director of Information Technology, Swire Hotels; Scot Campbell, Vice President & Chief Architectural Officer, Caesars Entertainment Corporation; and Richard Wagner, Director of Emerging Technologies, Marriott International.

HTF 2016 attendees will have the opportunity to gain insights on a wide array of “disruptive” topics, such as dealing with data breaches, the impact of social analytics, high-tech lobby experiences, EMV migration assistance, and gamification.


Categories: Companies

Turning Data Into Your Biggest Asset: 2016 Data Product & Monetization Summit

Good Data - 1 hour 24 min ago

On Thursday, April 21, GoodData experts, customers, and industry peers from across the United States will gather at the Four Seasons Hotel in Palo Alto, CA for the 2016 Data Product & Monetization Summit.

Focused on the theme “Turning Data Into Value,” the 2016 Summit will feature unique, actionable insights on how to unlock the value in data investments. Attendees will learn how distributing data to their business networks will enable them to:

  • Generate new revenue streams
  • Increase customer retention
  • Improve partner and customer relationships

Check out this year’s agenda:

1:00–1:30 Registration and Networking
1:30–1:40 Welcome: Blaine Mathieu, Chief Marketing & Product Officer, GoodData
1:40–2:00 Turning Data into Value: Philip Carty, Chief Revenue Officer, GoodData
2:00–2:30 Customer Presentation: Eliot Towb, Product Manager, Invodo
2:30–3:30 Awakening The Force: From Data to Product at Light Speed: Gautam Kher, VP, Business Architecture, GoodData
3:30–3:45 Break
3:45–4:00 Leveraging the Analytics Distribution Platform for Data Monetization Product Demo: Katia Khodzina, Director of Technical Product Marketing, GoodData
4:00–4:30 Customer Presentation: Roger Neel, Founder, CTO, Mavenlink
4:30–5:00 Panel Discussion: Customers, GoodData executives, and audience involvement
5:00–6:00 Cocktails and Networking Happy Hour

Categories: Companies

Data Driven QSR Customer Experience and Innovation: Part I

Good Data - 1 hour 24 min ago
Food for Thought

When I think about fast food, I am reminded of road trips as a kid with my family. A 2-day drive from Los Angeles to Detroit to visit problem, we were road warriors and grabbed our food to go. And now I’m doing the same with my family…though more modest distances to be sure. Nowadays, whether we’re stopping to grab a burger or sandwich or even that occasional milkshake to my kids delight, I often forget that I am doing commerce with a progressive and increasingly data driven organization.

With the advent of digital customer loyalty programs, mobile ordering, social media interactions, and smart point-of-sales systems, it’s clear that quick service restaurant (QSR) franchises are focusing on innovation and making major investments in how they interact with customers. But be clear…it is a major investment and like any investment, corporations want to maximize their return and realize the benefits as quickly as possible.

Many of the national household QSR brands and the smaller regional QSRs are deploying pilot programs in various markets (innovation hubs) to test these systems and determine the best methods to coordinate them into a comprehensive customer experience. But for certain, one size does not fit all and the the best way forward is to collect, measure, analyze, hypothesize, and test to drive continuous improvement. The challenge of course is that data being collected from different POS systems, mobile ordering, social media sources, etc. does not magically combine itself and reveal those key trends and insights, preventing franchises from analyzing their performance, forming an hypothesis, and testing those theories.

In other words, cross-source data collection, measurement, and analysis must be designed in as a key requirement of these innovative QSR pilot programs, because without this “telemetry,” restaurant franchises will be less able to truly understand the impact of their innovations, how they work together, and will be at a disadvantage deploying them into new markets. QSR organizations that “design-in" the cross-source data collection, measurement, and analytics into their pilot programs will create a competitive advantage when considering how to expand in existing markets and enter new markets with a faster ROI.

DataTalk: QSR Innovation, Trends & Opportunities

Once the analysis has been performed, QSRs will be in much better position to identify trends and hypothesize on the cause, either to root out causes causing poor performance or identify causes driving increased performance. Regardless, opinions will be formed based on data and analysis which will serve to better guide the deployment of innovation. With these hypothesis in hand, QSRs can launch into new markets or even expand in existing markets and then as the hypothesis is tested, repeat the cycle of data collection, measurement, and analysis to drive continuous improvement, maximizing the potential of investments in innovation.

Consider, if trends in experimental menus and/or mobile ordering can be identified that impact customer loyalty and customer sentiment by metropolitan or suburban location types with similar socioeconomic characteristics, those companies will be able to launch into new markets with a much faster return-on-investment because it is no longer an experiment, but rather a highly targeted deployment based on detailed data and analysis.

Franchise corporations are in a position to learn a great deal about their markets and drive greater innovation success predictably by analyzing these multiple data sources (POS, mobile ordering, social media, customer loyalty, etc), but in the next blog posting, we’ll take a look at how to drive even greater overall franchise performance by putting this information in the hands of the individual franchise owners and managers, given them the same tools to analyze, hypothesize, and test to drive continuous improvement.

The next time I drive up to the ordering window or walk into the store and stand a new ordering kiosk, I’ll be thinking about the 1’s and 0’s flowing through the restaurant’s infrastructure and how with the right analysis, that QSR will be better able to delight its customers and keep them coming back for more.

Let’s Connect: #RFIS16 and Beyond

Join the GoodData team on March 29 - April 1st in Dallas, TX at the Restaurant Franchising & Innovation Summit. I’m moderating a panel on How to Create a Franchise-Friendly Supply Chain to discuss and explore these trends in more depth. Check out our interactive demo, and let’s connect on Twitter @GoodData and @wcreekba; follow the conversation with #RFIS16 and #UnlockDataValue.

Categories: Companies

Gartner BI Summit 2016 – Maturing and Differentiating

Good Data - 1 hour 24 min ago
#GartnerBI Summit Takeaways

Last week, a team from GoodData attended, discussed in the Expo, and presented at the Gartner Business Intelligence and Analytics Summit in Dallas, Texas. BI is one of the most-followed practices at Gartner and the show was definitely well-attended by both vendors and buyers/users.

The thing that struck me most about the event was the rapidly maturing state of the overall BI/analytics space, marked by an increasingly differentiated set of competitors. Some highlights:

  • Tableau finally getting some competition in the data analyst market on the desktop with Microsoft Power BI
  • Domo moving away from its dashboard-centric base to reposition itself as a “business operating system” and collaboration tool, a-la Slack
  • Legacy vendors’ indignant reactions to the long over-due revamp of the BI Magic Quadrant evaluation and plotting process
  • And, finally, GoodData’s own evolution in terms of clearly positioning itself as the only company 100% focused on providing ‘smart’ data products to business networks with the ultimate goal of the commercialization and monetization of data and analytics.

To that end, highlights for me included the presentation by Doug Laney, VP and Distinguished Analyst at Gartner, on “Methods for Monetizing Your Information Assets.” In his very well-attended session, he stated that “By 2020, 10% of organizations will have a highly profitable business unit specifically for productizing and commercializing their information assets.” Will yours be one of those 10%?

A second highlight for me actually occurred at the Gartner Enterprise Information and Master Data Management Summit, which followed immediately after the BI Summit. In her presentation, Gartner Research Director Svetlana Sicular, described how “Digital Leaders” are building data products today and how they evolve from Experimental to Opportunistic to Strategic to Transformative. Is your business working on its digital transformation strategy today? I bet it is.

In the end, it’s truly great to have a differentiated story to tell, supported by such great analysts and market trends! And we think you’ll find it useful to see and hear our thoughts and from GoodData customers recorded in Dallas with these brief DataTalk videos:

Day 3 Recap

Day 2 Recap

Day 1 Recap

Connect with us @GoodData, @BlaineMathieu and @JeffmMorris. For related information, check out GoodData resources including briefs, interactive demos and whitepapers.

Categories: Companies

Packaging Analytics is Good for You and Your Customers

Good Data - 1 hour 24 min ago

Analytic data products are like Kale for your company, so value-rich that all you have to do is cook it and serve it correctly and your company can immediately enjoy the organizational health benefits of publishing analytics. With these vitamin-fortified data products, the sniffles from neglected partner relationships disappear, their antioxidant properties help keep customers happy for longer periods of time. And the high fiber content can help streamline the business and impact the bottom line.  So you see, your “analytic kale” can add value—once you remove the jaw-breaking chewiness of the raw data and then serve it in balsamic lemon juice to cut the bitter, earthy taste. 

You know that finding value in your data will be good for you, like Kale, but how do you figure that out? The first challenge is quantifying the nutritional value of your organically grown data. The next trick is knowing how to prepare it – that takes a data chef – and then finally, finding the right appetites to consume your data meals, and serving these tasty data treats with the right presentation and on a regular basis. Great food for thought, right? 

Let's Talk About this for a Moment

To resolve these challenges, I’ve been looking to the Information Management analysts at Gartner Inc., in-particular Doug Laney, along with Olive Huang, Ted Friedman, Jamie Popkin, Jim Hare, Mario Faria and others. Two years ago they wrote about, “InfoNomics,” and the process by which an enterprise should recognize, and determine ROI from, its information as a corporate financial asset.  Back then information and analytics were simply cost centers, and their payback was in the form of insight for analysts, IT and data scientists.   Gartner estimated that by now, 30% of organizations would be treating their data as a financial asset, yet most of them would not know how to quantify or measure its value, which makes determining your return on investment very difficult.

Last year, to help with quantification, they gave us multiple formulas from which to determine both the internal and the external value of those assets—one helps manage risk, the other may offer revenue opportunity.  What we have noticed is that this method of measurement also reflects on the personality and risk tolerance of the data stewards and IT organization.  Those that are exclusively focused on data governance—making sure the data is perfectly correct, secured and controlled—tend not to have clarified the potential value of their assets.  To move these organizations along, Gartner  more recently crafted six economic formulas to help determine the value of your Information Management initiatives.  We like the ones that focus on the Market Value and Economic Value of Information, because this is what GoodData customers are doing.  Interestingly, we still run across organizations who do not want to talk about the monetary value of their data, nor do they see themselves as sellers of an analytic offering. For them we simply help improve relationships within their business.

Now that we have been helping organizations build data products for some time, we’ve come to recognize where challenges exist that Garter has yet to address.  We meet visionary organizations—those that want to share analytics with customers and partners as a means to improve competitiveness, but unless they are ISVs themselves, they have no practical experience in defining and building their data products.  So we help them. We’re helping these enterprises unleash the value of their information assets through secured, packaged, personalized analytics.  We get them through the problems of creation, distribution and engagement, which are areas that Gartner is only starting to understand.  We act as surrogate product managers to define data products.  We use our platform to securely distribute these packages at scale, and then we provide both tools and a model in which to evaluate whether the application is indeed successful. 

Let's Connect at Gartner BI & Analytics Summit, March 14 -16th

These are experiences that are uniquely GoodData’s and something we’ll talk about on Tuesday March 15th at 3:45 in our session at the Gartner BI & Analytics Summit about using data as your secret sauce. Or Kale. We look forward to  to seeing you in Texas B, Level 3 on Tuesday. We’re also happy to talk about these ideas, your data challenges, and our customers’ successes in booth #219.  And let's connect on Twitter at @GoodData and @JeffmMorris.

Categories: Companies

Shaping Culture at GoodData with Employee Wellness in Mind

Good Data - 1 hour 24 min ago

Wellness initiatives are driven by workplace culture and are often disregarded by early-stage companies. It is very easy for hard-driving, hyper-growth startups to focus their attention on easily measurable business metrics rather than “soft” concepts like culture. While this could work in the short-term, not having a “modus operandi” has proven to be a slippery slope as startups grow up. At GoodData, our culture started from the beginning and is evolving with each one of us in our daily actions at all levels of the organization.

While culture is essentially an intangible asset, there are concrete steps we are taking to define and cultivate it. Over recent quarters our focal point in People Operations has been to address three areas of Employee Wellness, with the goal of strengthening our employee community and culture:  financial, emotional, and physical wellbeing. 

Financial Wellness

As a society, we simply do not save enough for the proverbial rainy day. During our semi-annual employee engagement survey, we heard from our employees that a 401k matching program was highly valued and desired. Contrary to popular belief, the primary advocates for the match were our Millennials. Balancing benefits with the business constraints of a startup is challenging to say the least. Nonetheless, we partnered with our finance organization to develop an innovative solution for a tenure-based company match. Now, employees with 2+ years of service can benefit from saving into their 401k plan while receiving a company match with immediate vesting! This benefit is unique because the vast majority of early-stage companies don’t offer 401K match at all. However, our leadership team wants to reward our most tenured employees today for continuing to dedicate their talents toward GoodData’s tomorrow.

Emotional Wellness

The ugly truth about parental leave policies in the United States is that they are truly disappointing for the largest economy on the planet. In countries like the Czech Republic, the government offers new parents 28 weeks of paid time to care for their newborns. Rather than all moving to Europe, it now becomes incumbent on truly progressive companies like GoodData to close this gap toward employee happiness nirvana. While it may be “baby steps” initially (pun intended!), we are proud to offer enhanced maternity leave of 8 weeks paid time off, plus up to 10 weeks of short-term disability leave and an enhanced paternity leave with a total of 3 weeks paid time off.     

Physical Wellness

Exercise can improve all aspects of our lives including relationships with friends, family, significant others and even coworkers! At GoodData we’ve made choices to boost overall employee happiness by bringing people together to learn more about each other. We believe work becomes easier and better when you work with people you enjoy. I’ve witnessed relationships strengthen as a result of walking one-on-one meetings, training for century bike rides and even practicing yoga headstands!

With our wellness program, the ‘GoodLife’, we strive to offer more than just cookie cutter sponsored gym memberships. GoodLife is all about creating community and integrating wellness! We organized a committee of employees that are passionate about wellness and tasked them with compiling year-round activities including Yoga, SoulCycle, Running, Walking, Road Biking and Step Challenges while also bringing in physical trainers and nutritionist. We have even hosted mindfulness workshops and chair massages in the office, because we believe a strong body starts with a strong mind!

With employee feedback, we have taken concrete steps to keep wallets, bodies and minds as happy and healthy as possible. Happiness ultimately is woven into our cultural blanket by the thread that we each carry. And this is what GoodData is all about!

Until next time, be healthy, live delightful!

Categories: Companies

Join us March 3rd in NYC at Unlock Data Value Summit

Good Data - 1 hour 24 min ago

Earlier in February, I had the pleasure of being Master of Ceremonies for GoodData’s Data Monetization Summit at the St. Regis in San Francisco. We have been hosting these events for a year now – in SF, Dallas, and NYC – and this was definitely an exceptional gathering.

I set the stage with a brief introduction describing the world of “legacy BI”. This is where companies like Cognos, Crystal, and Microstrategy (in the old days), Excel (always), and now Tableau and Domo are pulling together many data sources and delivering the resulting data to analysts, data scientists, and to executives in the form of dashboards.

All good for what it is – but the attendees at this Summit were there for something completely different!

DataTalk: Unlocking Data Value and Connecting Insights

GoodData CRO Philip Carty provided an interesting overview of data products and how companies – both SaaS ISVs and enterprises – are unlocking the massive value of data by wrapping analytics around it and distributing it at scale to their business network. The network could be made up of clients, partners, suppliers, BUs, or almost any group of entities – internal or external – that could derive value from the data.

The technology and operations lead for GED Testing Service, Sarita Parikh, then followed up with a specific example of how her 70-year-old company has now entered the data age and is creating tremendous value by distributing their data to the state education departments and districts across the country. Truly an interesting and inspiring use-case for analytics distribution!

Following this, GoodData’s own Gautam Kher, VP Business Architecture, took the group through GoodData’s best-practices in terms of conceptualizing, creating, and launching value-creating products based on data. Lots of interesting discussion ensued around workshopping the initial concepts and then setting value-based pricing models (in the case where the data product will be directly revenue generating).

The CTO of SaaS project management company Mavenlink then presented their use-case for analytics distribution. Roger Neel is not only the head of technology but also a cofounder of the company and he made it very clear why he decided not to ‘roll his own’ analytics distribution solution. The scalability and extensibility of the GoodData platform has allowed Mavenlink to create different tiers of service that is continually evolving, enabled via GoodData’s APIs. Roger was truly an engaging speaker.

Finally, we wrapped things up with a panel discussion. Roger, Gautam, and Sarita were on the stage but it quickly became an interactive discussion with the entire group. It was really cool to see a bunch of CEOs and senior execs talking about their ideas for data products and experiences they had in attempting to create them in the past. The discussions segued into cocktails and, frankly, the St. Regis finally had to pull the plug because it didn’t seem like people were ever going to leave. A fun and informative time had by all!

Let’s Unlock the Value of Your Data

Join GoodData experts, customers, and industry peers at this exclusive event focusing on turning your data into your biggest asset. Learn how distributing your analytics to your business network will enable you to:

  • Generate new revenue streams
  • Increase customer retention
  • Improve partner and customer relationships

Learn more and request an invitation. If you’re unable to attend in person, follow the conversation Twitter with #unlockdatavalue, LinkedIn and/or a post-event email with highlights and links to resources. 

Categories: Companies

Reflections on the New Chief Data Officer

Good Data - 1 hour 24 min ago

It was a pleasure to represent GoodData at the Chief Analytics & Data Officer Exchange in Ojai, CA. From my vantage point, attendees were engaged by the presentation and discussions GoodData led on “Unlocking the Value of Data – The Data Product Revolution.” A number of 1:1 meetings with senior executives further reinforced that something was different about these conversations.

Most of the attendees were Chief Data Officers (or similar, equivalent titles) from Fortune 100 companies. It struck me that, even over the last six months as I have been speaking with other executives about GoodData, there has been a noticeable shift in their mandate and mindset.

Classically, the persona of a newly-minted CDO was that of a senior IT or analytics professional – reporting into IT or the CFO – whose main concerns were data quality and governance; which open source technology to use for handling big data in order to better aggregate many data sources; and how to provide advanced analytics to the people in their organizations with the word “analyst” or “scientist” in their titles.

During this event, I saw the emergence of something different. Many of the CDOs I spoke with were thinking first about how to drive and grow their business, and only secondarily about feeds-and-speeds. One CDO I met with – from one of the largest banks in North America – actually reports to that company’s CMO. I almost fell off my chair when he told me that!

This is why GoodData’s message of unlocking the value of customers’ data by distributing it to their business networks was so well received. More forward-thinking CDOs like the ones I met at the Exchange will increasingly understand there are differentiating-solutions today that can help them create true value from the information they manage.

Unlock the Value of Your Data Investments
Join GoodData experts, customers, and industry peers in San Francisco on February 11th as we focus on turning data into your biggest asset. You’ll learn how distributing analytics to your business network will enable your team to:

  • Generate new revenue streams
  • Increase customer retention
  • Improve partner and customer relationships

I look forward to meeting you at a future event. In the meantime, let’s connect on Twitter at @BlaineMathieu and @GoodData.

Categories: Companies

Have a Take and Don’t Suck

Good Data - 1 hour 24 min ago

A Review of the Vendors in the 2016 Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence Platforms

I’ve always loved the brashness of sports talk show host, Jim Rome’s rule to callers, “Have a take, and don’t suck!” His instruction to offer an intelligent point of view to his audience is a great lesson to today’s analytics vendors. Vendors who understand their audience and the value that they bring to this audience will survive and grow, while those that chase all audiences with mixed messages and murky points of view will thrash.

Know your value, know your audience and don’t suck. That’s my initial take away after reading the freshly published, 2016 version of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms.

The vendors that understand themselves, their offer in the market, and the needs of their audiences will be the survivors, while those that try to serve every use case across the entire market will face a bloodbath of competition, that ultimately results in customer confusion and mis-set expectations. From here, let’s look at this MQ from the following standpoint, does the vendor serve their audience with an intelligent point of view? Or rather, does their take suck?

Gartner cleaned out the Leader’s quadrant this year, leaving only three survivors, Microsoft, Qlik and Tableau. The other SIX leaders from last year have been dispatched to other boxes, or off the grid entirely (Vendors removed were Oracle, Actuate, Prognoz, Salient and Targit). The same nightmare holds true for the two vendors in last year’s Challenger square, Birst and Logi Analytics, who have been moved below the fold. This year twenty-one vendors fill the “Niche” or “Visionary” boxes. Of the Leaders, Microsoft obviously understands their Excel-based market, while Qlik struggles to tell the difference between its two enterprise data-discovery products and currently Tableau just lost half its market value because their offering that departmental users love is “almost enterprise.”

The evaluation criteria for this year’s MQ is heavily factored towards two sets of high-level processes. The first is around the process of ensuring the integrity of the data while you mix data sources—kind-of like trying to mix paint and not end up with a crappy looking brown color—and the second is the self-service analysis process, or does the vendor help the user find an insight? While this is an oversimplification, it will help to describe the remaining vendor’s areas of focus. So we’ll loosely bunch them across a spectrum of data blenders, data governors, self-serving discovery, dashboarders and guided analytic providers.

Data Blenders

Alteryx, ClearStory, Pentaho, Platfora, Pyramid Analytics and Sisense and are all focusing on big-data blending activities. Alteryx preps data for Tableau—a potentially expensive combination, while Pyramid Analytics preps data for Microsoft PowerBI. ClearStory and Platfora are keen on big data of all types, while Pentaho is splunking into IoT, and Sisense’s promotion of in-process architectures to business users is like explaining particle physics to them. For these data blenders, Alteryx, who focuses and sells to the business buyer audience, seems to have the best take, with new-comer ClearStory as runner up as they are matching user needs to their target audience. Meanwhile, the other vendors are either selling the wrong thing to the right people, or the right thing to the wrong people.

Data Governance

Move down the data pipeline to the vendors who are trying to appeal to the enterprise need for IT-centric data governance—one truth—while also purportedly offering flexibility to end users who want agility to find “their truth.” Here we’ll see Birst, Information Builders, Logi, and Microstrategy. IBI, Logi and Microstrategy are all trying to shake off their dramatic re-positioning in the MQ, along with their legacy baggage, while trying to evolve into business-user friendly vendors, while Birst moves to displace these legacy vendors and others like Oracle. Birst’s message gets confusing fast, though, as they are ‘hybrid-everything.’ (Eg. in the cloud and on-prem; 2-tier data; middleware for Tableau; embedded and internal; SMB and enterprise) They beg the question, how many takes does it take to suck?

Self-Serving Discovery

Getting into the self-service discovery and analysis processes, we have a whole slew of business-centric audience pockets like executives, sales and service managers, scientists and everyday users. Some audiences are built-in, for example SAP and Salesforce, like Microsoft, have captive communities who will readily agree with whatever point of view they offer, but their willingness to expand beyond their source base makes their points a little stale. Specialty tools like Datawatch, SAS and Tibco are trying to reinvent their legacy products for new use cases like unstructured data and data science, but these are still old dogs for these very narrow audiences.


The dashboard and storytelling portal vendors, Domo, Board and Yellowfin are catering to executive audiences using collaboration and visualizations as their value. The challenge here is that they are still lacking functionality that will keep these important audiences engaged. So while their take is interesting, it may not be sustainable as visualization tools become increasingly commoditized.

Smart Analytics Vendors

Interesting vendors are the ones with suggestive and machine-intelligence technologies like BeyondCore and Watson Analytics, but Beyond IBM’s advertising, they have not yet caught the mainstream.

A Unique Point of View

What’s interesting about Gartner’s take on GoodData’s, is that we are helping enterprises and ISVs identify ways to securely deliver analytic value to under-served audiences. We call it unlocking the value of your data investments with our analytics distribution platform. We help service-centric industries like retailers, restaurants, hospitality, financial services, healthcare, life sciences, media and technology deliver tailored analytics to audiences with whom they work—their business units, stores, partners, customers, agents and providers. We bring analytics to people of any skill level through our guided experience, and we actually measure the engagement levels of users, so you know what they like. We treat every engagement like we are helping you build a data product - even if you don’t charge for it, it will still impact the bottom line.

We have spent a lot of time helping the analyst community understand our point of view. Happily, they were listening, not only does Gartner understand it, but so does Forrester, where we were named a leader in both their Waves for Agile BI and Cloud BI and Analytics. But a favorite write up of mine is the recent note from Blue Hill Research on our customer success in unlocking the value of their data and impacting revenue. You can read it here.

Categories: Companies

12 Days of GoodFamily

Good Data - 1 hour 24 min ago

‘Tis is the season to be jolly, and at GoodData, there is holiday cheer everywhere! From Brno to Boston, Portland to Prague to San Francisco, we are making the season bright… Reflecting on the year, our CEO Roman Stanek said “2015 was about staying true to the GoodData DNA and our culture is defined by the amazing spirit of our teams as we capture new markets and strengthen the trust of our customers, investors, and employees.”

“Building a company is not easy,” says Ben Horowitz in his book The Hard Things about Hard Things. While we are far from perfect, we are jolly about a few things and wanted to take a moment to thank this incredible team and share some highlights from our very own GoodData Family!

One Customer Obsession

Our culture is driven by our core values, and this is our top-most company value. A company built by people who care about creating value for customers is one that will sustain its value over time. Congratulations to our Sales and Services teams in ensuring large numbers of Go Lives for our customer base. Our rock star support team won the 2015 Gold Stevie award with an unprecedented 99% CSAT level! Our engineers in Prague and Brno handled a 300%+ increase in data volume growth with no increase in operating costs--crushing it!  

Two What works and What can we do better : An Open GoodVoices Program

The ability to talk about problems— both positives and negatives—is key, and this goes in all directions both ways ([top- down, bottom- up, across functions)]. Leadership needs to be able to hear feedback in a candid way, which is the aim of our GoodVoices program. Through this program we get a lot of candid feedback from employees through anonymous Engagement Surveys, Focus Groups, and through GoodVoice champions from every function. We  then transparently share the results company- wide, and pick a few areas of focus that we work through. Our top- scoring item in the survey relates to our work environment, that supports innovation and encourages open feedback!

Three Pillars of our Wellness & GoodLife Program Run by Employee Champions

In January, we launched GoodLife - our Wellness program in January 2015. Our mission was and is to enable the entire GoodData Family to thrive by living a mindful and healthy life. We did this in three ways and through empowering our team members:

  • We encouraged to lead a happier, healthier life by encouraging friendly competition, team building, and active participation.
  • We scheduled yoga, walking, running, and cycling activities on a weekly basis, across our international offices.
  • This led to participation levels that were 100% above the benchmarks we had set (industry levels) based on programmatic monitoring, gamification, and prizes!

Four Facts about  our Women in Leadership

This year we launched our Women in Leadership Program, with our CFO sponsor, Pete Godbole, who believes “Women's Leadership has been about enabling women to build a career in an open, inclusive and supportive environment." We invited Caroline Simard, Research Director from Stanford University to speak to our entire team on unconscious bias, and she even felicitated our progress on this program! Here is where we landed at the year end for our US team.

  • 57% of female employees are Directors
  • 34% of female employees are Managers
  • 34% of female employees are in technical roles
  • 34% of employees are female

Five Company Traditions

At GoodData we love our company traditions. CZ Conference day where employees share their knowledge with the rest of the company, on any topic that we are passionate about. Lunch and learn with Customers, where we connect with our customers. Bring your Kids to work day in June and our Prague office celebrates St Nicks Annual celebrates St Nicks day in December where the whole family is invited to the workplace! Finally our Sales rally where our field teams gather every year to connect, strategize and have fun.

Six Key Hires: A Strong Leadership Punch

We were thrilled to make several promotions to leadership (as well as  several key hires) this year, strengthening our existing leadership bench. Our key hires this year include CMO, RVP Sales, VP Services, Chief Security Officer, VP Product, and a VP UX.

Seven x24 Inclusivity & Diversity that Fuels Creativity & Innovation

The favorite events of our all-star engineering teams were, hands down, our Hackathons! Our most recent one included 26 teams competing from both sides of the Atlantic ocean. There were not only many interesting projects developed, but also many cups of coffee consumed. The sense of achievement and team-building reigned supreme!

Eight Continuous Development & Feedback that Keep Us Agile

Change is the only constant and this helps our team adapt and scale to a dynamic and fast changing world of BI and Analytics. Our Performance Management process focuses on real time feedback and ongoing development planning vs multiple cycles of rankings or ratings. This year we rolled this out globally and all of our employees and managers engaged and participated in the process.

Nine GoodPeople DoingGood

This year we also came together in giving back to our community in a series of events in every location.

Ten Intentional Collaboration

Keeping a company connected over multiple locations, continents and time zones is not easy, especially when we move at the speed of light. So we don’t leave communication to serendipity, and have regularly scheduled weekly town halls, All-Hands, and offsite meetings. We also have a monthly newsletter where employees contribute stories, pictures, and memorable moments with each other.

Eleven Team Events that are Heartfelt

Lastly, our holiday parties and annual offsites are events where we get together, have fun, and connect with each other in a truly memorable heartfelt way. So, if impromptu speeches accompanied with tears of joy, flash mobs, et al, aren’t your thing we will understand…

Twelve Year-Round Celebration of Successes

We fight hard to win and make sure we take the time to recognize and celebrate our successes and have fun while we are it!

12 Days of GoodFamily from GoodData




Categories: Companies

How to use Big Data Analytics as a Competitive Advantage

Good Data - 1 hour 24 min ago

Business Intelligence (BI) is crucial to companies and especially, to executives.

In fact, BI enables managers to make smarter decisions by providing them with a broad and accurate picture of the business.

However, BI needs big data and analytics in order to accomplish its mission. Nowadays, the process of applying analytics to big data is found in BI platforms.  

Today, companies are looking to their BI platforms to drive competitive differentiation.

Whether through generating revenue opportunities or providing opportunities for unique analytics offerings, BI platforms are themselves a component of a forward-thinking business’ data strategy.

Cloudswave sat down with  leading BI platform, GoodData’s Chief Marketing and Product Officer, Blaine Mathieu, to clarify the mystery of BI and analytics.

GoodData enables its customers to unlock the value of their data through a scalable analytics distribution platform. It provides its clients with automated and powerful BI tools that improve their relationships with their partners and customers.  

Interview with Blaine Mathieu, Chief Marketing and Product Officer at GoodData:

1. What does 2016 have in store for business intelligence (BI)?

2016 will be an extraordinary time in the BI space because it will be all aboutexpanding the impact of BI beyond the data analysts and scientists into the realm of real business decision makers and practitioners.

The promise of BI has traditionally been about empowering businesses to makebetter decisions, but the reality has been different.

Data is locked inside organizations and limited to small internal teams of marketers, sales leaders, or execs, and is usually managed and controlled by analysts or – more recently – data scientists.

For that reason, BI has not yet lived up to its potential.

In 2016 that will change as more companies unlock the value of data and distribute it to their business networks, including their clients, partners, suppliers, business units, and other distributed internal and external organizations where real business decisions are made every day.

2. How would you rate the importance of business intelligence software to small and medium businesses?

BI is not as important to SMBs as it is to larger enterprises. What is important is having access to data with engaging analytics so that real business decisions can be made.

Many SMBs are part of the ‘business network’ of a larger organization.

A good example is the Firehouse Sub franchise, which is made of hundreds of franchisors who are SMBs. These SMBs are now using analytics to make better decisions and improve their business prospects every single day, while not maintaining their own time and resource intensive BI system.

3. Can they survive using the traditional BI; in other words, without using a BI software?

It’s not a question of survival.

It’s about creating efficiency, driving growth, and being more successful from customer experience and revenue perspectives!

4. What is the relationship between Big Data, Business Intelligence and business analytics? What is the difference?

At the end of the day, it’s not the buzzwords that matter.

What matters is unlocking the value of data by distributing it to your business networks and partners with engaging one-to-many analytics. Is that BI? Yes. BA? Yes. Could it involve so-called big-data? Sure!

5. How can companies leverage the value of their Big Data investments in business intelligence?

Big data just means that enterprises are collecting increasingly huge volumes of data, often driven by the multitude of data sources, sensors and devices that we directly engage with and that surround us today.

I believe the best way to leverage the value of big data is to not leave it in the hands of data scientists and analysts, but to transform it into engaging analytics and distribute those to more  business people who need to make better, faster decisions every day.

6. What challenges can they expect to face during this process?

BI tools have historically been very complex – basically Excel on steroids.

To simplify this, pre-canned reports are created that are usually out of date by the time they are used. Then it’s back to the IT department to create new reports and the cycle continues.

Distributing analytics to a network of business partners, clients, or business units is extremely useful for those involved, but the technologies are quite complex. Wrapping a layer of intelligence around the data is critical so that the complexity of the underlying data is hidden from the business user.

Setting up the systems to enable massive distribution is non-trivial. Automatically managing all these organizations and users, at large scale, is a huge undertaking.

The good news is that solutions exist to make this all incredibly easy so that organizations don’t need to become experts in BI or analytics distribution. They just need to have the data – and that is something most companies have lots of.

7. In one of your blog articles, it is mentioned that “advanced analytics of big data is intimately tied to big money opportunities for companies moving forward”. Can you tell us more about this point?

We sometimes call that Enterprise Data Monetization.

This does not mean that companies are ‘selling’ their data. Rather, it means companies can unlock the value of their data by distributing it to their internal or external business networks.

Once in place, this immediately creates value by increasing client retention, improving partner relationships, and ultimately enabling new revenue streams or enhancing existing ones.

There is definitely a large opportunity to make money and reduce costs when companies can unlock the value of their data for themselves and for their networks.

8. What are the best practices to help bring data products to market?

Great question.

So far, we have been talking about the technology aspect of analytics distribution. But, just as important, is the expertise that companies require in order to conceptualize, create, and bring to market data-oriented products for their business networks.

Few companies have this expertise internally and they need to look to experts to help them to make critical enhancements to their business models.

9. A year ago you released “The Ultimate Guide to Embedded Analytics,” in which it states that “GoodData found that the biggest challenge of customer-facing analytics was not related to technology, but rather to developing effective go-to-market strategies”.

Can you define what a go-to-market strategy is for embedded analytics and give us examples of effective ones? Why is developing effective go-to-market strategies the biggest challenge of customer-facing analytics?

We find that it is best to begin with a dedicated workshop to bring key stakeholders together and begin to conceptualize what real value of the data could be if it could be distributed to those who could make best use of it.

From there, a broad strategy is conceptualized, created and developed to launch the particular data ‘product.’ This may or may not include a pricing model, if the combination of data and analytics is actually to be sold as a revenue-generating offering.

Finally, there may be training involved – although usually this is for the administrators of the system since it is so easy to use and learn for the end business users. After that, it’s on to launch.t Then, learning and optimization.

Without an effective go-to-market strategy, the danger is that the value of the data won’t be unlocked.

A great example of a company actually  leveraging this value is ServiceChannel, a facilities management software company that partnered with GoodData.

Over the years, it has brought together a tremendous amount of data on facilities management metrics and best practices that is now being distributed (in this case, sold as a service) to large corporations around the world. Simultaneously, they are using this data to optimize the management of their own facilities.

10. Tell us a bit about the GoodData story? How did the company get started? What makes GoodData stand apart from the numerous other BI and Analytics vendors?

GoodData started about seven years ago with the vision of unlocking the value of engaging analytics beyond the data scientists and analysts.

Over time, the realization developed that the best way to do this was to enable the distribution of data, wrapped in analytics, beyond the small internal teams that have historically utilized BI tools.

Since then, GoodData has been perfecting its analytics distribution platform technology and has also been developing the expertise to help clients, such as ISVs and enterprises to actually create and launch their desired initiatives.

Reposted with permission from Cloudswave.

Categories: Companies

Finding Clarity in the True Cloud

Good Data - 1 hour 24 min ago

What would you consider the most overhyped tech term? Disruption? Big Data? The Internet of Things?

For our founder and CEO, Roman Stanek, that term is the “cloud.” Although GoodData was born in the cloud and we intend to stay there, we’re deeply invested in discerning the true cloud from “cloud-washing” of older technologies. To many, this may just seem like a marketing ploy--a trick of language to show how GoodData rises above the rest--but it has real impact on how business intelligence is implemented, maintained, distributed, and ultimately, monetized. And as cloud adoption rates rise to 44% this year, and anticipated over three-quarters in 2016, defining cloud technologies is an issue that will affect most of the market.

“Traditional approaches to business intelligence (BI) delivery 
frequently fail to meet business needs in terms of agility and speed. 
As a result, business and technology professionals are increasingly 
looking to cloud deployment options to obtain the required BI 
capabilities in a more flexible manner.”

-The Forrester Wave™: Cloud Business Intelligence Platforms, Q4 2015

From security to measuring user engagement, true multi-tenancy in the cloud has clear benefits over cloud-washed technologies of old, which is why we’ve hung our hat on true cloud business intelligence.  We are in unusual era in the cloud market now, where transitional technologies appear to be the more comfortable choice-yet prove only to perpetuate the limitations of old architectures.  Very few vendors can talk about delivering systems of insight, and then actually prove their case.  We can, and it all boils down to the merits of our deployment architecture. To illustrate, let’s explore the differences between cloud and cloud-washed, and how they can affect your business – this new DataTalk video provides some added perspective:

Avoid Strange Clouds: 5 Signs of Cloud Washing

Our security advisor Bil Harmer has talked extensively about the implications of “cloud washing,” which paints solutions that resemble older, on-premise architectures as “new,” despite a lack of true multi-tenancy. However, business intelligence users may not always recognize these strange clouds right away, which is why I’ve created this field manual to spot old, hosted models masquerading as the multi-tenant cloud.

Warning Sign #1: Desktop instances & offline mobile analytics.

Software-as-a-service apps like LinkedIn and Gmail require constant internet access, and it’s okay for your cloud business intelligence solution to require it as well. Any supposedly “SaaS” or “cloud” application that touts desktop instances and mobile apps that don’t require an internet connection are actually software, without the as-a-service. The likelihood that your devices are offline for any extended amount of time is shrinking, not growing; so just bring a browser.  Further, almost all of your planes, trains and busses are online, so if you’re out in the woods, bring a PDF and a coat. This is a novelty feature, period.

Warning Sign #2: No possibility of benchmarking.

Another hallmark of the old, hosted model is a lack of benchmarking capabilities. If your analytics deployment is truly “one to many,” that means your cloud framework individually secures each organization’s data while also being able to evaluate one against the mean--thereby building a performance benchmark index of different franchises, suppliers, partners, and end users. If your business intelligence vendor says “only if all the data is stored in one instance,” when you ask about benchmarking, you should question their multi-tenancy, immediately.  If they store individual organization’s data in the same operating instance, then you risk exposing the data for all organizations if a single user account is compromised.  True clouds share resources, but secure data individually.  Ask Salesforce how they do it.   

Warning Sign #3: The need to query on-premise data.

The discussion of analytics and business intelligence platforms has long revolved around siloes, and yet many platforms rely on querying siloed, on-premise data as part of their “cloud” offering. This emphasis on gradually moving organizations to the cloud in a cloud-first world is hurting the practice of BI. The reticence to load data into a cloud environment has very little merit.  A large data load is only challenging the first time, and loading any data, even aggregate, has the benefit of long-term persistence and reuse as a snapshot or benchmark. If your concern here is security, then you need to remember that your organization’s most sensitive data--payroll, taxes, sales forecast and orders are already in the cloud if you use ADP, Salesforce or Netsuite. If your “cloud” vendor is touting their on-prem query prowess, they are hurting your progress not helping.  There are much larger benefits if you centralize your on-prem, SaaS, Social and IoT in a true multi-tenant cloud.

Warning Sign #4: A lack of platform usage data.

In the consumer SaaS application space, real-time usage analytics have become the norm. Facebook has Facebook Insights, FitBit has Dashboard, AirBnB has Analytics. For purpose-built cloud applications, these usage statistics shouldn’t be hard to find or provide, since all of your users live on the same computing fabric, and tracking and sharing their actions within the platform should be easy. That’s why usage dashboards have become par for the course in cloud applications, and like benchmarking, should be one of the first offerings your cloud BI vendor mentions when they talk about their platform. If they cannot provide that information, such as “Daily Average Usage” (DAU) rate, then it means that they are very likely managing siloed instances of their product and can’t measure the activity rate of their entire installed base.  So, they gain no objective insight into the behavior of their community. Again, ot a true cloud.

Warning Sign #5: Multiple codebases.

While this is the root cause of all warning signs above, it’s also the easiest question to ask when evaluating cloud BI vendors--Do you have one codebase? As Bil pointed out so poignantly in his blog post on the subject, the simplest definition of the true cloud is “a multi-tenant SaaS deployment, which has a single binary or deployment used to serve multiple customers. The unique element of multi-tenant cloud vendors offer is the shared codebase, which is rendered on login and able to interpret configurations to create a unique view for each customer.” The advantage is that we update the environment once and all customers are up to date, which is especially useful when “Zero Day” events occur and you WANT to be current.  The cloud isn’t easy to breach, and you shouldn’t need to decide when it’s time to upgrade or re-secure your environment.  It should be automatic and it is if you’re true cloud.

Bonus!  Warning Sign #6: User licenses.

Multi-tenant cloud systems should encourage user adoption, not thwart it.  Vendors who license on a per-user basis, are stuck in the old world.  

Cloudy With a Chance of Progress: Realizing True Cloud BI

I have long believed that business intelligence needs the cloud, as much as other software-as-a-service platforms need the features the cloud provides. And at long last, influencers in the analytics and BI space have come to agree with me, focusing on the completeness and usability of different platforms, rather than their ability to “play nice” with older, hosted systems.

“It’s not the individual capabilities that differentiate the Leaders, 
but rather the completeness, comprehensiveness, and integration 
of the entire suite of agile capabilities that sets the Leaders apart 
from the rest of the vendors in this category.”

-The Forrester Wave™: Agile Business Intelligence Platforms, Q3 2015

The rules of “success” in cloud analytics have changed, since less than one third of organizational data is actually used for analysis, and ultimately, insight. BI is no longer a game of data collection and storage, but a system to get to actionable business insights and outcomes across an organization, in real time. As Roman has often said, Big Data is no longer about storage and access, it’s about creating value for every customer, every partner, every user. As more BI platforms migrate to the cloud, it will become imperative to purpose-build analytics in the cloud, instead of cloud-washing old, hosted, on-premise systems and appliances. This is the only way we can finally utilize the full suite of benefits the cloud provides, and the only way we can progress.

Categories: Companies