Search-Driven Analytics is the Third Wave of BI

Two billion humans use search every day to get instant access to massive amounts of information – no training or technical expertise needed. ThoughtSpot has made it just as easy for businesses to use search to build charts and dashboards out of their relational data – in a matter of seconds.

Despite the billions companies spend on BI solutions, user adoption is a problem that many companies are trying to overcome. Self-service visualization tools have given individuals the power to create their own dashboards and apps to answer important questions, but many companies still face challenges like data sprawl, governance problems, and solutions that don’t meet the needs of each user role.

Enter what has been described as “the third wave of BI”- search driven analytics. Search driven analytics can help drive adoption with users who are comfortable using a search engine to find the information they need.

How Search-Driven Analytics is Different

Traditional web searches, like Google and Amazon, are Object Searches, and they return a list of indexed results – the most common form of search found in analytics tools today. Object search makes finding existing data and dashboards easier, but it doesn’t help to produce new reports or look at data in ways you hadn’t yet thought of. Natural Language Processing uses algorithms to interpret the intent of the user’s search queries to return a likely result. This can cause problems if your intent is lost and your query returns inaccurate data.

Relational search engines – a new breed of analytics solutions – allow you to search and build charts and dashboards as you type. This means that your technical team doesn’t have to plan and create dashboards and reports to choose from – the engine does it for you. And when you are searching for an answer, there’s no guessing – relational search deterministically takes each input and calculates a single, precise answer based on each letter you type. Business and technical teams alike can use the engine to build accurate reports in a matter of seconds.  

ThoughtSpot’s Relational Search Engine

Relational data is any data that has a defined relationship or structure, the simplest form being a Microsoft Excel table. For example, this table shows sales transactions, with columns for price, category, customer ID, and data for each transaction. 

With ThoughtSpot’s Relational Search Engine, you can type in a phrase like “sales by category monthly” or a natural language search term like "what are our sales by category each month?", and the engine will find all sales transactions for that product category, aggregate them by month in real time, and deliver a best-fit chart based on the characteristics of the data. In this case, ThoughtSpot produced a line chart.

Product Features

ThoughtSpot’s Relational search engine is incredibly sophisticated to make it fast and accurate for users. Other features you experience with the relational search engine include:

  • Guided Suggestions: Relevant search suggestions based on each word you type, powered by your data, metadata and usage - all presented in real time
  • DataRank: A ranking algorithm for search suggestions that leverages collective intelligence from prior usage, security rules, and characteristics of your data such as cardinality and data type
  • AutoJoins: Understands your data model and joins tables with billions of rows on-the-fly to calculate answers across siloed data sources
  • Synonyms: Real-time keyword validation for customizable synonyms, homonyms, and misspelled words for enterprise-wide usability
  • Search Inspector: Explains underlying calculations so you can easily verify and trust your answers
  • Advanced Analytical Search: Use search to incorporate formulas, group sums, nested searches, many-to-many joins and multiple join paths
  • Visualization Engine: Automatically chooses the best chart based on your search and presents them on   live dashboards
  • Collaboration: Real-time comments on analyses and one-click sharing of charts and dashboards
  • Data Integration & APIs: Database connectors certified by the world’s most popular ETL platforms and flat file uploading for fast parallel data loading
  • Enterprise-Grade Security: Secure and granular access control and a secure single sign-on experience
  • Quick Setup and Installation: ThoughtSpot customers typically go-live to production in 2-4 weeks, and it is priced by data volume in 250GB increments that can be scaled infinitely.

The Analytics8 + ThoughtSpot Partnership

We are thrilled about our new partnership with ThoughtSpot. ThoughtSpot provides a new and easy way for both business and technical users to ask questions, analyze company data, and build reports and dashboards.  We are excited to be able to offer this new technology to our customers so more people throughout an organization can use their data to make smarter decisions.

Learn More: See a ThoughtSpot Demo on October 18

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