BI News


Last month Tableau and Qliktech both declared that Traditional BI is too slow (I am saying this for many years) for development and their new Data Visualization (DV software) is going to replace it. Quote from Tableau’s CEO: Christian Chabot: “Traditional BI software is obsolete and dying and this is very direct challenge and threat to BI vendors: your (BI that is) time is over and now it is time for Tableau.” Similar quote from Anthony Deighton, Qliktech’s CTO & Senior VP, Products: “More and more customers are looking at QlikView not just to supplement traditional BI, but to replace it“.

One of my clients – large corporation (obviously cannot say the name of it due NDA) asked me to advise of what to choose between Traditional BI tools with long Development Cycle (like Cognos, Business Objects or Microstrategy), modern BI tools (like JavaScript and D3 toolkit) which is attempt to modernize traditional BI but still having  sizable development time and leading Data Visualization tools with minimal development time (like Tableau, Qlikview or Spotfire).

Since main criterias for client were

  • minimize IT personnel involved and increase its productivity;

  • minimize the off-shoring and outsourcing as it limits interactions with end users;

  • increase end users’s involvement, feedback and action discovery.

So I advised to client to take some typical Visual Report project from the most productive Traditional  BI Platform (Microstrategy), use its prepared Data and clone it with D3 and Tableau (using experts for both). Results in form of Development time in hours) I put below; all three projects include the same time (16 hours) for Data Preparation & ETL, the same time for Deployment (2 hours) and the same number (8) of Repeated Development Cycles (due 8 consecutive feedback from End Users):

DVvsD3vsBI

It is clear that Traditional BI requires too much time, that D3 tools just trying to prolongate old/dead BI traditions by modernizing and beautifying BI approach, so my client choose Tableau as a replacement for Microstrategy, Cognos, SAS and Business Objects and better option then D3 (which require smart developers and too much development). This movement to leading Data Visualization platforms is going on right now in most of corporate America, despite IT inertia and existing skillset. Basically it is the application of the simple known principle that “Faster is better then Shorter“, known in science as Fermat’s Principle of least time.

This changes made me wonder (again) if Gartner’s recent marketshare estimate and trends for Dead Horse sales (old traditional BI) will stay for long. Gartner estimates the size of BI market as $13B which is drastically different from TBR estimate ($30B).

BIDeadHorseTheoryTBR predicts that it will keep growing at least until 2018 with yearly rate 4% and BI Software Market to Exceed $40 Billion by 2018 (They estimate BI Market as $30B in 2012 and include more wider category of Business Analytics Software as opposed to strictly BI tools). I added estimates for Microstrategy, Qliktech, Tableau and Spotfire to Gartner’s MarketShare estimates for 2012 here:

9Vendors

However, when Forrester asked people what BI Tools they used, it’s survey results were very different from Gartner’s estimate of “market share:

BIToolsInUse

“Traditional BI is like a pencil with a brick attached to it” said Chris Stolte at recent TCC13 conference and Qliktech said very similar in its recent announcement of Qlikview.Next. I expect TIBCO will say similar about upcoming new release of Spotfire (next week at TUCON 2013 conference in Las Vegas?)

Tableau_brick2

These bold predictions by leading Data Visualization vendors are just simple application of Fermat’s Principle of Least Time: this principle stated that the path taken between two points by a ray of light (or development path in our context) is the path that can be traversed in the least time.

Pierre_de_Fermat2Fermat’s principle can be easily applied to “PATH” estimates to multiple situations like in video below, where path from initial position of the Life Guard on beach to the Swimmer in Distress (Path through Sand, Shoreline and Water) explained: 

Even Ants following the Fermat’s Principle (as described in article at Public Library of Science here: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0059739 ) so my interpretation of this Law of Nature (“Faster is better then Shorter“) that  traditional BI is a dying horse and I advise everybody to obey the Laws of Nature.

AntsOn2SurfacesIf you like to watch another video about Fermat’s principle of Least Time and related Snell’s law, you can watch this: 
Google+

Qlikview 10 was released around 10/10/10, Qlikview 11 – around 11/11/11, so I expected Qlikview 12 to be released on 12/12/12. Qliktech press release said today that the next (after 11.2) version of Qlikview will be delivered under the new nickname Qlikview.Next in 2014 but “for  early adopter customers in a production environment in 2013”. I hope I can get my hands on it ASAP!

The new buzzword is Natural Analytics: “QlikView.Next’s key value as an alternative BI platform is in its use of Natural Analytics“. The new Qliktech motto that “Qlikview is a Replacement of Traditional BI” is similar to what we heard from Tableau leaders just 2 weeks ago on Tableau Customer Conference in Washington, DC.  Another themes I hear from Qliktech about Qliview.Next are sounds familiar too: Gorgeous, Genius, Visually Beautiful, Associative Experience, Comparative Analysis, Anticipatory, Drag and Drop Analytics.

Qlikview.Next will introduce “Data Dialogs” as live discussions between multiple users about Data they see and explore collectively, enabling “Social BI”. This reminds me the integration between TIBBR (TIBCO’s collaboration platform) and Spotfire, which existed since Spotfire 4.0.

Details about new features in Qlikview.Next will be released later, but at least we know now when Qlikview 12 (sorry, Qlikview.Next that is) will be available. Some features actually unveiled in generic terms::

  • Unified, Browser-Based HTML5 Client, which will automatically optimize itself for user’ device;

  • Automatic and Intelligent re-sizing of objects to fit user’s screen;

  • Server-side Analysis and Development, Web-based creation and delivery of content, Browser-based Development;

  • Data Storytelling, narrative and social with Data Dialogs;

  • Library and Repository for UI objects;

  • Multi-source Data Integration and new web-based scripting;

  • QlikView Expressor for advanced graphical Data Integration and Metadata Management;

  • Improved Data Discovery with associative experience across all the data, both in memory and on disks;

  • Open API: JSON, .NET SDK and as JavaScript API;

  • All UI Objects can be treated as extension Objects, customizable with their source files available to developers;

  • New Managment Console with Qlikview on Qlikview Monitor;

  • New visualization capabilities, based on advanced data visualization suite from NComVA (bought by Qliktech a few months ago), potential samples see here: http://www.ncomva.se/guide/?chapter=Visualizations

NComVAVisualizations11

In addition Qliktech is launching the “Qlik Customer Success Framework” , which includes:

  • Qonnect Partner Program: An extensive global network of 1500+ partners, including resellers, (OEMs), technology companies, and system integrators.

  • Qlik Community: An online community with nearly 100,000 members comprised of customers, partners, developers and enthusiasts.

  • Qlik Market: An online showcase of applications, extensions and connectors.

  • Qoncierge: A single point of contact service offering for customers to help them access the resources they need.

  • Comprehensive Services: A wide range of consulting services, training and support.

QlikFramework

Also see Ted Cuzzillo blogpost about it here: http://datadoodle.com/2013/10/09/next-for-qlik/# and Cindi Howson’s old post here: http://biscorecard.typepad.com/biscorecard/2012/05/qliktech-shares-future-product-plans-for-qlikview.html and new article here: http://www.informationweek.com/software/business-intelligence/qliktech-aims-to-disrupt-bi-again/240162403#!

Today Tableau Customer Conference 2013 started with 3200+ attendees from 40+ countries and 100+ industries, with 700 employees of Tableau, 240 sessions. Tableau 8.1 pre-announced today for release in fall of 2013, also version 8.2 planned for winter 2014, and Tableau 9.0 for later in 2014.

Update 9/10/13: keynote now is available recorded and online:  http://www.tableausoftware.com/keynote
(Recorded Monday Sept 9, 2013 Christian Chabot, Chris Stolte and the developers LIVE)

New in 8.1: 64-bit, Integration with R, support for SAML, IPV6 and External Load Balancers, Copy/Paste Dashboards and worksheets between workbooks, new Calendar Control, own visual style, including customizing even filters, Tukey’s Box-and-Whisker Box-plot, prediction bands, ranking, visual analytics for everyone and everywhere (in the cloud now)

Planned and new for 8.2: Tableau for MAC, Story Points (new type of worksheet/dashboard with mini-slides as story-points), seamless access to data via data connection interface to visually build a data schema, including inner/left/right/outer visual joins, beautifying columns names, easier metadata etc, Web authoring enhancements (it may get into 8.1: moving quick filters, improvement for Tablets, color encoding.) etc.

8.1:  Francois Ajenstat announced: 64-bit finally (I asked for that for many years) for server processes and for Desktop, support for SAML (single-sign-ON on Server and Desktop), IPV6, External Load Balancers:

Francois

SAML8.1: Dave Lion announced R integration with Tableau:

DaveLion

r8.1: Mike Arvold announced “Visual Analytics for everyone”, including implemention of famous Tukey’s Box-and-Whisker Box-plot (Spotfire has it for a while, see it here: http://stn.spotfire.com/stn/UserDoc.aspx?UserDoc=spotfire_client_help%2fbox%2fbox_what_is_a_box_plot.htm&Article=%2fstn%2fConfigure%2fVisualizationTypes.aspx ),

better forecasting, prediction bands, ranking, better heatmaps:

MikeArvold8.1: Melinda Minch announced “fast, easy, beautiful”, most importantly copy/paste dashboards and worksheets between workbooks, customizing everything, including quick filters, new calendar control, own visual style, folders in Data Window etc…

MelindaMinch28.2: Jason King pre-announced the Seamless access to data via data connection interface to visually build a data schema, including inner/left/right/outer “visual” joins, beautifying columns names, default formats, new functions like DATEPARSE, appending data-set with new tables, beautifying columns names, easier metadata etc.

JasonKingSeamlessAccess2data28.2: Robert Kosara introduced Story Points (using new type of worksheet/dashboard with mini-slides as story-points) for new Storytelling functionality:

RobertKosara2

Here is an example of Story Points, done by Robert:

storypoints-4

8.2: Andrew Beers pre-announced Tableau 8.2 on MAC and he got a very warm reception from audience for that:

AndrewBeers3Chris Stolte proudly mentioned his 275-strong development team, pre-announced upcoming Tableau Releases 8.1 (this fall), 8.2 (winter 2014) and 9.0 (later in 2014) and introduced 7 “developers” who (see above Francois, Mike, Dave, Melinda, Jason, Robert and Andrew) discussed during this keynote new features (feature list is definitely longer and wider that recent “innovations” we saw from Qlikview 11.2 and even from Spotfire 5.5):

ChrisStolte2Christian Chabot opening keynote today… He said something important: current BI Platforms are not fast, nor easy, they are not beautiful and not for anyone and they are definitely not “anywhere” but only in designated places with appropriate IT personnel (compare with Tableau Public, Tableau Online, Tableau free Reader etc.) and it is only capable to produce a bunch of change requests from one Enterprise’s department to another, which will take long time to implement with any SDLC framework.

CEOChristian basically repeated what I am saying on this blog for many years, check it here https://apandre.wordpress.com/market/competitors/ : traditional BI software (from SAP, IBM, Oracle, Microstrategy and even Microsoft cannot compete with Tableau, Qlikview and Spotfire) is obsolete and dying and this is very direct challenge and threat to BI vendors (I am not sure if they understand that): your (BI that is) time is over and now it is time for Tableau (also for Qlikview and Spotfire but they are slightly behind now…).

Update on 11/21/13: Tableau 8.1 is available today, see it here: http://www.tableausoftware.com/new-features/8.1 and Tableau Public 8.1 is available as well, see it here: http://www.tableausoftware.com/public/blog/2013/11/tableau-public-81-launches-2226

While blog preserving my observations and thoughts, it preventing me to spend enough time to read what other people thinking and saying, so I created almost 2 years ago the extension of this blog in the form of 2 Google+ pages http://tinyurl.com/VisibleData and http://tinyurl.com/VisualizationWithTableau , where I accumulated all reading pointers for myself and gradually reading those materials when I have time.

Those 2 pages magically became extremely popular (this is unintended result) with total more than 5000 Google+ followers as of today. For example here is a Chart showing monthly growth of the  number of followers for the main extension of this blog http://tinyurl.com/VisibleData :

GPFollowersMonthly

So please see below some samples of Reading Pointers accumulated over last 3 months of summer by my Google+ pages:

Author trying to simplify BigData Definition as following: “BigData Simplified: Too much data to fit into a single server”: http://yottascale.com/entry/the-colorful-secrets-of-bigdata-platforms

Recent talk from Donald Farmer: http://www.wired.com/insights/2013/06/touch-the-next-frontier-of-business-intelligence/

Dmitry pointing to implementation Disaster of Direct Discovery in Qlikview 11.2: http://bi-review.blogspot.com/2013/04/first-look-at-qlikview-direct-discovery.html

Specs for Tableau in Cloud: https://www.tableausoftware.com/products/online/specs

The DB-Engines Monthly Ranking ranks database management systems according to their popularity. Turned out that only 3 DBMSes are popular: Oracle, SQL Server and MySQL:

According to Dr. Andrew Jennings, chief analytics officer at FICO and head of FICO Labs, three main skills of data scientist are the same 3 skills I tried to find when hiring programmers for my teams 5, 10, 20 and more years ago: 1. Problem-Solving Skills. 2. Communications Skills. 3. Open-Mindedness. This makes all my hires for last 20+ years Data Scientists, right? See it here: http://www.informationweek.com/big-data/news/big-data-analytics/3-key-skills-of-successful-data-scientis/240159803

A study finds the odds of rising to another income level are notably low in certain cities, like Atlanta and Charlotte, and much higher in New York and Boston: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/22/business/in-climbing-income-ladder-location-matters.html

Tableau is a prototyping tool: http://tableaufriction.blogspot.com/2013/07/the-once-and-future-prototyping-tool-of.html

Why More Data and Simple Algorithms Beat Complex Analytics Models: http://data-informed.com/why-more-data-and-simple-algorithms-beat-complex-analytics-models/

New Census Bureau Interactive Map Shows Languages Spoken in America: http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/education/cb13-143.html

Google silently open sourced a tool called word2vec, prepackaged deep-learning software designed to understand the relationships between words with no human guidance. It actually similar to known for a decade methods called PLSI and PLSA:

“Money is not the only reward of education, yet it is surely the primary selling point used to market data science programs, and the primary motivator for students. But there’s no clear definition of data science and no clear understanding of what knowledge employers are willing to pay for, or how much they will pay, now or in the future. Already I know many competent, diligent data analysts who are unemployed or underemployed. So, I am highly skeptical that the students who will invest their time and money in data science programs will reap the rewards they have been led to expect.”: http://www.forbes.com/sites/gilpress/2013/08/19/data-science-whats-the-half-life-of-a-buzzword/

Some good blog-posts from InterWorks:

Technique for using Tableau data blending to create a dynamic, data-driven “parameter”: http://drawingwithnumbers.artisart.org/creating-a-dynamic-parameter-with-a-tableau-data-blend/

More about Colors:

Russian Postcodes are collected and partially visualized:

http://acuitybusiness.com/blog/bid/175066/Three-Reasons-Why-Companies-Should-Outlaw-Excel

EXASolution claims to be up to 1000 times faster than traditional databases and the fastest database in the world – based on in memory computing.
http://www.exasol.com/en/exasolution/technical-details.html

web interest to Tableau and Qlikview:
http://www.google.com/trends/explore?q=qlikview%2C+tableau%2C+spotfire%2C+microstrategy#q=tableau%2C%20microstrategy%2C%20qlikview%2C%20spotfire&geo=US&date=9%2F2008%2061m&cmpt=q

Tableau Software filed for IPO, on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “DATA”. In sharp contrast to other business-software makers that have gone public in the past year, Tableau is profitable, despite hiring huge number of new employees. For the years ended December 31, 2010, 2011 and 2012,  Tableau’s total revenue were $34.2 million, $62.4 million and $127.7 million for 2012. Number of full-time employees increased from 188 as of December 31, 2010 to 749 as of December 31, 2012.

Tableau’s biggest shareholder is venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates, with a 38 percent stake. Founder Pat Hanrahan owns 18 percent, while co-founders Christopher Stolte and Christian Chabot, who is also chief executive officer, each own more than 15 percent. Meritech Capital Partners controls 6.4 percent. Tableau recognized three categories of Primary Competitors:

  • large suppliers of traditional business intelligence products, like IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and SAP AG;

  • spreadsheet software providers, such as Microsoft Corporation

  • business analytics software companies: Qlik Technologies Inc. and TIBCO Spotfire.

TBvsQVvsSF

Update 4/29/13: This news maybe related to Tableau IPO: I understand that Microstrategy’s growth cannot be compared with growth of Tableau or even Qliktech. But to go below of the average “BI market” growth? Or even 6% or 24% decrease? What is going on (?) here : “First quarter 2013 revenues were $130.2 million versus $138.3 million for the first quarter of 2012, a 6% decrease.  Product licenses revenues for the first quarter of 2013 were $28.4 million versus $37.5 million for the first quarter of 2012, a 24% decrease.”

Update 5/6/13: Tableau Software Inc. will sell 5 million shares, while shareholders will sell 2.2 million shares, Tableau said in an amended filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The underwriters have the option to purchase up to an additional 1,080,000 shares. It means total can be 8+ millions of shares for sale.

The company expects its initial public offer to raise up to $215.3 million at a price of $23 to $26 per share. If this happened, that will create public company with large capitalization, so Qliktech and Spotfire will have an additional problem to worry about. This is how QLIK (blue line), TIBX (red) and MSTR (orange line) stock behaved during last 6 weeks after release of Tableau 8 and official Tableau IPO announcement:

QlikTibxMstr

Update 5/16/13: According to this article  at Seeking Alpha (also see S-1 Form) Tableau Software Inc. (symbol “DATA”) is scheduled a $176 million IPO with a market capitalization of $1.4 billion for Friday, May 17, 2013. Tableau’s March Quarter sales were up 60% from the March ’12 quarter. Qliktech’s sales were up only 23% on a similar comparative basis.

nyse

According to other article, Tableau raised it IPO price and it may reach capitalization of $2B by end of Friday, 5/17/13. That is almost comparable with capitalization of Qliktech…

Update 5/17/13: Tableau’s IPO offer price was $31 per share, but it started today

with price $47 and finished day with $50.75 (raising $400M in one day) with estimated Market Cap around $3B (or more?). It is hard to understand the market: Tableau Stock (symbol: DATA) finished its first day above $50 with Market Capitalization higher than QLIK, which today has Cap = $2.7B but Qliktech has almost 3 times more of sales then Tableau!

For comparison MSTR today has Cap = $1.08B and TIBX today has Cap = $3.59B. While I like Tableau, today proved that most investors are crazy, if you compare numbers in this simple table:

Symbol  : Market Cap, $B, as of 5/17/13 Revenue, $M, as of 3/31/13 (trailing 12 months) FTE (Full Time Employees)
TIBX 3.59 1040 3646
MSTR 1.08 586 3172
QLIK 2.67 406 1425
DATA between $2B and $3B? 143 834

See interview with Co-Founder of Tableau Software Christian Chabot  – he discusses taking the company’s IPO with Emily Chang on Bloomberg Television’s “Bloomberg West.” However it makes me sad when Tableau’s CEO is implying that Tableau is ready for big data, which is not true.

TableauCEOaboutIPOHere are some pictures of the Tableau team at the NYSE:  http://www.tableausoftware.com/ipo-photos and here is the announcement about “closing IPO”.

Initial public offering gave to Tableau $254 million (preliminary estimate)

Today Tableau 8 was released with 90+ new features (actually it may be more than 130) after exhausting 6+ months of Alpha and Beta Testing with 3900+ customers as Beta Testers! I personally expected it it 2 months ago, but I rather will have it with less bugs and this is why I have no problem with delay. During this “delay” Tableau Public achieved the phenomenal Milestone: 100 millions of users…

Tableau 8 introduced:

  • web and mobile authoring,
  • added access to new data sources: Google Analytics, Salesforce.com, Cloudera Impala, DataStax Enterprise, Hadapt, Hortonworks Hadoop Hive, SAP HANA, and Amazon Redshift.
  • New Data Extract API that allows programmers to load data from anywhere into Tableau and make certain parts of Tableau Licensing ridiculous, because consuming part of licensing (for example core licensing) for background tasks should be set free now.
  • New JavaScript API enables integration with business (and other web-) applications.
  • Local Rendering: leveraging the graphics hardware acceleration available on ordinary computers. Tableau 8 Server dynamically determines where rendering will complete faster – on the server or in the browser. Also – and acts accordingly. Also Dashboards now render views in parallel when possible.

Tableau Software plans to add in next versions (after 8.0) some very interesting and competitive features, like:

  • Direct query of large databases, quick and easy ETL and data integration.
  • Tableau on a Mac and Tableau as a pure Cloud offering.
  • Make statistical & analytical techniques accessible (I wonder if it means integration with R?).
  • Tableau founder Pat Hanrahan recently talked about “Showing is Not Explaining”, so Tableau planned to add features that support storytelling by constructing visual narratives and effective communication of ideas.

I did not see on Tableau’s roadmap some very long overdue features like 64-bit implementation (currently even all Tableau Server processes, except one, are 32-bit!), Server implementation on Linux (we do not want to pay Windows 2012 Server CAL taxes to Bill Gates) and direct mentioning of integration with R like Spotfire does – I how those planning and strategic mistakes will not impact upcoming IPO.

I personally think that Tableau has to stop using its ridiculous practice when 1 core license used per each 1 Backgrounder server process and since Tableau Data Extract API is free so all Tableau Backgrounder Processes should be free and have to be able to run on any hardware and even any OS.

Tableau 8 managed to get the negative feedback from famous Stephen Few, who questioned Tableau’s ability to stay on course. His unusually long blog-post “Tableau Veers from the Path” attracted enormous amount of comments from all kind of Tableau experts. I will be cynical here and notice that there is no such thing as negative publicity and more publicity is better for upcoming Tableau IPO.

TBvsQVvsSF

Today TIBCO announced Spotfire 5, which will be released in November 2012. Two biggest news are the access to SQL Server Analysis Services cubes and the integration with Teradata “by pushing all aggregations, filtering and complex calculations used for interactive visualization into the (Teradata) database”.

Spotfire team “rewrote” its in-memory engine for v. 5.0 to take advantage of high-capacity, multi-core servers. “Spotfire 5 is capable of handling in-memory data volumes orders of magnitude greater than the previous version of the Spotfire analytics platform” said Lars Bauerle, vice president of product strategy at TIBCO Spotfire.

Another addition is “in-database analysis” which allows to apply analytics within the database platforms (such as Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server and Teradata) without  extracting and moving data, while handling analyses on Spotfire server and returning result sets back to the database platform.

Spotfire added new Tibco Enterprise Runtime for R, which embeds R runtime engine into the Spotfire statistical server. TIBCO claims that Spotfire 5.0 scales to tens of thousands of users! Spotfire 5 is designed to leverage the full family of TIBCO business optimization and big data solutions, including TIBCO LogLogic®, TIBCO Silver Fabric, TIBCO Silver® Mobile, TIBCOBusinessEvents®, tibbr® and TIBCO ActiveSpaces®.

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