Amazon Echo, Sisense Integration Connects BI With IoT - InformationWeek
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Amazon Echo, Sisense Integration Connects BI With IoT

Business intelligence platform provider Sisense is taking user self-service for analytics to the next level through integration with Amazon Echo and IoT devices.

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Sisense is connecting its business intelligence platform to a couple of devices originally intended for the consumer electronics market to make the data and insights more accessible for everyday business users.

The company made its debut on the Gartner Magic Quadrant report for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms in the Niche Players square in February 2016. It is extending its platform to Amazon Echo and to an IoT lightbulb as part of a public beta program for its new program, Sisense Business Intelligence Virtually Everywhere.

Through its connection to Amazon Echo, business users can verbally query the platform to retrieve business data. For instance, a company could place an Amazon Echo device in the conference room so that the analytics platform can be queried during business meetings. The system leverages the Amazon AI and natural language processing to enable this capability, Sisense CEO Amir Orad told InformationWeek in an interview.

(Image: Sisense)

(Image: Sisense)

The integration makes it much easier for business users to access and interact with the system's data, he said.

"What we do at Sisense is to simplify complex data and analytics of complex data," Orad told InformationWeek. "You literally talk to your data and have an intelligent interaction with your data. You can say, 'What was my revenue last year?' and then you can ask, 'What was it in Europe?' without ever saying the word 'revenue' again."

The IoT lightbulb integration is even simpler. Companies choose a particular KPI (key performance indicator) to associate with the IoT lightbulb's colors, and then as the KPI within the business changes, so does the color of the lightbulb, providing an instant, simple indicator without the need to look something up on a dashboard in a web browser.

[Amazon continues to add content to Echo. Read Amazon Echo Gains Local NBC News Reports.]

Early customers of the Sisense Business Intelligence Virtually Everywhere capability include Skullcandy, CTSI, and Act-on. Supply chain management company CTSI used the IoT lightbulb.

"When rolling out a new software system we tied the bulb to a threshold monitoring system lognis across our employees. Below the threshold the bulb was red" said Todd Winton, development manager at CTSI-Global, in a statement. "Before utilizing the Sisense bulb, we were seeing just a few daily logins, but once we connected the bulb and put it in an open space that all the employees could see, system logins grew immediately."

Sisense Business Intelligence Virtually Everywhere is enabled via APIs, and Sisense has created the integrations with those first two devices. The company is also opening the effort up to developers so that it can be expanded to additional devices.

Sisense itself may also develop a few integrations for additional devices, if compelling use-cases are suggested. One such use case, Orad said, could be an automatic lock that unlocks once a threshold is reached to provide a reward for hitting a goal.

Gartner said in its Magic Quadrant report in February that Sisense's key strength is the platform's capability to easily handle and manage large and diverse datasets, and to analyze them in dashboards based on its proprietary In-Chip technology. Gartner also noted that Sisense was behind in some areas, such as collaboration and social, complexity of analysis, and smart data discovery.

But Gartner said that one of Sisense's strengths was ease of use for the end-user. That's certainly among the goals of this new initiative, too.

Jessica Davis has spent a career covering the intersection of business and technology at titles including IDG's Infoworld, Ziff Davis Enterprise's eWeek and Channel Insider, and Penton Technology's MSPmentor. She's passionate about the practical use of business intelligence, ... View Full Bio

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