Self-service Analytics Focus of Yellowfin Release

Drew Robb

Updated · Dec 06, 2013

Business intelligence and analytics provider Yellowfin introduced version 7 of its software, which includes a new data discovery interface among other features.

The interface “simplifies and enhances the self-service analytics experience, enabling our users to create BI content faster than ever before – on any device,” said Yellowfin CEO Glen Rabie.  “Our goal is to empower anyone to effortlessly interpret and act on business data in a way that actually makes reporting and analytics so natural and easy it’s a joy to use.”

The release also includes a revamped interface for report creation and ad-hoc analysis and a content creation canvas. According to Rabie, selected fields are instantaneously visualized on the canvas, enabling users to immediately see the result of their actions and attain insight.

The content creation module allows users to create many charts from a single dataset, which Rabie said will reduce report-authoring time. “Significantly, this capability differs from that offered by other data visualization tools, which create a separate query for each visualization,” he said.

A new output canvas, within Yellowfin 7’s overhauled report builder, enables users to drag-and-drop multiple charts onto a single space and arrange them side-by-side to create a dashboard-type experience for data consumers. Users will also be able to add a range of custom widgets to the output canvas, to provide additional context to selected data visualizations. Custom widgets include text, images, annotations and links to external content.

Mobile Analytics

In addition, Yellowfin 7 offers users the ability to create content and conduct ad-hoc analysis on mobile devices of their choosing, using a Web browser. “The ability to author reports via any mobile device empowers users to explore data and discover fresh insights anywhere and anytime,” Rabie said.

And it “enables true device independence,” he added. The software allows users to access BI via native applications for the iPhone and iPad, a hybrid HTML 5 application for Android devices or Web browser. “We realize that people switch between a phone, tablet and laptop during a normal day and expect to be able to access the same information. Yellowfin supports that reality,” Rabie said.

The native iPhone application for mobile business intelligence was restyled in line with Apple’s iOS 7 update and offers an enhanced ability to access and share BI content.  A “browse page” enables users to search, view and sort all of their BI content – from reports to storyboards, and even dashboards. A new interface for viewing dashboard content also brings Yellowfin’s new iPhone application into line with its existing native iPad application, allowing users to view all their dashboard tabs in one place.

Collaborative Analytics

A series of decision widgets have been added to Timeline – Yellowfin’s Facebook-like feed, which catalogs a users’ activities within Yellowfin in real-time – to boost user engagement and make collaborative decision making easier. 

Rabie said users can comment on reports and create discussion topics that allow them to share ideas and data over time, “as you would in a real ongoing discussion.” And, he added, users can also set resolution deadlines and vote on proposed actions,

“Without a decision, there’s no ROI for analytic software,” he said. “So a BI solution needs to be more than just an enabler. For BI software to be successful, it must include a mechanism to assist decision-making, such as voting or polling, to help push conversation towards a specific, measurable and desirable course of action.”

The release attempts to balance the balance the needs of enterprise IT and self-service data discovery users with an administration console that consolidates a range of management functions, giving administrators a single overview of their Yellowfin instance, including key metrics such as number of users, logins, and dashboard and report views.

Drew Robb
Drew Robb

Drew Robb is a writer who has been writing about IT, engineering, and other topics. Originating from Scotland, he currently resides in Florida. Highly skilled in rapid prototyping innovative and reliable systems. He has been an editor and professional writer full-time for more than 20 years. He works as a freelancer at Enterprise Apps Today, CIO Insight and other IT publications. He is also an editor-in chief of an international engineering journal. He enjoys solving data problems and learning abstractions that will allow for better infrastructure.

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