March Update: Positioning Yellowfin for the future

March has been a fantastic month for many reasons. Sales have been bang on target which bodes well for the rest of this year. But this month we’ve also set the wheels in motion for the future – in terms of our product, revenue and focusing on what our customers need.


Strengthening partnerships in Japan

This month our Japanese business announced a substantial extension to our relationship with NTT TechnoCross.

NTT TechnoCross is a subsidiary of the NTT group – one of the world’s largest telecommunications businesses. As part of their IT division, NTT TechnoCross is a system integrator who takes multiple products to market. In Japan, they have thousands of customers.

We’ve been working with NTT TechnoCross for a number of years and have watched their services revenue grow substantially off the back of Yellowfin over that time. Our partnership will have a three-pronged approach. They’ll provide Yellowfin to their customers in a hosted environment. They’re also using our platform internally and have made a commitment to sell into the Japanese market.

When doing business in Japan, building relationships is about seeing each other and understanding the way you do business. I’ve visited Japan a few times already, so now the NTT team wanted to come to Australia and see our business in action. That’s one of the reasons we were delighted to host the CEO of NTT TechnoCross and members of their team in Australia this month. Their visit gave us the opportunity to have a proper meet and greet and build our relationship with them. In a small time they crammed a lot in, including some delicious Australian beef and a bit of sunshine.


Where do you spend your time vs. where do you add value?

Yellowfin had a major presence at the Chief Data and Analytics Officer (CDAO) event in Sydney this month. I spoke about the automation of analysis and what it means for analytics departments moving forward.

This gave me the opportunity to hear some interesting feedback from people who work in the industry. It’s clear that data and analytics departments are being asked to do a lot more with less. Many are really struggling to deliver value to their business as a result. We wanted to find out more about where their issues were so we ran a short survey that gave some us some interesting feedback.

One of the questions we asked of Chief Data Officers and Chief Analytics Officers was what things they perceive as delivering the most value to their business. They could choose from a range of responses that included everything from data preparation to providing analysis and feedback to the business. Interestingly, most felt that interpreting results and doing analysis were the areas where they generate the most value for their business.

We also asked them where they spend their time and gave them the same responses to choose from. It was fascinating to see that almost no one spent time interpreting results, yet 80% of people spent their time doing data preparation.

For me, this really highlighted the huge disconnect between the activities that analytics experts are doing compared to the value they’re generating for their business. Analytics departments are spending too much time knee deep in data prep. That means they’re not delivering the value they know their business needs.

That’s why I believe automation is our path forward — it will profoundly impact what these departments can do in the future.


More hiring!

This month we brought onboard more graduate developers and some new members to the sales team in the United States. But the most exciting new hire for me was in our product team.

Our product has evolved over many years and we’ve got a lot planned – especially around automation and the delivery of insights. So, we felt it was time to consolidate everything we’ve done and focus on rethinking the user interface. That’s our vision for the product and we wanted to bring someone onboard who could help us achieve that.

As Head of Product – User Experience, Tony Prysten is charged with achieving this. He has a strong background in design and also understands how to build digital products and applications. Tony also has first-hand experience of how businesses use data, and now he’s responsible for delivering a user experience that rethinks how business intelligence can work.

Tony isn’t from an analytics background, so he comes unencumbered by the history of how analytics tools have traditionally been designed. I believe this will give him more freedom to question why we do things and be brutally honest about our product. We want to challenge what we’ve done in the past and rethink our product moving forward. Bringing Tony’s skills to our product team is a huge leap in this direction.

I’m excited to see how our user experience develops over the coming months and can’t wait for our vision to become a reality.