From our CEO: The Yellowfin monthly update

Welcome to our second monthly update for 2017. Yellowfin continues to grow and thrive which is always good news, with some great deals along the way.



Gartner’s Magic Quadrant

The biggest news last month was the release of Gartner’s 2017 Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms. Yellowfin was featured for the fourth consecutive year.

Gartner tracks hundreds of vendors in the BI space from advanced analytics to data visualization, to storage. To be part of the 24 included in the Magic Quadrant is a significant achievement, especially for an Australian company.

There are many vendors doing interesting things with great technology. But where Yellowfin stands out, and what has been recognized here, is our ability to execute. It’s a great outcome that I am delighted with.  

Noteworthy deals

The standout deal for me last month was Provincial, a large German insurance company (about 50,000 employees globally). Provincial was already a user of Yellowfin through BMC, a software partner of ours.

They loved our platform so much that they bought… well not quite the company Remington Shavers-style, but a much wider deployment of Yellowfin software.

I have to give a big shoutout to Jean Lawson, who runs our German business. And to our German partners Amexus, who are so passionate about Yellowfin and truly love and understand the product.

This was a huge win for the European team, but of course it wasn’t done in isolation. The whole Yellowfin ecosystem worked together to make this one happen. I love to see deals like this come together.

Product news

The release of 7.3 at the end of November has had great feedback: the analysts love the data prep components and the end-users love the design and interface. Now we are excited to be putting out 7.3+ next month. It’s a comparatively small release, but packed with value add.

Our beta customers have been using it and loving it. The three key features are:

Governance around the metadata layer.
We’re adding the ability for people to know which data sources have been approved as the gold standard to use for analytics. This is going to be a game-changer for those large organizations whose people have access to many different data sources to report from. The challenge is always that you can end up with people creating multiple versions of the same truth out of the same data set. Now they will have an embedded gold standard that people who are doing analysis can trust.

The second piece is enabling people to use third-party JavaScript charting libraries like D3.
It does involve a bit of coding, but it means you can do any kind of visualization you want within Yellowfin. This has already had loads of feedback from our developer community, who are having a lot of fun with it.

The final key feature is we are introducing is conditional formatting on widgets: text, shapes, charts – pretty much anything.
You’ll have the ability to show different prompts depending on the value of the data. It’s another step to building truly bespoke content that engages your users.

Around the traps

I’ve also spent some time away, but it wasn’t all holiday. First stop was the UK, where I had the opportunity to catch up with partners and attend partner and customer events. They all went really well, with lots of interest in moving forward and growing that business.

One of my favorite conversations was with Ana from Beagle Street. It was fantastic to understanding how they are rolling out Yellowfin to deliver prompt value to their business. They are turning around new dashboards and analysis in hours. Most importantly, they’re delivering curated content to business users in a timeframe that drives decisions.

Next stop Germany, where we did events in Hamburg, Stuttgart and Koln. Again it was loads of fun to see what customers and partners are doing with Yellowfin. Beiersdorf is just one example of a great organization doing amazing things with our product. The fact that we are delivering on so many things that they wanted from a BI solution is really great news.

After a bit of a gap where I took some downtime with the family, it was off to the US. We are building a fantastic team in the US, and every time I visit I’m impressed with the passion and enthusiasm they have for delivering great outcomes for Yellowfin. We’ve brought on some great people in the last few months, with impressive skill sets and a great team vibe.

CDO Summit

I recently spent a few days at the CDO Summit in Sydney. As well as speaking on data monetisation, I also spent a lot of time talking one-on-one with leaders responsible for delivering analytics into their businesses.

I came away with a sense that there are a group of organizations that have developed a core competency around analytics and are doing it really well. At the same time, there’s another group of less advanced organisations who are treating analytics as “reporting for the sake of reporting.” I think we’re only going to see the gap between these two groups get larger in capability, results and business performance.

The other thing that hit home at this conference was the professionalization of the data analyst role. The most effective data analysts are bringing a deep knowledge of statistics, user experience and the business to their work. Their passion for analytics is obvious. They’ve spent years building their skills and knowledge. I think this professionalism is another part of the death knell for self-service BI. This new generation of data analysts know they can achieve the biggest results through curated and scalable applications. They’re not focused on just building reports or dashboards. Instead, they’re focused on delivering curated applications that business users can use repeatedly to make the right decisions.

That’s all for this month

It’s still early in the year, but I’m truly excited about how much has happened and how much we have to look forward to over 2017. See you next month! Glen Rabie is a data geek and CEO/co-founder of Yellowfin. You can follow Glen on Twitter or LinkedIn.