The tension of user vs. technology – a turning point for analytics?

The tension of user vs technology in BI and analytics

Earlier this year, I attended the Pacific Northwest BI & Analytics Summit. It’s a relatively small industry event that brings together some thought leaders, industry analysts and representatives from major vendors who are all intensely passionate about the BI space. Some of the people who were there include Donald Farmer, Doc Searls, Jill Dyche, Claudia Imhoff, Mike Ferguson and Shaun Rodgers.

Analytics expert conversations are changing

For four days, we sat around talking about the industry and what direction it’s going. Recently, data infrastructure, AI, and Big Data have dominated the discussion at these type of events. But this year, I noticed that there was a shift in the kinds of conversations we were having – the focus was increasingly on the end user experience.

We discussed how organizations are using data, the challenges they’re facing and whether the industry is delivering the toolsets users need to really do their job. We also talked about what the industry needs to achieve to deliver what users need and how we can help them use their analytics effectively and efficiently. It was refreshing to focus on the people within organizations who really stand to benefit from analytics.  

A new focus on the user vs. the technology

Focusing on the user rather than the technology is something I’m seeing across the board at recent events and in the industry press. I think it’s reflective of a turning point in the industry. The industry is starting to think less about the technology and more about the big problems we’re trying to solve for businesses.

This turning point also validates the strategic direction we’re taking at Yellowfin. We’re rethinking the way organizations experience analytics. Rather than focusing on dashboards and reports, we’re looking at stories and signals as the primary mediums for the future of BI. It’s great to see thought leaders are now also thinking about the industry in the same way.


Are you aware of this one thing BI end users desperately need?

Read: Are we losing the art of long form analysis?