This month we’ve seen a solid start to the new financial year. We’ve maintained strong growth and there are some exciting things on the horizon for the year ahead.
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We continue to strengthen our customer focus
Our new head of marketing for North America, Laura Crawford, joined us in July. Laura is a senior marketing professional who’s worked with AVG Technologies and as an independent marketing consultant for Adobe and some large banks.
She has a deep understanding of digital marketing and specializes in building customer engagement and driving product adoption. Given the pace and growth of digital marketing today, we believe it’s an important area to focus on. Working with our Chief Customer Officer in the US, Lee Roquet, Laura will help us develop a clear understanding of how to drive customer engagement, both with existing and potential customers and partners. We look forward to the significant contribution she will make to Yellowfin in North America.
We’ve also continued to hire in several other areas. In the US, we’ve grown our internal analytics, reporting and ETL teams. While in Australia we’ve brought onboard new people in inside sales, development, and QA.
Our sales machine is steaming ahead
Yellowfin’s sales momentum has continued this month and is significantly up from the same time last year. Renewals continue to be strong and new business is also increasing.
We’ve found our cadence right across our sales organization and it’s helping us accelerate each aspect of the business. Each region is driving themselves forward and achieving great outcomes. We’ve put in a lot of hard work to get us to this point and it’s exciting to see things come together.
We’ve also brought on board some interesting new customers. LookSmart Alterations, (not to be confused with Evan Thornley’s company LookSmart), is the world’s largest tailoring and alterations business. This business really surprised me in terms of its size. When you see one of their shop-fronts in a mall it’s not really indicative of the scale of their total business. They’re already large and growing fast.
This deal is a good reminder that there are a lot of non-tech organizations out there that can really benefit from analytics. While the BI press seems to focus on AI, machine learning, and other tech businesses, they’re far from the only ones who need analytics.
All businesses need to understand how they’re performing and be able to benchmark themselves. That’s especially important in a franchise situation like LookSmart Alterations, where they have many stores. We’re helping them to understand which stores are the high performers, which are the low performers, and how they can optimize their business.
It’s not rocket science. But if we can enable businesses to identify opportunities and grow faster, then it makes what we do very worthwhile.
New features will be released in October
The entire business is now gearing up for our next feature release, version 7.4, that will be coming out at the end of October.
This release adds some impressive features that will help us position Yellowfin as the platform of choice for people who want to build analytics applications. The features will be attractive to analysts working within organizations and software vendors who want to embed this capability into their own applications.
The key components of this release include:
- Data transformation and ETL capacity that will enable people to ingest data and undertake more data preparation.
- Augmented data discovery capabilities that will change the way business users interact with the Yellowfin platform. Smart algorithms will help them discover insights easily so they can readily understand the drivers of key metrics.
- There are also several small changes that will improve aspects of the platform, such as data visualization
Talking future trends in BI
Much of my time in the past month was spent on the road in the US where I had the opportunity to catch up with our team there. The US office is growing rapidly, so it was great to see what the team is achieving.
At the Pacific Northwest BI Summit, I also had the chance to catch up with Merv Adrian, VP at Gartner, Harriet Fryman, VP of Growth at IBM, Jill Dyche, VP at SAS, and Donald Farmer of TreeHive Strategy. We shared what’s happening in the BI industry and the trends that we see impacting the industry over the medium and long term.
It’s been a fantastic month. Our business continues to build momentum and we have a new release on the horizon that will position Yellowfin for future growth.
See you next month!