Toronto-based Panorama Software is attempting to take some of the complexity out of every-day business intelligence (BI) use by leveraging elements of social networking within the software. The company’s Necto product is touted as BI 3.0, and helps users derive insights from data by not only allowing them to drill through data but also providing them access to what other users have done.
Speaking with Rony Ross, chairman and founder of Panorama Software, she said that typical BI deployments still fall short of end-user desires, but not from a lack of investment or want. She explained that deployments are usually bogged down by dozens if not hundreds of views, reports and dashboards created by IT for analysis and investigation.
“People typically go to the same, two, three, four views, reports KPIs and dashboards,” Ross said. “They never really try the other options that could be of interest to them.”
She said there is typically so much information that users never know what is relevant to their data and never find out what other people find useful.
Ross said that in a typical BI environment users might find a problem or anomaly, perhaps negative sales growth in a particular quarter but the conversation around that issue will be conducted by phone or over email. Data might be copied out of the BI environment and added to an email or spreadsheet for others to review. Moving the discussion to another platform takes away from the team’s ability to work through the data and figure out the reasoning for the problem. Furthermore, any insights that are generated are lost outside the system.
Ross said that it’s all about contextual discovery these days. It’s true, everything from Amazon to Google makes contextual recommendations based on your searches. Panorama’s Necto BI solution, which was released earlier in 2011, takes the concept of contextual discovery and runs with it.