ThoughtSpot’s Roadmap Aims to Make Analytics Simple and Effective

LAS VEGAS – ThoughtSpot’s roadmap is driven by the idea of ​​enabling users to get more results from their analyzes while spending less time and effort on it.

“That’s the philosophy,” said Sumeet Arora, ThoughtSpot’s director of development. “Whatever we do, we always put ourselves in the shoes of our users. Whether it’s the business user, analyst or application builder, we want to make sure they can achieve their goals with fewer inputs and more outputs.”

Similarly, Cindi Howson, head of data strategy at ThoughtSpot, noted that making analytics as simple as possible is key for the vendor.

“We want getting data and insights — and linking that insights to action — to be as easy as working in your consumer apps,” she said.

Target audiences

It is with the three personalities referenced by Arora – the business user, the analyst and the application developer – in mind that ThoughtSpot developed its roadmap, according to Arora.

ThoughtSpot, founded in 2012 and based in Sunnyvale, Calif., plans to add automation and machine learning capabilities to better enable business users to perform self-service analytics.

According to ThoughtSpot CEO Sudheesh Nair, one of the goals going forward is to reduce the amount of research data users have to perform.

Sumeet Arora, Chief Development Officer of ThoughtSpot, speaks at Beyond 2022, the vendor’s user conference.

Although the provider is known for its natural language search capabilities, rather than forcing users to ask a question when they first log into ThoughtSpot, Nair wants ThoughtSpot to already have answers ready for users in based on what ThoughtSpot has learned about their wants and needs. of past activity.

Additionally, while ThoughtSpot unveiled rudimentary data storytelling capabilities on May 10 at Beyond 2022, its first in-person user conference since 2019, it plans to add more in the future.

“We ask, ‘How can we also make it easier for business users to understand the data itself?'” Arora said. “We call it data fluency. It’s a direction on the roadmap.”

To meet the needs of data analysts and engineers, ThoughtSpot unveiled ThoughtSpot Sync and a host of integrations with partner platforms including DBT Labs, Databricks, Dremio and Starburst. ThoughtSpot Sync is the result of the vendor’s acquisition of SeekWell in 2021 and allows users to automatically trigger actions in apps via APIs.

Whether it’s the business user, analyst, or application builder, we want to make sure they can achieve their goals with less input and more output.

Sumeet AroraDirector of Development, ThoughtSpot

Integrations, on the other hand, further integrate ThoughtSpot into a data management and analytics ecosystem that allows users to customize their analytics using the tools that best suit their needs, knowing they will work together. .

And as part of its roadmap, ThoughtSpot plans to add more integrations.

“It’s important to be integrated into the ecosystem, but it’s also very important to enable the end user – the end person – to get the most out of the ecosystem,” Arora said. “ThoughtSpot always focuses on this aspect.”

Finally, for app makers, ThoughtSpot plans to build on features like Data Workspace – a tool that enables analysts, engineers and developers to create and operationalize real-time, interactive data assets – and add more pre-built SpotApps analytics applications. for specific third-party business applications that customers can quickly deploy with just a few clicks.

“Of course we will continue to add SpotApps,” Howson said. “You’ll see a lot more of our partners building these SpotApps, and these include a preview of the action.”

Customer wishes

While ThoughtSpot strives to meet the needs of different customers with its roadmap, customers themselves have specific capabilities they would like to see added to the vendor’s platform.

ThoughtSpot has come a long way in recent years. Perhaps most importantly, it has evolved from a provider that served an exclusively large enterprise on-premises customer base to a cloud-focused provider offering pricing models that allow businesses of varying sizes to use the platform. .

Additionally, after initially gearing its platform almost exclusively towards business users with its natural language search capabilities, it has added tools to meet the needs of additional people referenced by Arora. And the new integrations and capabilities unveiled at Beyond 2022 have served to continue the evolution of ThoughtSpot, according to customers.

In particular, integrations with partners were the most useful addition unveiled during Beyond 2022, according to Pat Deshler, senior vice president of technology solutions, investigation and documentation at Data Recognition Corporation (DRC), a provider of assessment systems for K-12 education. , federal and state governments and commercial customers.

“The amount of work they did with partners – be it DBT, Databricks, Starburst – stood out,” he said.

ThoughtSpot has a long-standing relationship with Snowflake, and integrations with other cloud data providers such as Databricks and Amazon Web Services give ThoughtSpot users more freedom to deploy data in any location or multiple locations. locations of their choosing,” Deshler continued.

“As we’ve started to move from on-premises to cloud infrastructure, the idea that we’re going to put all of our data into Snowflake isn’t a reality…so seeing ThoughtSpot do the due diligence that it has applied in the past for Snowflake to other vendors is essential for us,” he said.

Similarly, Brent Litwak, vice president of global sales and field operations at no-code AI platform provider Accern, highlighted the integrations.

“I’m a bit biased towards connector frameworks because they touch our systems so much, so it means a lot that ThoughtSpot has done a lot, not just investing and growing, but delivering this great scalable connector framework,” said he declared. “Being able to leverage the world’s scale APIs and then being able to use the scale provided by ThoughtSpot means a lot.”

Nevertheless, customers would like more from ThoughtSpot.

DRC has been a ThoughtSpot customer since 2017 and has used the vendor’s built-in analytics capabilities extensively in its development of data and analytics products for a customer base that includes many school systems. But since many of its end users are teachers themselves, Deshler said he would like to see ThoughtSpot add more filtering features to ease the filtering burden on its end users who might not have the same literacy. of data than a business analyst.

“We want to pre-filter that to bring them into a comfortable and inviting initial view,” he said. “So [it would be good to have] the ability to allow us to think and adapt in terms of that end user in finer detail than some of the groupings that exist today. »

Litwak, meanwhile, said adding no-code prescriptive analytics capabilities would be helpful. He noted that some vendors offer such features — for example, analytics vendor MicroStrategy launched Guided Insights in February 2022 — and would like to see them on ThoughtSpot’s roadmap.

“I want that one-click prescriptive nature,” Litwak said. “Some other products already offer this, but more one-click features that aren’t programmatic in nature and allow for more user-guided iterative analytics would be a further step towards self-service. ThoughtSpot has a lot on the sheet. road, but prescriptive analytics is hugely important.”

Ease of use

Given ThoughtSpot’s guiding philosophy of empowering users to do more while easing the process of moving from data ingestion to vision and action, Deshler and Litwak may soon get the features that they wish.

One-click prescriptive analytics and additional filtering capabilities both aim to make it easier for end users to work with data. And DRC and Accern have worked with ThoughtSpot in the past to add features to the vendor’s roadmap.

“We are building a smarter system with more automation powered by artificial intelligence and any other intelligence we can create, so that users give as little input as possible and we give as much output as possible,” said said Arora.

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