The Business Intelligence phrase of the year is 'Data Driven'. The business intelligence (BI) and analytics market has changed considerably in the last year, as you can see from a glance 2016 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms.
I've been aware of the Pyramid Analytics solution for some time, and I thought that the latest version was worth a closer look. If you've attended sessions at the London Power BI Day, SQLSaturday Edinburgh, SQLBits or PASS Business Analytics, you'll have come across Pyramid Analytics previously. They've been staunch community supporters for some time, so I'd like to thank them here for their support.
What does BI Office suite actually do? I think it's aimed at fitting the Business Intelligence process. They visualise it as an overlapping process, which you can see below.
I see Business Intelligence as a process, supported by a technology; not the other way around. I think that many organisations seek to be 'Data Driven' and the Pyramid approach has emphasized this approach so that this perspective is a fundamental part of the organisational DNA, and I think that comes through better in their mature approach to enterprise business intelligence.
I think it's smart of Pyramid to partner so well with Microsoft, and with Power BI in particular. To succeed, they needed to move away from being 'the guys who used to do SSAS stuff' into a more robust, enterprise solution. The Microsoft/Pyramid partnership still means that they can do the SQL Server Analysis Services technology well. It also means that they can ride the crest alongside PowerBI, picking up where PowerBI leaves off as well as benefiting from its participation in the ecosystem.
Previous iterations of the Gartner report in 2015 noted that Pyramid had 'average' mobile capabilities and mashup capability. However, the latest version of BI Office 6 has responded to the comments by focusing on the ability of enterprise users to solve these difficult, data-oriented issues which feed into business decisions. Therefore, the ability to do mashups is strengthened in the later version. This nimble behavior has shown that Pyramid have the ability to respond to market, and this is borne out by their strong success in obtaining funding . They have a continuing success story on scalability, with an emphasis on enterprise data curation, workflow and analytics, so it's not surprising that the Gartner report says that few customers report that they are considering discontinuing the Pyramid platform.
What would I like to know more about? I will be interested to see Pyramid's integration with R, and how that develops as the analytics and data industry becomes more prevalent. I like the idea of having good lifecycle around the R integration and repeatability of scripts and I think Pyramid can provide the support for that process. It is vital as a part of the analytics and data science process of verifying and validating results. I believe that the R integration should fit neatly into the modelling process, as per the earlier diagram. I think that there's a bigger story here to be told, and I'll be interested to see how it develops.
I think that Pyramid will see success in geographical expansion as well as providing a more in-depth software that fits with the process of Business Intelligence. Their recent funding round will facilitate this expansion, and it's a mark of faith in the organisation. I'll be interested to see more, and to understand better how Pyramid can become part of an organisation's DNA in providing analytics.
You can see Pyramid at the PASS Business Analytics Conference on May 2nd to May 4th.
You can see them at SQLBits on 4th - 7th May.