- Jim Thomas
Updated: Apr 25
Why am I a Sisense consultant? I have spent the majority of my career in the systems selection and implementation space. During that time, I have worked and partnered with a number of software providers. Several of them in analytics space. Why would I choose to dedicate my time to Sisense?
Before answering this question, a little (or maybe a lot of) history: Almost 5 years ago in my role as Product Solutions VP, I was responsible for identifying and selecting a more efficient, improved time to market and more cost effective way to deliver energy industry generating performance and maintainability benchmarking and metrics to my employer's customers. We had been rolling our own analytics. This approach took too long and cost too much. I previously worked with several different analytics tools suppliers. In surveying the marketplace, I quickly recognized that the space had changed since my last involvement with BI. I utilized the Gartner Magic Quadrant for BI and good ol' Google to help me identify leading contenders.
After the initial screening, I started my evaluation with 10 firms. Over the course of several months and a number of demos and follow ups, I narrowed the list to 4 potential partners. At that point, I asked for budgetary pricing from the 4. This eliminated one contender who quoted 3 times the price of the other 3.
I characterized the 3 remaining contenders as:
the fast one (Sisense)
the pretty one
the cheap one
I installed demo systems of each of the 3 to help evaluate their functionality and fit for our needs. Since we were embedding analytics for our customers, we were very concerned about our ability to secure each customer's data. The security API's for each contender were validated. The ability to import our data to each tool was tested. The ability to calculate our metrics, ease of dashboard building and the ability to provide visualizations that met our needs were tested by building sample dashboards. Scalability was evaluated by importing large datasets and assessing dashboard performance. At the end of this evaluation, we determined that all three providers could meet our needs.
Why did we select Sisense?
The cheap one was eliminated because while it was a nice tool it was primarily focused on improving developer productivity. We determined that we wanted to empower our analysts and subject matter experts rather than our developers.
The pretty one was eliminated due to poorer performance with larger data sets and a more cumbersome dashboard creation process. This was a tough choice because the pretty one was/is a leader in Gartner's Magic Quadrant and Sisense was only mentioned in the footnotes at the time. Of course Sisense has moved up every year since and is now on the Magic Quadrant.
Sisense released v5.0 with its completely web based dashboard builder about 4 weeks before the end of the evaluation process. I installed it and we revalidated our earlier testing with good results. With this release, Sisense not only had the performance we were looking for with large data sets, but building attractive dashboards in a browser was very easy. The fast one also became the pretty one! Sisense was selected as our analytics tool.
Some other thoughts on Sisense to help frame the answer to the original subject of this post: During the evaluation process, the Sisense salesman (Sean Bous) did the best job of any salesman I have worked with in my career to insure that he and Sisense understood our business challenges. As described above, we had an extensive evaluation process. He responded to everything I asked for.
Once we were on board (v5.0 was an infant - which we understood going in), Sisense provided outstanding support over the years as we met one business challenge after another. I won't say that there were not bumps, but Sisense worked diligently to overcome all issues. Our original Customer Success Manager, Yael Turok, was always focused on our success. She is now responsible for the Customer Success group. She has built a concerned, responsive Customer Success team that can be relied on. I also came to depend on Sisense Professional Services to support significant custom plugins and add-ons to Sisense on several occasions. The Professional Services team led by Alex Almeida and his lieutenant Avi Tavdi are first rate and always got the job done.
So why am I a Sisense consultant? I have worked with many tools over my career and enjoyed a number of them:
I love the tool. It's a great way to deliver world class analytics to end users. I want to work with it every day.
Sisense is a 50 blade Swiss Army Knife for analytics. I wish I knew 4 years ago what I know now about how best to use those blades. I want to bring that experience to my customers.
I have been involved in creating the UX experience for some time across a number of industries. I have UX design skills to bring to your Sisense project to deliver an attractive, effective presentation of your key metrics.
I understand what it takes to enhance, expand, maintain and govern your Sisense system for long term success. I want to help ensure that you are successful with Sisense.
Sisense is growing like mad. This growth creates opportunities for those of us experienced with the tool to help others.
Sisense does a great job supporting their tool. I really value their staff and approach to the business. I know we can count on them if needed.
In a nutshell, I would rather be working with Sisense.