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  • Jim Thomas

Why Sisense?

Updated: Aug 1, 2023

Why am I a Sisense Implementation Partner? 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 the analytics space. Why would I choose to dedicate my time to Sisense?

Before answering this question, a little (or maybe a lot of) history: In the fall of 2013, in my role as Product Solutions VP, I was responsible for identifying and selecting a more efficient, improved time to market, and cost effective way to deliver energy industry generating performance, and maintainability bench-marking and metrics to my employer's customers. We had been rolling our own analytics. This approach took too long and cost too much; I had 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 as well as manage our end users via SSO. The SSO and 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 evaluation 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 to varying degrees.

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 has been a Visionary on the Magic Quadrant for several years.

  • Sisense released v5.0 with its completely web based dashboard builder about 4 weeks before the end of my 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! In June 2014 I selected Sisense as our embedded analytics tool.

  • I supported our Sisense implementation over the next 3+ years.

Some other thoughts on Sisense during our evaluation and as a customer: During the evaluation process, the Sisense salesman did the best job of any technical salesman I have worked with in my career to ensure that he and Sisense understood our business and technical needs. 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 Sisense CSM was always focused on our success. I also came to depend on Sisense Professional Services to support significant custom plugins and add-ons to Sisense on several occasions. Note: This was prior to the building of the rich partner program in place today.

In late fall 2017 I was in the process of beginning a 3 month sabbatical prior to assuming a position with a new company. The head of the Sisense CSM team, having heard of my move asked me, if I would consider helping out a Sisense customer that needed assistance on a remote and part time basis during my time off. I said sure. I started working with them the week of Thanksgiving. Over the next few weeks I was able to get them over the “hump”. By the end of the year, I was asked by the customer if I could support them over the longer term and agreed to do so. I alerted my “future” employer that I had decided to become a Sisense Implementation Partner. I have never looked back! FYI: that customer is still my customer.

So why am I a Sisense Implementation Partner? I have worked with many tools over my career and enjoyed a number of them, but Sisense is unique:

  • I love the tool. It's a great way to deliver world class embedded analytics to end users. I want to work with it every day.

  • Sisense is a 50 blade Swiss Army Knife for business analytics. Knowing how to best apply those blades is key for a successful Sisense implementation.

  • I understand what it takes to design a scalable Sisense system that can be enhanced, expanded, maintained and governed for long term success.

  • I have Sisense experience in Energy, Transportation, Event Management, Medical, Insurance, Criminal Justice, Real Estate, Distribution, Beverage, Food Safety and Building Products. In addition, I have worked across a number of other industries.

  • I have been involved in creating the UX experience for many years across a number of industries. I have UX design skills to bring to Sisense projects to deliver an attractive, effective presentation of key metrics.

  • 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 and enhancing the tool. I really value the relationship with their staff and their approach to the business. I know we can count on them if needed.

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