The Future of BI and ClicData 2019/2020

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    No surprise—big software companies reign.

     Acquisition after acquisition, merger by merger, one by one, the big guys get bigger. All that seems to be left are those costly, old on-premises software or complex new “cloud” software.

    But there’s hope.

    Having secured loyal and knowledgeable customers, ClicData has established itself as the up and coming, next-generation, reporting and data platform that is capable of overthrowing the evil “Empire.”

    Focusing on data preparation, highly-connected report visuals and source data, automation, and security in one platform, ClicData is conquering the Business Intelligence Universe, one customer at a time.

    What is the next hot thing in Business Intelligence?

    We’ve talked about the role of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in the future of Business Intelligence (BI) applications in previous posts. But let’s take a look at the features, improvements, and innovations that BI buyers are expecting in the near future.

    Numerous surveys and polls are constantly popping up online. But if you spend a little bit of time analyzing and digging deeper into the information provided—well, it’s all as clear as mud. You find over-simplified listings with obvious answers, pay-to-be-listed websites, and confusing and overlapping buzzwords. “The future of BI” seems to be everywhere.

    Future Of Bi Next Hot Thing

    For example, the chart below attempts to show the relative “importance” of several items.

    Future Of Bi Confusing Categories 1

    But take a closer look at a few items in the chart:

    • Mobile BI is rated only 5.2. But what isn’t mobile these days? Why isn’t this ranked higher?
    • Third from the bottom, we find “Cloud BI/Data Management.” What does that actually mean?
    • Above that is “Analytics Teams/Data Labs.” Again: What does that MEAN?     

    According to these sources, the fundamental components of BI include Management Reporting Systems, Information Management Systems, KPI reporting, Data Analytics and Reporting, Data Warehouse, Cubes, and other things.

    Our vision of Business Intelligence

    While we at ClicData don’t necessarily disagree with the assessment above, we have a different perspective that highlights the five critical components that comprise BI, as follows:

    What Is Bi Clicdata
    • Data Storage is necessary to allow an organization to centralize their business data so that it is secure and easy to access. It is why we developed a built-in data warehouse to help our customers better manage their data.
    • Data Management includes data cleansing, data merge and data transformation, each of which is critical processes for effective business intelligence. Data management can include ETL features, as ClicData does, to help prepare data and to efficiently build dashboards that are essential to business management.
    • Data Exploration and Visualization. These are important tools of BI because the visual representation of data delivers an understanding of business metrics that is unrivaled by any other method. The presence of interactivity and customization takes functionality and value to an even higher level. ClicData users build their reports exactly the way they want them to be and can dig deeper into their data to make better decisions at every level.
    • Advanced Analytics is all about predictive analytics. ClicData users can integrate their data analytics efforts with many of the most popular tools on the market, including SAS and, or even code it themselves with R or Python.   
    • Collaboration and Publication. Multiply the value of your dashboards by sharing them—within departments, among teams, with C-suite execs, or clients. ClicData dashboards can be shared quickly and easily with simple live links. Live dashboards with up-to-date data can be accessed from any device, at any time. No license is needed! Of course, dashboards remain completely private until you decide to share them.

    To increase efficiency further, BI tools should include these additional features:

    What Is Bi Clicdata 2
    • Logical interface. While “user-friendly” seems like a good idea, a logical interface is clean, more intuitive, and ultimately more valuable.
    • Mobile-capable. Of course.
    • White label and embeddable. This helps consulting firms and agencies improve the quality of what they offer.
    • Be Collaborative.
    • Easy Export and Presentation Capabilities.
    • Be Extendable.
    • Friendly Online Support. Every company and user needs help at some point in time.
    • Feature Security. Of course.
    • Allow Regional or local data stores. To meet with local data protection laws.
    • Support Automation.
    • Feature Alerts and Notifications.
    • 100% Cloud-based Platform. Cloud-based platforms are the best and most secure choice for every business.

    ClicData’s Roadmap Q4 2019 and 2020

    At ClicData, we are all about transparency with our product and service, so we wanted to share our Product Roadmap for the end of this year and the year 2020. We are very excited about a lot of new features that are in the works.

    Data Management and New Modules

    Data Flow

    Data management is currently achieved via a variety of drag-and-drop modules. You can aggregate, filter, find and replace, do data grouping, normalize your data, and even create calculated columns to dig deeper into your data. But we developed an even more efficient way to do data transformations—by creating Data Flows.

    Data Flow Clicdata
    Design of the Data Flow interface

    With the Data Flow feature, all transformations are centralized into a unique workflow. They are laid out in a step-by-step visualization that allows you to edit and transform your data. The new module also enables you to do advanced data processing, such as splitting data into different tables based on logic rules.

    Data Form

    This feature is based on feedback from customers who use dashboards with their own customers. They told us they want to build forms in their dashboards and have their charts automatically updated whenever someone submits the form. So, we created the Data Form module, which automatically sends the new data to the dataset and updates the charts.

    Data Form
    Example of a Data Form utilization

    Folder/Batch Imports

    Enhance your day-to-day reporting with the Folder/Batch File Import feature, which allows you to:

    • Select folders and import all files or patterns of files into one data set
    • Sequence the import via date or file name pattern
    • Append or update/append
    • It will be available for file storage connectors only

    Folder Security and Sharing

    We created an additional level of security with Personal, Team and Shared folders to address a wider range of needs for users’ access rights management.

    Folder Security Clicdata
    Design of the Folder Security interface

    Advanced Analytics

    ClicData offers Advanced Analytics by offering seamless integration with many of the most popular Machine Learning/AI platforms available today. We will also offer selective statistical data processing algorithms to perform several data processing tasks, such as:

    • Regression analysis
    • Time series regression
    • Data classification

    Enhanced Data Visualization and New Widgets

    Table Widgets

    We currently offer Simple, Pivot, Drill-down Table widgets but their performance can degrade if a lot of data is being displayed all at once. Our revamped Simple and Drill-down Tables will manage more data, and our new and improved Table Widget will have:

    • Better performance
    • Fixed UI glitches
    • New variables in filtering and grouping

    The Pivot Table:

    • Better performance for large datasets. (We tested datasets with over 12M rows.)
    • Contextual columns: variance, percent of totals, and custom calculations
    • A brand-new look and feel
    New Tables Wdgiets
    Example of the new Drill-down and Pivot Tables

    New Visualizations, including animations, new conditional formatting, and new maps  

    ClicData offers a large array of visualizations, including Regional Maps, Ring Knobs, Gauges, Waterfall Charts, and Scatter Charts. Additional widgets will be released soon, including Gantt Charts, Bubble Maps, Period Buttons, Card Indicators and Scorecards Tables. We are also developing several new widgets, including Animations, Annotations, Drill Down, and Conditional Formatting.

    New Data Connectors

    ClicData supports hundreds of data connections via direct connectors or API with our WebService connector, but we continue to add more:

    • Google Search Console: this connector is now available! You can get metrics on your website SEO performance and Organic Search visibility.
    Connecting Google Search Console Clicdata
    • Podio: the connection to Podio is now available through API and our Web Service connector. A new direct connector will soon be available.  
    • LinkedIn: the connection to LinkedIn is now available through API and our Web Service connector. A new direct connector will soon be available. 
    • Freshdesk
    • Shopify: you can connect Shopify data via our Zapier integration.
    • Amazon Athena
    • GraphQL

    Application Improvements

    Mobile Apps

    We completely revamped our mobile and tablet apps to enhance your mobile reporting. It features:

    • Better UI and usability—You can now navigate through your folders and binders
    • Ability to send dashboards via emails or to a printer
    • SSO Integration
    • Real-time alerts and notifications
    • Faster development of new features
    New Mobile Tablet Apps Clicdata

    Global filters

    We recently launched a new Global Filters feature that allows you to set up filters at the dashboard level. When building your dashboard, you can apply Global Filters to multiple widgets in one pass. It’s a huge time saver!

    Improved API – v2

    • API Versioning
    • Add more data operations
    • JSON and JSON key value compatibility for data endpoints
    • Pagination of data

    ClicData’s new and exciting features and improvements are scheduled for release in the next three quarters. We are always innovating to offer the best BI experience on our robust platform. Stay tuned!

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