Yellowfin CEO Glen Rabie says the most important innovations delivered in the new Yellowfin 7.1 release are the “unique enhancements” made to mapping capabilities, which will make “world-class Location Intelligence accessible to users of all types and organisations of all sizes.”
Rabie told iTWire that enhancements in this latest release concentrate on extending three core technical areas, by boosting Location Intelligence capabilities, improving CSV support and increasing the number of visualisations supported by Auto Chart functionality.
According to Rabie, the ability to analyse organisational data from a geographical standpoint is critical, across all industries, “because research indicates that 80% of business data is location-relevant.”
Yellowfin 7.1 sees the Melbourne-based global BI vendor introducing a native Base Layer for the world, geocoding functionality, demographic data support and auto-generated map-based visualisations. Rabe says these improvements empower Yellowfin clients to easily combine existing business data with rich location-based third-party information.
The native Base Layer allows users to immediately create multilayered maps without needing to source WMS layers - instead of pulling a map layer from a third-party source – such as Google Maps, Yellowfin will use shape files to create an image (native Base Layer).
With the 7.1 release, ‘GeoPacks’ will provide geographical and location-relevant demographic data, enabling users to combine that information with existing business data to create what Rabie says are “insightful location-based reports”.
“Yellowfin 7.1 will ship with GIS records and geometry points, enabling users to geocode address data to zip code level on-the-fly – and render that information on maps with ease – to quickly produce stunning visualisations and actionable insight,” Rabie says.
“Yellowfin 7.1 will automatically assign zip codes, latitude and longitude coordinates as well as polygons – where available – to address-level data, removing the need to source separate GIS records and geometry points.”
Rabie says 7.1 will also ship with demographic data for key regions – including population, average household income, median age, and employment information, with these datasets assisting users to quickly detect correlations between existing business and spatially relevant third-party data.
“Yellowfin’s GeoPacks will provide the context our clients need to develop a unified view of their business,” Rabie explains.
“Not only will they be able to understand the interrelationships between customers, products, infrastructure and suppliers, they’ll also be able to ask more complex questions, such as ‘How do my sales per region compare when factoring in population density?’”
Yellowfin users will be able to download GeoPacks for free from Yellowfin’s website via its all-new online portal, Marketplace, containing a range of free Yellowfin-related content, including Storyboard Themes, Analytic Functions, Formatters, and Style Sheets.
At launch, the Yellowfin Marketplace contains GeoPacks for Australia and the USA, which Rabie says will progressively be extended to include more countries.
Rabie details other key features and enhancements of this 7.1 platform release, including:
• Auto Charts for maps
Yellowfin’s Auto Chart feature – functionality which automatically visualises best practice chart types based on a user’s selected attributes – will now identify geometry data and instantly create maps based on chosen fields.
• Improved CSV support
The entire process for loading CSV files into Yellowfin has been streamlined and improved – from the creation of a target database to data preview.
“Seventy percent of 1,100 executives interviewed in a recent global survey by Accenture said that they still used spreadsheets to track and manage financial reporting on a daily basis. This continued pervasiveness of spreadsheets, even in enterprise reporting environments, means that we need to make it as effortless as possible to integrate spreadsheet data into Yellowfin reports. Yellowfin 7.1 has simplified that process significantly.”
The new import user interface allows users to simply select a CSV file, drag it onto a canvas, instantly visualise all fields in the spreadsheet, and then load it straight into Yellowfin for reporting.
A revamped CSV import process also reduces upload errors. The load and append processes have been rewritten to minimise errors, and assist users if inaccuracies do arise, minimising frustration and creating a better user experience. Calculations, column formatting and date parsing also make CSV data more flexible to use. Previously, there were few options to define preferred formats or calculations when loading a spreadsheet into Yellowfin.
The new data preview process in Yellowfin 7.1 makes it quick and easy to understand CSV-based datasets and manipulate them appropriately. Users can easily see all columns contained within a spreadsheet, add Calculated Fields, formula templates, format columns, and create Derived Fields or drill hierarchies on-the-fly. Fields can be added or formatted with ease, from building custom formulas, to date, text or geography conversion in a single step. Users can also utilise date parsing to convert either text-based dates or timestamps into Yellowfin readable Date Fields.
• Readable Date Fields - New visualisations
Increasing the breadth of visualisations supported by Yellowfin’s Auto Chart feature offers further assistance to non-technical business-users, to enable self-service content creation and independent Data Discovery.
“New charting functionality in Yellowfin 7.1 supports better, faster and deeper visual analysis with a broader range of Auto Charts” said Rabie.
“Yellowfin 7.1 extends the Auto Chart functionality launched in Yellowfin 7, with 16 new chart types now supported by Yellowfin’s Auto Chart feature – including combination charts as well as maps. Auto Chart now supports over 50 best practice chart types and combinations.
“The end result is that, providing you have selected a metric, any combination of attributes dragged into Yellowfin’s Chart Builder will now create an Auto Chart.”