Glen Rabie’s company, Yellowfin, develops solutions for enterprise customers and enterprise software vendors – with more than 29,000 organisations and over 3 million end-users across 75 countries. It has been named a ‘Visionary’ in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Analytics and Business Intelligence platforms for the past two years.
As Australian businesses adapt and look to recover from the COVID downturn, Glen makes the following predictions on the data analytics sector:
1. The rise of business users as augmented consumers
Business users have stepped away from a data analyst centric approach (relying on data analysts to build solutions that offer data without decisions, no logical action, manual analysis, and a technical toolset). The business user is now key and is an augmented consumer, accessing data within business applications (where data drives decision making, data is embedded and contextual, with automated analysis).
This embedded and contextual approach is now driving the data analytics space.
2. Turnkey solutions will be the new normal, enterprise-standard solutions will disappear
A leading analyst firm says there was a 43% increase in enquiries about analytics at the start of the global pandemic but resultant growth across the industry was minimal.
While companies previously created their own data reporting, Glen says data analytics will now be managed with pre-packaged products (turnkey solutions). Businesses will spend more on data analytics (buying solutions built specifically for their industry or their business divisions), but they’ll buy turnkey solutions that provide immediate value. This is the opposite to how businesses managed their data pre-COVID.
3. Continued consolidation with established vendors buying analytics tools
Given the rise of the augmented consumer, industry consolidation will continue, with data analytics businesses continuing to be acquired by, and their products continuing to be incorporated in, big enterprise software stacks (the likes of Google, Amazon, Salesforce, Oracle, Microsoft, Atlassian). In the last few months alone, Atlassian acquired Chartio (Feb 2021) and insightsoftware took over Logi Analytics and bought Izenda (both April 2021).
4. Consolidation presents great opportunity for independent vendors
This consolidation means there’s only a few vendors left in the embedded analytics space (like Yellowfin and Sisense), and therefore the market for these independent vendors has become larger. This will alleviate competition for business based on price, and Yellowfin is preparing to scale up to take advantage of the opportunity.
Founded in 2003, Yellowfin currently has 800 direct customers and 27,000 indirect customers located in North America, Europe, Middle East, Africa, APAC and East Asia (with North America accounting for 55% of its business). Enterprise customers and projects include: HCL, Schneider Electric, National Renewable Energy and Yum! Brand (in the US); Denso, NTT TechnoCross, JTEKT, Information Services (in Japan); and Bol.com (in the Netherlands).
Yellowfin’s strategy has always been to focus on the business users’ needs – simplifying complex data in a way they want to consume it. Glen is a former NAB data analyst and has always believed in providing solutions for the business user, as opposed to the data analyst (which most of Yellowfin’s competitors build products for). Yellowfin makes data consumption easy with its unique first-in-the-market data storytelling product (rather than business users relying solely on dashboards) and data signals product (which alerts business users to changes in their data).
Today, the Gartner ‘Visionary’ employs 150 staff globally (offices in Australia, the US, UK and Japan), with 70 people located in the Melbourne head office. All development is done here in Australia.
Case study – telecommunications sector
Yellowfin has empowered telecommunications clients to implement self-service BI from 50 to 600,000 users, tackle and leverage the emergence of new industry technologies, and compete and prosper in a constantly changing and competitive industry.
Yellowfin’s BI solution is utilised by a range of telecommunications organisations worldwide including Telstra, Celcom, TRUE, AT&T, Sensis, Telecom Malaysia, Vodaphone, Telecom New Zealand, Optus SingTel and more. Implementations have varied in size, type and complexity; ranging from just 50 users to over 600,000. Clients utilise Yellowfin’s personalised dashboards and reporting and analytics capabilities to monitor, track, analyse and manage: customer relations, human resources, finance and asset management, operations and budget, marketing and product development.