BI Technology, Data Trends

A Partner’s Perspective: How ThoughtSpot Helps Organizations Achieve a Single Version of the Truth

This is the second part in the “Partner’s Perspective” blog series from Greig A. DeSautel, Senior Consultant at Pandata Group. You can read part one here.

Have you ever heard that one of the biggest challenges to address in the data and analytics space is that there must be a “single version of the truth”?    I often wonder how companies with a centralized data warehouse (or data lake) continue to have this as a concern, given they do, in fact, have a single version of the truth. 

It’s not technology or “multiple versions of the truth” creating this challenge. It’s people. Fundamentally, it is a data literacy issue. Does everyone at the company trust, understand, and utilize data?  For most companies, the answer is no. Historically, most employees didn’t interact with data directly, so why would they spend time and energy learning about it?

In the modern business world, however, this is no longer the case. The most successful companies are those imbuing data into every facet of their business. As data changes the face of business, however, this concern around a true, single source of truth becomes even more critical to address.

Getting Everyone on the Same Page with Search

With that said, there are new applications that help  mitigate this concern.  With search-driven analytics from ThoughtSpot, anyone can ask their own data questions and everyone will get the same answer.  For example, every associate who types “Top 5 Customer Sales” will get the same answer.  There is no SME in the middle with (or in many cases without) specs trying to interpret “Sales” or “Top 5”, and no one is writing a different SQL statement for everyone who requested that report. 

This is incredibly important when it comes to using search in analytics. Data results in businesses cannot be like google search where users must determine which answer they want from several choices (which causes concern over whether a single version of the truth exists).  In business, there can only be one answer. If it isn’t the same answer for every user, data chaos and a lack of trust in will continue to grow within an organization. 

Take Search to the Next Level

ThoughtSpot’s search capabilities go beyond just typing in natural language. With SearchIQ, users can truly “ask questions” of your data.  This is not just the “natural language” search that other applications are attempting to emulate - a user can actually ASK a question of your data.  Using ThoughtSpot voice recognition, a user can simply ask “What are the top selling products in the west region by product type?” and ThoughtSpot renders back an accurate and reliable answer instantly.

How is this possible? With machine learning. ThoughtSpot uses ML to  learn differ phrases or words that are unique to an organization. 

Truth Requires Transparency

Think about an organization where everyone gets the same answer for the same question.  ThoughtSpot helps create a culture where users can take action on the answer as opposed to spending hours “discussing” whose answer is correct and then rescheduling meetings to dig into the various users’ reports.

Because humans are involved, there is always a concern or risk that the results could be different, however ThoughtSpot has addressed this issue with an easy to use interface; with just a few clicks, the answer can be broken down into a visual of the data sources and fields or the actual SQL statement that makes up the answer.  Talk about ease of use in finding or understanding any variance in a “report”. 

Balancing Self Service with Enterprise Governance

As analytics moves to the frontlines, there’s a real concern around data quality and governance. While no application can prevent every end user from attempting to alter results (yes, I know this never happens in your organization), ThoughtSpot brings substantial governance and security capabilities to it’s platform.
With ThoughtSpot, data teams can effectively manage who has access to what data, down to the very row level, to ensure privacy, security, and compliance standards are met. These standards can be set for each specific user, giving users the freedom to explore with sacrificing the enterprise governance required for most organizations. 

Having an application such as ThoughtSpot will help leaders rest a little easier knowing that everyone in a meeting has a “single version of the truth” they can get to quickly and easily. 

ThoughtSpot’s governance capabilities for information coupled with a data literacy program can accelerate trust in the data, allowing organizations which utilize ThoughtSpot to act on insights faster than their competitors, because they are spending less time trying to find a single answer to the question. 

Here at Pandata Group, which is a partner of ThoughtSpot, we are extremely excited to work with organizations looking to  achieve a single version of the truth in their data, as well as management teams at these organizations on a data literacy program to help their entire organization become data driven.  Please click here to learn more about the Pandata Group data literacy program for leaders.

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