I have two questions for you:
How often do you look at your car’s dashboard while driving?
What role do you think dashboards will play in a self-driving car?
I ask these questions to explain why Snowflake, the company that had the biggest software IPO ever, made a strategic investment in ThoughtSpot today.
Cloud changed everything
Business leaders intuitively understand that we are living through a data revolution. Every business is collecting more data than ever before. By some accounts, we collect almost three exabytes of data a day, which is projected to increase to over 400 exabytes in the next four years!
However, people often forget to see the other side of that coin: the shrinking time window to learn from your data and drive outcomes.
Data without action is a waste of time
Legacy BI tools are like the dashboards in your car. They assume the role of reporting the operational status of your business, albeit in fancier and more visual ways. They are certainly useful once in a while, such as when you are running out of gas or when you see a cop and need to check your speed and slow down. We spend most of our driving time looking through the windshield, making real-time decisions and course corrections such as changing the lanes or switching on the high-beam headlights.
Now imagine you are in a self-driving car, where the sensors and cameras are capturing tens of thousands of critical data points every second. Having a bigger, fancier dashboard with all that information is as useful as having a screen door in a submarine.
It’s time to rethink data analytics entirely
When information is flowing into your business, through mobile devices, SaaS applications, IoT sensors, and weather satellites — all at unprecedented speeds — the shelf life of your data drops dramatically. With the data quickly becoming outdated, you need to rethink how fast you can process all that data into useful action for your customers. Remember that your customers give you their data with an expectation that you will use it responsibly to deliver better, more personalized services to them. Your customers want you to get to know them, not as an average, but as individuals.
This is where the old world of analytics and BI falls short.
Enter Snowflake and the Data Cloud
Snowflake is not just building a product. They are building the definitive modern ecosystem for data processing — The Data Cloud. Collecting, storing, and processing data is now possible at the speed and scale your business demands. Maximizing the value of this new ecosystem, however, requires a fresh way to tap into all this power, something BI tools built for a previous generation would never achieve.
In simple terms, there are four things a business needs from a modern analytics platform.
Report on raw data
Consume actionable insights from it
Model the future
Take correct actions at the right time
Traditional BI only does the reporting part. It expects people, humans, to consume that raw data and then do the second, third, and fourth parts on their own. Not unlike your car dashboard informing you that you are running low on gas; it’s entirely on you to determine when you’ll actually be on empty, find a gas station, and pull over to fill up.
At cloud speed, when your business collects 100X or even 500X more data in the next few years, this model won’t work, just like you can’t imagine humans interpreting sensor and camera data to make decisions in the middle of a self-driving system in a car.
Data Cloud + Analytics Cloud
Snowflake and ThoughtSpot provide a much more elegant solution. We are building an analytics platform that can take as much data as you can throw at it, quickly run it through the pipeline, and hit all four aforementioned goals by:
Automatically building the appropriate, pixel-perfect dashboards for human consumption
Bringing you the insights that you can’t afford to miss, including answers to questions you should have asked, but didn’t
Using your business logic to model the future and trigger correction actions through your operational systems
By moving to the cloud, you now have access to a plethora of useful data sources that could help you deliver better services for your customers, such as weather, traffic, commodities prices, and up-to-date information on world events.
However, if you do not put the same priority on reimagining your analytics platform as part of this revolution, then it’s a missed opportunity for your business in delivering superior services to your customers.
This is why a stronger strategic partnership between Snowflake and ThoughtSpot is such a powerful win for our customers.
See it for yourself by signing up for a free trial of ThoughtSpot today.