CEO of Yellowfin Admit’s He was Wrong On BI Usefulness.
In a recent wide-ranging interview, appearing on CNet Japan last week, Rabie admitted that his perception of BI’s usefulness was markedly different in 2003, and probably wrong, compared to today.
Rabie said while Yellowfin was focused on enabling pervasive BI deployments today, by empowering business users from any background to independently consume reporting and analytics, that was not always the case.
“[In the beginning], I was thinking that everyone would want to be a data analyst, and that Yellowfin would enable that process,” said Rabie. “But in reality, only around five percent of users will actually build content and conduct sophisticated data analysis in the majority of deployments – especially large implementations. The other 95 percent of people are information consumers, using the insights afforded by pre-built dashboards and reports to improve decision-making.”
Rabie said that while a restaurant chain might deploy a Mobile BI initiative, equipping its store managers with the information needed to monitor store performance and inventory requirements, it probably wouldn’t want its floor staff to spend time creating BI content or slicing and dicing data.
“You would want to deliver information in a way that store managers could understand and act on quickly, while minimizing time spent on data analysis,” said Rabie.
Rabie also said that his decision to make Yellowfin 100 percent Web-based from the outset, an admittedly fortuitous one, was crucial for enabling mass deployments and a high level of scalability without affecting performance.
A candid Rabie even disclosed that his motivation for co-founding the company was due to an “intense dissatisfaction” with traditional BI technology.
“I was working in the data analysis and strategy field for the National Australia Bank (NAB) and saw clients dealing with undue frustration, complexity and cost when implementing and using traditional BI tools,” said Rabie. “I just knew there had to be a better way.”