I've had several conversations lately where, at some point, I get the question "which vendors provide data product capabilities?" It only took me hearing this question 5 or 6 times before I thought that perhaps I should create a list of embedded analytic providers.
My hope is that this will provide a good starting point for product leaders trying to select a vendor for their analytic application.
Note: this isn't a list of recommended vendors or platforms, it's just... a list. If I've left out a vendor that you feel should be included, please let us know.
The Embedded Analytic/Data Product Vendor List
Birst is a powerful platform that offers it all, from data extraction to visualization to management. It has robust data management tools that allow teams to combine and control data from almost any sources. Birst was acquired by Infor, an enterprise software vendor, in 2017 and continues to operate as a separate analytic offering.
Exago is a platform that focuses almost exclusively on embedded analytics and it shows. They've got the ability operate in the cloud or on-premise, operate on data wherever it resides, and they offer the functionality that makes it easy for product teams to field and maintain data apps. I love their extensibility and ability to tailor functionnality to fit just about any possible workflow. Add in that you can easily extend hooks into core applications and allow users to take action on what they are seeing and you've opened a new world of data product possiblilities.
Incorta is a new breed of analytic platform that allows product teams to create data products without the complexities of building those labor-intensive, fragile ETL processes. It can connect to just about any data source, prepare your schemas, and get you to building & embedding dashboards in less than 15 minutes. No joke — I watched their "Direct Data-Mapping" system connect, load 25 million records, build a dashboard an embed it in 14 minutes flat. Incorta brings a whole new level of very welcome agility to analytic platforms and product teams.
Juice is unique because rather than a “do it yourself” platform, they build data products for you. As a result, you get data products that are tightly integrated with your core product and look gorgeous. These folks live and breathe data products so they’re very likely to understand exactly how to make you successful.
Logi Analytics (www.logianalytics.com)
Logi has been a pioneer in the embedded analytic space with good reason. The platform offering is highly customizable and addresses most, if not all, of the key needs of product owners. The product line has been revamped in recent years and is worth reviewing. Note: on June 10, 2019 Logi Analytics announced the acquisition of Zoomdata, an intriguing player that focuses on streaming data. Keep an eye on this one.
Looker was a subject of our “Vendors You Should Know” review for August 2017. By using modern technology and acting on your data in place, Looker can get data products up and running rapidly. They’ve got an excellent management ecosystem that allows teams to deploy (or rollback) functionality with ease. As a bonus, the Looker technology makes it extremely easy to create tiers (like basic, plus, or pro) for your users. NOTE: On June 6, 2019, Looker was acquired by Google Cloud.
Microsoft PowerBI (powerbi.microsoft.com)
Unsurprisingly, PowerBI has made a huge impact in the embedded analytic space. Since it’s launch, the MS team has been adding functionality at a breakneck pace. My big concerns with this one are focus (vs other parts of a large product portfolio) and an evolving pricing model.
Mode Analytics (www.modeanalytics.com)
Mode Analytics offers a unique combination of power to create embedded analytic data products that work exactly like you want with the ease of use required by business users. It's a blend of features that you normally wouldn't find in a single platform. As a result, it can serve the needs of the most power-hungry data teams and product owners wanting to craft a curated experience for end-users.
Pentaho, now part of Hitachi, falls more into the “toolkit for building analytics” space. An excellent option for teams that want to build highly-customized data products without building completely from scratch, Pentaho may require more resources both for deployment and management than other solutions.
Periscope Data (www.periscopedata.com)
While Periscope Data may have started more as a tool for data analysts to use inside the business, it certainly hasn't remained that way. More recent releases have included features such as an analytic buider for non-SQL experts that make the platform worth serious consideration for data product teams. Periscope is an interesting hybrid of visual dashboard design blended with SQL query construction that allows teams to see exactly what's happening with the data. Periscope was a subject of one of our “Vendors You Should Know” reviews recently. NOTE: Periscope Data was recently acquired by Sisense (who asked not to be included here) and will be removed from this list in future versions.
Qlik has been a major player in the analytic space for many years now and they offer embedded analytics as well as enterprise capabilities. Although I’ve seen large Qlik deployments of enterprise analytics, I can’t speak to their embedded capabilities.
Sigma Computing (www.sigmacomputing.com)
Sigma Computing is a cloud-based analytic platform that uses a spreadsheet paradigm to ease the analysis of data. I don't have experience with this one, but the model seems interesting and useful for end-users.
No info on this vendor.
Tableau is possibly the best known platform in the analytics space, but most people think of them as a desktop analysis tool. In fact, Tableau has offered embedded analytic capabilities for several years now. I don’t feel that their management ecosystems (tools for deploying, maintaning, and managing a deployed analytic app) is quite as robust as some other solutions, but the visualizations are stunning. Note: on June 10, 2019 Tableau announced its acquisition by Salesforce.
Tellius is an interesting player in the analytics space. It combines easy-to-use data preparation with dashboards and search-driven business inteliigence capabilities serving experts and less techincal users alike. But to me, the real star is the "Genius Insights" functionality that allows business users to ask the system why things are occuring. Tellius finds correlated metrics and events and suggests why you're seeing what you're seeing. I love that they are getting to the real value of analytics — WHY things are happening and where to look next.
ThoughSpot has a great take on the analytics apace, encouraging users to search, rather than manipulate charts and tables directly. They offer beautiful-looking visuals coupled with powerful search trchnology that allows a user to receive analytical insights by typing simple questions. Product teams can embed dashbaords, charts, or search capabilities into their product. This could be a very interesting option for data product teams looking to add "ad hoc" analytics into a data product without requiring users to build charts themselves.
This isn't a vendor with which I'm very familiar, but I think that their "Signals" functionality alone makes them worth checking out. This feature identifies patterns in your data and alerts you to events that you should investigate. It reminds me a bit of the Shewhart Rules we used to apply back in the Six Sigma days.