The BI Challenge, “Feature lists miss the point” on DataDoodle

From datadoodle,

So many people who should know better seem to miss the point when they mention Tableau. Why? I asked BI veteran Stephen McDaniel for his thoughts – which he gave, but then went on to suggest an almost unheard of challenge: a data analysis face-off among vendors

Read the rest on Ted’s web site, datadoodle. My comments and thoughts are pending on datadoodle and follow below.

Thanks Ted, I appreciate the work on your site. You drive home a frequently overlooked point in the business intelligence world; time is of the essence for many problems people hope to solve with BI tools. While there are apps that possess some of the key features found in Tableau, I sincerely believe that none of them can achieve exceptional insights in short order.

Feature lists are what third-party analysts and vendor evaluation scorecards often rely upon in determining “winners” in product bake-offs. While I agree that features do matter, I have learned by working with many customers that it matters even more if they enable rapid insights that can quickly answer a stream of relevant questions. Tableau has done an exceptional job of achieving this feat, all achieved via a relentless focus on the analytic workflow and user perception of information.

I would love to see multiple BI vendors accept this challenge. A third party will select two “real-world” datasets, from finance and marketing. Three business questions will be asked per dataset with just four hours to create our best solutions. This effort of each BI vendor analyst would be recorded, allowing the world to see what is truly possible in short order with these tools.

The fruits of our labor would be posted to your site. You would ask several marketing and finance subject matter experts to review the entries. Of course, none of the judges would work for a vendor involved in this contest. The results will also offer an opportunity for the world to view actual results to the same question created in the same time frame.

The winner would garner more than a copy of my book; they will have proven the worth of their product in a fair, open competition. A great prize indeed!

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