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Everyone involved in Business Intelligence has talked for years about the need to make it ubiquitous, to have everyone empowered with the ability to generate insight and thereby enable them to make better informed decisions at any time, in any place. However, the reality is that most vendors have failed to deliver that vision. There are two main reasons for that failure, the first is complexity and ease of use and the second is cost. There are a great many tools which are sold as being intuitive, but in reality they are only intuitive if you are a skilled SQL coder! For the average business user there are too many barriers to them being able to self serve. The second blocker stems from the cost base of the IT industry. You may notice that most IT companies have palatial offices, with car parks full of expensive vehicles. That does not come on the cheap, and the IT industry works on margins that other sectors envy, and that is rather at odds with commodity based pricing and being available on every desktop! So it is very far from being a “no brainer” to put a BI tool on the desktop for every worker, they would probably not use it, and it would use up all of your cash. It therefore comes as an absolute pleasure to see a tool that actually delivers on the dream. Chartio is a tool that delivers highly sophisticated visually appealing BI, using no more than point and click (and it’s not just doing that with simple data sources and for simple charts!); it also has an affordable Total Cost of Ownership, thanks to its lack of esoteric demands for proprietary infrastructure and technical support costs.
All of which is very impressive; but what I found really impressive is that they can point to the fact that in their installed base of larger users, those with more than 20 seats, 45% of the users are actively creating their own charts! That is amazing. I have been enthused by products in the past that have offered real self service capability but I seriously doubt that any of them can actually show a take up that matches that. The reason they can achieve this is that the tool really seems to be able to do it all, and with nothing more than a point and click interface. It can acquire data from multiple sources that includes all of the usual sources from big data and cloud, down to spreadsheets and local stores, it enables that data to be manipulated and then produces output that is seriously good looking. You can imagine that people would take real pride in being able to tailor their needs and output results like that, and that it can be done so quickly and effortlessly is pretty mind blowing. So you have a tool capable of the sort of time to value that we have all talked about for years but rarely seen.
To further back up my conviction that this is the real thing and not a false horizon is the fact that Chartio is just a product sale. This is not a Trojan horse, there are no services behind the scene, they put it all into the tool.
The Chartio vision is to make BI as accessible as Excel, to do that they have engineered a product that can bypass the need for technicians, yet it can integrate data from a large array of sources, it can manipulate it in remarkably sophisticated ways, and it does deliver with its visually appealing displays. It does that quickly, reliably and consistently. It looks like a winning formula to me, and the list of companies who are adopting it, which includes many household names, indicates that I am not alone. So if you really think that empowering your workforce to understand your business is a cornerstone of success, check out Chartio, it could be the best decision you can make.