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BOARD International have largely completed a supplement to their Windows based client with an HTML5 client. The process will be complete with all functionality that was available transferred across by the end of the year. The new look and feel is slick, clean and intuitive. They have done a fantastic job and all the key functionality is at your fingertips and not buried in the depths of menus. I feel sure that people will find this highly intuitive and productive. It shows just how successful BOARD have been in their migration to the Cloud, offering full functionality, and a great user experience.
The element that I like is the twin abilities to engage in collaborative chats and to then present effective storyboards. For years, the biggest hurdle to developing the widespread acceptance of the value of analytics and of the value of the data asset has been getting the message out. Dashboards and scorecards by their very nature are focused on the current most significant areas, and that leads to a narrow view on other discoveries. Over the years I have found that often it was a chance meeting at a coffee machine that was required to alert people to what else we have discovered of value that should be taken seriously without supplanting what is at the top of the current agenda. The new capabilities of collaborative chat and storytelling are a neat solution to that problem. You can draw people’s attention using collaborative chat. Screens can be annotated and shared, the recipient sees the screen in the exact context of the sender, better still the screen is not an historic snapshot, but a fully working window onto the data. This can be used to bring people’s attention to new insights and help to get the point onto everyone’s agenda. That can then be supported by Storytelling, where screens, again within context are linked to the data. The Story Telling is a series of live screens joined together in a PowerPoint like presentation that enables the full story to be told. More than that, the screens enable the participants to share and play with the data, and explore the findings.
Cognitive technologies enable the data to be explored with a natural language interface, which can be either voice or text. The fledgling capabilities have full functionality, but obviously, the technology is in its infancy and will only grow, but already you can see exciting capabilities; for instance, the queries are not addressed afresh each time potentially reinventing the wheel, but are linked to a full understanding of the metadata of what already exists, enabling existing analysis to be shared, and further exploited. I believe that reuse, refinement and enhancement are central to achieving the goal of a single version of the truth. When everyone does their analysis anew each time, even when they are based on the same data, it does not have the same power as common analysis shared by all.
BOARD continue to develop in the Cloud, and today this is accounting for over 35% of software revenue. BOARD is successful at bringing full functionality to the Cloud. Whilst the established players are still struggling to move all their rich functionality to the Cloud, and the Cloud based start-ups struggle with the breadth of the available functionality, and all too often the ability to scale the engine to the levels required to support enterprise solutions, so this is a notable achievement.
BOARD International, with its integration of BI and CPM, has always been one of the vendors that I think understands the breadth of the challenge of achieving a single version of the truth across the enterprise, with this release their ability to deliver that vision is further enhanced and I am sure will prove to be highly successful in the marketplace, and deservedly so.