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Anticipating the Needs of Evolving Data Teams

One of the best parts of building an advanced analytics tool for today’s most data-driven organizations is that our team has a daily opportunity to interact with people who are at the forefront of the modern data revolution. The outstanding data teams at companies like Uber, Tinder, and Oscar Health have used data analysis to turn opportunity into reality in their industries. When we talk about turning data teams into superheroes, these are exactly the people and scenarios we have in mind.

Another benefit of talking to these early data adopters is that they’re a great predictor of the path that lies ahead for other data teams. We can use their experiences to identify trends and prepare the next wave of data teams to be as successful as possible in their organizations. Advanced teams are realizing success that can be streamlined and made repeatable. We can also work with them to build solutions to obstacles knowing that those same solutions will eventually be helpful for other teams at the same point in their journey.

Making insights operational

Last year, after conversations with leaders at the most data mature companies in the Periscope Data customer base, one of these bigger trends emerged. The data teams were answering groundbreaking new questions but were running into trouble communicating those insights to the rest of the company to turn them into action. This shared frustration was so prominent that it became obvious we needed to create a solution.

From a workflow perspective, advanced data teams are finding that the final step in the analysis process is not just finding the answer to a data question or even communicating that insight with internal or external stakeholders. The final step of the process is operationalizing their information, making it easy for stakeholders to take action with it. 

What we were seeing with those teams was that the technology available for that last step was a blocker to their success. They were building disjointed tech stacks with misaligned tools to try to fit the needs of different users, but this just introduced a new set of technological problems. Deployment, onboarding, administration, and manually switching tools added up to a heavy burden at scale. We could see that there was a better solution to the operationalization problem and set out to make that solution a reality.

Sisense + Periscope Data

The good news for Periscope Data customers is that problems like this get a lot easier to solve when you can team up with like minds at other organizations. The Sisense team is an ideal pairing for Periscope Data because they saw the exact same trend happening from the other side. Periscope Data customers were finding answers in data and struggling to make them actionable; Sisense customers had solved that scalability issue but were hungry to find deeper insights for new audiences. 

Sisense already excelled at providing a data platform that operationalized information for internal BI and external developer workflows. For Sisense, the ability to add data science functionality into its platform is just another chapter in its ongoing story of empowering builders. For Periscope Data customers, the advanced data builders who are already on the platform will receive a new set of tools that will let them directly hand off actions to their audiences instead of simply delivering dashboards.

By combining the technologies, every customer gets to keep the same tools they’re already using to create value. They also get a brand new way to improve their overall process to solve the operationalization problems that they will inevitably need to tackle.

Predicting future data workflows

Merging with Sisense is a decision that proactively solves problems we anticipate data teams will encounter as they become more mature. For advanced data teams that don’t need to clear the operationalization hurdle yet, Periscope Data will stay the same and they can continue using it with no changes.

The long-term vision shared by the Periscope Data and Sisense teams is that one day soon, every member of a data-driven team will log in to the same data platform and analyze the data they need in a personalized way. The SQL, Python, and R environment that Periscope Data is so proud to offer will live in one module of that data platform. The drag-and-drop BI functionality of Sisense will be in a different module. The developer environment for OEM users will be in one too. 

All of the data will live in the same cohesive stack, individual builders will just get better control over their personal data projects. Those data environments still function independently, but they complement each other as part of the advanced data workflow that we’re seeing superpowered teams use today.

Sisense + Periscope Data is an easy way for data teams to avoid struggles along the path to increased maturity. This is what we see as the way for powerful data teams of the future will make data-driven decisions available at scale for the entire organization. The path forward for those teams is through high-powered collaboration based on data. It turns out that the path to the platform that makes it all possible is also through collaboration.

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Harry Glaser
Harry Glaser is the Chief Marketing Officer and General Manager of San Francisco at Sisense, the world’s leading independent platform for analytics builders. He was the co-founder and CEO of Periscope Data, which merged with Sisense in May 2019. Prior to founding Periscope Data in 2012, Harry was a Product Lead at Google AdWords and graduated from the University of Rochester with a bachelor’s degree in computer science.