I always take a few hours out of each month to review support tickets, evaluate requirements, talk with customers, and read blogs and news on trends across a variety of technology (software and hardware) in order to understand what new features we could add to ClicData in the short- and long-term.
Typically, we approach it from a perspective of what people want and what is available to determine what we can provide. But we also do it from a “no-holds barred” perspective. I imagine what I, as a business owner, would like to have at my hands to manage better, be more reactive and do what I need to keep shareholders, customer and employees informed or answer them if they question me on some metric.
I imagine that I am at the beach on vacation, only equipped with my smart phone.
What do I need to know? How can I get it? Is it available somewhere or do I need to generate it? Research it or query it?
Once I have those answers, how do I communicate it? By email, of course, but perhaps there are other ways that are more interactive, that can answer subsequent questions without having to come back to me, and that keep refreshing so future similar answers are always available.
- We brainstorm about voice alerts and ways to query data on your mobile in an interactive, fluid and powerful way.
- We imagine if we can utilize PlayStation or Xbox motion cameras to interact with dashboards and charts and connect a VR headset to visualize them.
- We imagine a virtual artificial intelligent assistant that can answer most questions simply by listening to you ask a question and reply back all via audio controls.
- We create scenarios where the system learns how you look at your data, but also how others manage and visualize their data, and suggests alternatives for you to view.
- We look at the upcoming database engines, communication tools, portals and systems to ensure we can connect to them, mine their data and use them to integrate into our dashboards.
- We look at internet connected objects and try to relate them to data and how we can measure it. How are social networks evolving and what is new and interesting to measure. Which new visualizations do we add? Are there new ways of entering data?
- We talk about these innovative ideas with customers, our sales team who is constantly in contact with our customers about their needs, and our professional services team that supports the same customers. We talk about it with people outside of the domain, technology folks and business folks to get more insight, ideas and validation.
And once all the above is done, we embark on a research project – sometimes even a prototype – to see what we can deliver. And, we have fun trying these things out and testing them!
We love everything about data, business and technology! We love experimenting and improving our applications. We love the evolution that we are on and the unique platform that we built – a unique architecture of applications and databases around the world that serve thousands of customers on a daily basis with hundreds of thousands of dashboards and datasets running in the background. We love all these modules, each working together with other modules in a network of bigger modules, sending data to each other, loading and analyzing it, notifying users, displaying charts, calculating in the background. It’s magical!
We know we need to deliver new features all the time, keeping in mind that they need to run with as little downtime as possible and with better performance than before, all while being managed automatically so it can scale to millions of businesses. LOVE IT!
So, this is why I get up in the morning and rush to work renewed! Will the future of BI include some or all of these ideas and concepts? Perhaps. Like many ideas that look good on paper, when put in practice some simply will not work. Take the great concept of touch screens on computers for day-to-day use. Have you tried to write on your laptop when the screen is up? It is not natural for hands to write horizontally, so one of our concepts, “dashboard projection wall with hand/finger position detection,” died since everyone preferred the mouse, a pointer or a remote tablet projected on screen/wall. A dashboard designer on your mobile or tablet? Great idea initially, but in this case, we need to re-define what it meant to build a dashboard. ClicData has thousands of capabilities and style combinations which are accessible via buttons and dropdown menus. Doing this with a mouse is reasonable, but with your finger? It gets tiring.
We do believe that data narration and VR headsets are great tools to assist basic and expert dashboard consumers. We also believe that we can greatly simplify data preparation and data set recognition, giving the analysts more time to look into the data and not working it.
ClicData is just getting started and so is the entire team behind it! If you have any great innovative ideas for us to consider, let us know!