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Is it truly ‘sense’ to go with the big boys?

Thursday 13 November 2014

It might be a bit rich coming from an up and coming Stafford based business analytics team, but there is a gap in the market becoming apparent as Qlik unveil and update their new visual analytics package Qliksense.

Like Tableau and other solutions, Qlik are making their data analytics package more visual, easy to manipulate and pleasing to the non-technical user’s eye. True, if analytics is to be marketed to the end user rather than IT professionals a complicated pivot table with calculated fields isn’t going to set the target audiences world on fire (a feature not in Qliksense, despite being in CXAIR for years…). We of course are doing the same with our new release of Pages – with our focus on usability and visual content, taking our reporting packages capable of doing any analytics you wish and combining it with a publishing package that turns reports into fully-fledged documents.

So where is the sense lacking, and why could CXAIR be the better solution?

The key is in the shift of priorities. Qlik, Tableau, even IBM have all identified that analytics now needs to be marketed to the end user, rather than to the IT professional. As a result they are modifying their existing reporting solutions and changing their strategy, creating multiple versions of products in the process and from one look at support forums, confusing the living daylights out of those end users they are trying to market to in the first place. It’s hard when everyone is going on about ‘Big Data’ to decide how big a reporting package you need for this new wave of hype – do I get the Qlikview or Qliksense application, what are the drawbacks of one or the other, which features do I need the most, do I go Hadoop or try a cloud based solution, which pricing package is most suited to our needs, etcetera etcetera. This is where CXAIR has the edge.

CXAIR has been designed for the end user from the start.

Our search engine based solution doesn’t require you to upgrade multiple plugins and modify your existing installs every time you need a new feature. Anything requested and needed by customers is handled by our support team in intimate fashion – personalised phone calls and constant support from consultants, rather than impersonal and unreliable support forums where your question can get lost in the nether of unanswered questions, or skimmed over and replied to with a generic pre-canned reply that could well have been from a robot. With a smaller business the customers mean so much more, and identifying the problems actual users have with your product is the quickest and best way to improve – not by jumping onto the latest bandwagon idea, or providing endless plugins that may or may not solve your problem whilst cluttering up your install in the process. Whilst we might have jumped on the free-form publishing package bandwagon so to speak, the big boys are trying to incorporate an ad hoc reporting package for end users.

If your requirement for your package is ease of use we’ve been working on our usability since our inception.

And now, with Pages, we bridge the gap between an easy to use reporting package and a highly visual publishing package. No new application required, no folders to manipulate, no separate license fee or red tape. Our usability only improves, and our ability to bolt-on to almost any other solution remains. We still provide a unique package boasting Venn Diagrams and the unique business analytics search engine. We even scan and index unstructured data and turn it into structured information that can then be reported on, all in the same program, at the same time. Each limit we find is something to improve upon instantly, not to be shelved off to some potential future release to maximise our licensing and profit margins.

Whilst Qlik and other similar products in the “Gartner Magic Quadrant” might claim to be the sensible – or even obvious – option at first glance, perhaps something a little closer to home actually works better. CXAIR is designed for the end user from the start, whilst supporting the customer till the end. And our reports look fancy too!

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