Sisense Analytics Platform Update Helps Data Scientists

The latest update to the Sisense analytics platform adds new features for data scientists and analysts.

The provider, founded in 2004 and based in New York, unveiled the Sisense Fusion Platform 2021.12 on Wednesday, including the Sisense notebooks.

The upgrade comes about five months after Sisense released the Extense Framework, a set of tools that allow users to integrate augmented intelligence-based analytics into working apps, and just under a year. after renaming its Sisense Fusion platform to reflect the focus on embedded BI.

New capabilities

Notebooks are interactive environments in which data scientists write and execute code, collaborate on projects, visualize results, and share information.

The first notebooks were introduced almost three decades ago. Jupyter, an open source project and community, is a popular notebook platform, while Apache Zeppelin is another web notebook for data scientists to explore. And now, some analytics startups like Deepnote and Hex Technologies are focusing only on laptops.

Sisense Notebooks, now available to anyone, is a code-driven feature that enables data scientists and data analysts to perform advanced data analysis using Python and SQL.

According to Sisense, Notebooks allow data scientists and analysts to query data from any source, visualize results in custom graphs, define governance and security controls, and scale the data assets they create for use by data consumers in their organizations.

Additionally, Notebooks includes built-in workflows that allow users to move from model design to advanced analysis, visualization, and source control, all in one place. It also provides functionality for advanced operations such as common table expressions that allow users to expand information while avoiding issues such as semantic models that limit the types of business questions users can ask datasets. .

A sample screenshot from Sisense Notebooks shows an organization’s pipeline analytics dashboard under development.

The release of Notebooks represents the final integration of the acquisition of Periscope Data by Sisense in 2019. Prior to the acquisition, Sisense’s analytics platform was primarily aimed at business users. The addition of Periscope complemented Sisense’s existing capabilities with capabilities for data scientists.

“Notebooks is the full integration of Periscope IP’s full integration with the Sisense Fusion platform,” said Ashley Kramer, Sisense product and marketing manager. “We’ve incorporated elements, but not the whole Notebooks experience. What it does bring is the ability for a new type of character to enter, create visualizations and models, and share them with end users. “

In order to integrate analytics everywhere, you need to talk to all the characters on one platform so they don’t have to use five different solutions to integrate these analytics into everyday workflows and applications.

Ashley kramerProduct and Marketing Director, Sisense

These business users, meanwhile, remain the primary target audience for Sisense’s analytics platform, Kramer added.

Although Notebooks is aimed at users with a background in statistics and computer science, this does not mark a change in the publisher’s strategy. Notebooks allow data scientists and analysts to create data assets, such as reports, dashboards, and models, in addition to cloud data warehouses that can then be integrated with the rest of the Sisense platform for them. professional users.

And rather than focusing on activating business users with low-code / no-code tools, Notebooks adds some of the desires of different characters, according to Kramer.

Additionally, while low-code / no-code tools allow business users to work with data beyond just viewing reports and dashboards, involving someone with coding knowledge. to complement the professional user only adds strength to the analysis, she noted.

“Sisense’s mission is to infuse analytics everywhere, and generally we do it in a low-code fashion,” Kramer said. “But there’s a lot of the market that has people who like to talk about code first. In order to infuse analytics everywhere, you need to talk to all the characters on one platform so they don’t have to use five different solutions to infuse those analytics into the workflows and applications of all. days.”

David Menninger, analyst at Ventana Research, also said that the addition of Notebooks to the Sisense analytics platform does not suggest any strategic shift on the part of the vendor to a different audience and that its next release will likely be aimed at its more traditional audience of professional users. .

In addition, he noted that data scientists have been working with laptops for a long time, so the release is an innovative initiative by Sisense to bring data science and analytics together.

“Laptops have never really fallen into disuse with data scientists, but what is new is the idea of ​​integrating them into analytical tools,” he said. “It helps bring the two worlds closer together more easily.”

Menninger added that by bringing together the cultures of data science and analytics, Sisense makes it easier for business users to benefit from the work of data experts.

“Data science and analytics require distinct skill sets, and therefore different people than traditional business analytics,” he said. However, many people in the organization can benefit from the results of the work of data scientists. Thus, the idea of ​​integrating notebooks with analytical tools is gaining popularity. Sisense is not the first, nor the last.”

Sisense did something different by creating its own notebook rather than integrating with others such as Jupyter or Amazon SageMaker, Menninger continued.

“The advantage of Sisense’s approach is that it allows for deeper integration with the analytics environment,” he said.

More features and roadmap

In addition to Notebooks, Sisense 2021.12 includes the beta version of an integration with Git that will allow developers and analytics teams to manage the lifecycle of the products and code they create. The integration, which is expected to be generally available sometime in 2022, will allow organizations to better operationalize and scale the data assets they develop.

“Git integration can be as important – or more important – than Notepad,” Menninger said. “Every organization has to go through the process of transitioning from development to testing and production. Many analytics vendors don’t do much to make this process easier for their customers, and Sisense has embraced it head on. “

Meanwhile, with Periscope now fully integrated into the Sisense analytics ecosystem, Sisense’s product development plans for the next year revolve around three main areas, according to Kramer.

They include innovation in the cloud, the addition of AI capabilities and allow users of all skill levels to integrate analytics into their workflow.

“This [last one] is one that I’m really passionate about, and it’s one that we’ll be focusing on for many years to come, ”said Kramer. “This is the opportunity to serve over a billion underserved knowledge workers.

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