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Magento BI update a benefit to vendor's e-commerce customers

Magento rolled out the Magento Business Intelligence Summer 2019 Release, updating its BI platform with enhanced scheduling capabilities and new data visualizations.

With the rollout of the Magento Business Intelligence Summer 2019 Release on Thursday, the Magento BI platform will get improved scheduling capabilities along with a host of new dashboard visualizations.

Magento, founded in 2008 and based in Culver City, Calif., is primarily known for its e-commerce platform. In 2018 the vendor was acquired by Adobe for $1.7 billion and is now part of the Adobe Experience Cloud.

With the vendor’s focus on e-commerce, the Magento BI platform isn’t designed to compete as a standalone tool against the likes of Microsoft Power BI, Qlik, Tableau and other leading BI vendors. Instead, it’s designed to slot in with Magento's e-commerce platform and is intended for existing Magento customers.

"I love the BI angle Magento is taking here," said Mike Leone, a senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. "I would argue that many folks that utilize their commerce product are by no means experts at analytics. Magento will continue to empower them to gain more data-driven insights in an easy and seamless way. It is enabling businesses to take the next step into data-driven decision making without adding complexity."

Similarly, Nicole France, principal analyst at Constellation Research, noted the importance of enhancing the BI capabilities of Magento's commerce customers.

"This kind of reporting on commerce systems is undoubtedly useful," she said. "The idea here seems to be reaching a wider audience than the folks directly responsible for running commerce. That means putting the right data in the appropriate context."

The updated Magento BI platform comes with 13 data visualization templates, now including bubble charts, and over 100 reports.

Bubble charts such as this sample showing an organization's customer breakdown by state are now part of Magento's business intelligence platform.
Asample bubble chart from Magento shows an organization's customer breakdown by state.

In addition, it comes with enhanced sharing capabilities. Via email, users can schedule reports to go out to selected recipients on a one-time basis or any repeating schedule they want. They can also keep track of the relevancy of the data with time logs and take all necessary actions from a status page.

"It finds the insights merchants want," said Daniel Rios, product manager at Adobe. "It brings BI capabilities to merchants."

Matthew Wasley, product marketing manager at Adobe, added: "Now there's a better way to share insights that goes right to the inbox of a colleague and is part of their daily workflow.

"They can see the things they need to see -- it bridges the gap,” Wasley said. “It's an email you actually want to open."

According Wasley, the Magento BI platform provides a full end-to-end data stack that services customers from the data pipeline through the data warehouse and ultimately to the dashboard visualization layer.

While some BI vendors offer products with similar end-to-end capabilities, others offer only one layer and need to be paired with other products to help a business client take data from its raw form and develop it into a digestible form.

"We’re ahead of the curve with Magento," Wasley said.

He added that the end-to-end capability of the Magento BI tool is something other vendors are trying to put together through acquisitions. Though he didn't name any companies specifically, Google with its purchase of Looker and Salesforce with its acquisition of Tableau are two that fit the mold.

We see our BI as a differentiator for our commerce platform. Standalone BI is evolving in itself. It's tailored, and differentiates our commerce product.
Matthew WasleyProduct marketing manager, Adobe

Still, the Magento BI tool isn't designed to compete on the open market against vendors who specialize in analytics platforms.

"We see our BI as a differentiator for our commerce platform," said Wasley. "Standalone BI is evolving in itself. It's tailored, and differentiates our commerce product."

Moving forward, like the BI tools offered by other vendors, the Magento BI platform will become infused with more Augmented intelligence and machine learning capabilities with innovation enhanced by Magento's envelopment into the Adobe universe.

"We're seeing how important data is across Adobe," said Wasley. "All together, it's meant to … make better use of data. Because of the importance of data across Adobe, we're able to innovate a lot faster over the next 6 - 12 months."

And presumably, that means further enhancement the Magento BI platform for the benefit of the vendor's e-commerce customers.

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