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Sisense adds trio of new embedded analytics capabilities
A new integration with Git, a multi-tenant environment and enhancements to the Extense Framework are designed to further the embedded BI capabilities of the vendor's platform.
Sisense on Thursday unveiled new capabilities designed to better enable developers to embed and infuse analytics within applications and workflows.
They include a new integration with Git, the open source code repository and collaborative development platform; a multi-tenant deployment option for Sisense's platform; and expanded embedded analytics applications for the Sisense Extense Framework.
That focus on embedding and infusing data is important -- and not just for Sisense, but for all analytics and BI vendors, according to Krishna Roy, analyst at 451 Research.
Embedded analytics enables business users without backgrounds in data science to work with data in familiar environments. Providing a comfortable environment is one way that organizations can make analytics accessible to more potential users.
"Embedded analytics is valuable because it lowers the barriers to adoption of business intelligence by providing insights typically within the applications individuals already know and love," Roy said. "Business decision-makers and other individuals who are not trained and high-skilled in BI and analytics tools can therefore more easily make data-driven decisions."
The new Sisense capabilities are aimed at making it easier for developers to combine analytics with business users' work environments so that they don't have to seek data and insights in one tool while doing the bulk of their work in another, according to Amir Orad, CEO of Sisense.
Amir OradCEO, Sisense
"It's all about embedding and infusing analytics -- with new integrations, with letting people run differently for separate customers and users in a multi-tenant environment, with the developer tools [and the expanded Extense Framework]," he said.
Sisense, founded in 2004 and based in New York City, specializes in embedded analytics.
In 2021, the vendor launched the Extense Framework, which enabled customers to embed analytics applications built with Sisense -- and infused with augmented intelligence and machine learning capabilities -- into frequently used work applications including Google Sheets, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft 365 and Slack.
In addition, the developer environment came with pre-built APIs to more easily enable the embedding of analytics in common workplace tools.
Now, Sisense customers can use the Extense Framework with any workplace application, whether it's one developed by an organization in house, or one commonly used but not supported by Sisense's initial Extense Framework release.
The integration with Git -- called Sisense CI/CD Git integration module -- is designed to enable continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) as developers build and update applications.
Continuous integration automates the testing of code changes to an application and merges those changes to a shared repository so that any developer working on the application is using the same up-to-date version. Continuous delivery then takes the next step, testing applications once all coding changes have been made and delivering them for deployment.
The Sisense CI/CD Git integration module provides Sisense users with a centralized repository both to do their work and also to collaborate on the building and deployment of applications. In Git, the application is updated as changes are made so that different developers don't work on different versions, and a data lineage is created so that there is a record of all changes.
Finally, the new multi-tenant environment -- which is currently only available by invitation to select Sisense users -- enables customers to configure a single Sisense deployment in different ways for different users.
Often, analytics tools have to be deployed multiple times in an organization because different departments have different needs. For example, the human resources department might need its analytics tools deployed differently than the finance department. With a single-tenant platform, that would require separate deployments.
But Sisense now enables one deployment to be configured in multiple ways to suit the needs of disparate users, or multiple tenants, with that single deployment managed in a centralized location.
Expedia is a Sisense customer with thousands of employees and contractors. According to Orad, Expedia's system administrators can now use Sisense to give each of those users a unique look with different functionalities and permissions.
All the new capabilities are targeted at technical users. The one those users might like the most, however, could be the integration with Git, according to David Menninger, analyst at Ventana Research.
"Developers will love the integration with Git," he said. "CI/CD is all the rage, and analytics has traditionally been excluded from these processes. Organizations need to be able to manage their embedded analytics code along with the rest of their code. And they want to use the same processes to build and deploy custom analytics capabilities that they use for other applications."
From the Sisense standpoint, the addition of a multi-tenant environment is perhaps most significant, Menninger continued.
"Re-architecting to a multi-tenant cloud configuration is a significant amount of work," he said. "From the customers' perspective, this change will enable organizations to realize the full benefits of the cloud."
Roy, meanwhile, noted that vendor integrations with Git and other similar developer environments are valuable.
"Git is very popular amongst developers -- as are Microsoft and AWS' offerings," she said. "Developers are frequently responsible for initially creating embedded analytics apps on behalf of end users, so integrating with the environments developers already like to use makes it easier for developers to create these apps."
Similarly, Roy said that providing a multi-tenant environment is a positive move for vendors.
"A multi-tenancy architecture for embedded analytics -- if it has multi-tenancy security -- enables individuals to connect to different data models and show specific data that is only authorized to those tenants," she said.
Beyond the new capabilities, Orad noted that a significant development over the past year has been Sisense's push to become profitable, which began in October 2021. He said the vendor has now achieved that goal.
In addition, Sisense consolidated its technology and product development departments under the leadership of Ariel Katz, who spent 20 years at Microsoft and is now Sisense's chief products and technology officer.
Looking ahead, a cloud-agnostic strategy is important to Sisense, according to Orad.
"Whether it's my cloud, a private cloud, GCP [Google Cloud Platform], Azure, AWS or even on premises, we will work there," he said. "It's important because we can't limit someone to one cloud."
Orad noted that important initiatives for Sisense include building up its community of customers and extending its partner networks. Vendors including Tableau and Qlik have well-established user communities that help drive development, while others such as ThoughtSpot have extensive partnership networks that enable customers to use technologies built by different vendors.
Partnership expansion would be an important step for Sisense, according to Menninger.
He said that analytics implementations require connections and integrations with various other systems, and the more tightly Sisense can work with another vendor's tools -- even if Sisense might consider the vendor a competitor -- the more it will benefit the vendor's customers.
"It would be helpful to customers if Sisense had a more fully developed ecosystem of technology partners," Menninger said.