David Menninger's Analyst Perspectives

ThoughtSpot Earns Merit Ranking in 2021 Value Index

Posted by David Menninger on Jul 12, 2021 3:00:00 AM

We are happy to share some insights about ThoughtSpot drawn from our latest Value Index research, which assesses how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements.

VR_VI_Analytics_and_Data_Logo (3)-2We published the Ventana Research Value Index: Analytics and Data 2021, the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts. We then developed three additional Value Indexes on analytics and business intelligence focusing on mobile, embedded and collaborative capabilities. Because each is a critical aspect of modern BI, we developed specific criteria to provide an in-depth look at features geared specifically to mobile, embedded and collaborative use.

In all of our Value Indexes, we utilize a structured research methodology that includes evaluation categories designed to reflect real-world criteria incorporated in a request for proposal and vendor selection process for analytics and business intelligence. We evaluated ThoughtSpot and 17 other vendors in seven categories: five relevant to the product – Adaptability, Capability, Manageability, Reliability and Usability – and two related to the vendor – Total Cost of Ownership/Return on Investment and Vendor Validation. To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each category to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on our experience and on data derived from our Benchmark Research on Analytics and Business Intelligence. ThoughtSpot had an overall performance rating of 54.6% in the Value Index, with a 55.5% customer experience rating and a 54.4% product experience rating.

Ventana_Research_Value_Index_Analytics_and_Data_2021_Vendor_Overall_Chart_ThoughtSpot@2xThoughtSpot is an independent vendor of BI software. It was categorized as a Vendor with Merit, ranking 16th overall in this Value Index evaluation. ThoughtSpot performed its best in Manageability and Reliability.

The ThoughtSpot product is available as an on-premises or cloud-based offering. Data can be loaded and indexed for in-memory optimization, or direct access to data sources can be implemented with a feature called “Embrace.”

ThoughtSpot brings a very different approach to BI and analytics. The product uses a search-based interface as the primary mechanism for accessing data. There are two implications of this approach in the context of this assessment: First, it assumes that a technical resource will set up the ThoughtSpot environment so others can take advantage of the search features. Second, less effort has been devoted to many of the other features we evaluated.

Organizations can maximize the value of analytics investments with products that support the sharing of — and communication on — output from analytical processes. The ThoughtSpot product supports sharing and emailing analyses. It includes an “ask an expert” feature to seek assistance with an analysis, and the ability to assign “stickers“ to analyses to tag them as belonging to one or more predefined categories set up by an administrator. While ThoughtSpot has some innovative collaboration features such as “ask an expert,” it lacks other features including discussion groups, wall posting, social recognition, annotations, alerts and notifications, and assigning and tracking tasks to completion, all of which would help improve its Capability ranking.

Making analytics more accessible to line-of-business personnel by embedding them in business processes and applications helps make operational decision-making more efficient and effective. ThoughtSpot offers developers tools for full application embedding, embedding individual displays and style customization for changing certain visual elements of the product. Embedding can be accomplished using iFrames, JavaScript and a REST application programming interface.

ThoughtSpot’s search-based interface and results are available to developers so embedded applications can take advantage of these features. However, the reliance on the search mechanism means that less effort has been devoted to many of the other features we evaluated. Consequently, there are many categories where ThoughtSpot could improve. More visualizations and guided analyses would help improve its Capability score, as would better support for extending the existing visualizations.

A mobile workforce needs access to analytics from mobile devices. More than two-fifths (45%) of organizations report that it is important or very important to be able to address data preparation tasks on mobile devices. ThoughtSpot Mobile is available as a native application for iOS and Android devices. The product brings ThoughtSpot’s search-based approach to mobile devices and provides a well-designed mobile user experience. However, the range of capabilities supported is limited. More visualizations, better notification and collaboration, and more device support such as location awareness and camera integration would help improve its Capability score.

This assessment was based on ThoughtSpot’s analytics products available in December of 2020. ThoughtSpot announced the acquisition of two companies earlier this year — Diyotta and SeekWell. With these acquisitions, ThoughtSpot is expanding its ecosystem for analytics cloud, operationalizing analytics and pushing cloud data insights to business apps. It will enable personnel to speed up integrations with data platforms, artificial intelligence and machine language services, and data applications built by web developers. ThoughtSpot also announced the launch of ThoughtSpot Everywhere, which is a low-code platform to build interactive data apps. It enables embedding ThoughtSpot’s analytics services into software as a service offerings and custom web applications developed by IT teams.

Organizations should evaluate data and analytics requirements including collaborative, embedded and mobile capabilities to ensure existing approaches are meeting the organization’s needs. If existing platforms are not satisfying those requirements, organizations should consider whether ThoughtSpot can help meet those needs.

This research-based index is the most comprehensive assessment of the value of analytics and BI software in the industry. Technology buyers can learn more about how to use our Value Index by clicking here, and included vendors that wish to learn more can click here. Read the report here.


David Menninger

Topics: embedded analytics, Analytics, Business Intelligence, Collaboration, Data Governance, Data Preparation, Information Management, Data, natural language processing, AI and Machine Learning

David Menninger

Written by David Menninger

David is responsible for the overall research direction of data, information and analytics technologies at Ventana Research covering major areas including Analytics, Big Data, Business Intelligence and Information Management along with the additional specific research categories including Information Applications, IT Performance Management, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence and IoT, and Data Science. David is also responsible for examining the role of cloud computing, collaboration and mobile technologies as they affect these areas. David brings to Ventana Research over twenty-five years of experience, through which he has marketed and brought to market some of the leading edge technologies for helping organizations analyze data to support a range of action-taking and decision-making processes. Prior to joining Ventana Research, David was the Head of Business Development & Strategy at Pivotal a division of EMC, VP of Marketing and Product Management at Vertica Systems, VP of Marketing and Product Management at Oracle, Applix, InforSense and IRI Software. David earned his MS in Business from Bentley University and a BS in Economics from University of Pennsylvania.