BI solutions have been around for decades, but they’ve never really taken root.

Don’t take our word for it. Consider this from Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms report. Speaking of the BI platforms, the authors wrote: “They were never fully embraced by the majority of business users, managers and analysts, primarily because most considered these too difficult to use for many analytical use cases.”

And in a world where the future belongs to those who leverage information best, this is a problem that few companies can afford to live with.

Needless to say, there are a number of BI vendors who are trying to change that. They range from established players like IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP and SAS to upstarts like Tableau, Birst and Qlik.

And whether they are making any headway or not, less than 25 percent of today’s enterprise workers report that they have access to the information they need, in spite of $100 billion spent by companies on BI software licenses and even more on IT services.

The software and solution provider(s) who can increase BI penetration are destined to make a mint.

That’s one of the reasons that a team of engineers and entrepreneurs from tech leaders like Facebook, Google, IBM Netezza, Nutanix and others have joined force to build a solution that workers will actually embrace.

Introducing ThoughtSpot

Today, ThoughtSpot, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based startup introduces its Relational Search appliance that provides a smart, friendly search experience for business analysts and other end users (the UI is similar to consumer sites like Linkedin, Facebook or Yelp). Like the aforementioned consumer sites it renders suggestions and results via relationships between words rather than documents. It learns as you use it and its creators have been hell bent on making sure that it’s accurate.

“If a consumer site like Yelp gives you the wrong address for a restaurant, you can drive a bit further down the road or backup,” said Ajeet Singh, the company’s co-founder and CEO. “If a financial analyst gets the wrong figure…”

But accuracy and the user experience are only half the battle. Crunching large volumes of data, fast and the ability to meet Enterprise requirements for governance, security and scale matter as well. They have been built into the solution.

And, in case it’s not obvious, ThoughtSpot is an on-premise offering, in other words, BI in a box. Singh says it needs to live where enterprise information lives, which is the corporate data center.


Addressing a Problem

In an age where Cloud, big data and predictive analytics are all the rage, ThoughtSpot seeks to solve an older problem — providing a BI solution that is easy to use and that delivers results.

Why did we say that ThoughtSpot wants to be the Tesla of BI? Because Singh hopes to deliver an elegant solution to an old, well-known problem that others have failed at solving.

He hopes that ThoughtSpot will be to BI what Tesla is to electric cars.

Title image by Classic Car Club Manhattan  (Flickr) via a CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license.