Apparently Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff couldn’t resist. Almost 12 hours before the embargo was scheduled to lift, he announced, via Twitter, that his company is launching Salesforce Analytics Cloud, Wave.
Good day to catch a Wave: Salesforce Analytics Cloud. https://t.co/pSttwbnZdu. pic.twitter.com/MPw2zPQ8ek— Marc Benioff (@Benioff) October 12, 2014
He clearly wanted the most enthusiastic of his 123,000 followers to check it out in the App Store, and to give reporters a heads-up that he, himself, was breaking the embargo.
The launch of Salesforce’s sixth cloud wasn’t actually a secret, anyways. Benioff had leaked that it was coming, again via Twitter, last month.
Playing Catch Up
This is Salesforce’s first real venture into the $38 to $45 billion analytics market (experts don’t seem to have a consensus on estimated market size) and, by most accounts, Benioff’s company is late to the game. Software giants like Microsoft, with its very visual and interactive offering Power BI, IBM with Watson, and SAP with KXEN have been out with fairly impressive solutions for quite a while. Ditto for big data leveraging, analytics upstarts like Alteryx, Platfora, Birst and NASDAQ sweetheart Tableau.
Big Data Boasts
Though we don’t know much about Salesforce’s Analytics Cloud, we do know this: it has some pretty remarkable competition which has been doing things like blending data and creating compelling, insight revealing visualizations for quite a while. And though they’re all working toward making big data analytics “for the people,” they all admit, at least to me, that they’re not there yet.
So, it’s somewhat difficult to believe that Salesforce Analytics Wave is.
But they seem to claim that:
Wave is designed for business users, not just analysts. Requests for analytics no longer have to trigger a complicated, lengthy service bureau request. With its schema-free architecture, data no longer has to be pre-sorted or organized in some narrowly defined manner before it can be analyzed. Now, business users can instantly access and easily analyze billions of rows of data themselves, just as they do in popular consumer travel apps that empower them to explore and filter the entire world of commercial flights in seconds.”
But if Salesforce users can do big data analytics without the help of a business analyst or anyone in IT, they’ve got something big.
We’ll hold our review until we see it happen on stage.