Yellowfin Replacing Analytics Dashboards with its Timeline Feature
Yellowfin, a business intelligence and analytics firm, has released version 6.3 of its flagship product, and its social and collaborative features, what it calls the Timeline, could be the future of analytics dashboards.

The Facebook of BI

Whether the Facebook of BI induces eye rolling or not, it may be a fitting description for Yellowfin's latest update due to its collaborative and social features. The Timeline is simply a personalized feed of relevant activity for anyone logged into the system, and it enables seamless sharing of, and collaboration on items in that feed.

Instead of just interacting with an analytics dashboard, the future of business intelligence applications could be just this kind of collaborative atmosphere. Timelines can be set to private of course, so only data that is given permission to be shared will be doled out. For many companies, this kind of collaboration and communication within a BI environment is just what is needed to keep engagement and interest levels up to a point where that data is actually useful.

Business intelligence initiatives are often cited as having failed because of a lack of collaboration and communication, a problem Yellowfin is presently engaged in focusing on. But making dashboards interactive isn't enough for Yellowfin, so it's updated its system to include the sharing and collaboration features many may be already accustomed to precisely because of the rise of the Facebook like activity stream.

Timeline records activity in real time and shows everything relevant to a user's needs.

Yellowfin 6.3 Features, Android App

The version 6.3 update involves changes to Yellowfin's collaborative and data visualization features, the Timeline addition being only one of those. There's also a discussion module that's been added for users to work together in, complete with the ability to link reports. 

Furthermore, Yellowfin has added sub tabs for creating multiple tabs within a single dashboard tag, a dashboard help pop up, and a confirm edit message for when someone tries to delete or edit BI content. On the visualization side, 6.3 now includes a brushing tool that allows for pinpoint control of data points such as selecting or excluding data points on a chart.

An HTML5 based Android mobile app is also available with v6.3, and it replaces the original native app. Yellowfin offers cloud based and in house deployment options, and starts at US$ 3,000 per year for five users. Larger configurations will need to contact the company for pricing. Despite not meeting the criteria for inclusion in Gartner's latest BI Magic Quadrant, Yellowfin nevertheless was named as having the kind of capabilities that are making an impact in the analytics market.

Customers told Gartner they chose Yellowfin for its product quality, overall total cost of ownership, license cost, implementation cost and effort, the report found.