Global Business Intelligence (BI) and Analytics vendor, Yellowfin, has today officially released the latest version of its BI software, Yellowfin 6.3, following a series of launch Webinars held across Tuesday 28 and Wednesday 29 May 2013.
Analysts and customers have described Yellowfin’s new ‘Timeline’ module, the centerpiece of Yellowfin 6.3, as “Facebook for BI”.
“The Timeline function in 6.3 is impressive,” said Yellowfin partner, Teaching Associate at Monash University and Principal Consultant at Minerra, Steve Remington. “It’s the first truly meaningful BI collaboration functionality I have seen – It’s Facebook for BI.”
Independent BI analyst and member of the internationally renowned Boulder BI Brain Trust (BBBT), Ali Rebaie, commented via Twitter: “I really like the social features of @YellowfinBI – moving Collaborative BI to the next level!”
For a comprehensive list of all product additions and enhancements included in Yellowfin 6.3, download the official Release Notes >
Yellowfin CEO, Glen Rabie, said that the release, available for download now, was focused on extending the collaborative capabilities of Yellowfin.
“Yellowfin 6.3 delivers our customers the most immersive and social analytics experience available on the market today,” said Rabie. “We understand that the best decisions are not only fact-based, but are derived with input from multiple people. We know that Collaborative BI has the capacity to promote easier knowledge sharing and therefore better, faster decision-making.”
Global analyst and advisory firm, Gartner, backs Rabie’s position. The firm found that 80 percent of BI projects fail, citing poor communication and collaboration as the primary culprits.
Yellowfin introduces ‘Timeline’
Timeline records a users’ specific activities and interactions within Yellowfin in real-time. The result is a searchable, personalized, chronological catalogue of the particular movements of, and anything related to, each individual user within Yellowfin.
“This personalized Facebook-esc ‘wall’-like feed displays everything relevant to a user – from which reports they’ve viewed, the discussions in which they’ve engaged, the content they’ve created, shared or need to approve, as well as any alerts and notifications,” said Rabie.
Users can directly interact with each other and analytic content via their respective Timelines. Timelines are also configured to ensure data security. Users can set their Timeline to private, meaning other users can only access their Timeline upon request.
“The all-new Yellowfin Timeline encapsulates a users’ relationship with Yellowfin in one place,” said Rabie. “Timeline stimulates the type of user engagement, transparency and communication required to instill an organizational culture of data-based decision-making and achieve BI ROI. We anticipate that, over time, Timeline will replace the dashboard as the default logon interface for most Yellowfin users.”
Independent BI analysts Claudia Imhoff and Colin White asserted the need for a purpose built collaboration module such as Timeline – to support information sharing and discussion within a BI environment – in their article Collaborative BI Sets Stage for Collective User Action: “Organizations can implement collaborative interaction and information enhancement features using the capabilities currently offered by, or being added to, BI tools. Supporting collaborative decision-making, however, requires the use of a collaborative platform or a separate system designed specifically to meet the need for collaboration in the decision-making process.”
Overview: Major features, enhancements and improvements within 6.3
The major additions and improvements within Yellowfin 6.3 focus on three key product areas in collaboration, usability and data visualization.
Collaborative additions and improvements
New Collaborative BI features and functionality make it easier to share and consume data and analysis. These features include:
- Timeline: Empowers users to monitor and understand their relationship with BI content and relevant decision-makers.
- A Discussion Module: Makes engaging in dialogue with other users – and linking BI content (reports and Storyboards) to those discussions – more useful and user-friendly.
Enhanced usability throughout the application makes content creation and analysis faster, simpler and easier. These enchantments include:
- Dashboard Sub Tabs: Enables users to create multiple tabs within a single dashboard tab. Sub Tabs allow users to logically group content together by passing filters, between tabs, across dashboards.
- Dashboard Help: Assists users to understand how to utilize key features of a Yellowfin dashboard via informational pop-ups. Pop-ups appear over key dashboard elements and explain their purpose and usefulness.
- Confirm Edit Message: The Confirm Edit Message is a pop-up notification that activates when a user attempts to edit or delete BI content, including reports, dashboards and discussion groups. This addition enables users to understand the impact that any alterations made to BI content would have on specific users and user groups, allowing them to communicate any changes, or intended changes, to affected persons.
Data visualization additions and improvements
Yellowfin 6.3 includes a number of fresh data visualization features to make it easier to build more insightful and intuitive BI content, while supporting deeper, faster analysis. Additions include:
- Brushing: Enables users to quickly select or exclude data points on a chart. Users can simply point, click and drag to highlight the area of data they want to eliminate from their data set, or isolate and explore in greater detail.
- Colored Metrics for Series Selection: Allow users to assign a specific color to each metric, supporting easier data analysis through consistent coloring.
- Report Summaries: Encapsulate the key metrics and trends within a report, and are displayed as mini KPI-type charts along the top of a report, for easy at-a-glance understanding.
New HTML 5 Mobile BI application for Android devices
A new HTML 5 Mobile BI application for Android devices complements Yellowfin’s existing native applications for iPad and iPhone. The application is available on Android version 4.1, and like Yellowfin’s other mobile applications, comes as part of a standard Yellowfin license. This latest application replaces Yellowfin’s original native Android app, released in February 2011. The application is available for free download from the Android Marketplace.
Discover more, and download the Android app Fact Sheet, HERE >
Industry recognition for Yellowfin
The release of Yellowfin 6.3 caps off a strong start to 2013 for Yellowfin, with the vendor receiving the highest overall score in Dresner Advisory Services’ (DAS) recently released 2013 Wisdom of Crowds Business Intelligence Market Study.
The global study compared and ranked 23 of the world’s foremost BI vendors.
Yellowfin has two major product releases per year in May / June and November / December.
Yellowfin 6.3 will be made publicly available from Wednesday 5 June Australian EST.
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