Running Business Analytics Using Voice: The Sisense BI Platform

If you always wanted to get your key performance indicators asking questions like “What are my opportunity wins for this quarter over last?” or “How does my growth in leads for Europe compare to the US?”, this is just for you.



Querying for data from business intelligence platform has a new interface: natural voice interactions. New York City-based Sisense offers a business intelligence platform which has rolled out interfaces for Amazon Alexa, chatbots and connected lightbulbs. The three interfaces are jointly called Sisense Everywhere. A business analyics platform like this can potentially transform the traditional ways business analytics data is accessed primarily using screen-based dashboards. A typical business use case for the Alexa front-end can be a board meeting where someone just wants one piece of information, and asks for it instead of drilling through screens.

Some other unique features

  • Open ended voice communication: Questions can be more or less open-ended since relationships between structured data are made on the fly. IT doesn’t need to set up the relationships in advance as relational databases.
  • Connectivity to different data sources: The Sisense platform is designed to call up data from different parts of a company, such as from a database on-site, one in Salesforce, and Google Analytics.
  • Leveraging Amazon's artificial intelligence: In the Sisense interface, Alexa handles the natural language processing of voice-to-text, and Amazon’s artificial intelligence understands that one question might be asked in several different ways. It then hands off to Sisense, which parses the textual sentence for meaning and returns an answer.
  • Voice and Analytics Customization: Sisense’s staff can customize questions for a client, so that, for instance, a question about quarterly opportunity wins might always return the same metrics. A user usually keeps the questions fairly high-level, as granular drill-downs can sometimes become confused by such details as pronunciations of regions.

Sisense is currently beta-testing a more sophisticated kind of answering that explains the “how” and “why” instead of only returning facts. An answer about an increase in opportunity wins, for instance, might also include a couple of sentences about how the increase in advertising and more sales personnel had such-and-such impact on the increase of wins.

More integrations

  • The chat bot interface is available for such messaging apps as Facebook Messenger, Microsoft Skype, and Telegraph. This is typically used at companies that often communicate through group chats on, say, Skype. When they need a piece of data, they just ask the Sisense-bot.
  • A connected lightbulb, such as Phillips’, is setup on WiFi and then shows up as an IP address on the Sisense dashboard. A user determines which KPIs will trigger which available colors. If the daily sales goal is being met, your lamp might shine as a normal white bulb. But if it drops below, the lightbulb might turn red.