Thank you Dreamforce!

As of tonight, this bit of news has been hitting our newsdeck like crazy.
Wow, how about that!

We started Qwalytics to answer a simple question:
“what if we could speak to our computers or cellphones to get our company reports right here right now?”

Although it was a real itch to us, so much so that we were loosing sleep over it, people around us were at first skeptical.
We got a lot of: “who are your customers going to be?”, and “what is it for?”
Granted, we didn’t have much of an answer at first.

What we knew for sure, was that we were onto something big and worth building and the rest would follow naturally. So we did build, and refined, until we had a natural language processing tool that now serves reports on demand on any platform, from plain English queries that can either be spoken or typed in. It also comes with pie charts!

But what is it for you ask?

Producing enterprise reports is commonly a nightmarish process, costly in time and personnel.

For one, Qwalytics gives you the power to know in real time where you stand with your company metrics: Sales, Finances, Marketing, Human Ressources, even your contact info and the state of your customer interactions.
At your fingertip or voice command, wherever you may be.

Then, if spreadsheets are a necessary evil at your workplace, Qwalytics will help you make the best of them. Qwalytics brings you the power of pivot tables with no second guessing or the need for pesky formulas.
Making lists, ordering information, sorting out ratios can now be done easily and distributed all from one place.

Or maybe you’d like to carry with you all your contact info in one portable place when you are on the go?
That would be your cellphone, tablet or laptop. Boom.

With Qwalytics, data access is now a breeze: no fuss, just plain out simple solutions that work.
Your reports are one click away.

Today, Salesforce thinks this is worth $1 million.

What would it be worth to you?

Introduction to Self-Service Business Intelligence and Natural Language Reporting

(watch our demo)

Business Intelligence, commonly known as reporting or analytics, is meant to make life easier. It’s about giving you enough information in the form of tables or charts to take the right decision instantly. It’s about structuring, computing and displaying your data to make your decision process effortless.

Well in theory for sure! We all know that in real life, it requires asking the IT department to deliver that information. The waiting game then begins to sometimes last for days on end, and is seldom in time with the decision process anyway.
But why depend on IT when you could do everything yourself?

Self-Service Business Intelligence

Self-service Business Intelligence’s goal is to empower users with the ability to access their data on their own terms and without having to involve the IT department (you will still need the IT folks to populate the data though, so don’t throw away their number just yet). In other words, with self-service reporting the need to outsource parts or all of the data finding process disappears: if you want answers you can get them immediately on your own.

Take SAP Business Objects Explorer for instance. Here you have it, a full-feature self-service reporting application that lets you create reports on your own with no outside help. Sounds great? Sure does, but what if you had no technical skills whatsoever? Won’t self-service analytics be a problem down the road, when you’ll be getting a mysterious SQL error instead of a nice multicolored pie chart? Won’t self-service BI be a big disappointment when you realize that you don’t really know how to properly search and ask questions to your data?

Natural Language Business Intelligence

Not if you can ask your questions in plain English that is.

Imagine an environment where asking: “What is John’s phone number?” would actually turn up John’s phone number. Or ask about yesterday’ sales ranking by product category and point of sale, and get the correct answer right away. Wouldn’t that be better?

And we’re not talking about a Google-like environment where everybody is looking into everybody’s data, and where results are the highest probable instead of the 100% correct results.

We’re talking about a solution where you could literally ask your own questions to your enterprise data and get your own results; the results you were looking for. We’re talking about a Natural Language Business Intelligence world where self-service reporting would meet natural language analytics.

That world exists and its name is Qwalytics (watch a demo)

Stay tuned for the next article! In the meantime, remember: Natural Language Business Intelligence is about making your life easier.

SF New Tech Demo at Mighty

Tonight I went to a SF New Tech Demo event.

Even though it’s been over two years since I started gravitating around the startup scene, I had not yet been to a SFNT event.
That’s too bad, for it is a great format, that draws a good crowd, and great companies too. I even scored an IE tee! And the taco truck rocks!
And the Twitter wall was fun to play with!

Fluff aside, the evening was rich with content-check the city’s upcoming Innovation month, that kicks off at our friends office-and companies you wish you had heard of earlier.
Case in point: Libon, an app that offers customized voicemail. And then, they let you place calls all over the world for almost nothing. Downloaded on the spot! Plus Julien made the liveliest demo I had seen in a while.
More up our alley, Sumo Logic deals with analytics, and search of unstructured data; they tag themselves the Google of log files. Interestingly, we’ve had a Google analogy going ourselves:
Qwalytics is like the Google Search of your Enterprise data, right?” people tell us. We could not agree more.

Speaking of search, at one point I spotted another attendee I knew from my previous job, and after double checking his first name against his name tag, I wanted to call up some more info such as the firm he works at, which name I couldn’t remember.
Here were my options:
LinkedIn? Not sure he’s a contact, plus their mobile app is abominable. He’s not in my phone contacts. Google? I only have his first name… Wait, I know him from my last job, he might very well be in my CRM file.
So I logged on Qwalytics on my iPhone 5 and presto, “What is John’s company?” yielded in less than a second, right there, the context I needed to engage him with the recollection of shared events and whatnots. Conversation ensues, we’ll catch up over coffee next week.
Now that’s a real world application I wish I had been able to use before. As a Business Developer, I cannot emphasize enough how valuable this can turn out to be. Of course, for those who enjoy perfect memory recall, that’s another story 

Finally, SFNT had just implemented SFNTInvest, a cool gamification getup to engage the public and provide live feedback on the evening demos. It reminded me of Pitch-Force, another set we at Qwalytics like a lot (more in another post!).

To sum up, a good event, two notable companies, Qwalytics sidekicks in a social setting. Wow!

What is Qwalytics and why we built it?

“-What do you use for reporting?
-Oh well…[sigh], we have a guy who builds Excel tables for us and IT usually creates reports for us in a few days.”

There ! We are tackling the “Oh well…” part of the Business Intelligence industry.
We’ve spent many years in the software world and experienced way too much frustration. How we access data must change.
We built Qwalytics on this very simple idea: instead of outsourcing one’s reporting needs (based on questions), why not ask the questions directly to a piece of software?
That would save countless hours of waiting time and lots of money too.
Most (if not all) Business Intelligence/reporting/analytics applications in the market right now require data modeling skills, technical and/or extensive training.

And if everyone is not necessarily able to build a star schema and a dashboard, most everyone can articulate a question.

Qwalytics turns your natural language questions into reports, period.

While we we’re at it, we decided Qwalytics would be nicely designed, user friendly and simple to use.
Welcome to a new reporting world !