ThoughtSpot Launches Mobile Data Analytics App, Previews AI-Based Search Tech

ThoughtSpot has sought to ‘match human behavior in terms of how people do analysis,’ says Sumeet Arora, ThoughtSpot chief development officer. ‘The missing piece was the ability to understand natural language. And that just became possible in the last five months,’ he says, citing recent AI developments including ChatGPT and large language model technology.


Business analytics software developer ThoughtSpot has launched ThoughtSpot Monitor for Mobile, a new mobile application that works with the ThoughtSpot analytics application to deliver key performance indicators (KPIs) and other business metrics to users.

ThoughtSpot, which is holding its ThoughtSpot Beyond 2023 virtual customer conference this week, also unveiled a major update to its flagship ThoughtSpot Analytics system with connections to additional data sources and new ways to interact with and share data.

ThoughtSpot also said that ThoughtSpot Sage, the AI-based search tool the company unveiled in March that provides natural language search and AI-generated analytical answers, is now in the private preview stage and is available on a free trial basis.

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The ThoughtSpot Beyond event comes amid a wave of activity and announcements from IT companies – particularly in the data analytics space – around AI in general and particularly the GPT large language model and ChatGPT chatbot.

“We are living in a time that is unlike anything that we have experienced because the hype behind natural language and AI is no longer hype,” ThoughtSpot CEO Sudheesh Nair told CRN in an interview, when asked what his top message would be for channel partners attending ThoughtSpot Beyond. “It is probably the biggest opportunity and the biggest threat for pretty much every business that’s built around this space.”

“And this is not the time to sit on the sidelines,” Nair (pictured) said, addressing the company’s channel partners. “This is the time to go help your clients navigate [AI] in a responsible way.” He cited financial service and pharmaceutical companies for whom AI and ChatGPT hold great promise, but also need to navigate data governance, privacy and security concerns. “That gap is the opportunity for forward-looking partners,” Nair said.

ThoughtSpot Sage is an AI-powered search tool that integrates ThoughtSpot’s own search technology with the GPT-3 large language model from OpenAI. Using generative AI and natural language processing, Sage allows users, regardless of their technical skills, to apply AI-powered analytics on large, complex datasets to get answers to business questions.

One of the founding principles of ThoughtSpot has been to “match human behavior in terms of how people do analysis…to how technology works,” said Sumeet Arora, ThoughtSpot chief development officer, in an interview with CRN. “The missing piece was the ability to understand natural language. And that just became possible in the last five months,” he said, putting ChatGPT and the underlying large language model technology on a par in IT industry developments with the Internet, the iPhone and cloud computing.

In addition to providing AI-powered search and AI-generated analytical insights, ThoughtSpot Sage generates search suggestions and recommendations for drilling down into data and asking follow-up questions. It also allows users to provide feedback by correcting keyword tokens, training the machine learning system to correct future queries, and improves data modeling by using AI and large language models to automatically generate synonyms for data columns.

ThoughtSpot Sage is now available as a private preview and is available on a free trial basis, initially to all current and new Free Trial and ThoughtSpot Team Edition users.

Going Mobile

With the new ThoughtSpot Monitor for Mobile, users subscribe to specific, personalized KPIs and business metrics and the system pushes notifications to users when metrics change. Users run the ThoughtSpot mobile application on their Apple or Google Android devices while data teams set up the underlying data models and infrastructure.

Monitor for Mobile uses generative AI to help users drill down on business metrics and understand why they changed, according to the company, by analyzing hundreds of attributes behind each KPI and leveraging machine learning to identify why the metrics changed.

“There is so much noise in the world that we’re living in that often the answer that you’re seeking is there in the data, but you don’t find it because you did not ask the right question,” CEO Nair said of current business intelligence technology.

“The reason I’m excited about Monitor for Mobile is because we are moving analytics from insight to foresight. Going from data to insight to action will be fundamentally different. If you open it up and make analytics follow you where you are and speak the language that you speak, that’s Monitor for Mobile,” Nair said.

Monitor for Mobile is currently in preview and is expected to be available through mobile application stores in the company months.

ThoughtSpot’s strengths are its ability to go beyond the static dashboards offered by other business intelligence software vendors and provide advanced interactive data analytics, said Bill Tennant, chief revenue officer at Blue.Cloud, a Tampa, Fla.-based provider of data engineering, science and analytics services. Blue.Cloud partners with ThoughtSpot and offers implementation, systems integration and consulting services around the company’s platform.

“The reality is, everyone’s goal should be that we never have to look at a dashboard or an Excel spreadsheet again, we just get that information delivered to us. And I think ThoughtSpot is taking steps to moving down that path,” Tennant said, talking about Monitor for Mobile said in an interview with CRN. “You almost don’t want people to have to open up ThoughtSpot. You want them to get all their information delivered to them as you would an app on your phone.”

“It’s very interesting to me and I think it’s going to be very well received – and much needed – by customers out there,” Tennant said of ThoughtSpot’s new offerings. “I think all of these things combined create rapid – we’re calling it ‘democratization of insights.’ Because it’s not just pushing data out anymore. It’s pushing out the actual insights.”

From Digital Transformation To Autonomous Enterprises

“We truly believe that analytics and insights should be available to people, to users, where they are,” Arora said, emphasizing that ThoughtSpot Sage, ThoughtSpot Monitor for Mobile and many of the company’s other announcements all revolve around the theme of “redefining the modern data experience” for users.

Arora also put this week’s announcements in the context that while the focus in recent years has been on digital transformation, the ThoughtSpot platform and ThoughtSpot Sage will help businesses “transition from a digital enterprise to becoming an autonomous enterprise” where AI is built upon digital code and business processes.

Innovative products like Sage and Monitor for Mobile offer ThoughtSpot’s channel partners, including solution providers and systems integrators, a way to differentiate themselves, said Kuntal Vahalia, senior vice president of worldwide channels and alliances, in the interview. And these new technologies, which help smooth the path to customer adoption, customer expansion and change management, are resonating with partners, the channel chief said.

Tennant at Blue.Cloud agrees. “It comes back again to the change management aspect. How do we talk to [customers] about what are they actually doing with the data and how can this save them time and make them more efficient. The reality is, for SIs like us, the long-term revenue is not in delivering technology with ThoughtSpot. It’s how do we take that and then use that to drive business value associated with the expansion of more advanced analytics and the more value-add activities,” he said.

Building The Data Analytics Technology Stack

In addition to the Monitor for Mobile and Sage announcements, ThoughtSpot this week is also unveiling new capabilities in its core ThoughtSpot Analytics platform and data analytics technology stack.

Topping the list are enhancements to ThoughtSpot Liveboards, the company’s interactive dashboards, including new parameters for “what-if” scenario analysis, Verified Liveboards data quality certifications, improved storytelling and interactivity with note tiles and custom sizing, and a new in-application commenting system for collaboration, feedback and recommendations.

ThoughtSpot is also announcing that its previously unveiled ThoughtSpot software-as-a-service edition for the Google Cloud Platform is now available. In addition to taking advantage of the natively developed capabilities of ThoughtSpot on GCP, customers can purchase ThoughtSpot with Google credits through the Google Marketplace.

ThoughtSpot’s new Data Modeling Studio, an addition to the company’s Data Workspace, is a visual model builder for creating custom, trusted analytical data models. Other new capabilities include integration with data catalogs such as Alation and Collibra, synchronization with data models built in dbt, and integration with Google Cloud’s Looker Semantic Model and Looker Modeler.

Also new are live query database connectors for Amazon RDS for PostgreSQL, Amazon Aurora for PostgreSQL, Microsoft SQL Server and a universal JDBC connector. And ThoughtSpot is unveiling new software that integrates the company’s data analytics capabilities with Slack, Microsoft Excel and Google Workspace.