A new take on cloud data exploration: Fast, iterative, and complete

By Berit Hoffmann - February 23, 2021

We started Sisu to help companies bridge the gap between their data and its use in everyday decision-making. Over the past year, we’ve seen data teams at companies like Samsung, Gusto, and Mejuri use Sisu to transform the way they connect their data to the decision-making process. They’re using Sisu for rapid data exploration, diagnosing every trend, dimension, and change in their data to efficiently identify what’s actually impacting business performance.

Throughout this journey, we’ve spoken with dozens of top-tier data teams and hundreds of analysts about how they leverage their data to answer questions and influence decisions. And through those conversations we’ve heard a single theme loud and clear: despite continued investments in cloud infrastructure and the modern data stack, it’s still too slow and too difficult to identify which dimensions in the data really matter.

“There are so many ways to cut the data. It’s hard to know where to start and how to prioritize.”

Today, we’re unveiling a completely redesigned Sisu, purpose-built to accelerate data analysis and decision-making. It’s the fastest way for teams to do comprehensive data exploration, enabling quick iteration and rapid drill down into highly dimensional data. We’ve also added new ways to empower your data-savvy business partners to answer their own questions about what’s actually driving metric performance.

The result? With Sisu, analysts can almost instantly focus their attention on the factors that matter and deliver timely, confident recommendations.

A great example of the dilemma analysts face today comes from a conversation we had with Jasmine Motupalli, Director of Customer Experience Data & Insights at Gusto. Her team is responsible for monitoring and diagnosing over 70 leading customer satisfaction and retention metrics. Behind those KPIs sits data from over 100,000 businesses, amounting to hundreds of individual dimensions and tens of millions of combinations that could explain metric performance at any given time.

That’s too much ground to cover with legacy BI tools or manual investigations in SQL, Python or Excel. “We needed to immediately identify which customers were highest risk,” noted Jasmine. “In these situations, we needed to deliver same-day answers, but manual data exploration could take a week. Just figuring out where to start was a huge challenge.”

“Now, instead of being reactive, our team guides the conversation as an opinionated expert,” says Jasmine. Sisu helps her team immediately identify specific attributes and behaviors that impact customer health, and quickly recommend actions to improve the overall Customer Experience.

Our customers are already moving faster with the new design, and it’s inspiring to see how the new Sisu is helping them move their companies forward.

A new metrics-first approach to data exploration

Anyone who has worked with data knows the pain of diagnosing a changing metric. It’s a labor-intensive, often never-ending process of manually slicing and dicing the data in the hopes of finding something useful.

Sisu’s new metrics-first interface improves the way data teams investigate changing KPIs (and empower others to do the same). To start, analysts can now create a common definition for every metric the company tracks – building around a central, shared repository that ensures consistency across the org. Then, with the power to analyze billions of possibilities in seconds, Sisu rapidly surfaces the highest-impact subpopulations in the data and their effect on the metric.

image showing data exploration for highest impact subpopulations

By checking every possible combination of dimensions in the data, Sisu gives you the full picture of a metric quickly and the confidence you’re not missing something.

Get deeper than your dashboards with faster drill down

Just as important as knowing where to start with a diagnosis is quickly getting to the next level of detail. Great analysts ask multiple questions of their data and iterate efficiently to get to actionable takeaways.

Unfortunately, many analysts are stuck fighting cumbersome tools that weren’t built for iterative exploration. Sisu now streamlines the process of digging into these top drivers, tracking changes over time and comparing specific group performance. The new design affords a faster, more iterative process to look at a metric from multiple perspectives, without losing context.

New filtering tools also accelerate your path to an answer, giving multiple ways to zero in on the most significant facts and factors.

image showing new filtering tools for faster data exploration

Empower your business partners to ask and answer their own follow-up questions

Finally, we consistently heard from analysts that it’s not just manual data exploration that slows them down. It’s also time-consuming for them to field the endless stream of follow-up questions that inevitably arise after an initial exploration.

To that end, we made it easy and intuitive for anyone to adjust the parameters of an analysis and explore new angles on their own. Even without SQL knowledge, now every member of the team has the power to kick off additional analyses, adjust time comparison windows, and define groups.

Find answers faster, and drive better decisions

No matter what question you’re trying to answer in the data, you need answers in minutes or hours, not days or weeks. To paraphrase one of the analysts we spoke with, “if you make the decision too late, the analysis is worthless.”

It’s our goal to help data teams accelerate data exploration, know they’re not missing key insights in their highly-dimensional data, and make confident recommendations to the business. With this new design, we’re making it quick and easy to find the answers you need to drive the business forward.

For more details on the thinking and design behind the new experience, sign up for our Product Webinar on March 3rd and see how fast data exploration can be.

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