Tabulate and Solve for Business and Decision Modeling
KEY PLAYERS INSIGHTS
Data Maturity and The Last Mile
In recent research, Gartner described the journey from Descriptive to Prescriptive Analytics as progressing along several dimensions, from human intelligence to machine intelligence, from manual to automated, and from Product-centric to Customer-centered. (Fig 1) The Pyramid Decision Intelligence Platform helps enterprises achieve their journey along all these dimensions. We would add two more dimensions: from code-only to low-code and no-code, from technical to non-technical.
The analytics world has seen a multitude of tools and platforms that answer the descriptive, diagnostic, and lately the predictive questions: “What happened?”, “Why did it happen?” & “What could happen?” But until now, business modeling has largely been the domain of spreadsheets, requiring data to be exported from governed platforms into desktop applications. Decision modeling (prescriptive analytics) has lived largely within disparate, disconnected platforms as a separate and often siloed discipline.
With the release of Tabulate and Solve, Pyramid has brought these capabilities directly into the analytics and decision intelligence platform; everyone now has access to sophisticated business and decision modeling without the headache of using other tools. Finally, users can complete the entire analytics maturity journey in a single platform, from data prep to data science to business analytics, and ultimately to faster, better decisions.
Fig. 1 Analytics Progression, Gartner June 2022
By delivering the new capabilities for business modeling (Tabulate) and decision modeling (Solve), Pyramid has closed the loop on the “last mile” analytics challenge, where users often export data to desktop tools for business modeling and prescriptive analysis. A recent survey discovered that 50% of data users using BI platforms export analytical data to spreadsheets more than 50% of the time. Exporting data out of analytics platforms to desktop tools breaks the connection to live data, creates a proliferation of static, un-versioned, and ungoverned analyses, and creates multiple versions of “the truth.” It becomes a silo epidemic and ushers in the dreaded “spreadsheet hell” phenomenon.
Data Factory for Decisions
One way to maintain continuity in the analytics lifecycle is to create a Data Factory for Decisions. Pyramid has done just that. The Pyramid Platform delivers a complete “Data Factory for Decisions” (Fig. 2) – a view of the end-to-end data ecosystem across the business. The data factory framework envisions the data journey as a closed-loop factory taking raw data from creation to the end-user decision point. Since Pyramid’s inception, our goal has been to ensure that any business user can ingest any data; fix it and clean it; enrich it with predictive models and values; embellish the data with logic; discover information from the data through visualization and interrogation; and share it with many downstream decision makers. With Tabulate and Solve, Pyramid has delivered critical pieces of the Data Factory for Decisions closing the loop on the full analytics lifecycle from descriptive to diagnostic, to predictive and finally prescriptive analysis.
Pyramid’s Tabulate app is designed for business modeling by business users through the familiar spreadsheet user interface paradigm. It delivers capabilities that operate with live data through query mashups, multi-query visualization, flexible formatting, and, most importantly, an entire library of Excel-like functions to create business models. These models can be embedded in presentations or shared via interactive dashboards and formatted reports–without needing to share the entire spreadsheet, its data, or logic. With Tabulate, Pyramid has resolved the “pragmatic” last-mile analytics challenge by enabling business modeling using the entire suite of spreadsheet formulas, query mashups, multi-query visualizations, and atomic grid formatting in a spreadsheet interface.
Business modeling uses spreadsheet-like software to make quantitative predictions based on a series of underlying business assumptions. Analysts build business models to create forecasts, projections, simulations, scenarios, trade-offs, and other analyses helping businesses improve performance, meet goals, and make decisions.
Users can hydrate models with live data wherever it resides—such as SAP BW, AWS Redshift, Snowflake, Microsoft Synapse, or Pyramid’s own in-memory engine. This content is dynamically embeddable in a live “Present” dashboard and sharable via report bursting from the “Publish” app. Apart from stemming the spreadsheet epidemic, end users no longer need to plow through the spreadsheet to surface the analysis buried inside !
We’ve also made accessing sophisticated business modeling easier for less technical users. Tabulate Lite provides a simplified approach to creating and using spreadsheet functionality inside the Pyramid Platform to build business models. It offers the same powerful functions for sophisticated business modeling but is delivered in a streamlined interface for ease of use by businesspeople and non-technical users. It is perfect for completing quick analyses.
Pyramid has extended Tabulate to include sophisticated decision modeling design and prescriptive analytics with its Solve plug-in. Solve is a powerful engine for decision modeling that can generate prescriptive and optimization solutions based on user-designed decision models built through a no-code/low-code paradigm in Tabulate. By leveraging the familiar formulaic and business modeling capabilities of Tabulate, users can build models with complex logic waterfalls, conditions, decision points, and optimization.
Solve closes the “strategic” last-mile analytics challenge, answering “What should I do?” questions and “What if?” simulations through a simple, powerful UI experience that can be embedded in a Present dashboard with fully hydrated, real-time data input. Solve can help drive decisions across a range of business use cases involving resource allocations, manufacturing production, financial planning, & analysis, retail operations, inventory management, procurement, staffing, and more.
Non-technical users can tap into the models with personalized data slices, calibrating real-time modeling calculations without ever touching the data sources or the underlying model logic. Users can consume and access machine-generated decisions and easily adjust the inputs to test various scenarios in those decisions using Pyramid’s ultra-powerful engine.
With Tabulate and Solve, enterprises can create and deploy sophisticated business and decision modeling alongside a vast array of toolsets for preparing data, building and deploying data science and machine learning, creating and using data visualizations, and other analytical processes—all directly on any data set. In doing so, it greatly enhances the decision intelligence capabilities of the platform bridging major gaps in “The Last Mile” of analytics.