Yellowfin Business Intelligence

Yellowfin's CEO Interview With BBBT's, Claudia Imhoff


Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 08/30/2012 --Global Business Intelligence (BI) vendor, Yellowfin, has won acclaim and commendation from leading independent BI analysts, Claudia Imhoff, in a one-on-one interview developed as part of a Boulder BI Brain Trust (BBBT) briefing.

The BBBT is a BI forum based in Denver, Colorado. The BBBT is a gathering of leading BI analysts, experts and practitioners, who participate in regular half-day briefings with ‘interesting and innovative BI vendors’.

Imhoff – BBBT host and Present & Founder of Intelligence Solutions (the company responsible for coordinating the BBBT and producing its events) – applauded Yellowfin’s continued commitment to consumerizing its BI platform, and making it as accessible as possible to a wider business-user-oriented audience, by developing its pricing model and Collaborative BI functionality.

Imhoff: Pricing model “leaves me speechless”

Imhoff stated her admiration for Yellowfin’s new business model, which has seen the vendor significantly reduce its price point to $1000 per user per year, introduce a $3000 per year five-user starter pack, and simplify its licensing model to include one access-all-areas user type.

“@YellowfinBI has changed its pricing to $3000 a year for 5 user entry points! Wow!!” tweeted Imhoff on the associated Twitter stream under the hash tag #BBBT during Rabie’s group BBBT presentation earlier that day.

Yellowfin’s new pricing model is designed to make BI more accessible to a wider range of companies and make large deployments and widespread user adoption a reality, rather than a catch cry.

Rabie also said, in the subsequent one-on-one interview with Imhoff, that the pricing restructure was part of Yellowfin’s mission to help its customers “fall in love with Yellowfin”.

Access the podcast of that interview

“And I think you’ve done some things to help your customers love you,” said Imhoff. “One of those is your pricing model… it’s stunning to say the least – it leaves me speechless.”

On Mobile BI driving Collaborative BI

Rabie said that Yellowfin’s unique approach to Mobile BI was driven by its desire to make BI a more collaborative experience to boost the decision-making process.

Rabie: “When we developed our mobile [BI capabilities], and particularly our iPad application, we actually threw away people’s existing perceptions about what BI was – it was all about a different way of experiencing the information [as opposed to the information itself].”

Imhoff: “Which by the way, I think is brilliant,” responded Imhoff. “There are so many BI companies that just repurpose their dashboard for a mobile device, and that isn’t right, it requires a completely different form factor.”

Rabie: “Yeah, people want to get it [the BI content] differently and use it or interact with it differently, so that was the first thing we did – we took it [the BI content] away from being just a dashboard, and turned it into an informational experience that allowed people to find and report the information they want very, very quickly,” said Rabie.

“And then in doing that and watching people use it, we found them doing these weird gymnastics on how they were going to share the information with others. They were like, ‘now I’ll take a screenshot, and email it, then I’ll pick it up from there’. And we were just looking at that, and thought that that was just a really painful experience for the end-user. And then when we looked at the browser model, we found that collaboration already kind of existed because people we used to cutting and pasting and doing all that stuff. Whereas on an iPad, you can’t cut and paste imagery and all those sorts of things easily, but it is an inherently collaborative device – people want to collaborative more in this environment.

“So we developed components specifically for mobile. Our inbox is a good example of that, which allows people to very quickly see what’s changed with any of their reports and reporting environment.”

Collaborative BI at the center of Yellowfin’s BI platform

Imhoff: “You’ve put a great deal of focus on Collaborative BI,” said Imhoff.

“One of the things that Colin [White – a fellow BI analyst] and I have focused on in the last six months is in fact Collaborative BI, and we have a repot that will come out soon on that, and we looked at it [Collaborative BI] as having three components.

“The first one was collaborative interaction – you want to be able to send out and show reports and get them back with comments and so on.

“The second one is the information enhancement, so not only do I want to share things with you, but I want to be able to add my comments to it, or add links to other information, or explanations as to why something is trending upward or down. That is, understanding why information is changing, and what it actually means. So it’s this idea of enhancing the information by adding peoples’ expertise along with the analytic result.

“The third one is the collaborative decision-making. So we’d like to not only be able to share the information with people and comment on it, but when we make a decision based off these assets, we can track and figure out what decision was made, and then maybe even analyze that later, to say was it a good decision or a bad decision. And, if it was bad, why?

“So, you [Yellowfin] have kind of taken all that to heart – thank you very much first of all – and built features inside Yellowfin that support these three collaborative components.”

A whirlwind year

Imhoff: “I think your customers are starting to love you,” said Imhoff. “Over the past year you’ve had some fairly significant activities, some pretty major deals I would say, and you’ve also gotten some pretty impressive awards.”

Rabie: “We’ve won some great awards for 2012,” responded Rabie. “We were ranked equal number one in Howard Dresner’s Wisdom of Crowds Study, which again for us was important because it’s based on an end-user survey – so it reflects the experience that our customers are having, and that’s really critical to us. We care about what their experience is and really focus on that.

“We’ve been in Gartner’s Who’s Who of Mobile BI and were number two in Dresner’s Mobile BI study as well – so we’re starting to get people seeing what we’re doing, seeing how we’re different, and seeing what a great platform Yellowfin is for the market that we address.”

Yellowfin has also won a Stevie® Award this month (August 2012) for its BI solution in the Business Applications category at the 10th Annual International Business Awards (IBA). IBAs are the world’s premier business awards program and recognize the outstanding achievements of organizations and individuals within the global business community. The Business Applications category recognized excellence in apps produced for a business or government audience, issued or updated since 1 January 2011.

For more details

Three of Yellowfin’s customers – Voyager Travel, Clever Devices and Macquarie University – have also won significant awards for their respective uses of Yellowfin in the last nine months.

Yellowfin’s consumer-oriented approach to BI has also enabled the vendor to win a number of landmark business deals this year.

“A 600,000 user deal with a telco back in Australia that actually allows its customers to track the efficacy of their telco spend [was a major win for us],” said Rabie.

“The other one that was really interesting was an iPad only deal which we did in Japan that was 20,000 users, which I believe to be the world’s largest iPad only deal to date. And the satisfying thing is that we went up against everyone [all the globe’s prominent BI vendors].

“And what was also really great for us, we won this deal because people are recognizing the value of our product in terms of pricing, but also the features it offers. The Japanese market is an incredibly tough market, and so, to win that kind of deal there, really speaks to our unique approach to Mobile BI.”

Yellowfin: Taking its customers on a journey

Imhoff also pointed to Yellowfin’s fast release cycle – encompassing two major releases per year (May and November) – as a strong differentiator compared to other BI vendors.

“It’s a good cycle,” said Rabie. “We’re continually trying to improve and take our customers on a little journey, as opposed to a big journey. We don’t’ want them to have to wait two or three years for a major release and have a heart attack because everything changes. We want them to have incremental changes continuously, so that they can grow with the product.”

About Yellowfin
Yellowfin is a global Business Intelligence (BI) software vendor passionate about making BI easy. Yellowfin is headquartered and developed in Melbourne, Australia, offering a highly intuitive 100 percent Web-based reporting and analytics solution. Founded in 2003 in response to the complexity and costs associated with implementing and using traditional BI tools, Yellowfin is a leader in mobile, collaborative and embeddable BI as well as Location Intelligence and data visualization. For more information, visit

About BBBT
The Boulder BI Brain Trust (BBBT) is a BI forum based in Denver, Colorado. The BBBT is a gathering of leading BI analysts and experts, who participate in regular briefings with ‘interesting and innovative BI vendors’.

The BBBT was established to keep industry analysts abreast of new trends, emerging organizations and technologies in the BI marketplace, and is produced by Intelligence Solutions and sponsored by The BeyeNETWORK. For more information, visit