Our Worldview on Business Intelligence

Business intelligence as a field has been around for over 60 years, so clearly there are multiple approaches to building a BI tool.

Below is our biased worldview of how business intelligence should work. If you resonate with it, you are very likely to find Holistics suitable for you (and hopefully your company).

We’re about helping business users achieve self-service

Unlike other business intelligence tools, Holistics is obsessed with helping your organization achieve self-service.

Broadly speaking, there are two ways to scale a data team in order to meet the growing business intelligence needs of your company:

  1. You continually hire more data analysts to keep up with demand. Every request routes through a data analyst, and the bulk of the analyst’s job is to act as an English-to-SQL translator.
  2. You equip a small data team to empower the entire organization to get the data they need. Some complex queries continue to be handled by analysts, but the bulk of requests are self-served from some dashboard, report, or drag-and-drop interface.

We think the second option is the more scaleable solution of the two.

Holistics is built to help you achieve that second outcome, without giving up data security, data quality, or existing best practices around data modeling and tracking data lineage.

As a result of this obsession, our product focus, education materials, and customer support are aligned to help you achieve this business outcome, so that your business users are empowered to get the data they need, and your data teams can do more with less.

We’re about helping business users achieve self-service with great confidence

Traditional business intelligence tools allow you to build dashboards and charts via a point-and-click user interface. The experience is more or less similar across tools, and it should be enjoyable.

Until your team works on the same dashboard.

A colleague added extra logic to the current formula. Another removed a field that they think is unnecessary. Then another changed the default case-when condition.

One day, nobody was really sure why the dashboard was there in the first place. The point-and-click user interface does not help now.

Over time, your BI reporting system becomes this big chunk of spaghetti logic that nobody dares to touch. Even you can’t tell if the numbers are correctly calculated (a catastrophe if they are not!).

Soon, the business users lose trust in the dashboards you have put hours into preparing.

Does it have to be that way?
We don’t think so.

In recent years, the developer world has adopted a new best practice that solves the same problem in engineering. The idea is simple but genius: Configure your systems once, express it as code, store it in a version control system, then apply CI/CD workflows.

Holistics is built around the belief that the same practices of the developer world can be applied to business intelligence: Define your analytics and reporting logic as code, put them through a Git-based review process, make sure the automated tests pass, then deploy to production.

That way, you know exactly when, where and who made changes to your dashboard. Your analytics output is tightly controlled, and business users can consume the data with great confidence again.

After all, isn’t that why you adopted a BI tool in the first place?

If you’re aligned with our view and interested to learn more, check out our Product Docs. Once you’re ready, sign up for a trial, or book a demo call with us.