Your boss comes to you at the end of the day and wants you to create an analytic web application for inventory management. Your first instinct is probably to get down to business coding. First, you create a sketch board, go through the UX and UI, review all the specifications, start development, QA, develop some more, and then QA some more…you know the drill.
What if I told you that you could do all of that in less than 10 minutes instead?
At Sisense Labs, we’re driven by how people will consume data in the future. So, over the past year, we have been creating a framework for developers to create their own analytics and BI applications – packaged BI capabilities for specific needs – that can be placed anywhere. We call it Sisense BloX.
Loops = Value
The idea for Sisense BloX comes as the next step in our journey to embed analytics everywhere. The idea was inspired by this piece on The Upshot, which gave us our “Eureka! moment” to give interactive functionality to our customers wherever and however they need it. Back in November 2017, I presented the idea internally here at Sisense as “Loops = Value.”
Here’s my original slide:
The slide may be pretty bare bones, but the idea was there: data allows you to create applications, applications allow you to take concrete actions, and these actions allow you to create more data. The benefit of higher user engagement with the ease of use to support and deploy in a low-code development environment enables companies to become more data-driven by tying business action with their data. As such, they can speed the monetization of their data investments.
So what is Sisense BloX?
Sisense BloX makes it easier than ever to create custom actionable analytic applications from complex data by leveraging powerful prebuilt templates to integrate application-like functionality into dashboards.
Sisense BloX is the next evolution of our Sisense Everywhere initiative in which we unveiled integrations with products like the Amazon Echo and a smart bulb. It’s another step in Sisense Lab’s pursuit of democratizing the BI world and increasing the value of data for everyone. With Sisense BloX, we transform the world of analytics into an open platform that customizes business applications in order to be more efficient with the way that we interact with our data.
Let’s break that down step by step.
First, the Sisense BloX framework includes a robust library of templates to ensure that you can get started quickly by adding new visualization options or integration points with other applications. That tedious development cycle we mentioned earlier is a thing of the past.
Then, because we live in a world where customization is key, you can customize the code of your analytics app using both HTML and JSON. Essentially, what this means is you can take code from anywhere on the web (like, this) and simply add it to a BloX application. This helps non-developers create applications they only dreamed about before and gives developers the UX layer for their BI.
And, finally, the Sisense BloX framework includes an easy-to-use interface to expose and access many API capabilities directly in the Sisense UI using standard CSS and JSON. What we’ve done is create a low-code environment that makes these APIs accessible to a much wider range of developers and even to non-developers. You can integrate whatever action you want right into your dashboards. Anyone can create an actual BI application using this new UX layer.
Sisense BloX is currently available as a plugin in Sisense Marketplace but make no mistake, the vision is clear—soon every developer will be able to connect data with actions by using a simple coding framework and add buttons, interactivity, animation, and just about anything HTML will allow.
The Future Belongs to Action
Interacting with data is complex. With unlimited use cases and ways to use data, ensuring we provide the right analytical solution in the right scenario is critical. Sisense BloX will integrate BI with UX together in one platform, creating BI apps of all shapes and sizes.
Sisense BloX empowers the data application designers to create business applications with actions wrapped in one container, which create a narrative and have a deeper impact on the organization’s business offering. With Sisense BloX the paradigm shifts from dashboard designers to analytic applications builders and makers. Maybe you want to create a calculator, a slider, or a form that connects and writes back to Salesforce. Sisense BloX allows for this and much more.
I’m excited to introduce Sisense BloX to the world.