Business intelligence blog

    Phocas BI vs Sisense review (based on ratings in BARC's The BI Survey 17)

    In 2017, 3,066 people responded to the largest and most comprehensive survey of business intelligence users. The study, conducted by BARC Research, compared 42 different BI solutions across 29 key performance indicators (KPIs). In this blog, we discuss Phocas BI vs Sisense.

    Among the many BI solutions that Phocas is compared to head-to-head in competitive situations is Sisense. This Tel Aviv-based software company was founded in 2004 and is frequently ranked among the top BI software vendors on the market. It was also included in BARC’s The BI Survey 2017, which compared 42 different vendors across 29 KPIs.

    The survey was completed by 3,066 BI software users who ranked their most frequently used BI software. When the dust settled, Phocas ranked as the top software in 24 different categories, and as a leader in 22 others. Compared with Sisense, Phocas outperformed the intelligence application in multiple KPIs, scoring more than twice as high in Product Satisfaction, Self-Service and Mobile BI while also outpacing Sisense in Project Success, Price to Value and Business Benefits and several other categories. In this blog we will focus on the head-to-head comparisons for two KPIs that reflect value to the business, as well as a KPI that addresses the value that customers get for the price they pay.


    KPI 1 - Business benefits

    As BARC suggests, “Every BI project should be conceived with the idea of bringing value to the business,” which makes the aggregate of three KPIs, Business Benefits, Project Success and Project Length, “possibly the most important KPI of all.” In terms of the Business Value, Phocas finished as the Top Ranked vendor in three peer groups; Americas-focused vendors, Data discovery-focused products and self-service reporting focused products. This is the second year in a row that Phocas has placed in the top position of the Business Value KPI, which is “representative of a BI company’s ability to consistently provide quick implementations and a wide range of business benefits.”

    The three KPIs that make up the Business Value are Business Benefit, Project Success and Project Length. Business Benefits is based on the achievement level of a variety of business benefits. In 2017, Phocas users gave Phocas BI a perfect score of 10, while Sisense received a 7.8. Among the many benefits evaluated by users included:

    • Better business decisions
    • Faster reporting, analysis or planning
    • Improve data quality
    • More accurate reporting, analysis or planning
    • Improved operational efficiency

    Phocas has traditionally performed well in the Business Benefits KPI, which BARC attributes to a consistency of a “robust and mature platform and years of experience in particular industries.”

    Robert Wright, Senior application developer/analyst, for Behler-Young, said, “Because of Phocas, we are starting to see a culture shift where our decision-making processes are becoming more data-driven. This is a big benefit to our company.” 

    In addition to sales and marketing data, Behler-Young has integrated its inventory databases to make inventory management more transparent across the organization. Sales and product managers produce monthly reports for the executive team, while company’s management team and branch leadership use Phocas to monitor company goals, customer activity and product performance. Behler-Young has also loaded budgets into Phocas to compare with progress. People are seeing things that they would not have expected to see while commonly held beliefs about performance are now debunked by the data.

    KPI 2 - Project success

    Like the Business Benefit KPI, Phocas outperformed Sisense in another Business Value KPI, Project Success. Phocas users gave Phocas a perfect 10 in this category while Sisense customers gave Sisense a 7.2. The Project Success KPI is based on a combination of three measures: the level of satisfaction with implementation among general and administrative users, and the frequency that projects are completed on time and on budget. This is important according to BARC “because the initial success of a BI project can have a great bearing on the business benefits achieved over time.” Our customers awarded us a perfect score in this category because they are able to complete projects on time and on budget. Much of the love we receive from customers around project success can be attributed to the fact that we built Phocas to be used by users of all skill levels. We make it simple for anyone with the need to extract value from raw data to do so quickly and easily.

    KPI 3 - Price to value

    Phocas also outperformed Sisense in the Price to Value KPI, scoring a 9.9 compared to a 7.6. According to BARC, “the value customers receive from Phocas can be seen through the performance in the Business value KPI, which Phocas excels in.

    When asked if Phocas has earned its keep, Chief Operating Officer of ALP Lighting, David Brown said, “Absolutely! Phocas is tremendous value, and provides an excellent return on investment. Of all the tools we evaluated, Phocas was the most reasonably priced and its ease of use makes it incredibly effective. This will be by far the easiest to implement, most usable business intelligence system you will find. Phocas is Business intelligence that you can actually use.”

    In addition, Brown added, “The information that we get from Phocas allows us to make better business decisions. In fact, Phocas information is a staple in all of our meetings.

    Our customer repeatedly tell us that they are have the data they need to make intelligent business decisions, as well as more access to more accurate reporting to help uncover trends and find new business opportunities.  As BARC concluded in its analysis of Phocas performance for this KPI, “For Phocas customers, the value received far outweighs the price.”

    These are just a few of the KPIs that Phocas scored higher than Sisense. For additional head-to-head KPI analysis, download our highlights report. 



    Written by Phocas Software
    Successful Business Intelligence - Phocas Software
    Successful Business Intelligence - Phocas Software

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