Business intelligence blog

    Phocas vs. Sisense (visual BI solutions comparison)

    Phocas and Sisense are vastly different products. A quick look at how each is positioned, and it’s clear that despite the fact they are often compared side-by-side, Sisense and Phocas are not interested in reaching the same customers. Phocas is a solution for all businesspeople, regardless of their tech skill, who want to automate data analysis. Sisense describes itself as the “only independent analytics platform for builders today” and is looking for power users. This blog compares how the two visual BI solutions provide business people access to data and how users rate the experience.

    To find out more ways that Phocas is different than Sisense, one needs to look no further than BARC Research’s annual survey of BI software users. BARC’s The BI Survey 2019 is the world’s largest survey of its kind. More than 3,000 people responded to a detailed questionnaire, evaluating 36 BI products across 34 Key Performance indicators (KPIs). Phocas and Sisense were compared in three peer groups, including Americas-focused vendors and data-discovery focused products. In total, there are 26 categories where the brands were compared side-by-side.

    In this blog post, we will focus on three KPIs that help to further distinguish the value of Phocas compared with Sisense. These KPIs are Project Success, Self Service and Product Satisfaction.

    For more information about how Phocas and Sisense compare across all 26 categories, click on the report here.

    Project success: Phocas vs. Sisense visual BI solution comparison

    This KPI is based on the implementation satisfaction level and the frequency of project completed on time and on budget. This is the third year in a row that Phocas was the top-ranked software vendor in this category across all three peer groups. Phocas users awarded the BI software a perfect 10 while Sisense users gave their software a 7.2. In 2018, Phocas and Sisense were also separated by the same scores.

    The implementation process and the number of completed projects on time and on budget are often when companies find out how accurate the salespeople were when they gave their sales pitch. When these areas of the relationship with the vendor and its software go poorly or performance is below expectations, it can lead to less confidence in the product going forward.

    BARC wrote, Phocas customers are “particularly satisfied with the implementation of technical and business aspects of the software, as well as the frequency with which projects are completed within budget.”

    This KPI helps explain why adoption of Phocas BI spreads throughout customers’ companies. Phocas users become fans of the software early on and have great experiences time after time with the ability to use data to make critical business decisions.

    Self-service: Phocas vs. Sisense visual BI solution comparison

    Gartner defines self-service BI as “end users designing and deploying their own reports and analyses within an approved and supported architecture and tools portfolio.” The ability for users to access and analyze data how and when they want to is becoming increasingly more important. In the past, BI was typically assigned to the IT department, often requiring expert training and extensive time and resources to meet the reporting demands of team members. Today, users across all departments need to be able to manipulate data and produce their own reports to analyze data that is relevant to their roles and areas of the business.

    Despite claiming that it is a self-service BI tool, Sisense users have traditionally given the software low scores. For this KPI, Phocas received a 7.0 while Sisense scored a 3.5, well below the peer group average of 5.1. BARC wrote, “Phocas enables non-technical users to view and build dashboards, and to work in a tabular representation when more detail and analytical capability is required.” Phocas is a leader in self-service because of its flexibility and agility, which allow users of all technical skill levels to feel comfortable with the solution.

    Baylis & Harding, a wholesale distributor based in the UK, found that Phocas gave users in sales, customer service and commercial operation a great deal of flexibility in creating reports and dashboards that allow managers and executives to see important information and key performance indicators (KPIs) at a glance.

    With this information, the company has gained considerable visibility into its business performance.

    Andy Taylor, IT Manager for Baylis & Harding, said “It allows us to be proactive and influence the business rather than having to react after the fact when it’s too late.”

    Product satisfaction: Phocas vs. Sisense visual BI solution comparison

    This KPI is based on the frequency of problems encountered by people when they use their BI software solution. In 2018, Phocas was the top-ranked vendor in the data discovery-focused products peer group, and a leader in the Americas-focused vendors and self-service reporting-focused products groups, receiving a score of 9.5. Sisense scored 2.2 in 2018.

    Fast forward to The BI Survey 2019, and Phocas continued to climb finishing as the top-ranked BI software product in all three peer groups. Phocas users gave the BI software a perfect 10 with 81 percent of them indicating they “have no significant problems with the product.” Sisense once again struggled in this KPI as its users gave the software tool a score of 1.8.

    When the team at United Electric decided to search for a BI software tool, they wanted to solve two business issues. The first was the slow, laborious process of preparing reporting and analysis for key business meetings. The second was that the reports weren’t delivering what the business needed. Phocas gave the company a demo and allowed users to play around with the software for a few days.

    Director of Organizational Improvement Rich Chadwick reported, “[Our staff] came back shortly afterwards and said they were amazed with what kind of info they could get and how easy and quickly they could get it. Perhaps the most outstanding thing is that we are able to get IMMEDIATE answers.”

    BARC commented, “Phocas tops all its peer groups for the ‘Product Satisfaction KPI, proving the product’s stability, maturity, and well-conceived design. While customers have different expectations of the availability and reliability of their BI product, these outstanding results show that Phocas customers are very satisfied with the product.”

    To look at how all 36 visual BI solutions compare in the BARC the BI Survey 2019, click here on the button below.

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