Sensational claims, frustrations, difficult questions, bizarre behavior and drama, it’s all coming up on this week’s episode of The Buyer. To recap our last episode, a bevy of more than twenty-five visual analytics vendors whirled into the mansion to try to sweep our Buyer off his feet. While Amazon QuickSight and Birst appeared light headed from too much champagne, numerous vendors watched longingly as the coveted first impression rose was given to endearing Salesforce Wave Analytics. By the end of the evening it was clear finding the “perfect match” for our Buyer was not going to be easy.

First Group Date – The Demo

To get the journey started, our Buyer invites the vendors to partake in a little song and dance…the demo. As the date card is read aloud, we see the vendors anxiously look around. Who was not called? Who gets the first one-on-one dates aka proof-of-concept? Looks like it might be Clearstory and Klipfolio.

We watch as our vendors diligently take notes while listening to the following list.

Visual Analytics Demo Requirements

  1. Directly connect to several different data source types
    without copying data into a proprietary format
  2. Cleanse, join/blend and prepare data including calculated column
  3. Add field level descriptive metadata
  4. Automatically find key insights and recommendations
  5. Use natural language search to analyze data
  6. Create a basic and advanced calculation
  7. Create a drill-down hierarchy
  8. Create at least four visualizations including a time series and
    world map with drill-downs to street address level
  9. Contextually filter specific visualizations
  10. Add calendar controls, sliders, drop-down and radio filters
  11. Add a dynamic date variable filter like previous or next week, month, year
  12. Add annotations to describe current context
  13. Add a forecast on the time series visualization
  14. Develop a predictive model, evaluate it and use it in a visualization
  15. Develop a what-if model
  16. Define a threshold-based alert on a visualization
  17. Create a storyboard for data storytelling
  18. Publish and share content for group collaboration
  19. View published content on desktop and mobile device
  20. Create a customized email subscription
  21. Embed published content in an app
  22. Export published content and data to Excel or Google Sheets
  23. Show administration permissions, usage reporting, lineage and versioning
  24. Add governance and security controls to disable content and data export
  25. Show your best, most impactful or unique feature – pick one!

After hearing the expectations, our vendors scurry to prepare. Adding further to the pressure, our Buyer shares a link to download the modern analytics evaluation guide that he will be referencing to find his perfect match.

Evaluation Guide: How to choose the right modern BI & analytics platform

Although he is open minded to a cloud or hybrid solution, most of his data resides on-premises today. He needs a partner for the long run but he also has high expectations for the right here, right now.

One by one the vendors proceed to try and outshine one another on stage. During the demo process we see and hear a variety of sales pitches ranging from low cost to outrageous we can do everything and anything. Our Buyer reminds everyone to have fun with it but please follow the script. He needs to “see it to believe it” – infamously quoting Qlik. The vendors…they do not cooperate. Take a peek at what they showcased.

Amazon QuickSight



Dundas BI

IBM Watson


Pyramid Analytics

Salesforce Wave Analytics

SAS Visual Analytics



TIBCO Spotfire


SAP Cloud


After an entertaining day away with the vendors, evening sets in. We transition back to join the rest of the group at the mansion. One after another we see vendors pulling our Buyer away and constantly interrupting conversations from other vendors. No one is getting much time with him except DOMO who is extraordinarily persistent. She craves being the center of attention.

Later on the night gets intense between cloud and on-premises vendors. Heated arguments of data privacy, control and potential deal blocker legislation raises difficult questions. To lighten up the mood, ThoughtSpot once again starts singing a tune. This time she bursts out with RuPaul – Supermodel (You Better Work) and struts around the pool, then strikes a pose. Several other vendors toast her and join in on the ridiculousness.

Excel Crashes the Party

As if the night was not already melodramatic, our Buyer and vendors alike are stunned when a visibly shaken Excel walks in. She wastes no time confronting our Buyer firing off question after question.


“When were you going to tell me?” Excel firmly asks him. “All of these years together and now this…this is how I find out you are leaving me.” She goes on to say, “I have done so much for you. I helped you get through school. I clean, pivot and summarize your data. I perform complex calculations and scenarios with your data. I have transformed myself to accommodate a zillion of your extreme reporting display requirements.” She takes a deep breath. We see tears stream down her face from her gorgeous green eyes. “I have beautiful interactive charts too.” “You have always taken me for granted.”

The Buyer gently takes Excel’s hand. Everyone waits in total silence for him to speak. What will he say? The mutual affection is blatantly obvious. Does he still love her? What will she do? How will the vendors react? So many questions…

To Be Continued

Next week on The Buyer, viewers finally find out the conclusion to the Excel dilemma and the end result of our Buyer’s journey to find his perfect visual analytics match. Don’t miss out on the most shocking, thrilling, greatest The Buyer season finale ever.