Not everyone wants to be a data analyst: Rabie

When it comes to consuming business intelligence, Glen Rabie, CEO of BI and analytics software vendor Yellowfin, admitted he “got it wrong” when he co-founded the company back in 2003.

In an interview with CNet Japan (, Rabie said while the company is focused on enabling BI deployments today, by empowering business users from any background to independently consume reporting and analytics, that was not always the case.

“[In the beginning], I was thinking that everyone would want to be a data analyst, and that Yellowfin would enable that process,” said Rabie. “But in reality, only around five per cent of users will actually build content and conduct sophisticated data analysis in the majority of deployments – especially large implementations.  The other 95 per cent of people are information consumers, using the insights afforded by pre-built dashboards and reports to improve decision-making.”

Rabie said that while a restaurant chain might deploy a Mobile BI initiative, equipping its store managers with the information needed to monitor store performance and inventory requirements, it probably wouldn’t want its floor staff to spend time creating BI content or slicing and dicing data.

“You would want to deliver information in a way that store managers could understand and act on quickly, while minimising time spent on data analysis,” said Rabie.

Rabie also said that his decision to make Yellowfin 100 per cent Web-based from the outset was crucial for enabling mass deployments and a high level of scalability without affecting performance.