New ThoughtSpot 5 Includes Voice-Driven SearchIQ Analytics

Businesses are used to asking the IT staff and data scientists to analyze customer data and generate a report. But with the latest version of analytics software ThoughtSpot, users have a new option: Simply ask the system via your computer or smartphone, in your own voice, for an analysis.


Among the many new features in ThoughtSpot 5 is a new voice-driven analytics engine called SearchIQ. The analytics software maker said the latest version, unveiled Nov. 14 at the company’s user conference, lets people use their own voice and “casual language” to ask the system to analyze data from customers and a wide range of other sources such as product sales, returns and human resources.

ThoughtSpot produces business-intelligence analytics search software. The company is based in Palo Alto, Calif., with additional offices in London and Seattle.

ThoughtSpot said it is using advances in machine learning, artificial intelligence and automation to offer a solution designed to help companies analyze the current state of their business but also predict what’s going to happen next.

“What we’re trying to do is solve the problem of data access from a human angle,” Ajeet Singh, co-founder and executive chairman of ThoughtSpot, told eWEEK. “An HR administrator is not going to know how to use data visualization tools and shouldn’t have to.”

Singh emphasized that ThoughtSpot 5 is a full-stack solution with a robust search engine at its core. The company has partnered on machine learning with Google and DataRobot and integrated with statistical software R to streamline data science workflows.

How ThoughtSpot Is Used

Singh gave a few examples of how ThoughtSpot 5 can be used, such as a retailer looking for markdown opportunities in different store locations or an HR person trying to understand where the most attrition is at the company and if it varies by location, age group or other criteria.

“You can be on your phone asking these questions and get results very fast,” Singh said. He said the company followed the LIMO model in its development where users do Less Input for More Output.

A recent Gartner survey of CIOs found that only 4 percent of organizations have already deployed conversational interfaces (including chatbots), but 38 percent of organizations are planning to implement or are actively experimenting with the technology.

While consumer voice-driven services like Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa have been out for years, they are still very niche in the enterprise. Among other announcements, Zoho introduced a voice-driven digital assistant for its customer relationship management (CRM) application earlier this year.

AI Pushes Relevant Insights

ThoughtSpot 5 includes several other new features in addition to SearchIQ voice.

The integration with R lets business users build predictive models and analysis as simply as one might type in a search query. The new version of ThoughtSpot also has an updated version of AI software SpotIQ that pushes relevant insights to users that go beyond their initial query without them having to ask. A new “Did You Know” page quickly surfaces relevant information that might otherwise be buried in the company database.

Someone might ask, “Show me the top products last month.” In addition to that specific result, ThoughtSpot 5 might also show high sales in a particular region or other relevant insights.

The system might also assume that by “top products” you mean by revenue, but it would also give you other options such as top products by gross margin.

In addition, ThoughtSpot said the new version sports Falcon, an in-memory calculation engine that is “the fastest analytics engine on the market.”

Ready for Google Cloud

The company announced a partnership with Google that includes being certified to run its in-memory calculation engine Falcon on the Google Cloud Platform. ThoughtSpot also announced new integrations with Google Cloud Machine Learning Engine designed to simplify machine learning and data science workflows. ThoughtSpot already had support for Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

Current ThoughtSpot customers now have access to ThoughtSpot 5, including SearchIQ in beta. The company said a full commercial release will be available in the first half of 2019. Singh said the product has been tested for almost a year and the beta—free to current customers—is ready to use in real-world scenarios.

David Needle

David Needle

Based in Silicon Valley, veteran technology reporter David Needle covers mobile, bi g data, and social media among other topics. He was formerly News Editor at Infoworld, Editor of Computer Currents...