2020.13 Release Highlights

We’re pleased to introduce the next version of Pyramid Analytics. 2020.13 adds some significant enhancements to Pyramid’s trusted analytics platform. While this release delivers an impressive payload of new features, the upgrades to Pyramid's “smart” analytics capabilities do a lot to move the proverbial “needle.”

So let’s start there.

Smart “AI” capabilities

We’ve seen the appetite for data and analytics often outstrips many users’ raw technical ability. The result is that BI applications often fail to take root within many organizations.

Recognizing that democratizing access to analytics is a crucial goal, many vendors have added augmented capabilities to their analytics platforms to bring more people under the “big analytics tent.” Still other BI vendors have built their entire platform around a single “search bar.”

From our perspective, these augmented capabilities are insufficient on their own. In many cases, the “cool” features look good from far, but are far from good. Too often they work on myopic definitions of data and analysis; they are trained to handle vanilla data sets; or worse, they can only operate on the underlying proprietary data technology (which of course costs a fortune to operate). In some situations, there is a belief that a few features are enough to cover the entire breadth and depth of analytic functionality demanded by users. In short, the hype usually far exceeds the reality—both in function and performance.

Pyramid’s approach is markedly different. We fundamentally believe that analytics only has value when it can be performed against any data—that is the very foundation of trust. Our guiding philosophy has always been that analytics should find the middle path between self-service capabilities and centralized governance. A balanced approach can deliver enterprise analytics at scale and create a thriving analytics culture.

In the 2020.13 release we’ve significantly upgraded our “AI” capabilities that truly deliver on the promise of real-world augmented analytics while keeping in line with our foundational principles.

Natural Language Query (NLQ) Chat Bot

Chat bot functionality has become ubiquitous—for good reason. Using chat bots, regular business users can get what they need from software applications and webpages without human intervention. Pyramid’s NLQ Chat Bot, which is an extension of its existing NLQ tools, not only enhances the user experience with intuitive AI-driven capabilities, it also significantly reduces the time it takes users to explore trusted business data.

Simply put, the latest incarnation of our NLQ Chat Bot is a gamechanger. Available in both the Discover and Present app, the Chat Bot gives business users an intuitive, flexible mechanism to interact with and refine existing content in real-time or author brand new content. The Chat Bot lets users interact with data using standard English, facilitating—and encouraging—spontaneous data exploration and allowing users to explore their data quickly and fluidly. Most importantly, the Chat Bot works on any data source directly. See the detailed use case here.

 
Smart Insights

In addition to the Chat Bot, Pyramid 2020.13 adds the next iteration of automated text-based analysis. We call it “Smart Insights”, which delivers impactful narrative-style analysis driven from a powerful AI engine. Smart Insights takes data and visualizations and automatically generates descriptive text with commentary in plain language that anyone can understand.

This powerful tool takes the data in a selected visual and transforms it into easy-to-read analysis, pointing the user toward valuable insights about the data—highlighting basic facts and figures; driving statistical analyses (like pareto, relationships, and trends); and appending advanced analytical methods (like outlier analysis and forecasts).

Again, unlike many other NLG solutions, Pyramid’s Smart Insights work on any supported data source, and is not constrained to Pyramid’s own data engine. In short, Smart Insights delivers augmented analytics on trusted data. Read about our detailed use case here.

Pyramid on Kubernetes

Next up is Kubernetes. A major upgraded release preview of the containerized version of Pyramid using Kubernetes is now available. Pyramid’s Kubernetes “installation” uses Docker containers deployed by Pyramid and hosted on Docker’s public repository.

Pyramid features a cluster architecture that’s designed as a set of services across one or more machines to scale as needs increase. Since Pyramid has a multi-tiered service architecture, its services fit into containers that can be scaled horizontally and vertically to meet the expanding (and shrinking) demands of an analytics deployment in a Kubernetes deployment.

This is great news for organizations that are committed to the cloud or hybrid strategies because it gives them a means to easily deploy and scale Pyramid from their preferred cloud. The Kubernetes deployment can be deployed into any standard Kubernetes hosting environment—including those hosted by AWS, Azure, Google (GCP), Oracle, IBM, and Alibaba.

Kubernetes deployments are also suitable for on-premises environments, so this gives IT incredible administrative flexibility, regardless of their enterprise data strategy. Containers, in general, are essential to deploying and maintaining secure and reliable IT architecture. They let IT manage infrastructure with predictable, repeatable, and faster development and deployments. Through auto-scaling options, they are also a key to a super-efficient use of cloud resources—enabling the system to shrink and grow based on resource demand.

Pyramid as a data source

With Pyramid 2020.13, we’ve introduced new features that greatly enhance your ability to integrate with other applications. It reaffirms our commitment to flexibility: by giving you options to turn Pyramid into a data source with other applications through OData, we’re providing additional integration capabilities across your entire analytics ecosystem.

The OData feed function allows users to read data sets from Pyramid into another technology that consumes data. This, in effect, turns Pyramid into a data source.

The effect is to be able exploit Pyramid’s leading approach to governance—centralizing data queries, calculation logic, data security, and access in Pyramid—while still being able to access the results of such queries in other downstream applications.

Other enhancements

Every release includes a huge list of new enhancements and visualization capabilities. Pyramid 2020.13 is no exception. The release includes upgrades across all the application’s modules and includes tools for report subscriptions—and much more.

Onward and upward

That’s just a quick look at all the new capabilities in 2020.13. In total, we’ve packed in more than 50 new enterprise-grade features and capabilities. Just like every release, customer feedback is a significant driver of our development efforts. Please visit our Product Ideas page in the forum to provide your thoughts on where we go next.