Apr 29 2014, 7:17am CDT | by Forbes
In a world awash with vendors talking about data analysis, there is something of a polarization going on between vendors. On the one hand you have big expensive analytics solutions from traditional vendors. These solutions tend to revolve around building data warehouses and combine the data-loading aspects of analysis alongside the query, computation and presentation layer.
Related to these traditional approaches we have vendors that aim to offload some of the heavy lifting involved in analytics. Amazon Web Services has two solutions at this lower level, Kinesis is its data ingestion offering while RedShift is its data warehousing solution. Moving these lower parts of the analysis stack to the cloud makes perfect sense – why store and crunch data in traditional infrastructures when commodity cloud vendors can do it for you?
This is the modus operandi of Tidemark, the business planning and analytics vendor that is today rolling out a new flavor of its software, and concurrently announcing a $32M funding round and a global expansion.
In terms of the expansion and funding news, Tidemark is reporting 300% revenue growth (though no actual dollar values) in fiscal year 2014. To continue to fuel the momentum, and in keeping with the theme of investing early for a high growth opportunity, Tidemark has secured a round of funding from SVB Capital and existing investors Greylock Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, Redpoint Ventures, and Tenaya Capital. Alongside previous rounds, this investment brings Tidemark’s total funding to $80 million.
Perhaps more interestingly, at least from a product perspective, is the news that Tidemark is introducing a new notion around analytics with the release of Tidemark Playbooks. Tidemark playbooks aims to close the loop on financial planning. The way things work in a traditional model is that analysts might do some modelling in excel, and then export charts and tables into a PowerPoint presentation to go to the board of directors. Obviously this is a very open loop and goes against the “real time” and “collaborative” themes around today.
With playbooks, analysts can model information within the Tidemark application and then publish the relevant parts of those models or charts into a “Playbook” – essentially a modern take on a PowerPoint deck. These playbooks are accessible on any device, and can be viewed by anyone, not just those who create the Playbook. As such this Playbooks functionality is a tool that should see some use within upstream reporting and planning scenarios, and potentially moves Tidemark into the territory of those companies looking to disrupt the board papers space – Diligent Board Books being one such vendor.
Alongside Playbooks, Tidemark is introducing a new integration with application monitoring vendor New Relic. The theory goes that application performance increasingly has an important impact on core performance metrics and hence this integration is valuable. I’m not so convinced about this part of the strategy – while undoubtedly technology is a critical factor to organizational performance, I suspect it’ll be a long time before your run of the mile enterprise board of directors looks to analyze application performance in the context of financial performance.
All in all, Tidemark is an interesting play – its customers think so and its investors undoubtedly do to. The Playbooks functionality in particular is an interesting direction and I look forward to seeing what uptake it has within non-technology industries.
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