"If you roll out a generic piece of analytics software, people tend to abandon it," says ProClarity CEO Bob Lokken. This is because pre-packaged, or ‘canned', applications often fail to meet all of a company's requirements or are simply too difficult to use, he says. Yet at the same time, tailoring these tools to meet
those requirements adds to the cost and time it takes to implement an analytics platform. Lokken says ProClarity offers a third and more efficient option: the company's component-based approach to analytics enables organisations to build an analytics platform more suited to their particular needs – faster and at lower cost.
Typically, it takes "fewer then three months" to build an application, from start to production using the ProClarity Analytics Platform, he says. Once deployed, he adds, the software is more user-friendly than the average analytics package. ProClarity supplies wizards that ‘walk' users through the process of building common analyses, as well as a number of tools that enable them to store and share their work with colleagues. In addition, they can download data to Excel spreadsheets, enabling them to model it in a familiar environment, while maintaining a live connection to the data cube residing in the ProClarity application. The finished results can also be exported to PowerPoint presentations package.
The design has proved to be a persuasive proposition. During the last three years, ProClarity has reported growth rates of over 100%, with sales increasing 140% in the year to 31 March 2002. It boasts more than 600 customers, including such big names as AT&T, Ericsson and Nabisco. The main driver of recent growth at ProClarity, says Lokken, has been repeat business, with more than 60% of major deals in 2001 signed with existing customers.
However, Microsoft is casting an increasingly long shadow over the analytics mid-market, and ProClarity must make the most of its usability lead over Microsoft if it is to prosper in the long term.