ThoughtSpot Touts ‘Data Renaissance’ with GenAI Update
Analytics tool provider ThoughtSpot today rolled out a host of new generative AI capabilities that it claims will set off a “data renaissance” among its users. The key advances that will enable this goal revolve around the way ThoughtSpot is interweaving the human element and conversational styles with new GenAI tech.
Like other analytics and BI tool vendors, ThoughtSpot has spent the past year incorporating GenAI capabilities into its products. Its first foray into GenAI came last May with the launch of ThoughtSpot Sage, which adopted large language models (LLM) to improve the understanding of natural language questions posed by users, as well as to generate natural language results from the SQL queries that are developed.
As ThoughtSpot CEO Sudheesh Nair told Datanami eight months ago, ThoughtSpot already had a head start over other BI vendors in the area of conversational intelligence, thanks to the investments it had made in natural language processing since the last big product refresh. As Nair explained, the superior understanding of language that LLMs presented would propel the next iteration of the ThoughtSpot product to a new level.
With today’s product refresh, that level appears to be here now. According to the announcement, ThoughtSpot is making changes across the board with ThoughtSpot Sage, and introducing new offerings along the way like Ask Sage, Sage Embed, AskDocs, and AI Center.
Getting the terminology of metrics and phrases straight has always been a challenge in BI and analytics, where small misunderstandings of what is meant by “total sales,” for example, can have a negative impact on the business. With this announcement, ThoughtSpot is using human-in-the-loop techniques to strengthen the associations between business terms and customers’ data models.
ThoughtSpot says that customers “can view and edit all queries, as well as word and phrase-specific user-generated feedback,” thereby improving the accuracy and results of queries. This approach gained the approval of Shawn Rogers, the CEO of BARC US, the American branch of the German analyst firm.
“The application of LLMs make the search experience intuitive for any user who can then review the search tokens and ensure reliable results on their intended question,” Rogers says in a ThoughtSpot press release. “ThoughtSpot’s human in the loop feedback capabilities go beyond a traditional feedback loop, addressing word and phrase-level feedback that trains the model to understand a user’s intent and deliver a personalized analytics experience.”
Another GenAI capability launched today is Ask Sage, an update that enables users to ask follow-up questions using a natural language interface while interacting with a data visualization. “This conversational approach allows you to begin with a simple question, and ask successive questions to refine the answer you receive,” ThoughtSpot says in its product documentation for Ask Sage. “ThoughtSpot translates each natural language question into a query, and answers in chart format.”
ThoughtSpot also launched Sage Embed, a new facility in its embedded analytics offering, called ThoughtSpot Everywhere. With Sage Embed, customers can get the GenAI-powered natural language search experience in any Web or mobile application that customers have integrated with ThoughtSpot Everywhere.
The BI and analytics vendor also launched AI Assist in Mode, the BI product it obtained with its acquisition of Mode Analytics for $200 million in July 2023. AI Assist will utilize GenAI to generate SQL queries within Mode, the company says.
A new AI Highlights capability was launched in Liveboards, which ThoughtSpot added to provide a “dynamic and collaborative space where users can freely share their ideas, perspectives, and suggestions.” AI Highlights helps ensure that users are aware of expected and unexpected changes since their last visit, along with the attributes driving the most change, the company says.
On a related note, the new KPI Monitor capability ensures that ThoughtSpot Mobile users are quickly made aware of changes in key performance indicators and other metrics. When something substantially changes in the KPI, ThoughtSpot will automatically notify the user, along with sending them a natural language analysis of the change.
Analytic and BI developers will appreciate the new AskDocs functionality, which allows . builders to ask coding questions in natural language. What’s more, it allows them to receive “contextual GenAI-assisted instructions and code from the Visual Embed SDK in both ThoughtSpot and developer documentation,” the company says.
Finally, ThoughtSpot is launching the AI Center, which is aimed at helping data teams to ensure that the privacy, security, and controls of ThoughtSpot’s AI capabilities are kept on the straight and narrow.
“GenAI is already being used across the spectrum of consumption, creation, and computation. The hardest but highest value use cases are when GenAI is used for computing and formula driven use cases,” Nair says in a press release. “ThoughtSpot is enabling large enterprise companies to implement these kinds of use cases at scale, without breaking governance and security standards that must be met. The analytics experiences and outcomes that our customers have been able to not only imagine, but make real, shows we’re at the start of a true Renaissance in data, powered by AI, but with humans firmly behind the steering wheel.”