At a demo recently we were asked how Essential fits alongside data visualisation tools such as QlikView and Tableau. Visualisation and BI environments are hot topics at the moment, with a lot of commentary appearing about them, so we thought we should share our view of how we see Essential playing in this field.
In simple terms, we see the split being between the quantative and qualitative view. The quantative view gives you the numbers that tells you where your issues are and the qualitative view then gives you the information behind the numbers that allow you make informed decisions to resolve the issues.
The data visualisation tools’ key strength are in addressing the quantitative data requirements, so they are great at taking data and transforming it into meaningful statistics that can be used to formulate facts and uncover patterns in data. If I have questions about how many interfaces there are between my applications, how many meet the SLAs, how many move client data etc., the BI visualisation tools are perfect. Tableau will even provide some rudimentary views of connections.
On the other hand, whilst we do provide some quantitative views with Essential, its real strength is at the other end of the spectrum in providing the qualitative information. So, if you want to understand the underlying reasons behind the data relationships then Essential can provide the insight and detail to explain why and how things are as they are. For example, whilst the quantitative information tells you how many interfaces you have, it doesn’t tell you how those interfaces relate, what they are responsible for, what they eventually impact, etc. Essential will give you the view to show, for example, which are your critical interfaces – which applications and processes fail if a specific feed fails etc. This information is less about statistics and more about knowledge.
Between the two types of tool you can get a powerful view of your IT environment, but you need to know where to get best value from each and, of course, understand your requirements as Essential can be a source for the quantitative as well as the qualitative in some cases.