Artificial intelligence-powered “decision intelligence” platform provider Tellius Inc. is in expansion mode after closing on a $16 million round of funding today.
The Series B round was led by new investors Baird Capital and saw participation from all of the company’s existing investors, including Sands Capital Ventures, Grotech Ventures and Veraz Investments, bringing its total amount raised to $33 million to date.
Tellius is the creator of an AI-powered platform aimed at solving some of the key challenges in business data analytics. The company claims that traditional business intelligence tools are unable to answer questions around why certain metrics change, and that data science teams are simply too busy to aid in business decision making, meaning that most companies’ AI efforts are siloed. That makes it difficult to rely on data to inform timely and precise decisions that can enhance sales, reduce costs and boost operational efficiencies.
Tellius addresses these problems with what it says is a unique decision intelligence platform that puts more analytical power into the hands of business analysts and teams. According to the company, it creates a more complete picture of what’s happening across the organization, why metrics change, and how to drive better business outcomes.
It does that by applying a combination of analytical and machine learning automation to surface the key business drivers that remain hidden across multiple data sources. Users can then generate advanced business insights via a natural language interface within minutes, without any complex coding or manual analysis of the underlying data.
Tellius founder and Chief Executive Ajay Khanna told SiliconANGLE that decision intelligence is all about the application of machine learning and automation to augment human knowledge and make better and faster, insights-driven business decisions. He explained that decision intelligence differs from traditional business intelligence in terms of outputs, experience and analysis types supported.
Whereas BI outputs are primarily dashboards and reports with a “pull-based mentality,” where users simply take what they need, decision intelligence’s outputs are key drivers, segments, correlations and patterns. It’s both a push- and a pull-based approach that’s far more proactive, he said.
“BI analysis experiences tend to involve browsing dashboards, reports, or performing manual slice-and-dice hypothesis-based testing which can introduce human bias,” Khanna said. “Decision intelligence relies on AI-powered approaches that are relevant to the user.”
Moreover, whereas BI tends to focus on answering “what happened-style questions,” decision intelligence goes beyond that to provide more expansive answers, explaining why something happened and how to proceed, Khanna said.
“Answering the toughest business questions is rarely a linear process or doable via a single form of analytics, such as descriptive, diagnostic, predictive or prescriptive analytics,” the CEO added. “Tellius blends all analytical modes together, making analytics an agile and seamless experience to drive solid business decisions. Other vendors tend to offer portions of various analytics modes, not the full spectrum.”
Constellation Research Inc. Vice President and Principal Analyst Andy Thurai said decision intelligence has become all the rage for enterprises seeking greater insights. He explained that decision intelligence aims to provide more actionable intelligence than what’s available with the familiar dashboards and visualizations offered by BI vendors. A particular advantage of decision intelligence tools, he said, is that they provide a natural language based interface that enables users to ask questions of their data naturally, through voice or text. That’s much more preferable to scouring over data and visualizations and writing complex code to obtain insights, he added.
“While Microsoft BI and Tableau have ruled the market for many years, things are changing with a number of smaller, more nimble players introducing AI-infused functionality that’s gaining traction with customers,” Thurai said. “It might be difficult for these players to break into this segment, but firms like Tellius offer some compelling built-in insights. Things like cohort analysis, trend drivers and segment drivers, anomaly and outlier detection are very powerful. Its cross-cloud warehouse query option across Snowflake, Redshift and Google BigQuery could be very useful for enterprises with data spread across multiple clouds.”
The offering has won over a number of Fortune 500 companies, with Tellius claiming to have customers in verticals ranging from eCommerce, pharmaceutical, banking, financial services and insurance. One of its customers is the Irish biopharmaceutical firm Nabriva Therapeutics plc.
“Tellius gives our executive and operational teams far greater analytics capabilities and five to ten-times faster answers compared to traditional dashboarding and visualization platforms,” said Nabriva Chief Information Officer Thomas Lembck. “Their modern analytics platform on top of our cloud data warehouse fuels proactive and agile decision intelligence across our commercial sales, marketing, finance, and human resource functions.”
Tellius’s momentum has also led it to forge a number of strategic partnerships with top-tier technology vendors such as Databricks Inc. and Indegene Inc., which provides research services to healthcare and pharmaceutical enterprises.
Tellius plans to use the funds from today’s round to enhance its platform, expand its go-to-market capabilities and acquire new talent across its sales, marketing and product engineering teams.
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