I am a big fan of data discovery solutions. They enable a wider group of users to enjoy the benefits of business insights and break away from the platform driven traditional solutions that can be difficult to use, extremely expensive and limited to only a few users within an organization.

At MicroStrategy World last week they presented their Visual Insight solution delivered inside of v9.3 as well as there cloud data discovery solution Express. Both are aimed at the self-driven data discovery market and will compete with Tableau Software, Tibco Spotfire, QlikTech and others that have helped to carve out this new and powerful BI segment.

The trend towards data discovery has been growing over the past couple years and while some of the companies listed above entered the market with purpose built stand-alone solutions the big stack players have entered the market as well. IBM/Cognos, Oracle, SAP and others have brought compelling solutions to market to help fend off this new competition to their traditional BI solutions and business models.

The MicroStrategy team made an interesting point during our briefing (thus the reason for this post). They have chosen to embed Visual Insight into their v9.3 platform product. Creating a solid link and relationship to the data and the processes that are leveraged and managed within their standard BI platform. This tight relationship helps to reduce the Wild, Wild West effect that discovery tools can create when they are stand-alone islands within the enterprise but still enable the core value of a data discovery tool. This integration creates a more easily managed environment, perhaps more trustworthy data access and the opportunity to manage the landscape from a compliance and governance perspective.

So the question is, does integrating a data discovery solution within a wider more managed environment or platform create a less effective tool for discovery or a stronger tool? Does this shine a spotlight on a challenge that stand-alone solutions will be faced with as the larger stack platforms enable data discovery and make it enterprise friendly?

I’d be pleased to hear your thoughts.

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