Happy Birthday, Ki! A Year in Review
Birthdays are one of those blessings and curses that everyone is subject to. They are a blessing in that you are one year older, one year wiser, and have an entire year of rich experiences to pull from. They are also a curse because you are one year older, one year wiser, and have an entire year of rich experiences to pull from. Here at Keyence, we tend to try to look at things on the brighter side, and we are extremely excited to welcome Ki to its first birthday in the market!
The last year has been a wild ride for both Keyence and the Keyence Analytics division. Keyence as a company saw great growth in our core business and once more had market breaking profitability. It’s been a good year to be Keyence (KYCCF). Keyence Analytics was able to bring Ki to the market April 10th 2019, and for the first time, help share with the rest of the world, just what was the secret weapon to our amazing growth and profitability.
This year we sought to add plenty of new functionality to Ki and to make it an even easier to use software for our customers (both internal and external). This continued growth isn’t just something that is specific to the Ki product, but is part of Keyence’s core tenants. It’s no secret that Keyence keeps fossils in our corporate headquarters, these physical reminders are meant to make it impossible for our organization to ignore the repercussions of failing to evolve and the risks we face if we stop growing. It is a culture that we believe every organization would benefit from, and we use our data to drive those initiatives forward. So let’s take a little bit to look at just how Ki grew over the past year.
When we built Ki, we wanted to reach the highest volume of servers that could support our on-premise architecture. As time moved on, we wanted to also insure that Ki was able to be used by everyone with a PC and a question. So we developed a method for Ki to run on Microsoft’s Windows based OS. This opens Ki’s capabilities up to everyone, and that’s something critically important to us.
A/B Testing Module
Having a software build your marketing or business strategy can be scary. There is a lot riding on the decisions of something that seems to work like magic. As we work with customers in every industry, we run into the executive managers who are hesitant to make radical business shifts on a recommendation. Understanding this we wanted to ensure Ki had the capability to put its plans to the test. By building in A/B Testing functionality into Ki, Keyence can now give it’s customers that ability to have confidence in the strategy they are attempting to deploy.
After Ki generates a strategy, you can choose to deploy it as an A/B test and then refresh the dataset after your test has been completed (maybe a month, or two later) and see if the software was right. This provides teams with the direct, actionable, statistical evidence that your strategy was right. Building confidence in data-driven strategies at the highest level.
In November, Keyence was honored to be a key presenter and sponsor of the Tableau Conference 2019. There isn’t much that we like better than meeting like-minded data evangelists to talk all things data and the good it can do for humanity. This was an exciting opportunity to explain the power of adding AI to BI systems while making some great friends at the event (You know who you are)!
After the event, we began work on a direct connection link into the Tableau software lineup. We were able to work with Tableau to help Ki connect live, directly into the Tableau software platform, both Desktop and Server. This allows for a seamless connection and transfer of data back and forth between the two systems.
This plays directly to our primary goal of making data driven strategies easier to understand and available to everyone. Now you can take your current dashboards and export the dataset directly into Ki, ask it a question about your business or dashboard and have Ki make recommendations on how to fix things. Then export that cleaned, aggregated, and prepared data right back into Tableau for super easy visualizations. We have seen dashboard generation and report generation time drop by as much as 90% in some companies! It’s amazing to watch.
To 2020 and Beyond
Here we sit, at the start of 2020 and Ki’s second year available to the public. I personally am extremely excited and pleased at the response that we have seen by the market and those who have used Ki. When we set out to bring Ki to the market we saw a gap in how companies used their data. So much effort is put into collecting and cleaning, and storing data. That the actual analysis of that data seems to fall into a tertiary role, and acting on those insights often goes without any progress at all. As an analyst myself, I have spent hundreds of hours building reports and insights that resulted in a shrug and a “that’s interesting”. The difference between insightful and actionable is often a canyon, and bridging that gap is something that companies need to overcome as they enter the next decade.
With that, I wish Ki and all of our customers a Happy Birthday, and an exciting start to the new decade.
- Rob Ortiz
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