Pivotlink is a smaller, standalone BI vendor. They are an interesting play because they focus tightly on the retail business intelligence niche, but use a home grown software solution rather than partner with an existing big stack vendor.

They are also a cloud SaaS software provider, which is definitely one of the big trends for newer entries to the BI space. Another way they are differentiating is by using a columnar database style storage technology. While all of this sounds nice and space age, what does this get the end customer. Storing data in the cloud, especially for multiple retail clients, can get expansive. In addition, trying to query a large dataset for a report can take a long time. With a columnar technology, datasets can be compressed and queries can be vastly sped up.

ReadiMetrix is a retail based, quick implementation designed to deliver dashboards based on common industry KPIs. It designed to be implemented in 7 days, which sounds awfully fast, but could be possible with a clean data source and running the tools straight out of the box.

Another selling point is the ability to easily collaborate within an enterprise, or even with outside suppliers or marketing teams. It uses a proprietary security model, which sounds good in theory but I would be curious to see an IT security team react to sharing dashboards outside firewalls!From a visualization standpoint, the demos showed mostly basic bar and line graphs without a whole lot of frills. They also offer a mobile client for Apple and Android, but this looks like essentially a port over of the dashboards.

From a long term perspective, it looks like they are here to stay. They just finished up a decent sized round of funding in March 2012, and had been making a few acquisitions in the space to beef up their technology.

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