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2024 Thoughtspot Review: The Best Embedded Analytics Tool?

March 28, 2024

Mile Zivkovic

Is ThoughtSpot the right choice for your embedded analytics tool? What are its pros and cons and how much does it cost? Find out in this ThoughtSpot review.

You’re probably wondering, how is a ThoughtSpot review from their competitor going to give me an unbiased understanding of the pros and cons of this tool? Well, we have a surprise - today, we give you a ThoughtSpot review, based on hard data and accounts from real users.

Choosing a data analytics tool in 2024 can be difficult - there are many vendors, all with complex pricing plans and features. ThoughtSpot stands out with its unique AI angle and seemingly transparent pricing. But what do real-world reviews say?

Join us for a 2024 ThoughtSpot review.

What is ThoughtSpot?

ThoughtSpot is a BI tool launched in 2012, built for data analytics for businesses of all shapes and sizes. With ThoughtSpot, any business can analyze, visualize and explore their data.

thoughtspot main photo

There are many reasons you might have heard of ThoughtSpot before - their recent popularity and explosive growth, their roster of big customers such as Walmart, or their groundbreaking AI features for creating and exploring data models.

In any case, ThoughtSpot is a solid choice for businesses that want to empower their business users with real-time self-service analytics. But let’s get more specific than that.

Who is ThoughtSpot for?

The ideal ThoughtSpot customer can be anyone: someone who wants to kiss Excel goodbye and create amazing visualizations, someone who wants drill-down features in their embedded dashboards, someone who wants to explore data without the knowledge of SQL, and more.

But to cut to the chase, ThoughtSpot is the right choice for you if:

  • You have a business of any size in industries with massive needs for data analysis (healthcare, sales, manufacturing, construction, etc.)
  • You have constant needs for dashboards that pull data from various data sources
  • You have a team of data analysts on board but you want to empower non-data-specialists to analyze and explore data
  • You have a SaaS app and you want to embed real-time AI analytics dashboards into it
  • You’re looking for a more cost-effective alternative to apps such as Salesforce’s Tableau, Microsoft’s Power BI or Qlik

Regardless of your company size and analytics needs, ThoughtSpot is worth looking into as an analytics platform. Let’s take a look at their products.

The three ThoughtSpot products

There are three main products in the ThoughtSpot suite, all focusing on data analytics, but for different use cases. No matter the dataset you’re dealing with, the complexity of your tech stack or the availability of your data team, these tools can help with decision-making and data analysis.

ThoughtSpot Analytics

This is the crux of the product that allows you to analyze, visualize, and explore data in the cloud. It uses something called SpotIQ - an algorithm that leans on AI for data analysis to find answers about burning issues around your data.

You can also use natural language to ask ThoughtSpot questions, such as “What are the top selling products in this department in Q1 in 2024?” and get answers immediately. 

ThoughtSpot connects with a variety of cloud data platforms, such as Snowflake, Azure, Google BigQuery, Amazon Redshift, Databricks, Oracle, and many others. You also get connectivity with ETL and ELT tools out of the box, such as Talend, Fivetran, Alteryx, and others. Basically, any data warehouse you can think of is a match.

Looking at user reviews, the connectivity and user experience are not an issue. Instead, users complain that the visualizations are not as quality and varied as in tools such as Power BI or Tableau. On top of that, many users state that the whole natural language processing feature is… More or less a gimmick.

In other words, you’re going to need a capable team of data scientists first to set up your database and connectors and create the visualizations. Only then can the end-user come in and ask questions in natural language.

Not to be unfair, this feature is great, but it only makes sense for large teams where you have plenty of data engineers, analysts and scientists to prepare the groundwork. If you have a small business hoping to get AI insights with natural language queries, tough luck.

ThoughtSpot Everywhere

Once you create a dashboard in ThoughtSpot analytics, you can go one step further and embed it in a website or an app with ThoughtSpot Everywhere. Once you set everything up, copy and paste some code and you can add these liveboards, as ThoughtSpot calls them, to an app of your choice.

This feature sets ThoughtSpot apart from the big BI players because it treats embedding as a worthy aspect of the app and not just an afterthought. The dashboards are easy to embed and require very little setup compared to Qlik, Tableau or Power BI.

ThoughtSpot Mode

Mode is the last piece of the puzzle, built by developers for developers. It allows you to go from raw data to clear business insights quickly, visualize and deliver insights on top of SQL, Python or R.

It falls into a weird place because if you already have a team of developers that can analyze their data, Mode is not necessary. And then again, for newbies, it’s far too complex to use and may require lots of hand-holding and customer support calls.

thoughtspot mode
Source

ThoughtSpot ease of use

When talking about how easy it is to use ThoughtSpot, we need to make a distinction between the ease of use for your developers and the end users. While it’s handy to have embedded analytics for the end user, you still need to make it easy for the dev team to create and embed these dashboards.

Developers will have an easy time because unlike Tableau or Power BI, it is built with this use case in mind. Embedding is a matter of copying and pasting some code (an SDK library) from ThoughtSpot to your app or website.

For the end-user, it’s a bit of a different story and there is a bigger learning curve. The choice of visualizations isn’t really all that great and many users state that they look rather basic compared to some enterprise tools and their formatting. Exploring data can be a challenge too. The visuals are not responsive, adjusting the size of your chart can be a pain and in general, the user experience is not as intuitive. You could try with some onboarding for your end-users but that won’t fix the buggy UI.

thoughtspot review on reddit
Source

The pricing

ThoughtSpot pricing depends on the product you want to use. You are pretty much forced to purchase the main product (Analytics) in order to use the embedded portion of the app. However, Mode can be used as a standalone app. Here is a breakdown of the cost as found on Thoughtspot.com.

thoughtspot analytics pricing

ThoughtSpot Analytics starts at $95 per month. This gets you five users, up to five million rows of data in one organization, as well as the natural language search feature. For small businesses that have basic business intelligence needs, this is a very good deal, especially compared to enterprise apps like Tableau or Power BI.

The more expensive plan is $1,250 per month which gets you 20 users, 25 million data rows and five user groups. You get automated insights and row-level security for your cloud data and dashboards. This is a solid plan for larger businesses that have basic data visualization needs.

The enterprise plan does not have pricing, so you’ll have to get in touch with sales to learn more about the costs.

If you want to embed dashboards into your app for your end users, ThoughtSpot Everywhere is their embedded analytics solution. There is no publicly available pricing and there are two main plans.

thoughtspot everywhere pricing

From the research we gathered, the problem with the pricing is that the initial cost is very high, but that’s just the start of your problems. ThoughtSpot has usage-based pricing, and it charges you for every query that an end-user pulls. The more ad hoc reports or dashboards, the higher your monthly bill.

This makes ThoughtSpot very pricey for an embedded analytics experience. Most user reviews highlight that predicting your ThoughtSpot costs is very difficult.

Lastly, there is Mode, which is reported to cost anywhere from $300 and up per month, depending on how many team members you have.

thoughtspot mode pricing

The verdict on ThoughtSpot

This BI tool is a serious player with a wide range of functionalities for data teams. It’s ideal for small businesses with equally small needs. The pricing is very fair, especially if you use it just for on-premise and internal reporting.

The user experience is good but not spectacular, and the visualizations are fairly limited compared to players such as Microsoft’s Power BI. The AI natural language feature that promises a user-friendly BI platform for data exploration is more of a promise than a wish come true.

The pricing is okay if you want just the analytics suite. For embedded dashboards for data analysis and exploration, ThoughtSpot is very expensive and difficult to predict in terms of costs.

Is ThoughtSpot right for you?

If you need data analytics for your team to use internally, at a low, predictable cost, yes.

If you have an existing team of data analysts, engineers, scientists and developers and want to empower the rest of your team with data analytics in the shape of natural language processing, yes.

If you need a beautiful, intuitive embedded analytics platform for dashboards in your app or website, keep looking.

At Luzmo, we can help you build functional, beautiful dashboards that both your developers and end-users will love. Launch them in just a few days, unlock expansion revenue, shorten your go-to-market, and upsell your existing users.

Grab a free trial and get started today!

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