Rosslyn Data Technologies: Vendor Analysis (Part 3) — SWOT, Competitor Comparisons, Selection Guide, Analysis

In this three-part Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot series, we are providing a detailed introduction to Rosslyn Data Technologies, which is one of the granddaddies in the standalone best-of-breed analytics space. (Sievo is a couple of years older, but that's about it.)

In Part 1, we provided a background on the company, founders and the product — as well as an overview of the solution. Then, in Part 2, we dove deep into the almost unparalleled product strengths, as well as a few product weaknesses (or shortcomings compared to typical expectations from today's potential analytics customers).

Today, in this third and final part, we are going to provide a SWOT analysis of Rosslyn Data Technologies, a market overview of competitors, a quick short-list guide and a few final thoughts.

Rosslyn Data Technologies: Vendor Analysis (Part 2) — Strengths and Weaknesses

In Part 1 of the Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot series, we detailed the history and solution capabilities of Rosslyn Data Technologies, one of the more distinctive spend analytics vendors in the procurement space. A granddaddy of the sector, it was one of the first self-serve vendors, first cloud vendors and first public providers in the space.

Today, we're going to do a deep dive into the strengths and weaknesses of the Rosslyn platform. You can probably guess some of the strengths based on our platform overview yesterday, but today we are going to make it explicit.

Then, in our third and final part, we will provide an overall SWOT of Rosslyn, compare it with competitors in the market and wrap up with some final thoughts.

Rosslyn Data Technologies: Vendor Analysis (Part 1) — Background, Solution Overview, Selection Checklist

In this three-part Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot, you'll see that Rosslyn Data Technologies is a granddaddy in the best-of-breed spend analytics space. With all of the acquisitions, re-brandings, mergers, re-platformings and a recent name change from Rosslyn Analytics, there are few standalone best-of-breed providers left in the space that have been around for over a decade.

Founded back in 2005 in London, (by Charlie Clark, who has moved on, and Hugh Cox), to bring visibility and insight into organizational spend to national and global enterprises, Rosslyn Analytics is one of those technologies. While not well known on this side of the pond, it was one of the first companies to bring QlikView into the cloud in 2012, one of the first to work with big consultancies (PwC in 2015) to offer cloud-based big-data analytics services, and one of the first companies to go public in 2014 on AIM, a sub-market of the LSE). They've won numerous awards since 2009, been recognized by Gartner and Forrester, and been a small but powerful company in the analytics space in the UK.

And while it's hard to say what the future could hold, it's not hard to say what the platform (which appears in Spend Matters’ SolutionMap for the first time in Spring/Q1 2020) can do and allow you to be the judge of whether it's right for your shortlist.

Billing itself as “The Technology Company that Speaks Business" (that can help your organization reduce the cost of attrition, increase customer satisfaction and improve profits), Rosslyn is all about data centralization, classification, analysis and interpretation. Building on the RAPid platform, Rosslyn not only offers a solution that can be used to automatically extract, cleanse, integrate and classify your organizational data for self-serve report and what-if analysis, but that can also be used to manage contracts, onboard and manage supplier (information), and track supplier performance. However, the core of the application is analytics, and that is what we will primarily focus on in this three-part Vendor Snapshot series.

Unlike many of the newer entrants that are throwing all their faith, and resources, into modern AI with multi-level neural networks, deep learning and other deep, computationally expensive, approaches, Rosslyn is cemented in tried-and-true, rule-based classification technology, classical statistics-based clustering and mining approaches, and ordered application of auto and manual classification that has been proven to be highly accurate and successful over a decade. It has also built large, known, supplier and entity data sets as part of a huge knowledge model it can use for correct classification the first time. It can integrate with IBM Watson and other leading technologies if the client organization desires, but outside of semantic data processing and content analysis, it's generally not necessary.

Having been around the block more than a few times, it knows that no suite of canned reports is ever good enough to bring true value to end clients (which include the likes of Coca-Cola Enterprises and Xerox Business Services), it goes beyond just providing a suite of editable reports and a classic do-it-yourself report generator and also provides interactive reporting dashboards that allow for what-if reporting based upon variable projections to changes in costs, market data, performance, etc. It turns information into actionable insight that can be used to make decisions in procurement, finance, contract negotiations and supplier performance management.

But is that enough to corner the analytics market? Probably not, but it should definitely get some attention, especially if Rosslyn backs up its product with the right marketing efforts in the U.S., where it has been operating since 2012. (Its current U.S. head office is in Chicago.) What else is attention worthy? That's what the remainder of this series will answer.