What do you like best?
It's built on a solid cloud-based foundation (MS Azure), and employs T-SQL syntax for the more serious programming. Changes are made immediately, so testing can be very interactive. Performance is generally good, and predictable.
For mediocre SQL programmers (like me), it's like writing SELECT statements graphically. The transform operations are mostly intuitive, and sequenced to make it easy to maintain. I was especially impressed with the Pivot transform, which replicated a complicated Excel pivot table I had built as a prototype.
The widgets cover most of the functions you might need to construct a dashboard.
ClicData support is excellent and responsive. I always got a response within a day for any critical issues or questions. They encourage you to use their support channel, in part, I suspect to get some of the less intuitive functions working properly.
Administrative functions are straightforward and flexible. Licenses can be upgraded incrementally, so the application grows with usage.
What do you dislike?
I found the online documentation weak and sometimes even incorrect. It often reads like "English as a 2nd language". I think they steer you to their consultants to make up for the limited documentation.
While the simple table widget is rich in options, the drilldown and pivot tables are rather limited in formatting choices. For example, if you need to word-wrap within a table cell, the simple table is often your only choice.
Selecting the correct widget or function to store variables is tricky. Numeric values are limited to only a few widgets, so performing mathematical functions can be hazardous.
Recommendations to others considering the product
I've had experience working with SalesForce, Microstrategy, and Intuit's QuickBase, but I found ClicData to be a more versatile tool for quickly creating professional-looking dashboards and reports in a short time.
If you have a basic understanding of SQL, you will find this to be a very friendly way to design and implement a range of reports, KPIs and charts without resorting to programming.
What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?
We used ClicData dashboards in a somewhat unorthodox way: we used "Indicators", or icons within tables to represent data, and the results looked great. The ability to integrate 3rd party HTML into dashboards was valuable (although ClicData correctly warns that response time may suffer).
The ability to start small and release dashboards incrementally suited our needs very well. We also valued the responsive account team getting us quickly pointed in the right direction.