C3.ai versus Obviously AI: Enterprise AI Comparison


Both C3.ai and Obviously AI are enterprise AI platforms. We compared the two to highlight their similarities and differences.

  • Obviously AI offers affordable, effortless AI solutions, while C3.ai offers a pricier set of more technical features.
  • Obviously AI is made for non-technical users who want predictions in clicks, while C3.ai is geared to a more technical enterprise audience.

It seems like there’s a new AI platform coming out every day. There are Artificial Intelligence solutions from Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and more.

To maximize value, and equip your business with the AI tools it needs to succeed, it’s important to get the right tool for you specifically. There’s no universal solution, which is why many businesses find themselves comparing C3.ai and Obviously AI when looking for the right AI solution.


C3.ai is a complex AI platform. As C3.ai writes, they’re focused on offering “sophisticated AI technology," which comes at a high price.

In contrast, Obviously AI specializes in affordable no-code AI that can be built in minutes. With a focus on predictive analytics, you can use Obviously AI to build AI models for tabular data in clicks.


C3.ai requires you to request a quote for Team and Enterprise pricing. That said, we dug through C3.ai’s SEC documentation to find that the “average total contract value for Entities purchasing the C3 AI Suite and C3 AI Applications together or independently over the two-year period ending fiscal year April 30, 2020 was $14.1 million.”

Algorithmia recently surveyed 403 companies with $100M+ in revenue, finding that typical cost estimates for buying a 3rd-party AI solution ranged from $3.1 million to $4.5 million, implying that a typical C3.ai contract would be outside the budget of even most large enterprise companies. Clearly, C3.ai is among the most expensive AI solutions.

Obviously AI goes as low as $75/month for the Basic plan, but that doesn’t include Pro features like importing from databases and apps, REST API access, manual model selection, and automatic updates. A fairer comparison is Obviously AI’s Pro plan, which is $145/month or $1,740 a year, which can be used by up to 10 users, while the Pro Plus plan is extendable to unlimited users.

Obviously AI’s plan is cancellable at any time, which means contract price comes in at $75.


C3.ai comes with a relatively complicated and extensive set-up process, as seen in the C3.ai documentation, such as that for setting up C3.ai with AWS. As a demo example, the documentation shows that building a predictive maintenance model required “1,450 lines of source code and documentation.”

While there’s no “one-click” or effortless solution with C3.ai, users get an in-depth set of features to experiment with. Keep in mind that, for the average user, many of these features won’t make a lot of sense, but if you’re highly-technical, these can add value.

Obviously AI offers a 14-day free trial, which gives you full access to the tool. You can immediately connect data, build an AI model, and deploy it in clicks. After the 14-day trial, you can keep using it by paying for the Basic plan, the Pro plan, or a custom Pro Plus plan.


Both C3.ai and Obviously AI have invested heavily in integrations, especially in comparison to tools like Power BI, which has relatively few integration options.

C3.ai offers “over 25” integrations, including with tools like Snowflake, Salesforce, Hubspot, and local file systems.

Obviously AI also offers a rich integration ecosystem, including an extremely simple REST API. If you’re less technical, you may want to use the Zapier integration. This is just scratching the surface, and Obviously AI offers many more integrations, including (some are in development) with Airtable, Amazon RedShift, Box, Chartio, Dropbox, Google Analytics, Google BigQuery, HubSpot, Kaggle, Mode, Shopify, Snowflake, Tableau, Typeform, and others.


If your key goal is creating traditional Business Intelligence dashboards, then you might want to check out our guide on Power BI. Neither C3.ai nor Obviously AI are primarily focused on dashboards, though they both offer visualization features.


Both C3.ai and Obviously AI offer sharing features, but C3.ai report sharing functionality seems to be quite limited, and it doesn’t seem possible to access any public AI reports.

With Obviously AI, a shareable report can be made in a single click, accessible to anyone, anywhere, even without an Obviously AI account.


When comparing C3.ai and Obviously AI, there’s no clear winner, per se. If financial resources are unlimited, and features like image processing are needed, then C3.ai is likely the way to go.

If you’re looking for advanced analytics and AI functionality, but aren’t willing or able to shell out up to a million dollars, then Obviously AI is the way to go.

C3.ai and Obviously AI aren’t your only options for AI. We’ve also explored other tools like Alteryx and SalesForce Einstein.

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