H2O.ai versus Obviously AI: Enterprise AutoML Face-Off

  • Obviously AI offers affordable, simple AI solutions, while H2O offers a pricier set of features for larger enterprises.
  • Obviously AI is made for non-technical users who want predictions in clicks, while H2O is geared to a more technical audience.

There are innumerable AI and analytics tools out there, with offerings from startups to giants like Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and more.

To get the most value for you, and equip your business with the AI tools it needs to succeed, it’s important to get the right tool for your needs. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, which is why many businesses find themselves comparing H2O and Obviously AI when looking for the right AutoML solution.

Overview

H2O is a complex AI platform. As H2O writes, they’re focused on offering “sophisticated AI technology.” Taking a look at public list prices, we can see that an H2O Driverless AI subscription starts at $300,000.

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.

Price

H2O isn’t very open about their pricing, requiring you to request a quote. That said, we dug through IBM documentation to find an H2O AI pricing list, which features subscriptions ranging from $300,000 (a 3-year subscription) to $850,000 (a 5-year subscription with GPU).

This implies that an H2O subscription will be even pricier than hiring a data scientist at US-level market rates. That said, if a company is spending six-figures on AI software, they’ll probably hire data scientists to use it anyway, so affordability is out the window with H2O AI.

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 your lowest contract price comes in at $75, compared to over a quarter-million dollars for a 3-year H2O contract.

Setup

H2O comes with a relatively complicated and extensive set-up process, as seen in the Driverless AI documentation. The “Before You Begin” guide details sizing requirements, virtual memory settings, Docker settings, and more. After installing, there’s also complex configuration documentation to get through, before even starting to build models.

While there’s no “one-click” or effortless solution with H2O, 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.

Integrations

Both H2O and Obviously AI have invested heavily in integrations, especially in comparison to tools like Power BI, which has relatively few integration options.

H2O’s integrations are highly technical, covering areas like Instance Life-Cycle Management, API clients, scoring, and storage. What’s apparently absent are easy-to-use, simple integrations like Zapier, HubSpot, or Salesforce.

Obviously AI 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.

Dashboards

If your key goal is creating Business Intelligence dashboards, then you might want to check out our guide on Power BI. Neither H2O nor Obviously AI are primarily focused on dashboards, though they both offer visualization features.

Extras

Both H2O and Obviously AI offer sharing features, but H2O 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.

Conclusion

When comparing H2O and Obviously AI, there’s no clear winner, per se. If financial resources are unlimited, and features like image processing are needed, then H2O 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.

H2O 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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