Several years ago, when I started using QlikView (QlikTech’s flagship product), I had a strong preference for more traditional BI tools and platforms, mostly because I thought that QlikView was just a visualization tool. But after some first-hand experience with the tool, any bias I had was quickly dissipated and I’ve been a QlikView fan and fulfilling the role of Senior QlikView Architect on full lifecycle projects for a while now.
Today, Qlik Technologies (also known as QlikTech or simply Qlik) is the 3rd fastest growing tech company in the US (according to a Forbes article) but my personal journey with QlikView, and probably QlikTech journey as well, has not always been easy – a paradigm shift in the way we look at BI is required. Most importantly, I understood along with many others, that this isn’t a matter of QlikView or SAP BI, of QlikView Agile approach to BI or Traditional BI – it is NOT a matter of ORs, but rather a matter of ANDs.
It is a matter of striking the right balance with the right technology mix and do what is best for your organization, setting aside personal preferences. At times QlikView may be all that is needed. In other cases, the right technology mix is a must. At times ‘self-service’ and ‘agile’ BI is the answer…. and at times it isn’t. Ultimately, it all revolves around the real needs of your organization and creating the right partnerships.
So far, QlikTech has been able to create a pretty healthy ecosystem with many technology partners, from a wide variety of industries and with a global reach. QlikTech has been able to evolve over time and has continued to understand, act on and metabolize the needs of the market, along with the needs of end-users and IT – I wonder what’s next.
That’s one of the reasons why Qlik has been able to trail-blaze a new approach to BI; user-driven BI, i.e. Business Discovery. According to Gartner ‘Qlik’s QlikView product has become a market leader with its capabilities in data discovery, a segment of the BI platform market that it pioneered.’
Gartner defines QlikView as ‘a self-contained BI platform, based on an in-memory associative search engine and a growing set of information access and query connectors, with a set of tightly integrated BI capabilities’. This is a great definition that highlights a few key points of this tool.
In coming blogs, we’ll explore some additional traits of QlikTech and its flagship product QlikView, such as:
Ø An ecosystem of partnerships – QlikTech has been able to create partnerships with several Technology Partners and set in place a worldwide community of devotees and gurus
Ø Mobility – QlikView was recently named ‘Hot Vendor’ for mobile Business Intelligence and ranks highest in customer assurance (see WSJ article here) with one of the best TCO and ROI
Ø Cloud – QlikView has been selected as a cloud-based solution by several companies and it has also created strong partnerships with leading technologies in Cloud Computing, such as Amazon EC2 and Microsoft Azure
Ø Security – provided at the document, row and field levels, as well as at the system level utilizing industry standard technologies such as encryption, access control mechanisms, and authentication methods
Ø Social Business Discovery – Co-create, co-author and share apps in real time, share analysis with bookmarks, discuss and record observations in context
Ø Big Data – Qlik has established partnerships with Cloudera and Hortonworks. In addition, according to the Wall Street Journal, QlikView ranks number one in BI and Analytics offering in Healthcare (see WSJ article here), mostly in connection with healthcare providers seeking “alternatives to traditional software solutions that take too long to solve their Big Data problems”
In future posts, I am going to examine and dissect each of these traits and more! I am also going to make sure we have some reality checks set in place in order to draw the line between fact and fiction.
What other agile BI or visualization topics would you like to read about or what questions do you have? Please leave comments and we’ll get started.