Qlik provides data discovery solutions, delivering solutions for self-service data visualization and guided analytics. Headquartered in Randor, PA, the company operates worldwide offices with more than 1,700 partners covering over 100 countries. Founded in 1993 in Lund, Sweden, it went public in 2010. Qlik employs approximately 1,900 people.
Reporting $309.9M in software and service and $470.5M in total corporate revenue for the 2013 fiscal year, the company ranks number 186 in the 2014 Software 500.
Qlik recently introduced the general availability of Qlik Sense, the first device-independent, self-service visualization and discovery product engineered for enterprise-grade governance and performance. Built on a modern architecture and powered by the Qlik data-indexing engine, Qlik Sense is designed to give users the unrestricted ability to create personalized data analyses and explore the relationships that exist in data to reveal instant connections.
“Qlik Sense is the first modern analytics product engineered for enterprise readiness,” comments Anthony Deighton, CTO/SVP, products, Qlik. Its architecture is built from the ground up—using the latest standards such as HTML5, JSON, and Web sockets. New capabilities for governance and manageability mean it can support workgroup and distributed enterprise environments.
Qlik Sense supports multiple nodes across multiple geographies to ensure scalability that fits each customer. “Additional nodes do not incur license fees so customers can have the environment that fits their needs without concern for budget impact. The open data APIs also allow organizations to use it in new ways, seamlessly with other technologies,” explains Deighton.
The solution is meant to broaden the use of analysis to line-of-business professionals, who are not necessarily technical, but have to explore their data in a governed, controlled manner. “They can build their own visualizations form a centralized library of sanctioned data sets,” he adds.
A key strength of Qlik is the fact that while competitive products can answer questions that are formed in advance, Qlik Sense guides users to ask and answer streams of questions in a fluid and dynamic way that surface during analysis, says Deighton.
The release of Qlik Sense is the company’s much anticipated second-generation product.
“Qlik has introduced its second generation product—Qlik Sense—to provide new capabilities in the area of true self-service visualization and analytics. Unlike other products on the market, including Qlik View, Qlik Sense does not require a build-and-publish approach, since every user is fully empowered to leverage simple drag-and-drop techniques to build, customize, or extend their visual analytics,” says Deighton.
“The industry has been buzzing about QlikView.Next for quite some time. It took us about two years to develop because QlikView.Next was an ambitious project to re-think self-service BI. We had a goal of dramatically improving the ease of use for creating rich, next-generation visualizations that expose the power of the Qlik high-performance associative data-indexing engine, resulting in significantly broader adoption across organizations. Qlik Sense is a result of this project, as is the powerful second generation Quick Indexing Platform (QIX),” says Deighton. “It is the foundation of the Qlik platform for the future,” he adds.
QIX is a generation, data indexing engine that enables users to more naturally follow their intuition and explore relationships across many data sources that would be hidden in hieratical, query-based data models. “The result is not just faster time to visualization, but faster time to more meaningful insight,” says Deighton.
QlikView will continue to provide customers with an in-the-box application development platform, enabling analysts with minimal development expertise to build and publish powerful analytical applications.
While QlikView is not currently built on the same QIX engine, it eventually will be when the next major release of QlikView, version 12, comes out. “This version is intended to be released in 2015 and will bring further enhancements,” he adds.
Qlik Sense provides a variety of capacities. It allows users to create applications (apps) through a drag-and-drop experience that delivers relevant analysis, interactive reports, and dashboards that are critical to decision-making and operations. Users are not limited to predefined paths to follow or questions formulated ahead of time. The Qlik associative data-indexing engine allows users to easily expose relationships among data dimensions, uncovering insights that would have been hidden in traditional hierarchical, query-based data models. This provides users with the freedom to explore data at any point in their analysis.
Smart Search allows users to type a word or number to begin analysis of a data set. When users type in a search string, Smart Search connects the dots, uncovering data relationships and information in locations that might otherwise be unnoticed. In addition, the intuitive Smart Visualizations uncover all relationships between data dimensions. These cues help users explore patterns by dynamically updating and highlighting new information and associations.
With Qlik Sense, users are able to put a social and collaborative experience front and center. Workgroups and teams collaborate by collectively sharing analysis anytime, anywhere, and on any device. Its touch-driven interface and responsive design automatically adapts visualizations for the best possible experience on any device.
Data Storytelling allows multiple users, on any device, to share insights at a point-in-time presentation formation. Users add commentary and narrative and drill down directly from the presentation to Qlik Sense to answer questions on the fly. This helps to drive communication of insight and facilitates group discovery.
With Qlik Sense, users build their own visualizations for a centralized library of pre-built data sets, expressions, and visualizations to ensure consistent use of data and values. Its modern architecture allows new capabilities for governance and manageability to support workgroup and distributed enterprise environments, including license allocation and usage monitoring in an easy-to-use interface that saves time and simplifies trouble shooting. It also enables IT to implement enterprise-level security requirements with a flexible security rules engine that offers granular control for progressive development with powerful audit and logging.
Additionally, Qlik Sense supports robust data integration to transform and combine multiple, disparate data sources and provide seamless analysis across them, including fast calculations, associative exploration, and search. Its open and powerful APIs provide developers the ability to embed Qlik Sense into Web pages and custom apps, and extend core capabilities to meet custom needs.
Qlik Sense is meant for companies of all sizes, from small businesses through global organizations. Deighton explains that the audience for Qlik Sense is broader than QlikView because of its ease of creative visualizations for immediate interaction, making it more user friendly for everyday business users.
Qlik Sense is currently available. In addition to this release, the company introduced a new flexible, token-based licensing model for Qlik Sense to provide greater flexibility for license management. Qlik Sense tokens are allocated to named users or leveraged across multiple login sessions for one or more users. With the token-based licensing model, customers can deploy multiple servers, across multiple geographies, to optimize for performance and availability without paying any additional costs.
On the horizon, Qlik plans to continue to innovate with new products and advance its core technology. The second-generation QIX engine represents a move from a relational to a columnar store to support even higher performance data indexing, and better performance for more complex associations including expressions as dimensions. SW
Oct2014, Software Magazine