Qonnections 2016 – how Qlik has changed strategy to become more customer-centric12 May 2016
For the first time, the Qonnections conference brought Qlik partners and customers together. 3000 people showed up, creating an unforgettable event. JCommerce, as a Qlik partner in Poland, was also there and learned how modern BI is trending towards customer-centricity and Agile methodology. The role of a BI leader is to show the world a totally new approach to the data world. QlikView is no longer the flagship product – instead Qlik is putting much more effort into Qlik Sense, the third version of which will be released in June 2016.
All this means that Qlik will be focused on a strong definition of the market, starting from a shift in centricity in the areas of development, data, buyers and analytics. Developers will no longer be “just” consultants, as their role will shift more towards web programming technologies; data will be moved to the cloud, outside of the organisation, and Qlik Sense will offer multiple opportunities to mix diverse sources of data; buyers will act in a more agile manner and more as ‘self-service operators’ as the latest Qlik Sense is about enabling customers to modify reports on a daily basis; and finally the shift in analytics means looking beyond the BI data pond and involves a greater dose of embedded analytics. It was clearly indicated during the general sessions of the conference that, as there is more and more external data, there will be a greater shift to analysis and data will be discovery driven. The future (and maybe this is the path Qlik will take) is about smart data discovery solutions. Qlik also focuses strongly on business, not procurement, as it is business that cares about the data and uses the results of data discovery.
Qlik Sense – seeing the whole story
The story of Qlik for 2016/2017 is about seeing the whole story that lives within the data, enabling agility for business users at the same time, but keeping the sense of trust and scalability that comes from IT. Another important aspect for the new Qlik Sense will be the shift from non-linear to associative visual analytics probing all associations within the data.
In terms of product positioning, Qlik will maintain its two-product strategy. Qlik Sense shall be more than a self-service product and QlikView remains a strong base with the platform approach. An important factor for improving the self-service aspect is the fact that there is no need for technical skills to create reports. An easy drag-and-drop approach is used for any user wishing to see the whole story in terms of data stored e.g. in Excel spreadsheets. A unique feature is that the latest platform is free-to-use for a single user, which means that even personal data such as household income and expenditure can be visualised after just a few clicks. On the other hand, there are more functions and possibilities for custom analytics, from non-standard designs to reporting and collaboration including data streams, data stories, sharing and exporting and printing.
Qlik Sense – what is your story?
The new Qlik Sense is also about design and proper UX/UI. It focuses heavily on storytelling, simplicity and comparability. It seems that it will now be crucial for Qlik partners to have in-house UX/UI designers together with web development capabilities to face new challenges and the customer-centric approach used by Qlik, as it is now up to the buyer to customise their reporting experience as much as possible using any device from a regular laptop monitor or mobile device to a properly arranged PDF printout. The reporting possibilities offered by Qlik seem to be endless, limited only by the needs of customers and the technological abilities of BI consultants and web developers.
The Qonnections 2016 conference was definitely a success in organisational terms. The number of events, a few hundred technical and success-story sessions and energetic morning meetings with key Qlik representatives, topped up with a final hour-long conversation with the renowned astronaut Scott Kelly, confirmed that, as Gartner’s magic quadrant shows, Qlik is the leader in the modern Business Intelligence world and will most likely remain so in the years to come.
Watch some highlights from Qonnections 2016