2017: Pushing the Boundaries

My previous blog talked about our successes in 2016. Now I’d like to focus on all that’s still to come in 2017.

If you have any questions about the topics listed here, please feel free to contact me for more information.

Qlik GeoAnalytics

At the end of 2016, we were evaluating third party add-ons for Qlik to enhance the out-of-the-box geospatial/mapping functionality. We concluded that the product from Idevio in Sweden was the best available, so it was great news in January to hear that Idevio had been acquired by Qlik!

The product has been renamed Qlik GeoAnalytics and is available to purchase via the Qlik pricelist, so now is the perfect time to talk to us about how it could enhance your location-based decision-making.

Qonnections 2017

Since we became a Qlik partner, we have always attended Qonnections, Qlik’s annual Partner & Customer summit. 2017 is no different and we’ll be taking a full team over to the US next month.

We’re looking forward to getting a glimpse of the new features Qlik are developing and bringing you all the latest information. You can stay up-to-date with all that’s going on at the summit via our social media channels, so if you’re not already following us, now is a great time to do so! Follow us on Twitter!

Events

There are lots of events in the calendar, here’s what to watch out for:

  • We’re exhibiting at Big Data Analytics on 22nd June. It’s the UK’s premier cross-industry event, showcasing the latest big data insights and innovations.
  • We’re hosting the Birmingham leg of this year’s Qlik Sense Tour event on 5th July at The Belfry resort. Come along to find out all about the Qlik Platform and how it can help your organisation. Register your place.
  • We’ll also be at IP EXPO Europe, 4-5th October – Europe’s number one enterprise IT event.
  • We’ll be hosting regular webinars to showcase all that Qlik can offer.
  • Roundtable events – the next one is on insurance on 11th May. Register here.

See all of our upcoming events here.

Partnerships

We’ve got some exciting partnerships to introduce you to. Firstly, we’ve teamed up with the guys at NodeGraph to offer our customers greater insights into the data lineage in their Qlik implementations.

Available for both QlikView and Qlik Sense installations, NodeGraph provides a clear way to assess where the data in your applications has been extracted from and where it’s in use. It also provides automated documentation to support your development teams.

Another fantastic partnership for 2017 is IN4BI. We now offer IN4BI’s Platform Manager for Qlik solution, which gives development teams increased control when developing and publishing Qlik applications. This is especially powerful if you have multiple environments (e.g. Dev, Test, UAT, Prod) as it helps users to manage deployment processes, rollbacks and changes across each server efficiently.

We’ll be adding more information to our website in due course, but please get in touch if you’d like to find out more about either of these new offerings.

Get Social

We’re committed to keeping you in the loop with all things Ometis, Qlik and data analytics related.

Make sure you check out our blogs each month on a variety of relevant topics, follow us on social for news, tips and insights plus subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to know about the latest Qlik offerings.

Release of Qlik Sense 4.0 & Qlik Roadmap

Qlik Sense continues to follow the release schedule of 2 x minor releases (Feb/Sept) and 1 x major release (June) per calendar year.  The following schedule shows the expected release cadence across the whole Qlik Platform:

qlik

As well as expecting some great new functionality in Qlik Sense 4.0 this June, I was pleased to read the updated ‘Statement of Direction’ from Qlik about where they see their product development resources being focussed over the next couple of years.

It’s fantastic to see the level of continued commitment to innovate from the product team at Qlik. As expected, Qlik Sense and the Qlik Analytics Platform remain the key areas for investment in 2017 and beyond.

This is turning out to be another exciting year for Ometis. We’re very proud to be the UK’s largest, dedicated Qlik Partner and we’ll continue to grow our team of experts throughout the year to make sure we can continue to deliver the highest quality Qlik solutions available.

If you have any questions relating to the topics covered above, or would like to speak to one of our team about how we can support your adoption of Qlik solutions, then please get in touch.  We’d love to hear from you! Call us on +44 (0)330 363 9900 or email info@ometis.co.uk.

Ross Greig
Managing Director, Ometis Ltd – Elite Qlik Solutions Provider

Scared about sharing your data? Your competitors aren’t!

Forget locking it away, here’s 5 reasons you should be sharing data outside your organisation

There are many businesses out there who are still to really get to grips with their data, and how they need to share this across their organisation.  I’m always banging on about how businesses need to do a better job of treating their data as a key asset.  It’s the hidden gem.  The golden egg.  Yet it often sits there, neglected…unloved.  With the potential to transform a business, but without the platform do so.

I’ve seen first-hand how a well thought through business intelligence strategy can drastically improve a business’s performance.  I’ve seen it open up new markets, drive operational efficiency, improve customer retention and ultimately deliver profits that were previously thought unachievable.

However, today’s blog isn’t aimed at those who are yet to begin their analytics journey; it’s focused at those who already have access to internal data, but who are missing the next big opportunity – sharing that information with a much wider audience.

1 – break down the barriers

Open your books.  Share your data.  Ok, so I understand that it sounds a bit scary, but many forward-thinking organisations can see that by sharing relevant information and data across the supply chain they are, in fact, entrenching themselves further into the hearts and minds of both their customers and their suppliers.  Supplying great analytics helps engender a positive and productive relationship.  After all, two brains trying to solve a problem is better than one.  Use the power of the collective human intelligence available to you – but make sure that all parties (both internal and external) have access to the data to make those decisions.

Become an indispensable cog in the wheel by opening up, not hiding away.

2 – gain a competitive advantage

There’s no getting away from this shift in commercial relationships.  It’s happening.  Let me be clear – if they are not already, then your competitors will all soon be doing this.  If you think it might not be a good idea, then you are already one step behind.

However, there may still be time to steal a march.  Talk to your key customers and suppliers about how you can provide data and share more analytic capability, and how they feel that could benefit your relationships.  Be innovative – you might just be surprised by the reaction!

As an example, a client of ours recently won a large tender with a supermarket.  The supermarket’s decision to award them the contract was driven in no small part by their ability to demonstrate that they could provide access to accurate, timely data to support both production and sales workflows across that supply chain.

The other competitors couldn’t provide this.  Need I say more?

3 – open up a new revenue stream

Once you’ve come to the conclusion that you would like the capability to deliver information to your customers and suppliers, the next thing is to consider if that access can be monetised.  It’s certainly not the case in all situations – often there is a different need to share data (such as winning the business in the first place), but there are also many use cases where you may be able to charge a fee to access that data.

For some of our customers their business model is specifically driven by this approach.  They have developed a unique offering in their sector, where they can provide (paid-for) access to data which gives insights to their customers.

4 – learn and evolve faster

There is no better way to understand how you can improve your products or services than sharing information.  Is there a gap in the market?  Should you open more stores? How can you attract more clients with specific attributes?  These questions are the typical hunting ground for most board meetings.  Looking for those opportunities to grow and develop.

Unfortunately, opportunities are often lost because there’s simply not enough data available to support the decision-making process.  All too often it comes down to gut feel.  For some, this can work well, but business is littered with those horror-stories of people who took a gamble that didn’t pay off, or those that rue the opportunities they missed that their competitors didn’t!

By sharing data, you will be able to make those decisions with a much greater level of analytical support.  Ok, it’s not going to be a magic bullet, but at least you are going into those opportunities with your eyes open rather than your head buried in the sand.

5 – move with the times

We live in a new digital age.  We are impatient, demanding, and if we can’t get what we want we will move on to another supplier quickly.  Workers are used to modern tools – mobile apps, cloud solutions, seamless integration of systems and processes.  Modern fridges can now re-order products for us.  Modern cars can drive and park themselves while communicating to other cars around them.  The same modern approach is true of our expectations around data and analytics when interacting with our customers and suppliers.

Take the rise of FinTech as a good example.  Targeted at millennials, they provide banking and finance solutions that rip-up the rule book.  Starting with a blank canvas (but a lot of data) they are able to consider their market differently to the traditional institutions.  They have become a disruptive force.  Building focused solutions for a new generation, who are demanding a modern approach.

Data and analytics is right at the heart of this.  Those new FinTech companies use vast quantities of data to make sure their products are working effectively for their customers, but they are also sharing a level of analytics with consumers never before seen in that market.

Let me put this differently.  How many of you reading this have a bank who would consider themselves ‘modern’ because they now offer you a digital bank statement and a mobile app to check your balance?  Probably most of you.  What if your bank offered you access to a platform whereby you could get access to full portfolio analysis across all of your accounts, savings and investments?  Better understand spending patterns, market forces and how other products and services could help improve your returns.  All of this on a modern, dynamic platform that can be accessed from any device at any time.  Doesn’t that sound better?

Now consider your business.  Which category do you fall into?  Those millennials are no longer just the workers.  They are today’s purchasers, managers and directors.  They are demanding a modern approach and you need to move with the times to satisfy them.

If you are still not sure…read point 2 again.

How can we help?

As the UK’s largest, dedicated Qlik consultancy we spend our lives implementing these modern analytics platforms for our customers.  Many of those customers are still focussed on internal reporting – which is certainly an area to be addressed first.  It makes perfect sense to ensure your own workers, managers and directors have access to a comprehensive, intuitive data analytics platform before you open that up to your customers and suppliers.

Many of our customers have already reached that point.  They are the ones who are innovating in their sector, by sharing data, information and insights to a wider, external audience.  They are also the ones who are seeing the biggest growth in their markets.  Winning more contracts, adding more customers, working more efficiently.

The Qlik Platform is able to deliver industry leading business intelligence solutions for the complete range of use cases.  Structured dashboards, governed self-service analytics, mobile solutions, custom portals, embedded analytics, or content distribution – no problem.  Whether the consumers of that information are internal or external, Qlik has it covered.

Want to read more about just how ‘industry leading’ Qlik is?   Then read my blog on this years’ Gartner Magic Quadrant.

If you’d like to talk to me, or one of our team about how we could help you to deliver enterprise quality internal and external analytics, then we’d be happy to help.  Please check out our other blogs and our website for lots more information and additional ways to get in touch.

If nothing else, I hope this article gets you thinking about how attractive working with your business is to your wider supply chain of customers and suppliers.  Could you do more to innovate and develop those relationships?  Would that help take your business to the next level in your sector?  Food for thought…

Thanks for reading,

Ross Greig

Managing Director, Ometis – Elite Qlik Solutions Provider

ross.greig@ometis.co.uk

0330 363 9900

http://www.ometis.co.uk

Qlik continues to lead while Gartner get tough

Each February, Gartner releases its annual assessment of the Business Intelligence & Analytics Platform market.  The ‘magic quadrant’ format of this publication is now familiar to many in the industry.  Each platform is graded on two key metrics; Completeness of Vision (horizontal axis) and Ability to Execute (vertical axis).

This year I’ve built my own!

Here’s the resulting dashboard showing data from all of the last 6 years combined:

Dashboard new

 

As a Qlik enthusiast my first port of call when I wanted to further analyse the results was always going to be Qlik Sense.  Within a few minutes, I had used the Qlik Data Manager to connect to my Excel file and import the data into Qlik Sense – all without having to write a single line of script. Immediately, this gave me huge insight into the data and I found myself naturally drawn to several important insights. A few of which include:

These are explained in detail later on.

Gartner Analysis

The Magic Quadrant image below (Gartner, 2016) shows the results published in the last few days.

As you may guess from the name, the chart is divided into four quadrants, which allows Gartner to group the vendors into the following four categories: Niche Players, Visionaries, Challengers and Leaders.

Gartner Quadrant

The 2016 report makes great reading for everyone involved with the Qlik Platform.  For the 6th year in a row, Qlik has been positioned in the ‘Leaders’ quadrant, and that is certainly something to shout about.  However, this also got me thinking about how some of the other vendors are performing, how the overall landscape (according to Gartner) is changing, and why Qlik continue to remain a leading player in this field.

The Data Explained

In order to understand more about the trends over time, I collected the last 6 magic quadrants together and extracted the source data from the results.  To do this, I considered both the Completeness of Vision and Ability to Execute axes as values from 0 to 10 – with 10 considered maximum performance.

I then noted down the positions of each platform against the two axes and collected the results in a simple Excel file.

Scoring System

In addition to those two metrics, I needed a single metric to compare and contrast the relative performance of each vendor.  While it’s clear that platforms in the ‘Leaders’ quadrant are the highest performing, it can be difficult to directly compare platforms across all the different quadrants.

To normalise the results, I multiplied the two scores together to produce a Total Score for each platform.  To give an example, a vendor positioned directly in the centre of the chart would score 5 for Vision, 5 for Execution and 25 (5×5) as a Total Score.

Finally, I graded the vendors across High, Medium and Low performing categories using 15 and 32 as the score boundaries. This can be visualised as follows:

Blog Boundaries

N.B – I’ve used the terminology High, Medium and Low as arbitrary categories to give some understanding for you, the reader. I have no doubt you’ll have your own thoughts on this.

So far, so good…but now we get on to the good stuff!

Gartner is getting tough

The first thing I noticed was that the average score across the platforms showed a marked decrease in 2016 – down to 17.3 from 23.1 in 2015.

Blog Scoring

You can then see this borne out by the relative split of the three coloured segments in 2016 (right hand chart).  There’s a significant increase in those found to be Low performing (Niche Players) and only 3 platforms are considered High performing (Microsoft, Qlik and Tableau).

To investigate further, I plotted the average results of each year:

Blog Quadrant

From this chart, we can see that 2016 is the obvious outlier.  Interestingly, we can observe that 2016 actually has the highest average Vision scores, but there has been a significant reduction in Gartner’s assessment of the overall market’s ability to execute.  This poses some interesting questions of how Gartner is choosing to evolve its assessment criteria and why they believe the market has shifted in this way.  Gartner certainly seem to have ‘got tough’ in 2016.

Where are the Challengers?

My next insight came by selecting each year in turn and observing the movements of the dots for each platform.  It was fascinating to see the evolution of each product over the 6-year period.  While doing this, I noticed one anomaly – that 2016 is the only year that has no platforms positioned in the ‘Challengers’ quadrant (top left).  Birst is the closest we have to a ‘Challenger’ in 2016, but it seems to have fallen foul of Gartner’s stringent Execution criteria on this occasion.

I wanted to do some further digging into the performance of those products that had (at some point in the last 6 years) been considered Challengers.  To do this, I quickly cycled through each year and selected those platforms that appeared in the Challengers quadrant.  There were 4 vendors; TIBCO, Tableau, Birst and LogiAnalytics.  Finally, I selected just the 2016 year to find out where they are all positioned today.  The results are interesting:

Gartner Magic Quadrant

Of the 4 products that have been considered challengers, only Tableau has managed to force its way into the Leaders quadrant.  Birst may still have a chance, and it will be interesting to see how its position will develop over the next 12 months, but a 1-in-4 conversion ratio from Challenger->Leader is going to make it tough for any new vendors in the market place.  Both LogiAnalytics and TIBCO appear to have stagnated as other vendors evolve their products and highlight potential issues with their relative ability to execute.

Consistency is key

One area I wanted to focus on was the performance of Qlik.  Ok, so I have a vested interest in monitoring Qlik closer than some of the other vendors, but this still showed some significant insights.

The first thing that stood out came when I plotted the status of each platform across all the years.  Here I’m just showing the top 10 vendors, sorted by average score:

Blog Consistency

The thing that stands out is that (based off the normalised calculations) Qlik is the only vendor to achieve a High performing (green) status in each of the last 6 years.  This is quite remarkable given the company that Qlik is keeping.

In addition, some of the other High performers from previous years (IBM, SAS, MicroStrategy, SAP, TIBCO and Information Builders) certainly appear to be slipping away when you look at their positions in 2016:

Gartner Magic Quadrant 2

Qlik v Tableau

The rise of Tableau into the High performing category has certainly been impressive over the last few years, and no-one can deny they have a compelling offering for some customers who require little in the way of data transformation.  Given that there has been a significant overall reduction in scores across all vendors, I was keen to assess the relative movements of Qlik and Tableau over the last 12 months

This first image shows the 2015 position, where Tableau hold a strong position:

2015 AVG Score

Next we look at the updated view for 2016:

2016 AVG Score

In 2016, Tableau has followed the same movement in profile as many other vendors – a small increase in Vision, but a reasonable drop in Execution performance.  On the other hand, Qlik has shown a strong increase in their Vision with only a small decrease in their Execution performance.

I believe the improvement in Qlik’s Completeness of Vision is down to their new and improved platform approach.  The acquisition of NPrinting for content distribution, the release of Qlik Sense Cloud for application sharing and remarkable sales of the newer Qlik Sense product seem to have impressed our colleagues at Gartner as they now rank Qlik above Tableau once again.

Summary

There is no denying that our industry pays attention to reports such as this one produced by Gartner.  For anyone related to BI it is always interesting to see an objective view of the market.  Like the tools we use, sell, or implement on a daily basis, this information helps us make more informed decisions.  As the UK’s largest dedicated Qlik consultancy we pay particular attention, and remain impressed by the results.  Qlik consistently enhance their leading platform, and the successful implementations we deliver to our customers are a testament to that.

It will be interesting to see how Gartner’s evaluation criteria develop this year, and if some of the vendors who have fallen away can fight their way back into the Leaders quadrant.  I think we all appreciate that BI and Analytics is going to remain a hot topic for many organisations throughout 2016 and we look forward to the challenges and success that will bring.

Next Steps

If you are interested in obtaining a full copy of the Qlik Sense application from which this analysis is based, then we would love to hear from you.  If you are not already a Qlik Sense user, then no problem,  our team will be happy to support you in installing the free desktop version so you can start exploring this data (and your own) in much more detail.

Contact me directly, or email info@ometis.co.uk for further information.

Thanks for reading!

Ross

www.ometis.co.uk