IoT Data And The Power Of Qlik

The Internet of Things (IoT) has grown rapidly in recent years and shows no signs of slowing any time soon.

In fact, it’s estimated each of us will own 28 IoT devices by 2020 compared to the average six devices per person we see today – that’s a massive increase. It’s no wonder that, as a result, the IoT market is expected to be worth more than 11 trillion USD within the next 10 years.

All this newly acquired data raises a new set of questions and most importantly the main query for us is what are we going to be doing with all this data. The amounts of information available are going to be huge.

The reason behind this increase in IoT devices is the obvious advancement of technology, which also shows no signs of slowing any time soon. Cost-effective and energy efficient sensors have enabled the sentient enterprise, while Edge/Fog computing has provided real-time intelligence close to the source of data creation.

The rise of connectivity through the likes of IPV6, LTE (5G) and low-energy BT allows the constant transfer of this data, which is then stored in the cloud meaning all this data is then easily accessed. This is all great but it’s still huge amounts of data, which, despite easy access, is seemingly insurmountable when it comes to any type of analysis.

That’s where Qlik comes in.

Firstly, to truly understand the value of IoT data, it must be associated with other data. Secondly, any innovation from IoT data must be discovered within the data itself, and, thirdly, for the true value of IoT data to be realised, insights need to be easily shared and acted upon.

Qlik’s influence on these three key areas cannot be underestimated nor overstated. It’s simple, without a platform like Qlik, there’s no way of breaking down, digesting and disseminating this data without the requirements of hours and hours of human processing, analysis and, ultimately, sharing. With Qlik, this process becomes almost instantaneous in comparison.

We could spend time here running through numerous examples of how the Qlik platform has enabled swift processing of IoT data and the subsequent results but I’m going to focus on one that I’m sure we can all relate to, one that is understandably a forward-thinking leader in the IoT phenomenon.

BMW have been using Qlik’s platform to help them understand all areas of their products, processes and procedures. They use Qlik to analyse machine-generated data including in-car data, paint-shop robotics and diagnostic readouts in service.

You can imagine the reams of data produced from one vehicle alone, which is why Qlik is so important to the company. It’s used to analyse data from advanced analytics for creation and tuning of algorithms as well as delivering insight into business processes.

If you’re looking to capitalise on your IoT data, or utilise your business data to ensure advantageous decision making over your competitors, we’re here to help.

Get in touch with the expert Ometis team now to request a free demo of the Qlik platform. After that, as the UK’s largest dedicated Qlik consultancy, we’ll look after everything. So, call us now on 0330 363 9900 and start using your data to your competitive advantage or visit http://www.ometis.co.uk.

By Ross Greig

Qlik Subscription Model Update

Qlik have now expanded their Qlik Sense subscription offerings.

This gives ultimate flexibility to suit the needs of all companies and provides opportunities for both opex and capex purchases.

The subscription model now covers line items such as:

  • Qlik Sense Enterprise
  • Qlik NPrinting (new)
  • Qlik GeoAnalytics (new)
  • Qlik Analytics Platform (new)
  • Qlik Web Connectors
  • Qlik SAP Connector (new)
  • Qlik DataMarket
  • Test and Development options for most products are also now available

Nearly all parts of your Qlik estate can now be covered on a subscription model, and there are ways to migrate to that model if you desire.

This is great news and fulfils the desires we set out in our previous blog post on this topic.  At Ometis, we hope there will always be flexible options to meet the needs of all customers going forward.

If upfront purchase doesn’t suit and you don’t want ongoing subscription then always talk to us about finance options for a purchase of software. It’s always worth giving us a call to discuss your requirements, as we pride ourselves on providing bespoke services that are tailored to suit your business’ needs.

That includes defining which products and services will be best utilised by your business in order to help you make informed decisions that ultimately provide a competitive advantage. The type of industries you’re working in will ascertain which services and products are best suited to ensure you gain that competitive advantage and with the subscription model, there are less barriers in accessing the innovative Qlik Sense platform.

That’s why we feel the subscription model is an exciting move made by Qlik, as it not only makes the platform much more accessible to business owners across the country, it does so in a much more malleable format. While other vendors have a subscription-first policy, Qlik has very clearly stated that the subscription model released is about giving consumers the choice. So, regardless of your preference in licencing strategy we have an option to suit.

That said, once you’ve experienced Qlik Sense and enjoyed accessing your business data on a granular level, we’re sure it will change the way you make decisions and therefore we’ll adapt to that situation for you as and when it arises.
By Andy Patrick

Visualize YOUR World Was A Sabering Success

We had a fantastic time at this month’s Visualize YOUR World event in London with Qlik.

We also arguably had the best stand at the event thanks to the fantastic Gary Palmer and ForbiddenPlanet.com, who provided an excellent array of displays and giveaways that would excite any sci-fi fan.

From real-life lightsabers to huge Wonder Woman graphics, the collateral from ForbiddenPlanet.com definitely put our stand on the map!

We also had a lightsaber to give away, but not just any lightsaber (as if there is such a thing) but Luke Skywalker’s very own lightsaber… does it get any better than that?

Gary helped attendees understand the power of Qlik and the bespoke service Ometis provides, with compelling examples of how ForbiddenPlanet.com have utilised the platform to revolutionise the way they do business – and as their IT Director, he should know.

There were plenty of questions during Gary’s lunchtime session, although this may have been down to the fact that visitors had to be holding a lightsaber to ask a question… We had everything from serious queries to ‘What’s your favourite colour?’ as people vied for the chance to swing a saber, and who can blame them?

All-in-all, it was an entertaining day packed with data-driven opportunities and was a fantastic opportunity to showcase the work we do, as well as how good we are at doing it (even if I do say so myself!).

Now we’re looking forward to Visualize YOUR World in 2018, we’ve already been thinking hard about how we’re going to top this year’s display but if ForbiddenPlanet.com are involved once again, I’m sure it won’t be too difficult.
By Andy Patrick

We’re Heading To IP Expo – Europe’s No.1 Enterprise Event

It’s official, Ometis are heading to this year’s IP Expo, Europe’s leading enterprise event, at Excel London from 4 – 5 October.

We’ll be joining more than 300 exhibitors as the must-attend IT event of the year for CIOs, heads of IT and insight leaders. IP Expo is a platform for exclusive content and senior-level discussion topics, and we’re happy to announce we’ll be joined by Qlik to host a seminar session.

The annual event is an important part of the Ometis calendar and incorporates expert opinion and knowledge around analytics and IoT, key factors in the understanding and capturing of business data. We’ll see you inside the Analytics area on stand KK17, make sure you pop by.

We’ve also organised a special appearance by Qlik Director of Retail & Services Market Development, Paul Winsor, who’ll be hosting a seminar session on discovering the value in IoT Data.

It is estimated there will be over 20x connected devices per person on the planet by 2020, and anything from 50-200 billion IoT devices. That’s a lot of data being generated from IoT ecosystems. The challenge will be making all that data accessible and understandable to start extracting value from it all. Paul will explain how Qlik are making this happen at 2.40pm on Thursday 4th October inside the Analytics Theatre.

While we’re there, we’ll be taking the opportunity to discuss Qlik’s various products and complementary platforms that ensure you get the most from your software. These include Narratives for Qlik and NodeGraph and we’ll have a number of pre-set demos that showcase the power of Qlik, with true data visualisation at the touch of a button.

If you’re heading to this year’s IP Expo in London, come and say hello – we’ll have a few goodies to give away and plenty of charm and wit to make your visit worth it.

Don’t despair if you’re not attending this year’s event either, we’ll keep you up-to-date over the official Ometis social channels, so get following! We’ll also have a complete IP Expo review to follow so you won’t feel too left out.

 

By Ross Greig

Qlik Sense Subscription Model Announced

The long-awaited subscription model for Qlik Sense was announced in July and offers a more flexible way for businesses to utilise the ground-breaking platform.

As an elite Qlik partner, we’re delighted Qlik have introduced this subscription model. It’s only for Qlik Sense at the moment but will provide a greater reach for the invaluable services the Qlik platform provides.

I know some of our existing Qlik customers and members of the Qlik community have been eagerly awaiting this subscription pricing. The new model works in the same way as a perpetual license and can be deployed either in the cloud or on-premise.

Pricing is staggered based on the number of users and there are some subtle differences to the perpetual licenses, which we’d be happy to discuss. Please get in touch with the team at Ometis to find out more about subscription pricing.

It’s an important scheme as the subscription model will help companies by reducing barriers to entry, enabling more businesses to utilise the innovative and efficient Qlik Sense platform.  The model’s flexibility to easily and cost-effectively increase or decrease subscribers will be a huge draw to new businesses eager to unlock the information their business data holds.

Not only does the new subscription price include maintenance, which entitles users to the latest versions of the Qlik Sense software, it will also free up budgets in Year One to deploy more services and ensure a successful implementation.

The subscription model may only be available for Qlik Sense at the moment but we hope to see services such as NPrinting and GeoAnalytics have some type of subscription service later in 2017 or early 2018. Qlik Sense users still have the option to buy perpetual licenses as well and we do not expect to see this taken away.

If you would like to know about the Qlik Sense services under the new subscription model, please get in touch with us by calling +44 (0)330 363 9900, or emailing me direct at andy.patrick@ometis.co.uk . Alternatively you can click here and filling out the contact form.

By Andy Patrick

Trends in the BI Marketplace

Data is entrenched within business processes and decisions. In today’s digital world, it’s imperative to organisations across the globe and a controlling factor in whether a business achieves success and continues to grow, efficiently and sustainably.

Companies that have already harnessed the power of data have secured a hugely competitive advantage and generated innovation that’s enabled positioning above their competitors. It wasn’t long ago that obtaining, digesting and distributing business data was a full-time role, perhaps even a full team’s role, but the previous decade has seen unparalleled development in business intelligence, its collation and readability.

Never before has so much data been available so swiftly and simply, and no more simply than via the ground-breaking Qlik platform. As an official Qlik partner and BI consultancy, we enjoy divulging the latest news and evolutions – that’s why we want to share our expectations for digital BI over the coming months and years.

So, we teamed up with Qlik for the recent Qlik Sense Tour to collate some predictions which include AI, hybrid clouds and the death of ‘big data’… read on to find out why.

INTERACTIVE VISUAL RENDERING

The first big trend that’s taking hold is the move from basic visual rendering to context-driven visual analytics, which will enable simpler visualisation of every aspect of your data.

It means an end to consuming only the data you can see, the end result of a set of queries in report format. Instead you can visualise the data throughout preparation and acquisition, while seeing and understanding its lineage – and the whole process will be presented in an easy-to-digest visual format.

This trend is driven by organisations becoming more data literate, and leaving the ones that aren’t behind. According to MIT and Emerson University, data literacy “includes the ability to read, work with, analyse and argue with data” and that only comes with true visualisation.

DEATH OF ‘BIG DATA’

The second trend is data consumption. Combining data sources is where the true value lies and this has become easier, faster and generally more efficient in recent years. Easy access to higher quality data is going to drive a change in the way we consider ‘Big Data’.

Most ‘Big Data’ projects have met with limited success. Throwing the data into a data lake, or hoarding it with no clear purpose is inefficient. That’s always been our opinion at both Ometis and Qlik but Gartner validates this further by explaining that, through 2018, 90% of deployed data lakes will be useless as they are overwhelmed with information assets captured with no clear plan.

That’s the key here. It’s great having lots of data but you must still make sense of it. It’s not about size but combinations of different data sources, regardless of where the data is coming from. It’s why Gartner is predicting that by 2019, 75% of analytics solutions will incorporate 10 or more external data sources, and that 100% of enterprises will purchase external data.

AI… BUT NOT AS WE KNOW IT

We are beginning to see focus shift from ‘advanced analytics’ to ‘advancing analytics’… or from BI to AI but not necessarily AI as you may know it! Let us explain…

Advanced analytics will continue to expand in companies and the market in general, we know the creation of data models is dependent on highly-skilled experts, as is the governance of creations of these data models. However, many more people should be able to benefit from those models once they are created, enabling them to be brought into self-service tools.

There is clearly something going on in the area of Artificial Intelligence. People are talking about Deep Learning and Machine Learning and in fact, Artificial Intelligence is the new ‘Big Data’.  We believe analytics can be advanced by increased intelligence being added into software but to really make the most of AI, it needs to compliment and assist rather than replace.

We know it’s as important to ask the right questions as it is to get the right answers. Processes like synthesis, non-linear thinking, and asking the right question, as well as instincts will continue to be provided by humans. The sweet spot will be the combination of human reasoning with machine learning and the result will be better data literacy and faster delivery.

HYBRID CLOUDS

The final trend we want to talk about here is the move from on-premise to cloud hosting – and this trend may surprise you but we believe the mass move to the cloud will peak in 2017.

The battles between public cloud infrastructures like Amazon, Google and Microsoft will continue to heat up. After all, their ultimate goal is to own all the data and processes, but the single-stack approach didn’t work out on-premise and we don’t see it being much different in the cloud.

Workloads, data, publishing – these things need to sit in many places. That’s why we believe Hybrid Cloud Analytics will emerge as the dominant design, where platform-based, visual analytics is available on-premise and/or in the cloud publicly or privately depending on the customers’ specific needs.

 CONCLUSION

There are exciting times ahead in the realms of data. It’s clear that direct access to data will ignite a better understanding of its power and drive a greater need for visualisations that help organisations make informed decisions across all areas of their business.

Ometis’ role is to facilitate organisations understand the true nature of these trends and the power they have for decision makers. These trends are not only being addressed by the Qlik platform, they’re being fuelled by it.

If you want to know more about Qlik and how it can help you, don’t hesitate to get in touch and a member of the Ometis team would be happy to discuss the data-driven opportunities we can help you unlock.

Call +44 (0)330 363 9900, email info@ometis.co.uk or click here and fill out the contact form.

Qlik Sense June 2017 Release – First Impressions

For those of you who follow Qlik closely, you’ll have noticed that the Qlik Sense June 2017 (or 17.06) Technical Preview has been released. This is the first in the new release naming convention and cadence – now five times per year.

Having seen it demonstrated at Qonnections, we were excited to get our hands on it. So as soon as it came out I installed the Desktop version to start familiarising ourselves with the new features. The data I decided to use was the electricity generated by the solar panels on my home roof which is logged at 15-minute increments.

The first thing you’ll see when loading data in is a range of new options in the Data Manager…

Measure Suggestions & Tools

Qlik Sense June 2017 Release 1

Here you can see that Qlik Sense has recommended the selected field should be a measure and shown a histogram of the frequency of values in that field – including the min, median, average and max statistics. Qlik Sense has also suggested that, since this has numerical values they could be put into buckets. All of this can be customised, but Qlik Sense makes some good guesses.

Dimension Suggestions & Tools

Qlik Sense June 2017 Release 2

In this screenshot, you can see what analysis – range and uniqueness – and options – the split tool – Qlik Sense presents when you select a dimension field. The split tool allows you to break a dimension field down, which is common for things like date/time fields, phone numbers or composite keys in source data.

(Yes, I know the split location looks wrong – that’s what I had to do to make the preview look right – I’ve logged a bug about that)

If you select a field that has fewer distinct values, you get a different set of tools:

Qlik Sense June 2017 Release 3
Here you can see that I have the choice to replace values in the DayofWeek field – perhaps I want to group my Sat & Sun into one value called “Weekend” – I can do that here.

Qlik Sense June 2017 Release 4
I can null values if I want to ignore those in a chart for some reason – here I’ve done that with some errors from the source data.

Qlik Sense June 2017 Release 5
And here’s how you set custom sort orders – drag & drop interface for setting the default sort order.

Please note that not every combination of these tools works with every other one – for instance you can do Order & Split together but not Nullify/Replace with Order.

What’s going on behind the scenes?

With all this in the data manager, what’s going on in the Data Load Editor? The script that Data Manager generates is all there and viewable – locked by default.

Qlik Sense June 2017 Release 6
New chart types

Once you’ve got your data imported using this new interface, you’ll see some three new charts you can use:

Qlik Sense June 2017 Release 7
Histogram – you just select a numerical field and it shows you the frequency distribution of values. You can customise the buckets (number or size of them), but that’s about it – so there will be scenarios where you want to use the buckets in the data load and a bar chart to achieve histogram-like charts with more flexibility.

Qlik Sense June 2017 Release 8
Box plot – this is something that has been much-requested – especially by the statisticians among us. While I’m not a statistician, I can see the value here. You select a couple of dimensions and a measure and it will do the box plot for you. You can choose from Standard (Tukey), Percentile-based or Standard deviation as presets or you can customise your own:

Qlik Sense June 2017 Release 9
In this case I chose to use the percentiles preset, setting the whisker lines at the 1st and 99th percentiles with the box ends at the 1st and 3rd quartiles and the line being the median. The dots are the “outliers” – there tends to be at least one each month as I only have 14 months of data in there so there are only up to 62 days for analysis, so they’re effectively the minimum and maximums within the months.

qlik-sense-june-2017-release-10-e1497954761945.png
Distribution Plot – a simpler, less statistical, chart that, similarly to the box plot takes a dimension or two and a measure. Here we can see each day’s generation plotted in its month, visualising the minimum, maximum and range of each month.

Consistent Colours for Dimensions

Qlik Sense June 2017 Release 11
Qlik Sense June 2017 Release 12
Enhancing the “Colour by dimension” functionality, here we can see that I’ve set custom colours for the months, inspired by someone with synaesthesia who sees the months as these colours. For example, this could be useful in your sales performance app – setting a consistent colour for each salesperson to be used across the app.

Not yet reviewed

There are a few things we’ve not covered here because we’ve not had enough time to test them just yet:

  • iOS app including offline support – we’ve got this installed and are starting to test it now.
  • Advanced Analytics, including R integration. Qlik have just published the details of setting this up – we’ve got it running but want to work with it a little more before sharing our thoughts.
  • Platform component updates – in this blog we’re been looking at the end-user experience, but the removal of the requirement for a single “central node” certainly looks interesting and a good step forward for resilience. The Enterprise Mobility compatibility (MobileIron, AirWatch & Blackberry) will certainly appeal to some of our more security-and-mobility focussed customers too.

Summary

This is a really exciting release of Qlik Sense – great new features across the board serving the end users, power users, enterprises, IT administrators and more. We can’t wait to get our hands on the other features we’ve not been able to test yet and the final release when it comes out.

Next steps

Most people should now wait until the final release to get these features and then look to upgrade at that point. However, if you’re a Qlik customer and keen to get hands on, you can also join the Technical Preview that will run until 26 June. To do this, just visit the community page and register. Health warning: this isn’t recommended for anything approaching a Production environment and it may stop working altogether after the 26 June deadline and/or you may have to uninstall it completely before being able to upgrade to the final release when that comes out.

Some useful pages in that community include:

  • What’s New – a good summary of the new features, although lacking in a little detail so some can be hard to find! Also note that it’s listing some items that aren’t actually new in this release of Qlik Sense – like new Web Connectors and Qlik Sense Cloud features.
  • Advanced Analytics video – first half of this shows some of the things the R integration will be able to do.

 

Alex Walker
Service Delivery Manager