December 15, 2021

Business analytics during a pandemic: global trends and new features to learn in 2022. Interview with a Qlik Team Lead

How the Business Intelligence (BI) market feels during a pandemic, which Qlik Sense upgrades attract attention of innovative companies, and which best practices should be considered immediately – we discussed these matters with our Qlik Team Lead at Smart Analytics

Oleg, Smart Analytics company is working with several BI platforms and developing custom BI systems. Tell us, please, when do you recommend using Qlik?

Yes, we work with the products offered by several BI platform vendors. Each one of them offers a rich, but mostly similar functionality. However, there are essential differences among them which help identify a certain platform promising the maximum benefit in a specific case.

These are the situations when we definitely recommend using Qlik Sense:

1) If project involves migration from QlikView

Qlik Sense is a modernized, technologically advanced next-generation product of QlikView. Our services include several options available to satisfy specific customer needs while migrating from a previous product. For example, we can create a migration strategy, evaluate implementation effectiveness, design Qlik Sense architecture, train users and developers to deploy the tool and advise properly on application transformation or refactoring for their use in Qlik Sense, including with the deployment of a special converter.

2) If business users need to ask questions to data without assistance

Qlik Sense helps combine, visually transform and load data from several sources. Qlik Cognitive Engine (a content addressable engine) can identify the most relevant data relationships using AI, concatenate tables and form tables with links. Intelligent profiling automatically processes various data types to provide descriptive statistics. The content addressable engine also partially automates visualization based on smart recommendations. Business users can easily benefit from these advantages in their daily routine, as Qlik Sense is adapted to analyzing data in a self-service mode, and allows creating custom visualization patterns in “drag and drop” mode.

3) If there is a necessity for enhanced monitoring and security tools

Qlik Sense stands out for its system performance monitoring tools and trend indicators analysis tools.

In addition, Qlik Sense has integrated tools for ensuring data security, access management, prevention of different interventions, including XSS attacks. Availability of activation of multi-factor authentication (MFA) and API keys provide additional protection.

4) If a user intends to use Advanced Analytics

Qlik Sense has an advantage over other BI systems due to its support of PMML facilitated by its integration in KNIME Analytics Platform. The tool supports two-dimensional linear analysis and prediction based on R plug-in. Beyond that, third-party extensions, for example, produced by Vizlib, facilitate prediction based on historical and real-time data.

5) If there is a necessity for powerful mobile analytics

Qlik Sense mobile app has extensive functionality. With your mobile device, you can get access to visualization, creation, analysis and management of the system. Using Notes module (which is shared space for collaboration with your team) you can add context to your analytics and actively discuss its data.

Even when off-line, iOS users still keep access to Qlik Sense Analytics. They can access Qlik Sense, load apps and data and explore them interactively even without Internet connection.

How standard are your Qlik Sense implementation projects?

Every Qlik Sense implementation project has, of course, its own specifics, because every company is unique. We consider their industry, company size, their tasks to be performed with BI. At the same time, over the years of implementation of BI solutions with Russian and global corporations, we extracted some best practices, methods and algorithms which accelerate implementation and help the customers receive financial advantage faster. Before I went into details in the article “How we implement Qlik Sense so that the solution quickly pays off and generates extra profit”.

We extracted some best practices, methods and algorithms which accelerate implementation and help the customers receive financial advantage faster

How has the demand for Business Intelligence systems changed over the pandemic period?

According to the report issued in October 2021 by Zion Market Research, the global Business Intelligence market accounted for USD 22.16 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 42.95 billion by 2028, with the annual average growth rate equating to 8.6% between 2021 and 2028.

The global Business Intelligence market demonstrated a slight reduction in growth rates due to restrictions imposed by the governments in order to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Particularly, the coronavirus restrictions affected production and, subsequently, supply chains. However, the global markets are restoring step by step, that improves the demand for business analytics too. Analysts forecast growth in implementation of BI solutions in 2022.

Today many companies use business analytics to support a wide range of business decisions, from operational to strategic ones, which, in turn, facilitates significant growth of the Business Intelligence market.

Keys factors promoting growing interest in BI, include orientation of some industries towards digital transformation, high industrial automation dynamics triggered by competition within the industry, as well as growth in accumulated data volumes (Big Data) which we shall rest upon for the purpose of making intelligent decisions.

Which general global BI trends you can name?

Modern businesses tend to become data-driven, that is why a self-service BI, or a self-service analytics, concept is establishing itself everywhere. This is an approach to business analytics where industry experts can access and explore necessary data sets and generate reports with the minimum IT support. Self-service analytics is characterized by user-friendly BI tools with basic analytical potential and a simplified, well-understood data model. But if you want to build the whole workflow with self-service analytics, you have to arrange an effective procedure so that the users could obtain data. That is why platforms like Qlik now pay a lot of attention to improve their integration platform which helps deliver high-quality data into its analytics framework in due time.

Self-service BI is an approach to business analytics where industry experts can access and explore necessary data sets and generate reports with the minimum IT support.

Recently Qlik saw many upgrades. Which of them are the most coveted?

  1. App automation is a feature recently presented in Qlik Sense SaaS, which is developing fast now. It allows to automate analytics within the Qlik Sense framework and build workflow at different levels of complexity, thus eliminating the need to write a third-party code for these purposes.
  2. Prediction. Business users and analysts often need tools for exploring time-continuous trend data behavior. Using time series forecasting tools, they can evaluate future data changes, which may produce important information for creating strategies and making decisions.

In addition to Qlik Sense which is very popular in the world, Smart Analytics company is one of the few to offer Qlik Catalog implementation. Tell us, please, about it. Why did you decide to focus on that?

Data marketplaces have been in high demand for a long time in the Europe and USA, where they have reached a certain level of data democratization. Now such marketplaces are becoming more and more popular among corporations all over the world, as the range of tasks performed by such corporations with the use of data, widens. These may include:

  • Performance analysis of marketing campaigns;
  • Sales analysis with a breakdown into individual products, sales channels, customers;
  • Cost breakdown for the projects; or
  • Productivity analysis of work schedules of employees (for example, at an IT company engaged in project business); etc.

It is exactly marketplaces that help businesses to create environment for performing their tasks with comfort. They are designed to help the companies improve data usability and provide a single data access point.

Qlik Catalog (former Qlik Data Catalyst) is an excellent exponent of that range of marketplaces to be among the first to enter the Russian market. It provides the user with the self-service opportunity to quickly find, obtain and order delivery of data to the destination point.

Thank you for this interesting interview! If our readers still have questions, how can they reach you?

Use our corporate contacts or email to: My colleagues will forward me any targeted questions, and I will do my best to respond to them.

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