People who suffer sometimes think they are the only ones, and that no one else understands their pain and suffering. They suffer in silence. That is one of the reasons why support groups exist for various conditions and chronic illnesses. Being part of a support group of people dealing with similar issues breaks that misconception and points the way to solutions that, when shared with the group, lead to genuine life changes.
Likewise, we as knowledge workers in business tend to think we are the only ones who are not Excel jockeys or have trouble making sense of the data we have to work with. We get frustrated with our data and the tools we are given. As a result, sometimes we end up making decisions based more on instinct than on facts.
On a recent webcast for CIO magazine, I co-presented with Jeff Brobst, VP Financial Planning & Analysis at McAfee. (You can watch the recorded webinar in its entirety here.) Jeff mentioned a number of pain points that existed within the finance group in his organization that many of us can easily relate to. The finance team traditionally spent three weeks at the end of each quarter on the closing process.
Their existing BI tool was available only to a limited group and it was very difficult to combine and analyze data from heterogeneous data sets. Most of the team’s processes were manual, tedious, and time-consuming. The result was more time spent gathering and formatting data and less time on real analysis. Furthermore, multiple sources of truth and inconsistent use of data led to more work and fact-checking.
Jeff showed how QlikView changed all that. His team was able to consolidate data from multiple sources and create useful interactive dashboards that contain up-to-date data throughout the quarter, not just at the end, making it possible to course correct more than just four times a year. The closing process went from three weeks to three days. Broad access to near-real-time sales data enabled McAfee to sell products to customers at the right time at the right price.
At the close of the webcast, an attendee asked me a great question: “How would you compare the ROI of QlikView versus other products?” My answer was two-fold. On the investment side, QlikView is a bargain when you consider the months or years it takes to get a traditional BI stack deployed compared to the weeks or even days it takes to get QlikView deployed. The savings alone in man-hours is huge. On the return side, customers who switched to QlikView often find that BI becomes not the domain of the few but rather the essential, go-to data analysis tool across the company. This democratization of data analysis pays handsome dividends because now all decision makers are using the same data and asking and answering their own questions in order to improve business.
At McAfee, QlikView is truly transforming the culture in terms of how data gets used and produces value. Jeff Brobst commented that those who see QlikView naturally want access to it, and adoption is growing rapidly.
You don’t need to suffer alone. It’s time to join the support group for people who are frustrated with their current data analysis and reporting tools—it’s called QlikView!