Qlik Product Innovation

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QlikSense Updates

From BI to AI

Posted by QlikSense Updates May 30, 2017

In the last of our three part follow-up to Qonnections, we explore the movement in the industry from BI to AI.


Business Intelligence (BI) has a long tradition of relying on an army of people to define, build, and maintain both quantitative and visual views into data.  This army of BI experts have done (and still do) some truly amazing work but at the same time - reliance on this team can often lead to a bottle-neck slowing analytic progress.  In the past few years, analysis tools have become much easier to use, of course.  And, as with Qlik Sense, this opens the analytic door to a much broader range of business users.


However, business users vary greatly in their level of understanding of statistical functions and visualization methods.  So, despite solving the problem of accessibility, today's results can still sometimes be mixed.  Some people strongly believe that the way to solve this problem lies in a shift from BI to AI or Artificial Intelligence.  In this vision of the future, the machine takes center stage and drives the path to insight.  IBM Watson's success on the game show Jeopardy is an often cited example of what AI looks like: a machine standing on its own leading the way against the inferior human mind.


That is not our vision at all!  At Qlik, we believe that the human mind is an incredible resource and that AI can stand for something else.....something centered on the human, not the machine.... forget Artificial Intelligence our focus is Augmented Intelligence.  This isn't really a new idea.  Steve Jobs understood this when he said "the computer is the most remarkable tool that we've ever come up with. It's the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds."  Like a bicycle's ability to multiply a human's locomotion ability, Augmented Intelligence has the ability to super power the human intuition, visual perception, and deduction.


Here is another way to think about it for those of you that are Star Trek fans.  One of the many reasons that Star Trek was such a great show was because ...although the human was still Captain, he greatly benefited from the inclusion of the purely logical Spock.    Spock helped to mitigate some of the well known issues of human intuition such as bias, emotion, and poor memory.  So will Augmented Intelligence.   Instead of running the ship, like Artificial Intelligence might aspire to do, Augmented Intelligence guides and informs - enhancing the ability of the Captain (you) to boldly go where no man has before.


By NBC Television - eBayfrontback, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=29921556


What’s Cooking @ Qlik

This information and Qlik‘s strategy and possible future developments are subject to change and may be changed by Qlik at any time for any reason without notice. This information is provided without a warranty of any kind.  The information contained here may not be copied, distributed, or otherwise shared with any third party.


The idea of Augmented Intelligence will play out in many ways.  Today, you can already see this taking shape in Qlik Sense through Visual Data Prep as well as through our ability to tie into Advanced Analytics such as R and Python through Server Side Extensions.  Going forward you will likely see additional integration such as an 'Insights Board' where Qlik Sense is expected to recommend visualizations and insights based on the data model auto-magically.  And a little more In the future, we are expecting to see the inclusion of the Qlik Cognitive Rules Engine which will provide even further support for Augmented Intelligence. 


Stay tuned.... now where did I put my tricorder?

Where are we today?


Since the launch of Qlik Sense Cloud in 2014 we have seen rapid growth in our cloud community, which now includes over 100,000 users worldwide.  We continue to expand and improve our offerings and today we offer multiple different subscription levels:  Qlik Sense in 60 - Introducing Qlik Sense Cloud Business - YouTube


  • Qlik Sense Cloud Basic: Basic app creation and sharing for individuals; a great way to get started with Qlik Sense for free. Individual users can upgrade to Qlik Sense Cloud Plus for unlimited sharing and to accommodate more data storage and larger app sizes.
  • Qlik Sense Cloud Business: Group-level governance, a collaborative work space, data connectivity, and scheduled data refreshes supporting groups, teams and small businesses.


Sign up for Cloud Basic for FREE

You can even sign up in-product for a free 14-day trial of Qlik Sense Cloud Business.


What’s New?


Qlik Sense Cloud is built to be cloud native using microservices architecture, and our cloud development team follows an agile development methodology.  What this means to you is that our software is constantly updated with the newest features and UI enhancements automatically - you never have to worry about manual upgrades.


Recently we’ve focused on adding more data connectivity options in Qlik Sense Cloud Business. These options help users get more value out of Qlik’s associative engine by bringing multiple data sources together and uncovering insights across them.

Cloud Business connectivity options available now (or coming in June) include:

What’s Cooking @ Qlik

This information and Qlik‘s strategy and possible future developments are subject to change and may be changed by Qlik at any time for any reason without notice. This information is provided without a warranty of any kind.  The information contained here may not be copied, distributed, or otherwise shared with any third party.


Last week at Qonnections, we were able to get a sneak-peek into the future direction of Qlik’s Cloud Strategy -  A True Hybrid Cloud Platform.


The reality is that we have reached the tipping point with just about as many companies choosing to deploy BI in the cloud as on-premises.  But, with a true Hybrid Cloud Analytics Platform, customers will not have to choose between either on-premises or cloud deployments.  They can use both together – seamlessly – and flexibly shift workloads to the cloud over time as their cloud strategies mature.



Don’t Be Fooled by Poor Imitations

hybrid cloud2.png.jpg


So, the big idea here is that On-Premises OR Cloud shouldn’t have to be a question....just like users shouldn’t have to choose a different experience at their desktop or on a mobile device – or online or off-line for that matter.  BI Solutions shouldn’t drive your technology strategy. They should support it.  And, to be truly effective, BI needs to exist at the point of decision – anywhere.

The Big Data ‘hype’ may have died down at this point but for many of our customers big data is still a really big deal.  Today, companies have a wide range of tools at their disposal for managing and processing big data but one aspect of working with big data remains a concern – that is how to make big data accessible, relevant, and interactive to every business user.  Most big data systems are great for processing big data in batch jobs or for supporting the quantitative elite but are just too slow to query in real time and work with interactively.  It is true that in some cases, this pain can be reduced but at great financial cost making it difficult to deliver the full potential of your big data investments across the entire business. 

Qlik On-Demand App Generation to the rescue!


Over the past few years, Qlik has worked closely with some of our largest customers to develop techniques that provide an interactive user experience from Big Data so that every user can benefit from these investments.  And, the best part, this technique works just as well on Qlik Sense as it does on QlikVIew.


As a simple example, imagine a telco company that has data from every touch point between every cell-phone and every cell-tower.  (That’s big data!)  A customer calls the telco call-center asking for help with a connectivity issue on their phone that they experienced last Tuesday.  The phone rep doesn’t really need ALL of the data in the big data store to do that analysis but they do need to be able to work interactively with the data that is relevant to the caller in real time so that they can help them.


On-Demand App Generation (ODAG) provides the ability for a user to first select a subset of data that they are interested in from a Big Data lake and then generates a detailed app with the relevant data for the user to explore interactively. 


In our example, the phone rep might select the caller’s phone number and all of the cell towers within a wide radius around the area where the caller was traveling last Tuesday.  Qlik On-Demand App Generation will then spawn a customized instance of the analysis app with just the data that is needed to help this customer.  Since the customized version of the analysis app is now in-memory, Qlik is able to deliver a tailor made highly interactive experience.  Why is this important?  Because this allows the phone-rep to work with that customer in real-time solving their problem and improving customer service. 


We will share more specifics about how to work with On Demand App Generation in both Qlik Sense and QlikView in the future. Stay Tuned!


Qlik On-Demand App Generation was actually introduced last June after working with a number of large customers to develop the technique.  Over the past year we have worked to provide more a more integrated solution which is what you will be seeing this June.

What’s Cooking @ Qlik

This information and Qlik‘s strategy and possible future developments are subject to change and may be changed by Qlik at any time for any reason without notice. This information is provided without a warranty of any kind.  The information contained here may not be copied, distributed, or otherwise shared with any third party.


ODAG is an incredible tool to have in your Big Data toolbox but there is still room for improvement.  In the future, our goal is to take this a step further delivering the best of both worlds – a direct connection back to a ‘live’ big data store and a highly interactive user experience that delivers the Associative Experience.


With On-Demand App Generation, we solve the performance concerns of working with Big Data but in order to request a different ‘slice’ of the data, users need to move back to the selection app and start over.  And, of course, working on the entire data lake is not possible using this model.


At Qonnections recently we were able to get a preview of just how this is expected to work in the future.


In addition to continuing to offer the On-Demand App Generation approach to Big Data, Qlik is working toward a solution currently referred to as Associative Big Data Indexing.  Imagine a future with the full associative experience on top of a big data lake without moving the data.  This model involves a parallel array of indexing engines optimized for Qlik style associative queries and speed.

Here is what that might look like in the future...


Data can remain located in the cloud, on premises, or even a combination.  And, the Associative Big Data Index can be reused across multiple apps so everyone across the organization can gain the benefits and insights in your big data investments.  We look forward to sharing more about On Demand App Generation and Associative Big Data Indexing in the future.

One week ago today we opened our biggest Qonnections conference yet with over 3,200 customers, partners, analysts, press and Qlik team members.  During the opening keynote, Rick Jackson, CMO, reinforced a theme that we at Qlik continue to believe is critical to the success of our customers in the changing BI landscape.

People + Data + Ideas = Possibilities


Lars Björk, CEO, shared what we have accomplished since Qonnections 2016 - a year of Qlik Sense® and Qlik® Analytics Platform (QAP) - including going from a public to private company, investing in our innovation, and continuing our commitment to changing the world. It’s this focus that has led to recognition by Fast Company as one of the most innovative companies for social good.  (This is a recognition that I am particularly proud of as an employee.)


Finally, Anthony Deighton, CTO, took the stage to share the new product roadmap and demonstrate some of what Qlik is working on over the coming year.  We not only got a preview of what is coming in June but also a sneak peak at what is coming beyond as well.  During this product presentation, Anthony focused on three key themes. 



What’s Cooking @ Qlik

This information and Qlik‘s strategy and possible future developments are subject to change and may be changed by Qlik at any time for any reason without notice. This information is provided without a warranty of any kind.  The information contained here may not be copied, distributed, or otherwise shared with any third party.

  • Leave Data Where It Is
    • Qlik has multiple strategies for dealing with Big Data today.  However, in many cases Big Data especially in the cloud needs a different strategy...one that doesn't involve moving the data into Qlik's in-memory engine.  WHAT IF SOMEDAY.... we could move the engine out to the edges?


  • A True Hybrid Cloud Platform
    • On-Premises OR Cloud is not the question....Companies rarely choose an all or nothing approach to cloud.  So, why should their BI vendor?  WHAT IF SOMEDAY you could seamlessly move between on-premises or cloud or both with your apps and/or your data?


  • From BI to AI
    • BI stands for Business Intelligence, but what does AI stand for?....If you answered "Artificial Intelligence", you would have forgotten our vision - People + Data + Ideas = Possibilities.   WHAT IF instead, it meant "Augmented Intelligence".... that is the ability to couple the intelligence of a cognitive rules engine with the experience, intuition, and know-how of your best and brightest.


I can't be certain what next week or next year will hold, but I do know Qlik has people, data, ideas and a lot of possibility. I am already looking forward to next year's Qonnections event!

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