Last week I attended Qlik’s annual partner and customer conference in Orlando, Florida. With a new CEO, recently reduced workforce, and shift in strategy (see the MQ), I wasn’t sure what to expect.
Newly appointed CEO Mike Capone, formerly from Medidata and ADP, kicked off the keynote. He shared a funny exchange with a partner who commented on an unnamed competitor with a larger conference. Mike told the partner that’s not how Qlik keeps score. He prefers to focus on business value delivered, such as the $20 million in cost savings touted by the CEO of AmeriGas, the 1700 partners, and the 48,000 customers with a 94% retention rate. All good numbers, of course, and if you are keeping tabs (we do) – Qlik estimates their conference attendance was 3200, about the same as last year. (I’d guess the unnamed competitor was Tableau, whose conference had about 14,000 attendees.) I’d venture to say that while these vendors are arch competitors, they serve slightly different use cases and buyers, just one reason why their conferences will always be different. But let’s not digress.
Josh’s Five Favorite Things
Josh Good, of BI Bake Off fame, once again showcased his five favorite things from the February to June releases:
- More customization options. The ability to apply themes, set chart options.
- Insight Advisor. Qlik Sense will automatically build a series of charts based on statistically significant insights. Personally, this would have been my number one or two favorite things as we see Augmented Analytics as the future of the market. This capability is due in the June release of Qlik Sense.
3. Visual Data Prep. Automatic joins have been improved, but I don’t know if it supports outer joins, something that previously required scripting. I need to test this.
4. Accelerated self-service. When a user drags “sales” on screen, Qlik Sense will automatically interpret this as a measure and will pick the most appropriate chart type. This is mostly catch up to competitors and why I would have had this as my first favorite thing. I do think an area of differentiation is that Qlik Sense also correctly guesses if the aggregation should be a sum or average. The product also includes elements of data literacy in the product design by explaining why a chart type was chosen in the help text.
5. Multi-layer maps. There is a new mapping object to render geographic data. There is also a nice circle selector to show distance from a point.
Director of Research Elif Tutuk also gave a really cool demo of further efforts in development on augmented analytics. There also were a number of announcements around Qlik’s Big Data Index, new pricing to enable QlikView customers to adopt Qlik Sense, and tools for developers.
C40 Cities and the Hackathon
Capone moved off the main stage into the audience (albeit only the first row, so not quite as in the trenches as, say, Elizabeth Dole at the Republican National Convention, but still). With my research in Data for Good, I do love that Capone highlighted the work with C40 CitiesC40 Cities and climate change. C40 Cities data was also used for a late night hackathon. (Okay, hasn’t anyone read Daniel Pink’s book When? Are all hackers night owls? I’m a third bird in case you’re wondering, meaning not a morning person or a night owl).
As part of the hackathon, Qlik experts that included customers and partners analyzed data from the city of Boston BERDO (Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance) in an effort to reduce pollution and energy consumption. The Axis Group, who came in second place, shared this data that shows compliance and energy and water usage in this city map.
You know, we Gartner analysts rarely get to meet up in person. Even at our own summits, we are usually in meetings and presentations, only passing one another in the hallway or break room. So it was a real treat for me to be able to hear from our own Valerie Logon on the importance of data literacy. I am happy that Qlik has continued to pushing forward on this important topic and in a product agnostic way.
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