Qlik Review Summary.
Qlik provides a broad suite of technologies to support self-service visual analytics, production analytics, data management and preparation, embedded analytics, and developer platforms. The feature that distinguishes Qlik is its associative engine which automatically finds relationships between various data sources. This has the ability to find unsuspected relationships in data.
The past year has seen Qlik acquire Podium Data to add data management and preparation capability, and announce its associative big data index to deal more speedily with very large amounts of data. The company is also adding more smart AI assisted features into Qlik Sense (suggested visualizations for example), although automated statistics have not so far made an appearance.
There has certainly been a fear that now Qlik is privately owned, investment might be meagre. However this seems not to be the case and the product portfolio is keeping up with most contemporary developments in BI.
Qlik is evolving into an enterprise BI platform with good data management and a productive set of analysis tools. The components within the product architecture include:
- Qlik Sense – primarily a self-service visual analytics environment that comes in enterprise and cloud versions – the later is for individuals and small groups.
- QlikView – more geared toward developers and the creation of a production BI environment.
- Qlik Core is an analytics development platform built around the Associative engine and Qlik-authored open source libraries.
- Qlik Analytics Platform to develop, extend, and embed visual analytics in apps, portals, etc – all done within a common governance and security framework.
- Qlik NPrinting lets users create reports from QlikView documents and Qlik Sense apps, and distribute them automatically in a range of standard formats.
- Qlik GeoAnalytics – support for complex mapping and sophisticated geospatial functionality.
- Qlik DataMarket – connect and manage external data sources.
- Podium Data – a recent acquisition that will form the foundation for the Qlik Data Hub. Data management and preparation functionality.
Performance is generally adequate, although some users complain of slow responses with large data sets (a problem not unique to Qlik). It seems Qlik is aware of scalability and performance issues and will be addressing big data performance through its associative big data index, and scalability through its multi-cloud capability (for Qlik Sense). Multi-cloud means that various components of the Qlik architecture, data and applications can be distributed over multiple cloud and on-premise resources using Linux containers.
Qlik has connectors for most data sources, and an API for connecting to more unusual sources. It’s recent acquisition of Podium Data adds sophisticated data preparation and management capabilities so that users see a consistent, prepared set of data resources. Podium Data will form the foundation for a Qlik Data Hub.
Qlik competes with the likes of Tableau, Spotfire and Sisense. In reality however, all these products are becoming highly differentiated, and Qlik is moving into ground once reserved for the likes of IBM Cognos and Microstrategy – namely enterprise BI. Clearly this is the strategy of the company as it builds up its portfolio of products.