Data is crucial for business growth, but due to the strenuous nature of data science practices, firms struggle to make the most out of the information they collect. Since analysing and finding insights requires experts, only data scientists are able to deliver value by leveraging data. But for a business to thrive in this cut-throat competition, companies need to democratise data among every employee to enable self-analytics.
To facilitate employees to analyse data easily, organisations are leveraging business intelligence tools and AutoML. While the former is allowing employees to mould and evaluate data dynamically, the latter is helping in automating ML model selection to get an accurate prediction.
To understand how Qlik is helping several companies who are hungry to figure out the most effective ways of using data, Analytics India Magazine interviewed Mike Capone, CEO of Qlik, for our weekly column Deep Dive.
Capone’s Journey At Qlik
Qlik is an end-to-end platform for data analytics that empowers organisations to obtain insights into their data for mitigation business challenges. Founded in 1993, the Sweden-based company has helped firms gain operational resilience by utilising data and stay competitive in the market.
The company hired Capone in 2018 to continue its endeavours and stay ahead of its competitors, mainly PowerBI and Tableau. “I started my career as a programmer and worked my way up and eventually became a CIO of a 12-billion-dollar company. Later, I was recruited to be the CEO of Qlik, and it was super attractive for me as I have been on both sides and can understand customers and development procedures,” says Capone.
Over the last two years, he has spent building the team by fine-tuning operational strategy and expanding Qlik from just a visual analytics firm to comprehensive, machine learning-driven platform that includes data integration.
Trends In The Business Intelligence Landscape
On a trip to India and other Asian countries, Capone met with multiple CIO’s to learn how they are using analytics in their organisations. This helped him understand each company’s specific challenges with regards to becoming a full-fledge data-driven business. While talking to us, he mentioned that different companies are arduously trying to analyse data at the edge.
“What’s great about Asia Pacific and India, in particular, is that companies here are ahead in terms of embracing analytics and data, there’s a high degree of data literacy in India and companies are willing to experiment, and push the envelope in terms of trying new technologies and leveraging modern AI capabilities to improve their operations,” Capone explained.
How Is Qlik Helping Organisations With Streaming Analytics
Over the past 15 months, Qlik has acquired firms to build a data platform, gaining access to technologies that can enable real-time analytics. Capone stressed on the need of getting rid of data lakes through streaming analytics. He emphasised that the platform’s recent integrations will enable companies to perform analytics in real time and do the heavy lifting when it comes to unlocking the insights hidden in their data. He also talked about how Qlik offered APIs and other toolsets to assist numerous firms for seamlessly accomplishing their objectives.
“With our platform, organisations can harness the power of data with AI techniques to gain meaningful insights. Companies like HDFC Life are using our platform to determine fraudulent insurance claims,” says Capone.
AI In Qlik Platform
Capone said that, today, data scientists analyse data to find interesting insights and draw patterns that can guide the decision-making process. The major challenge, however, is embedding those insights back into business operations and making it available at the point of need to the decision-maker. In a firm with 30,000 or 100,000 people, a handful of data scientists will not be able to cope with the colossal volume of data queries that will be demanded.
This, according to Capone, is where Qlik steps into the picture with its machine learning capabilities. The Qlik CEO showcased Qlik Insight Bot, an integrated bot that lets end-users interact with the data and trigger analytics through typing questions in natural language. This brings analytics right to the decision-maker, allowing even non-experts to seamlessly embrace and explore the datasets available to them to generate actionable insights.
“The AI that’s built into our platform eliminates the need for coding, it’s our own technology embedded in the platform,” explains the CEO. “It will automatically interpret your data sets and provide logs for assimilating the outcomes so we call it a “white box.” Our API can be used to connect with R, Python, and DataRobot models for advanced analytics,” adds Capone.
When asked about the Qlik platform’s capability compared to what one can get by in-house coding, Capone said that the comparison was tough because the answer depended on the type of business problem that was to be solved. He elaborated that most of the basic data science questions can be easily answered but if one is trying to look at multivariate regression, then they will have to use programming languages.
How Qlik Differentiate In Fierce Competition
The business intelligence landscape is already crowded with multiple providers such as Tableau and PowerBI and cloud providers such as Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud are also trying to establish their footprint in this burgeoning, high-potential space. Talking about the fierce competition, Capone said, “I have a lot of respect for our competitors, but we do much more than what they offer.”
He spoke of how Qlik goes a step forward and solves large problems by helping enterprises seamlessly scale their data operations. Using a proprietary, patented technology that doesn’t use SQL, Qlik allows developers to bring data together from different data sources without having to worry about the data structure and SQL-based queries. Addressing data privacy concerns on SaaS environments, he further stated that Qlik does not access user’s content, thereby providing peace of mind to customers with data privacy concerns. Further, the CEO said that Qlik is a fully integrated platform, allowing firms to use it with any other solutions and platforms. Such functionality enables flexibility for companies, resulting in enhanced efficiency and productivity. “I don’t think any other BI providers can do what we are offering,” claims Capone.
“Our next iteration is to improve the platform further to help our customers run more complex tasks that use AI. The idea is to deliver an end-to-end solution for carrying out data science workflows,” unveils Capone.
The Asia Pacific is the fastest-growing market for Qlik as it is gaining customers.
“I always say that you cannot be a successful technology company unless you are successful in India.”– Mike Capone, Qlik
The company envision high revenue from Asia; thus, it is doubling down its resources to help its customers achieve business growth. “I expect APAC to outpace the rest of the world in terms of growth for us for the foreseeable future,” concludes Capone.