Qlik Sense as a platform for change

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Over the past year, as I have been learning Qlik Sense I have realized that there is something fundamentally different about Qlik Sense when compared to Qlikview.  It’s not that Qlik Sense is based on cutting edge web standards such as Web Sockets or the use of intelligent visualizations, it’s that it is designed from the ground up to change organizations.  It’s built using all of these fancy things to make people understand what is happening in a way they never could before.

Over the last 10 years a lot of consultants have talked about the “paperless” office.  To me, the objectives of the paperless office are very noble, but most organizations haven’t reached their goals because of one fundamental issue, people like paper! People can touch it, feel it or even smell it if they want to.   Also, it doesn’t occupy much space on their desk.  Moving from paper to digital has been hard because of that factor.  To me, the biggest innovation to happen since the paperless movement began (but not because of it) is mobile computing.  Laptops, tablets, phones and watches have now entered the minds of people and are being used by everyone regardless of where they are!  This computing revolution happened too late to boost the paperless one, but is having an impact on it.  

Enter Qlik Sense with its mobile first development model where organizations can now build once and run anywhere.  Now instead of having static paper reports, teams can utilize their BYOD to get any information they need.  No longer is it necessary to say, I’ll have to get that report.  It should be at their fingertips on their phone.  Do you need to compare this year vs last year financials to see a change during a meeting?   No longer is it necessary to find a computer and print what is needed.  Everyone can pull out their phone and just get the information they need with no trees killed in the process!

Another philosophical shift that Qlik had in mind when designing Qlik Sense was the “drink your own medicine” mantra.  Cutting edge companies such as Amazon and Google are using this when developing their systems and are creating better systems because of it.  What this means is that there are no more hidden or vendor only API’s.  What they use, you get to use as well!  For Qlik Sense, all of the visualizations that are available out of the box use the same API’s that third party developers get to use when developing their own extensions.  When you look at Qlik Sense from this prospective, it becomes a platform for development, not just a visualization tool! Developers can use Qlik Sense to power visualizations for libraries such as D3.js and many others out on the web.  Developers can also see what other people are doing by taking a look at http://branch.qlik.com

Qlik Sense capabilities can be taken outside of the Qlik Sense walls as well.   Often, it’s important to show team members productions or sales information on a regular basis.  With traditional tools, a person has to navigate to a separate system and look for the information themselves.  This takes time and if it is cumbersome it just won’t get done.   With Qlik Sense, you can take the information to them.  All of the visualizations can be integrated into other systems by embedding visualizations right into a systems users regularly use.  If you need to have yesterday’s sales number or call volumes in corporate portal, use Qlik Sense and you can just embed the chart and users get so see the numbers every time they go to the site.   Now users don’t have to go anywhere for the information, they just get it!  It might only save them 30 seconds, but that’s one more call your sales team can be making!

Qlik Sense isn’t just another BI tool, it has the power to change how organizations work.  Qlik created a platform for organizations to build upon to move them towards more informed team members and better profits for shareholders.