Thursday, August 02, 2007

Notes from the QlikTech Underground

You may have noticed that I haven’t been posting recently. The reason is almost silly: I got to thinking about the suggestion in The Power Performance Grid that each person should identify a single measure most important to their success, and recognized that the number of blog posts certainly isn’t mine. (That may actually be a misinterpretation of the book’s message, but the damage is done.)

Plus, I’ve been busy with other things—in particular, a pilot QlikTech implementation at a Very Large Company that shall remain nameless. Results have been astonishing—we were able to deliver a cross sell analysis in hours that the client had been working on for years using conventional business intelligence technology. A client analyst, with no training beyond a written tutorial, was then able to extend that analysis with new reports, data views and drill-downs in an afternoon. Of course, it helped that the source data itself was already available, but QlikTech still removes a huge amount of effort from the delivery part of the process.

The IT world hasn’t quite recognized how revolutionary QlikTech is, but it’s starting to see the light: Gartner has begun covering them and there was a recent piece in InformationWeek. I’ll brag a bit and point out that my own coverage began much sooner: see my DM News review of July 2005 (written before we became resellers).

It will be interesting to watch the QlikTech story play out. There’s a theory that the big system integration consultancies won’t adopt QlikTech because it is too efficient: since projects that would have involved hundreds of billable hours can be completed in a day or two, the integrators won’t want to give up all that revenue. But I disagree for a couple of reasons: first of all, competitors (including internal IT) will start using QlikTech and the big firms will have to do the same to compete. Second, there is such a huge backlog of unmet needs for reporting systems that companies will still buy hundreds of hours of time; they’ll just get a lot more done for their money. Third, QlikTech will drive demand for technically-demanding data integration project to feed it information, and distribution infrastructures to use the results. These will still be big revenue generators for the integrators. So while the big integrators first reaction may be that QlikTech is a threat to their revenue, I’m pretty confident they’ll eventually see it gives them a way to deliver greater value to their clients and thus ultimately maintain or increase business volume.

I might post again tomorrow, but then I’ll be on vacation for two weeks. Enjoy the rest of the summer.

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