Our Director James Sharp headed to London to attend the Qlik UK Data Revolution Tour. Here are his top takeaways from the event.
I’ve always found attending Qlik events to be a great way of finding out what Qlik is working on, and to see the key themes that everyone is talking about when it comes to data analytics and business intelligence.
Qlik really know how to put on a great event and when it's opened by their CEO, Mike Capone, you know they are putting everything into it being a success. Mike who's been CEO for less than two years, showed how confident he is of the value that Qlik can drive for its customers. He said;
"Better data and faster insights help businesses to compete and win."Mike Capone, CEO, Qlik
For me, that's the most important thing about data analytics. If people are a businesses most important asset, then data must be a very close second. Businesses need to treat their data like an asset if they are to succeed. Mike talked about information driving value, but he was clear that Qlik won't be following other providers, such as Salesforce and Google, and forcing its customers down a cloud-based route. He said:
"Qlik doesn't dictate where you hold your data - it will preserve the democratisation of data and always be open and flexible."Mike Capone, CEO, Qlik
That's an important pledge from Qlik, because although it has a cloud option, some clients rightly want control of their data on premise.
For me, there were two themes that stood out at the Qlik Revolution Tour... AI & Machine Learning and Data Literacy.
AI & Machine Learning
In Gartner's 'Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2019 Insight Report' it stated that; "Organisations will apply AI and machine learning for greater automation, using them to replace people in some areas and augment them in others."
However, Mike Capone was clear that he didn't think AI and Machine Learning will replace humans. He said it's not good enough for a 'black box' to simply give an answer and not explain the reasons behind it. Instead, he felt that AI and Machine Learning should be layered in to achieve what Qlik call the '3rd generation of BI'. This is where data is democratised, uses augmented intelligence and is embedded everywhere. Pulling all three of these elements together in a coherent way is the future of business intelligence and data analytics.
One of the interesting examples of this to be demoed at the event was the 'Qlik Insight Bot'. It enables users to have conversations about their data and ask questions of the bot in natural language. The Insight Bot will then quickly find the answers, suggest related content and insights and even predict future data trends.
The conversation and results can also be emailed, or embedded in a collaboration solution such as slack, to be shared more widely. It's a slick way of showing the impact that AI and Machine Learning can have. Take a look at the product video to see more.
This was an important theme for me. I am all about storytelling with data and making it less scary for people. If a business lacks the capability to derive insight from its data and effectively tell a story about what it means, then it has a huge challenge on its hands. And it's a long way from truly unlocking the value in their data.
The event included an interesting panel discussion on the human impact of data literacy. One UK company to be facing this challenge at the moment is the building society, Nationwide. It's new Chief Data Officer explained how he believes that data enablement within Nationwide will secure its relevance and competitiveness in a challenging market. In financial services transformation is driving unprecedented change.
He spoke about making Nationwide employees 'fit to fly with data' and the huge employee engagement campaign that is ongoing to show the value that data can have at all levels of the organisation.
I also spoke to the guys from the Data Literacy Project, which was launched by Qlik to help educate all roles in a business on how to work with data. It states that only one-third of us can confidently understand, analyse and argue with data. Its Data Literacy Index estimates that when everybody in an organisation is data literate, it can increase a companies value by 3-5%. So, it's clear how important data literacy is. For me, the most important thing is helping educate children early in data, so they learn to be curious, ask the right questions and don't take everything at face value. When that starts happening we'll all benefit when they reach the workforce.
I'd always recommend going along to Qlik events if you can. There's always so much you can learn. The rate of change in data and business intelligence is so great that it can be difficult to keep up.
We can help
If you want to do more with your data, talk to us. Our knowledgeable team can be your business intelligence partner and drive value for your organistation. We're Qlik experts, without the high consultancy price tag.