A Web Service environment offers businesses tremendous flexibility in deploying software. It allows users to instantly call on the applications they need - security, order management, tracking, general ledger - without having to install software locally," said Anthony Deighton, vice president of marketing for QlikTech. "One of the most important issues in web services today is building analysis across a Web Services environment. QlikView 7.5 enables organizations to optimize business processes across the entire enterprise, regardless of where data resides.
“With the old system, I had to spend five days a month to collect, combine, refresh, and distribute data. Today, one day a month is enough. QlikView has freed up almost 50 days a year for me that I can spend on more value-added activities.”
Martin Radichs, Technical Support Specialist, Remy Amerique>
Universal Data Platform
QlikView is a platform for building analytics applications for just about any business function from any selection of data sources. With QlikView, your company can develop and deploy applications tailored to your specific business and data requirements, faster and more efficiently than you can install a "pre-packaged" OLAP-based BI solution.
QlikView natively works with several databases and business intelligence technologies including but not limited to SAP, Oracle, Peoplesoft, JD Edwards, Movex and BPCS. Microsoft Office documents specifically Excel, are all ingested with almost no technical know-how.
Additionally, using QlikView's Web Service technology in version 7.5 it is now very easy to connect to and import data from external sources such as Salesforce and GoogleDocs.
Once your various data sources are imported into QlikView you are able to use a single QlikView application to filter, report and research all your data.
No longer are you restricted to analyzing data in a single vendor's silo. With QlikView's easy import functions you are empowered with universal data access.
Enterprise Mashups Now
As Dion Hinchcliffe eludes to in a recent blog, Enterprise mashups have the potential to create disruptive change in a business's operations but only if specific challenges can be overcome. With a QlikView implementation in place creating an environment of usable, informative and insightful mashups is very achievable.
Following Mr. Hinchcliffe's 10 Challenges let us discuss how QlikView addresses each:
No commonly accepted assembly model.
As discussed above QlikView's ability to import almost any datasource enables users to ingest, clean and assimilate new data very quickly and most commonly without the need for costly, third-party ETL tools.
An Immature Services Landscape.
This is really a function of the world outside of QlikView but as more datasources are exposed via web services or APIs the possibility of a high-fidelity mashup improves. With a mature, universal platform in place the challenge becomes waiting for those APIs and Web Services to be created.
The Splintering of Widgets
Granted your enterprise metrics and reports will not be delivered to other organizations as a widget but if the culture is using a single platform for analysis and business intelligence functions then each user can share their reports, dashboards or widgets across the organization.
QlikView's collaboration and sharing features are very mature and exceptionally powerful. In fact each user of QlikView can have their own dashboard and analysis sandbox which they can use or share in parallel to any standard dashboard.
Management and Support of end-user mashup apps
In most organizations the IT cost center is responsible for development and maintenance of any custom applications or information management solutions. This remains the same however QlikView's simplicity enables users to maintain their own dashboards and analysis reports. IT is normally involved only in providing access to the QlikView platform and kicking off any data import processes.
Once data is ingested into QlikView and a user is trained the underlying data structure does not change in a destructive manner. Additionally since every user is using the same technology users normally educate and learn with one another, which is much different from an organization having multiple analysis tools, data sources and users.
Deep Support for Security and identity
QlikView has numerous security protocols and features including connections to LDAP and SSO. Users also have the ability to work within their own sandboxes thereby ensuring that underlying data is secure and preserved.
Data Quality and Accuracy
This is a typical problem: Dirty data in dirty data out. Although QlikView does not perform any data cleansing per se, its quick import features enable users to identify dirty data pretty quickly. As a best-practice we always suggest reviewing the data to check for accuracy and errors.
Users are able to store their dashboards as separate files which can be source-controlled, to use the parlance of the development world. Once source-controlled older versions of a dashboard or mashup can be retrieved.
However, the underlying data is not version controlled which leads to interesting problems of resurrecting older dashboards and mashups and trying to match them up to the correct data. One solution to this would be to store off slices of the underlying data at specific time intervals or to be prepared to resurrect archived versions of the QlikView data.
Awareness and realization of the potential of mashups by the businesses community.
This is another area where having QlikView institutionalized within a business provides fantastic, ancillary benefits. Once the internal QlikView user community grows, and it will, all members have the ability to benefit from an ideal business intelligence environment. As several case studies show, enabling everyone to perform analysis empowers users to leverage smart data to solve difficult problems and optimize their departments, budgets and resources.
With a QlikView installation in place and used, all levels of the organization learn to trust QlikView generated reports and faithfully derive strategic decisions based on QlikView powered analysis.
Low levels of support by major software firms.
QlikView's support is implied by their delivery of new Web Service data connectors and their continuous delivery of new features.
Few killer demo mashups.
True. But this has changed a lot since the blog was first written. With QlikView it is just a matter of time before the enterprise views QlikView as a killer app and soon after one only has to walk down the hallways to find 2 or 3 QlikView powered killer mashups.