March 16, 2014



Qlik's QlikView product has become a market leader with its capabilities in data discovery, a segment of the BI platform market that it pioneered. QlikView is a self-contained BI platform, based on an in-memory associative search engine and a growing set of information access and query connectors, with a set of tightly integrated BI capabilities.

·         Qlik has embarked on one of the boldest strategies of any vendor to address enterprises' unmet need for a BI platform standard that can fulfill both business users' requirements for ease of use and IT's requirements for enterprise features relating to reusability, data governance and control, scalability, and so on. In the second half of 2014, Qlik plans to release a completely rearchitected product, QlikView.Next, featuring a redesigned interactive visualization user experience called Natural Analytics, to make it easier for users to discover and share new insights. Natural Analytics builds on the company's associative search capability and incorporates enhanced comparisons, collaboration, workflow, sharing and data dialogs, as well as enhanced insights from unique visualization techniques that Qlik acquired from NComVA in June 2013. QlikView.Next will also provide completely rearchitected enterprise server and administration capabilities, including reusable semantic intelligence and modeling that draws on its acquisition of Expressor Software, open APIs for extensibility, expanded data connectivity, and enhanced scalability and security features. By providing both business-user-oriented and IT-friendly capabilities, QlikView.Next has the potential to make Qlik a differentiated and viable enterprise-standard alternative to the incumbent BI players.
·         Customers choose QlikView for the intuitive interactive experience it offers; this is most often deployed in dashboards, where it enables business users to freely explore and find connections, patterns and outliers in data without having to model those relationships in advance. In particular, QlikView's associative search enables users easily to see which query results are related, to compare them, and more importantly to identify which data elements are not related, without having to write complex SQL. Users can also filter data using search capabilities. The percentage of QlikView customers that choose the platform because of its ease of use for end users is in the top two of all the vendors surveyed; an above-average percentage also select QlikView because of its ease of use for developers. QlikView's ease of use is coupled with an above-average score for the complexity of the types of analysis that users can conduct with the platform, and an above-average score for the breadth of functionality used. As a result, Qlik received one of the highest scores for market understanding of any vendor in the Magic Quadrant survey. In common with those of other stand-alone data discovery vendors, Qlik's customers also report achieving above-average business benefits. This powerful combination of advantages has been a key driver of data discovery success for vendors in general, and for Qlik in particular.
·         Qlik's customers also have a positive view of QlikView's composite functional capabilities, which, weighted for use, were rated above the survey average, including above-average individual scores for dashboards, interactive visualization, search-based data discovery (rated No. 1), geospatial intelligence, business user data mashup, collaboration (a score near the top), big data support (also near the top) and mobile BI. As a result of a high degree of satisfaction with its mobile functionality, Qlik has among the highest percentage of users deploying, piloting or planning to deploy mobile capabilities in the next 12 months.
·         Qlik's above-average scores for ease of use for developers, particularly when compared with traditional IT-centric enterprise vendors, has resulted in better-than-average implementation costs, IT developer costs and overall three-year BI platform ownership costs per user. The perception that QlikView offers a relatively low cost of ownership, when compared with other vendors' products, is also evident from the high percentage of customers that choose QlikView because of its implementation cost and associated effort, as well as its TCO.
·         Qlik has been successfully expanding its reach and awareness beyond its traditional stronghold of Europe (it was founded in Sweden) to North America, as well as to the growing regions of Asia/Pacific and Latin America. The partner channel is more important to Qlik than to any other BI platform vendor except Microsoft, particularly in comparison to its stand-alone data discovery competitors. The partner channel will be particularly important to Qlik's growth after the introduction of QlikView.Next, given the expectation that partners will use the platform's planned improved openness to build new QlikView.Next-based solutions.

·         The enterprise-readiness of the current release of QlikView remains a work in process. Despite QlikView being deployed in multiple departments and around the world, only half the QlikView customers we surveyed identified QlikView as their enterprise standard. This is far below the figures of most other incumbent BI vendors, whose customers report standardization rates of over 70%. QlikView received below-average customer survey scores for enterprise features such as metadata management, BI infrastructure and embeddable analytics. Additionally, customers and implementers continued to express concerns about QlikView's facilities for managing security and administering large numbers of named users. Although user deployment sizes and average data sizes continue to increase, they are around the survey average.
·         Customers most often select QlikView for its ease of use for end users, particularly in terms of its interactive dashboards and when compared with the offerings of the incumbent IT-centric vendors. However, in terms of visual-based interactive exploration and analysis capabilities, user experience, and the time it takes for business users to gain proficiency in authoring, the current QlikView 11.x release is considered more limited than offerings from other stand-alone data discovery vendors. With QlikView.Next, Qlik is placing major emphasis on filling this gap.
·         Qlik plans for QlikView.Next to deliver the combination of business user and IT capabilities that is currently lacking in the market. However, QlikView.Next will be delivered more than a year later than expected, which creates opportunities for its competitors to narrow any gaps. Moreover, no major rearchitecting is without risks to both customers and vendor, especially when the latter is also facing a more intense competitive landscape, as is the case with Qlik. It is not unusual for initial "point versions" of major releases to take time to reach complete stability. In addition, adopting this major new release will require some degree of migration, which could delay some deployments that might otherwise have occurred in 1H14. During the extended period before QlikView.Next's arrival, its competitors are not standing still. Incumbent vendors, stand-alone data discovery players and new market entrants continue aggressively to build and enhance their data discovery features, to innovate and make progress (some quickly) toward narrowing Qlik's "land and expand" potential and, more importantly, toward addressing the big "white space" opportunity (to delight business users while still offering IT control) that Qlik plans to address with QlikView.Next.
·         Qlik's customer experience results remain mixed. QlikView earned positive scores for product quality, which led to an overall above-average customer experience score. However, support scores for QlikView were again just below the survey average. Similarly, sales experience continued to be rated below the survey average. We believe these results are partly influenced by Qlik's rapid growth, since both support and sales proficiency are strongly correlated with employees' length of service; high growth means a larger percentage of relatively new sales and support people. Moreover, Qlik's sales and support organizations are in transition from selling to and supporting departments to selling to and supporting strategic enterprise deployments. A successful transformation on both fronts is critical if Qlik is to fulfill its enterprise aspirations for QlikView.Next.

1 comment:

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