Qlik have recently released their, now annual, statement of direction for the year ahead and I'll briefly discuss some of the key points from it.
The future of QlikView
As someone who has worked with QlikView for the last 8 years it is a product I know (and "love") fairly well but it is no secret that in the last couple of years it has been lagging behind from a visualization point of view. Since the release of Qlik Sense in 2014 a question we've regularly been asked is "what is the future of QlikView?". The 2017 roadmap suggests that whilst it will still get regular service releases and a feature release later in 2017 it is now playing a backseat role to Qlik Sense. This shouldn't concern existing QlikView implementations as the support will still be there but don't expect significant new additions, particularly from a front end point of view.
Qlik Sense is expanding
The most recent Feature Release of Qlik Sense (3.2) introduced functionality which simplified the process of moving applications from QlikView (QVW) to Qlik Sense (QVF), which is obviously a significant sign that they are wanting users to start moving to Qlik Sense, in other words they see that the product is maturing and are confident in making the QlikView to Qlik Sense experience as painless as possible.
Some of the snippets that stood out to me include:
- New out of the box visualizations such as Gantt, Sankey and Waterfall charts
- Improved search capability, namely natural language search
- API support for R and Python
- Focus on comparative and predicted analysis
- Suggested chart type based on the data
- Creation of a central, secure library of data models
Cloud Based Focus
Traditionally organisations have preferred an on premise solution as it allowed for greater security and confidence, however with more and more software being cloud based it naturally meant B.I. products would go down the same avenue at some point. As expected Qlik are continuing to invest in their cloud offerings, which is hosted by Amazon Web Services (AWS), and are aiming solutions to organisations who like cloud based deployments, on site deployments or a mixture of both.
In 2017 they are aiming to enhance their hybrid cloud capability and will offer subscription based pricing online and expanding the product to additional providers. By moving more to a subscription based model this significantly reduces the amount of up front costs which are traditional in other B.I. offerings.
The business intelligence market is constantly changing and the inevitable growth of cloud based products will further change it which is why Qlik, and other vendors, are investing time and capital in developing and refining solutions.
Change is good
Over the last few years I've noticed a shift, albeit a slow shift, from end users simply wanting to count the number of customers they have to them asking why they have so many customers of a certain type. Organisations are now wanting to use their data to answer complex questions and to help them grow rather than simply being used as a reporting mechanism. And with every new release of Qlik Sense those complex questions are being answered quicker and leading to other questions about business processes. The goal of any B.I. implementation is self service and Qlik Sense is getting closer to that nirvana with every release ...
You can get your copy of the 2017 Qlik Statement of Direction on the Qlik website