Qlik is back! Finally. The energy, the will to be different, the innovations and an (almost) complete lack of respect for the competition. This is the Qlik that I was so excited about when I found the product in 2001!
It wasn’t until the end of Qonnections that I realized what was so very different this time around. One of my colleagues mentioned the energy in the R&D sessions and then it clicked. For some years now Qlik seems to have fallen into a trap where it was more important to be structured than innovative, more important to be right than to fail at something new, and more important to match the competition than to outsmart them. That has now changed in a big way!
Qlik is ready to lead innovation again with their own twist to every solution. The years of structure are not lost, from them comes a foundation to build upon. Combine that with the clear vision, some innovative features and we have a very interesting future ahead of us. Customers investing in the Qlik platform will not just get what they pay for, they will get more…
Let’s go through the product highlights launched at Qonnections. All of the features below are scheduled for the June 2017 release (The version formerly known as Qlik Sense 4.0.)
Qlik Sense Cloud
It is not Cloud or on premise. It is both! The hybrid solutions that can be paired with managed services is a very promising future for Qlik customers. It will be much easier for us and our Expert Services to offer a complete managed solution. We can take care of everything from hardware to maintenance, upgrades, optimization, monitoring and support. The customer get a single point of contact for everything Qlik no matter what the requirement is.
The Big Data approach
Big data in Qlik. Check! With the feature demoed at Qonnections we can analyze data sets with (at least) 40 Billion rows at sub second response times! And, even better, we still get the associative logic of Qlik. The real-time analysis performed while adding a million rows per second was also nothing short of amazing! Customers with Big Data can include it in their analysis and still leave the data where it is.
Just when we thought offline was dead the handheld devices have become powerful enough to handle most use cases offline. Running the Qlik engine on an iPad seems nearly as effective as on a desktop computer and with the powerful mobile CPUs it is promising indeed. A couple of million rows should not be a problem at all to handle offline. That’s how effective the Qlik engine is! Imagine downloading your entire P&L to analyze offline on your iPad or being able to have all data available in that customer meeting without WiFi.
Extensions is not new but the infrastructure to support them has continuously improved. More and more that allows us to use extension as an integrated part of our Qlik solutions rather than just as a side dish. We will see support for extensions both in the Cloud and offline on our iPads which is of course great news for all extension users. If you don’t understand the value yet, head over to Qlik Branch and download the Climber Custom Report.
The cry for subscription based pricing has not been left unheard. Within a couple of months, we will be able to offer our customers an alternative to investing in all licenses at once. It should make it easier to meet the demands of our ever-changing customer environments. Scaling up for a temporary project will now be much cheaper.
Visual data preparation
Qlik continues work on making data more accessible for the not-so-technical users. The Visual Data Preparation functionality (more known as “Bubbles”) has improved greatly and will include manually created pieces of script. This makes it possible for technical users to do their thing in the script but still maintain the visual aid that “Bubbles” offer less advanced users. The features for concatenating, binning and visual data profiling without the need for scripting lowers the hurdle for entering the Qlik world.
Many customers are moving from QlikView to Qlik Sense and the converter has been integrated and improved. With the possibilities of Qlik Sense visualizations and the fully responsive design, a rebuild of the GUI is still vital for a good user experience but we can get there much more quickly. This means spending less time on the basic transformation and more time catering to the actual needs of the users.
The new visualizations show what can be done on the platform. The is a great addition and the included flexibility should allow it to be configured to fit most needs. The histogram and distribution chart will also add interesting new possibilities in a list of native visualizations that is becoming ever more complete. Expect a lot more in coming versions.
Even more interesting is that new visualizations are built on a brand new framework called Picasso. The framework allows users with a bit of programming skills to create their own visualizations much easier than before. The framework is similar to the D3 visualization library but tailored for Qlik. In the technical sessions at Qonnections we saw how a bar chart was transformed into a line chart with just a few live (!) changes in the code.
We are with great anticipation looking forward to the June 2017 release. There should be a beta somewhere around the corner and the new schedule promises a new version every 10 weeks. September 2017 can’t come soon enough. If you simply can’t wait, many of the new features are already available in Qlik Cloud. Get a login and start Qliking away like it was 2001!
This is the Climber Blog
My name is Michael Nordström and I am the CIO and one of the founders of Climber. Here on the Climber blog, I share my thoughts on Qlik’s vision & roadmap, and the Qlik Analytics Platform from a technical perspective. You can find me on Twitter @MichaelClimber or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.