Qlik, a leader in visual analytics, today previewed Qlik Sense June 2017, the newest release of its next-generation application for self-service business intelligence (BI) and visual analytics. Built on a fully integrated, cloud-ready platform, and powered by the patented QIX Associative Indexing Engine, Qlik Sense combines enterprise readiness and governance with intuitive visualisation and exploration, advanced analytics, and self-service data preparation capabilities. This breadth and depth allows organisations to meet the broadest range of BI use cases from a single platform leading to consistent, data-driven decision-making. At its Qonnections 2017 customer and partner event, Qlik previewed functionality highlighting how the company will advance its analytics portfolio to drive greater insight from all data, on premises and in the cloud, while augmenting the intelligence of users across the enterprise.
“Qlik pioneered the category for user-driven, governed self-service BI. With Qlik Sense, we continue to expand the market by creating a scalable, secure, and cloud-ready platform that organisations can consider the centerpiece of their enterprise-wide BI deployment,” said Anthony Deighton, Qlik CTO and SVP of Products. “Our platform approach allows us to address a breadth of use cases with more depth than other offerings. The openness of the underlying platform expands opportunities for custom analytics apps, embedded BI, and developer innovation leveraging new technologies like artificial intelligence and natural language generation.”
Building towards seamless hybrid cloud analytics
As more and more data is born in the cloud, an increasing number of customers are also choosing to embrace visual analytics via the cloud. With more than 100 000 users visualising data with Qlik Sense Cloud and Qlik Sense Cloud Business, groups and businesses can create, manage and share analytics in the cloud, and access the power of the Associative Difference via an easy-to-adopt, subscription-based service. In addition, by leveraging managed cloud offerings through partners, and online marketplaces including Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, Qlik is committed to making it easier and faster for enterprises to deploy and manage Qlik Sense in the Cloud – on the customers’ terms.
During Qonnections 2017, Qlik executives laid out the roadmap to seamlessly connect on-premises deployments of Qlik Sense Enterprise, with cloud-based services, creating an environment for supporting customers’ evolving needs and choice. To achieve this, Qlik is making investments in its core infrastructure to support the customers’ ability to choose where the data resides, where the analysis happens, and where and with what device users want to access it.
“We architected Qlik Sense and the Qlik Analytics Platform to be cloud ready, and now we’ve embraced a micro-services architecture that will enable seamless spanning of data and analysis across infrastructure boundaries,” said Mike Potter, SVP of Engineering at Qlik. “This is about customer choice and flexibility, unprecedented scalability, and achieving significant cost efficiencies for our customer base.”
As another proof point in its roadmap to Hybrid Cloud Analytics, Qlik now offers several new client options for use with Qlik Sense Enterprise and Qlik Sense Cloud. Qlik Sense Mobile is a new, native app for Apple iOS, which supports the full associative model when offline, with the QIX engine running locally on the device, and integrates with EMM products such as AirWatch, MobileIron, and Blackberry. In addition, Qlik Sense Desktop is now offered as a supported client when used in Qlik Sense Enterprise environments. These options provide more flexibility for customers and help bring visual analytics directly to the point of decision.
Because people do not make decisions alone, value-added services like Qlik Connectors will always be an important part of the Qlik Cloud strategy. As such, Qlik is including Qlik Connectors in Qlik Sense Cloud Business for seamless access to REST sources, Google Analytics, Facebook and Twitter, with enhanced support for tabular sources such as CSVs and Excel files and connectivity and automated refresh capabilities. Additional connectivity is rapidly being added, including SQL Server via ODBC for on-premises data, followed by cloud-based file storage services such as Dropbox and Box.com.
Qlik’s cloud first, continuous release cycle delivers feature enhancement to Qlik Sense Cloud as soon as they are ready. Therefore, several of the Qlik Sense June 2017 app creation, visual analysis, and data prep features are immediately available in Qlik Sense Cloud. Users are encouraged to log into their free Qlik Sense Cloud account now to experience the new capabilities.
Best-in-class enhancements make app creation and data prep more intuitive
Qlik Sense now includes several new visualisation types, including a Box Plot, Distribution Chart, and Histogram that will empower users to make better sense of their data. Users will also be able to apply custom colouring to particular data values within master dimensions, providing consistency across an entire application. In addition, search history now makes it easier than ever to go back to previous analyses.
Qlik Sense also offers improved smart data preparation capabilities for business users to load, transform, and enrich their data without the need for complex scripting.
* Visual data profiling assists users in understanding their data as they load it into Qlik Sense, including auto-generated visual representations of the data through histograms and other visualisations. This greatly speeds up the ability for users to get to the point of analysis with new information.
* Data binning enables users to easily create data ‘bins’ or groups of numeric data, allows for easier analysis with granular numeric data. For example, users can now easily bin data into groups such as small, medium, and large.
* Table concatenation allows users to easily concatenate tables even if they do not have the same fields and field names. Now customers and partners can bring tables from two companies together even if they do not store data the same way.
Finally, Qlik Connectors now provides connectivity to hundreds of data sources, including file-based sources such as Excel and XML, enterprise sources such as Oracle, SAP, and ODBC databases, Web-based sources such as Salesforce.com, and big data sources including Teradata, Cloudera, and others. In addition, connectors to Salesforce.com and SAP HANA have been enhanced by offering improved performance. Qlik Web Connectors have grown to include more than 40 to popular web applications and services such as Bit.ly, Google Search Console, Google AdWords, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, and more.
Expanded enterprise capabilities empower associative search experience for big data
Qlik’s big data capabilities have been enhanced to include On Demand App Generation templates built directly into Qlik Sense, enabling users to navigate big data sources using associative search to discover areas for detailed analysis. On Demand App Generation empowers the user to automatically generate a purpose-built analysis app every time they select a slice of a very large data source. Now, self-service users can get up and running with big data easier and faster.
Advanced analytics integration, GeoAnalytics strengthen Qlik platform offerings
Through its open APIs, Qlik now offers integration with best-in-class natural language generation and processing, advanced predictive analytics, and an immersive experience including augmented intelligence. New advanced predictive analytics integration capability allows for direct data exchange between the QIX engine and third-party calculation engines. Qlik has released integrations using this interface for R and Python. This allows for advanced calculations from external tools to be visualised within Qlik Sense, in real-time as the user explores. With this capability, users can combine the power of Qlik’s Associative Model with advanced analytics to better support use cases such as fraud detection, sales forecasting, and inventory management.
With the newest edition to the Qlik portfolio – Qlik GeoAnalytics – both Qlik Sense and QlikView users can easily add maps to their apps with automatic geo-data lookup to reveal crucial spatial information and then overlay them with different visualisations to see the whole story in their data. Users can not only seamlessly drill down into information dense maps that contain millions of points, but also use Qlik GeoAnalytics cloud-based service to analyse geo-data in combination with non-geo data for use cases such as determining potential store locations or calculating supply chain delivery times. Several geospatial and mapping improvements have been made, such as supporting shapes, drill down, multi-layer maps, and increased data density.
“With our industry-leading global partner network at the ready to bring these solutions to market and our rapidly growing community of developers, we’ve hit an exciting point in the next phase of industry leadership, extending beyond visual analytics,” continued Deighton.