Big data is being underutilised by businesses around the world, including those in Australia. But one company thinks it has a way of unlocking its value.
According to Qlik director of products John Callan, the arrival of relatively low-cost Hadoop systems fuelled an explosion of interest in big data.
But so far the emphasis has mostly been on the capture and storage of data (whether it is machine generated, user generated or device generated), and many organisations are only now asking what they can do with it.
“Data is necessary, but it is not sufficient.”
He suggests traditional tools have failed to focus on the human element, and they have not served the needs of all decision makers – which these days is pretty much everybody.
Those tools have been built on a now outdated architecture that was expensive and while it promised results it required a high level of technical competence, so the IT department had to be involved when quite minor changes were needed, such as adding a data source or even asking a different question.
Consequently, the tools are “frankly irrelevant to most business users” who instead turn to Excel for their analyses. This leads to a “chaotic environment” where nobody really trusts anyone else’s figures.
Qlik’s mission is to provide tools that can harness human intelligence as well as the available data, and this means they must be easy to use, available anywhere someone is working, and suitable for any type of business process.
The days when people were prepared to toggle between operational and reporting systems are over, Callan told iTWire, they expect fully integrated systems that ‘just work’ and help value to be extracted from the data.
“We have a solution that exactly fits that need,” he said.
“We see rapid adoption in organisations,” Callan said. The product might initially be adopted by a small group, but rapidly spreads to hundreds or thousands of people around the organisation.
Examples of the way Qlik Sense is being used include Peruvian fishermen deciding where to take their boats, the UK National Health Service determining the most effective drugs, and a sales manager deciding where a salesperson could best be redeployed.
“It doesn’t always have to be the macro-level big decisions,” he said, because Qlik Sense abstracts the complexity away from ordinary users.
25 February 2015