Living in the Analytics Economy

Reflections from Qonnections

This week I attended Qonnections, the premiere BI Software Industry Customer Conference. After returning from Orlando and collecting my thoughts, I was struck by one common theme that appeared over and over again at the conference: Solutions for the Business User.

To be specific, I mean solutions that seamlessly pull together capabilities from across the technology ecosystem and allows a business user to analyze and optimize their business. This can be complicated due to the number of products and potential integration points involved, but with the right analytics platform quite a bit of the complexity can be filtered out even for a complex and sophisticated solution. The important point to drive home is, the business user is not a technologist — they do not know how to (or want to) write code, make configurations, and do not know why a neural network algorithm is different than regression. They shouldn't need to, and that's the point!

Qonnections 2018 showcased a wide variety of legitimate business user solutions, and capabilities on display from Qlik, Qlik’s Partners, and Qlik’s Customers. I saw solutions that pulled in data and integrated technology from a variety of companies that were seamlessly operated by the Qlik Analytics Platform. This included forecasting applications, customer churn, market basket analysis, and many more. A great example is the Qlik, Cloudera, Narrative Science, and Bardess solution for Retail Market Basket Analysis, analyzing basket performance and relationships between products for a fictitious grocery chain with over 700 Stores and thousands of products. This may sound complicated with the number of technologies involved. But, the key factor is that the merchandiser, marketer, and store manager only need to know how to tap on a dashboard to see affinity relationships, view dynamic predictive forecasts, across massive data sets curated in Cloudera. You can take the Retail Market Basket Analysis Solution for a test drive as well: Retail Market Basket Analysis.

Market Basket is just one example, the solutions theme was evident across Qonnections in the sessions that customers delivered; whether it was a customer with nearly a decade of Qlik experience like Ikea, or a customer with months of Qlik experience like Benjamin Moore Paints. Across the exhibition hall, exhibitors had showcases of machine learning, AI, and predictive analytics. Vendors like Big Squid, Data Robot, and Compellon, big data providers like Cloudera, planning & forecasting vendors like Jedox, and a host of different companies building voice and text recognition bots. While each exhibitor had something exciting to showcase, it was the ability to bring together AI, Predictive Analytics, Planning, and Voice Recognition seamlessly through the Qlik Analytics Platform that brings the solution to life for the business user. Complex and sophisticated AI & Predictive Analytics will always be a choice for the data scientist, but rarely a choice for business users that make decisions about which products to build, stock, and sell.

What’s Next?

Qonnections 2018 set the bar for the solution agenda in the analytics economy. The next step is to build upon what is available in the marketplace today to make solutions as easy as possible to implement and rollout for business users. For a view into where the retail industry is going, I invite you to explore the Qlik Retail Industry Solutions Page.

Scott Jennings is reflecting on a common theme that appeared over and over again at the #Qonnections! Read to find out more!

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