My 5 Favourite Things from Qonnections 2019

Following our first ever Global Transformation Awards at Qonnections last year, we’re thrilled to continue the tradition of recognizing customers that use Qlik as a key element in their digital transformations as they become organizations that lead with data.

As a long time Qlikkie, I have seen a huge amount of product innovation over the years. But what amazes me the most, is the innovation that comes from our customers and partners on how they use Qlik. They are a sharp bunch! Often quickly understanding how a new capability can be used in the intended way and quickly find several innovative applications as well. To that end, I have made it may mission over the past few years to highlight some of the most compelling product innovation in my annual favourite things list.

In case you were unable to attend Qonnections, here are Josh’s Five Favourite Things for this year:

1. Guided Analytics with More Visualizations

The feedback was clear and we have delivered. Our more advanced developers asked for more control and options when created guided analytics apps. The addition of advanced authoring, the dashboard bundle and visualization bundle has made it easier than ever to create precisely what is needed. The sheet layout is now fully controllable, with scrolling, responsive grid resizing and fixed sizing. Development is easier than ever with an improved equation editor, including a single checkbox to turn any selection into a set analysis expression, which I just love. The Dashboard Bundle adds an array of controls and layout options, such as containers and a date picker. The Visualization Bundle adds 9 advanced chart types. The bundles are included with Qlik Sense and fully supported with current and future releases. If you are still using QlikView for guided analytics, do yourself a favour and checkout these capabilities and the dual use offer.

2. Full SaaS and Multi-Cloud…together

Qlik Sense Enterprise is now fully SaaS.There is not a single capability that must be done locally first and then uploaded to Qlik Cloud Services! Users can consume, create and manage apps in a pure SaaS environment all from the new hub. Create a new app, schedule a reload and add an app to a personal collection are just a few of the features of the new hub. The full SaaS capability is part of Qlik’s on-going investment in multi-cloud and is available to almost every Qlik Sense Enterprise customer. Using Qlik Sense Enterprise on Qlik Cloud Services is a deployment choice that can be combine with a deployment on Kubernetes and/or a deployment on Windows. By choosing Cloud Services you not only get the benefits of a fully managed environment but also the infrastructure cost savings as it is included with subscription customers and at a nominal fee for perpetual licensing customers. Use some of that saving to bring your whole team to Qonnections next year. If you are wondering why I didn’t say much about using apps or creating apps, that’s because it is the same great experience regardless of deployment choice. See for yourself by contacting your Qlik representative to get your Qlik Cloud Services tenant setup.

3. Insight Advisor: Machine Learning & Associative Insights

Last year Insight Advisor made my list with Visual Insights and amazingly Insight Advisor is making my list again this year! Qlik has made major investments in an AI capability called the Qlik Cognitive Engine. As a result, Insight Advisor has evolved from a feature that generate insightful charts to a partner in finding insight.

Precedent based learning enable the Cognitive Engine to learn from the user so it can do better every time. Users can simply make changes to any generated insight and the Cognitive Engine will generate new insights based on the changes. Users can also understand why specific insights are being generated and modify the assumptions if needed. The best part is Insight Advisor learns form all user so everyone benefits as it improves.

Associative Insights takes the Qlik magic of green-white-gray and adds AI. The Cognitive Engine generates insights about the data based on the context of the selections in relation to the entire data set. It is searching through the entire data set and surfacing what is unique about the data in the context of the selections. For example, it will surface the products which are not being sold during a sales slump and the impact that has on margin. The user doesn’t need to ask this question, look for the answer or compare typical vs. the data of focus, because Associative Insights is taking care of all of that! This is only possible with the combination of Qlik’s Associative Engine and Qlik’s Cognitive Engine. An AI system on top of a query based analytics cannot have the overall context because the query has by definition eliminated data. Only Qlik can do this.

Insight Advisor will change the way Qlik Sense apps are developed and used. The combination of Visual Insights with precedent based learning and Associative Insights creates a whole new path to discovery in addition to exploring a visual dashboard.

4. Comparative Analysis and Advanced Integrations

Whenever performing an analysis, it is essential to compare two things in order to have context. That is why Alternate States, which enable the user to compare two completely independent selections states, is one of my all time favourite things. It is so powerful that you can compare any arbitrary set of data to any other arbitrary set of data. Could there be anything more powerful?... Yes, by adding AI and what-if analysis! This gives any user not only the power to compare different scenarios but also to run the data in those scenario against any external engine using Advance Analytics Integration, while using only the familiar intuitive Qlik interface. A great example is the demo I did this year which compared predicted loan default rates between different cohorts of loans as interest rates change. What scenarios do you want to compare and how can they benefit from integrations with other AI technologies?

5. Conversational Analytics

As humans, when we really want to understand something, the best way is in a conversation in addition to visuals. Qlik Insight Bot enables anyone to talk directly with their analytics. It is as simple as typing in a question to your favourite collaboration tool, be it Slack, Skype or Microsoft Teams, and you get full rich answer back. Insight Bot’s NLP understands the question and returns a rich answer with insights using NLG. It not only understands the question but also understands context – it actually follows the conversation and context. Questions such as “How about for last year” are understood because Insight Bot knows the conversation is about sales and it knows when last year was. In addition, it bridges the gap between conversational insights and visual insights by generating charts on the fly and enabling the user to transition to a Qlik Sense app for visual exploration. But most importantly, Qlik Insight Bot is an ally in increasing analytic adoption because it brings analytics to everyone in the familiar form of simply asking question. Qlik Insight Bot will help organization become more data literate and data driven.

That’s my five favourite things for this year. Please let me know what you think. Was there something that should have been on my list and wasn’t? Are you already using any of these capabilities? What do you think will/should be on the list next year?

Our own @joshdotbad highlights some of his favourite additions to Qlik unveiled at #Qonnections and why we can't wait for our users to get their hands on them too!


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