Executive Insights and Trends

My Top 5 Data Moments for 2023

By James Fisher

Headshot of blog author James Fisher

James Fisher

6 min read

Or should it be one moment?

Data has had quite the year, hasn’t it? I have worked in the data and analytics space more years than I would like to admit, but I can honestly say that it’s been one of the most exciting, wild rides in recent memory. Qlik has been along for that ride, and brought quite a bit of excitement all on its own. So I thought I would recap the five moments that really stand out for me from the world of data… and Qlik in 2023.

But, hang on.

I know what you’re thinking: James, can this year really not just be summarized by one singular moment? We all know that since ChatGPT burst onto the scene about a year ago, the hype on generative AI has been massive, clearly dominating the chatter in our space. Does anything else even matter?

Let’s explore that…

1. Generative AI brings a data imperative

First, let me be clear: the transformative potential of generative AI is real. That said, if there is one thing this year taught us, is that you have to walk before you run, and in some cases even crawl before you walk. It’s fair to say that the hype created a flurry of activity for companies this year, and they grappled with a fear of the unknown in trying to figure out whether they should rush in or wait, see where to start, and define the best path forward.

The perspective I shared from the start was that organizations should begin by getting their “data house” in order. There is no generative AI without data – but it has to be the right data, so establishing a trusted data foundation was a critical first step. Our research in late summer showed that, if organizations felt unprepared, they were in good company: only 39 percent had a formalized AI strategy, and only 20 percent said their data fabric supported generative AI very or extremely well.

I am proud to say that Qlik has a long track record of helping our customers drive value with AI, and help them solve their greatest data challenges. This year we furthered that legacy by introducing Qlik Staige as our holistic approach to help organizations build a trusted data foundation for AI, leverage modern AI-enhanced analytics, and deploy AI for advanced use cases.

2. Qlik acquires Talend

Which leads me to my second data moment. Yes, there is a second one, but rest assured that generative AI has its fingers on it.

A key pillar of our AI strategy is our ability to provide solutions to help our customers build that all-important trusted data foundation. That strategy got a huge boost this year with our acquisition of Talend, combining our best-in-class data integration with Talend’s leading data transformation, quality and governance capabilities.

It was a big deal for us, and our industry agreed, calling it “a formidable combo”one of the biggest tech mergers and acquisitions of the year“a perfect example of 1+1 equals 3”, and more.

Stronger together, we were named a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant across all of our portfolio categories: Data Integration Tools, Data Quality Solutions, and Analytics and Business Intelligence Platforms. We even saw double in the quadrant for Data Integration Tools, where both Qlik and Talend were positioned as leaders. We also expanded our platform to better serve the data needs of Snowflake and Databricks customers, and achieved Google Cloud Ready - Cloud SQL Designation for Cloud SQL.

Six months into the integration of the two companies, the future looks bright indeed. For an update on what’s new and next with our combined portfolio, please watch our latest Qlik Insider.

3. Qlik turns 30

As I entered my 10th year with Qlik, the company had 3x’d that tenure, hitting its 30th anniversary milestone in October. Wait, there is no generative AI in that, why am I even talking about it?

Over the last thirty years, Qlik has been part of each major paradigm shift in technology, and at the forefront of innovations in data and analytics, starting with the introduction of the associative data model as a better tool for analytics than query-based models. Both Qlik and Talend have brought more innovative capabilities to the market since, including the first commercial low code, open-source ETL software, powerful self-service analytics, and AI-enhanced solutions like Insight Advisor, just to name a few. That is definitely worth highlighting and celebrating.

And fun fact: our very first customer TetraPak is still a Qlik customer to this day. Suffice to say that we would not be where we are today without our wonderful community of customers and partners.

If you missed any of the celebrations, or want to relive the memories, be sure to check #Qlik30Years on social, and share your own memories with us.

4. We reconnect (in person)

This year was a true return to in-person events following the pandemic, and that included our annual conference which took place in April in Las Vegas and was “a huge success”. I can call generative AI on that moment as well, since we showcased the first real integration of Qlik with ChatGPT during our keynote demo. Not to mention, the hype also taught us that we are not yet ready to give up human connection and replace ourselves with robots. It has been thrilling to reconnect with our brilliant customer and partner community not only at our annual conference, but also through all the other events and meetings we hosted or participated in this year.

We are already looking forward to next year’s conference Qlik Connect (previously known as QlikWorld) which will be taking place June 3-5th in Orlando, FL. By registering now, you will be able to take advantage of early bird pricing: $500 off through December 31st.We hope to see you there!

5. All AI matters

Another moment brought to you by generative AI: the reckoning that, well, not everything is about generative AI. This is where I get to call a bit of bluff on the hype. Yes, Generative AI will be transformative, but we are in the infancy of its potential and adoption. The reality is that all AI matters, and that traditional AI will remain the most accessible way for organizations to drive value with AI in the foreseeable future.

At Qlik, we know quite a bit about this: our customers have been driving better insights from our AI and ML capabilities for over five years, including our chat-based experience now available in 10 languages, and our AutoML solution enabling the generation of over 100,000 models to date. That includes not-for-profit healthcare system Appalachian Regional Healthcare, who uses Qlik to predict which patients are most at-risk for missing or canceling their appointments — saving an estimated $6M for 15 clinics over two years.

So there you have it, all #QlikWrapped for 2023: a certainly pivotal year for Qlik, which also marked a transformative period for the world of data, driven by the profound impact of the rise of generative AI. But I think in the end, 2023 also delivered a reckoning beyond the hype: while generative AI will be a game changer, it will take time to realize tangible value from it. In the meantime, it’s important for organizations to build a strong data foundation, and not forget about the great benefits that other AI methods can provide. Now more than ever, Qlik is in a great position to help you with that.

As for what’s next and what to expect for 2024, I invite you to register now for our popular Trends webinar taking place on January 17th.

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