The Value of Options in the Data Integration and Analytics Supply Chain

Over the course of my career in Financial Services, I have struggled with how few options I really had when it came to delivering the right information, to the right people, at the right time. It sounds sort of ridiculous considering how much time, money and effort the firms, for which I worked, spent on data warehouses, reporting systems, business intelligence tools and advanced analytics.

In the end, I just needed to be able to download the data to my spreadsheet, so I could combine it with other data to make sense of it all. That’s right…I said it out loud….the dirty little secret is that the vast majority of business users just download the data they need, for their particular analysis, to a spreadsheet on their desktop to solve a particular business problem.

Why, after spending millions of dollars, do we circumvent all of the hard work done with business rules, security, data governance and internal controls simply to allow the business users to export the details to a spreadsheet on their desktop? Three reasons:

  1. The data needed to form a complete picture is never in one place. Perhaps the greatest failure of the supply chain is the failure to recognize this fact. Spreadsheets are used to combine the information from disparate systems.
  2. The question is different every day. No developer is able to anticipate every business question that ever comes up. But that hasn’t stopped firms from developing thousands of reports with elaborate distribution techniques. Spreadsheets allow for a more dynamic approach. If I need to quickly calculate my metrics by including or excluding parts of the business, then all I have to do is add a tab to my spreadsheet, label it appropriately and change a few formulas.
  3. Distribution is the mother of all analysis. Once I have the analysis complete, my primary objective is to communicate the findings and results to a larger audience. As a reporting team or a single analyst, my final product needs to be distributed to the business, the decision makers or the client, and in a format that they all can work with.

Then, let’s accept it. The only option is to continue to use spreadsheets exactly the way we have for the past two or three decades. We have no other option, right?

Wrong — and this is the genius of Qlik’s strategy to create an end-to-end Data Integration & Analytics platform. Our flagship product Qlik Sense and its associative engine specifically addresses all three of these reasons. It not only provides organizations an opportunity to modernize the reporting and business intelligence ecosystem, but also the ability to aggressively solve the wild west spreadsheet culture that is a byproduct of traditional “solutions.”

But, that isn’t all. In the last 18 months, we’ve built through acquisition a data integration platform, which provides value to the IT side of the equation. I put together the below spectrum to represent the entire supply chain offered by the Qlik platform:

So, what is the value of options? The value is that, as a customer that treats Qlik as an end-to-end platform, you have options.

  • You have the option to utilize any single point, or any combination of points, on the above diagram to solve any Data Integration & Analytics challenge you face.
  • You have the option to integrate other leading technologies, such as AWS, Snowflake, DataRobot and NodeGraph, as this platform is agnostic and complimentary to those technologies.
  • And, finally, you have the option to implement what I call the “Sunset Policy,” which is a rationalization/modernization of your entire supply chain, specifically focusing on all of the antiquated reporting & BI tools, including solving for the spreadsheet problem.

Want to find out more and see it in action? Register for our 3rd Annual Financial Services Summit in NYC on February 26th featuring AWS & Snowflake as Platinum sponsors. We’ve also secured Dr. Kirk Borne, Principal Data Scientist and an Executive Advisor at Booz Allen Hamilton. Dr. Borne, a leader and mentor to multi-disciplinary teams of scientists, modelers and data scientists, is also recognized as a top worldwide influencer in Big Data and Data Science on social media (@KirkDBorne).

Want to learn about the value of options in the #dataintegration and #analytics #supplychain? Read @PaulVanSiclen latest blog post.

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