Success Breeds Success

The value of the option to expand

Aswath Damodaran, Professor of Finance at the Stern School of Business at New York University is a legend in the world of corporate finance and valuation techniques. In this blog, I am taking on a concept described in his paper “The Promise and Peril of Real Options” called “the option to expand a project” and applying this concept to the value our customers realize during their analytics journey with the Qlik platform.

The value of implementing the Qlik platform to solve complex business challenges is well documented from countless valuation studies and customer testimonials. Having been involved in hundreds of value studies myself, and having built my own valuation model first hand (with my experience as a Qlik customer), there are two primary sources of value to discuss:

Traditional sources of value:

These sources are considered “traditional” because they are relatively easy to calculate and very straight-forward concepts. These sources include making better business decisions with the ultimate impact of increasing revenue, reducing expenses or properly balancing the risk/reward equation.

Non-traditional sources of value:

The impact of moving away from traditional query based technology (static reporting and pre-aggregated cubes) and pushing the aggregation duties off to the powerful Qlik engine has a lot of benefits. Chief among them is the elimination of manual, error prone (and ungoverned) processes built into the spreadsheets that exist in nearly every organization. These are often called “soft costs” but the simple fact is that the value is there and our customers are realizing it by re-imagining their existing processes.

These two sources of value stand on their own two feet when inputting them into a Discounted Cash Flow valuation model. In fact, most of the time there is not a need to justify with other valuation approaches. For example, Cisco Systems realized over $100 million in value using Qlik’s platform to consolidate data from Oracle, Hadoop and Teradata.

However, we see over and over that there is a third source of value for Qlik customers and that is the “option to expand”. This expansion can take many forms:

1. New use cases using the same data model – For example, I personally built a ‘New Business Pricing/Volume’ analysis and the simple addition of two fields (‘Loan Status’ and ‘Date of Charge-off’) provides the ability to tackle the complex business problem of dynamic Vintage Loss Curves, which also provides a foundation for Loan Loss Reserve calculations & further leads into Balance Sheet forecasting.

2. New use cases using a new data model – the second source of “options to expand” is repeating itself across all of our enterprise customers. The Qlik journey often started with 3 or 4 use cases and as the company’s environment matures, the number of use cases quickly grows to the hundreds. In fact, one of our Top 10 US Regional banks started analyzing printing costs (saving millions of dollars a year), has rolled out hundreds of applications across every functional area in the bank, and recently shared at our customer conference that they have delivered a branch profitability reporting solution that has saved over 36,000 hours per year of traditional manual reporting efforts.

3. Customization and Embedded Analytics - this third source of “options to expand” is another reason why the Qlik platform stands apart from the competition. Qlik has opened up the web-based platform and provides developers the option to create what we call “mashups”. This capability combined with a broad and deep library of API’s is a powerful one/two punch for the developer community. These options open the flood gates as to what is now possible with Qlik and integrating Qlik with other leading technologies. Examples of these solutions are demonstrated in webinars by Citco and Moody’s Analytics and can be found on our Financial Services industry page.

Below is a slightly modified view of Professor Damodaran “option to expand”, modified to depict the value areas described above:

Qlik customers never stop at a single application and as their implementations mature, additional use cases and value are brought to the firm. In other words, success breeds success.

There are many sources of value that your organization can benefit from. Paul Van Siclen details the value of real options using Qlik's modern analytics platform!

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