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‘How do you switch from a state of passive to “Active” business intelligence?’

James Fisher

Chief Product Officer, Qlik

“Digital Transformation,” “Data Democratization,” “Data is the new oil” – phrases that have been thrown at us so many times they have made us numb. That said, they do make for a great game of Buzzword Bingo if you’re at a loose end. 

As a business leader, you’re acutely aware that competitiveness is tightening, new market entrants are challenging the incumbents – and solving your data challenge is critical to success. No buzzwords required.As someone who has spent most of his career helping organizations realize the value of their data, what I do know is that data has a pulse. It’s a living entity that is constantly growing, evolving and creating new connections; and it needs to be treated as such. Yet we continue to accept systems that inform us to a point, but don’t react to data that is alive and can’t compel action in the business moment. 

In today’s ‘always-on’, ‘right-now’ mindset, your customers and employees expect that you can make decisions and take action as an event happens. The ultimate position to be in is when you are set up, and have the confidence, to take a different action; it’s that unexpected action that drives transformation and creates the real value. Passive, historical data sets residing in systems that can’t trigger action will not help you meet these expectations and get the rewards. 

But how do you get there? How do you switch from a state of passive to “Active” business intelligence?  

To better understand the challenges and the possibilities, we’ve asked a number of world-class business authors, academics and commentators to give their perspective.

The contributors spoke to leaders from companies across the world who have innovated the way they manage their data, and established a culture of informed action in their organizations to support them even in the most disruptive times. From understanding the power of humans and technology making decisions together, to building an intelligent analytics data pipeline that can react in real time, to ensuring the whole workforce can have trust and confidence in every decision they make – this edition unpacks it all.

I hope their articles hit on areas that resonate with you, and provide you with food for thought on new ideas and how you can get more value from your data.

Contributors in this issue

James Fisher

Chief Product Officer, Qlik

In his role as Chief Product Officer at Qlik, James is responsible for leading the team spanning product management and marketing that helps drive Qlik’s vision, the product and innovation strategy, messaging, thought leadership and go-to-market strategies. James has two decades’ experience in global software and consulting businesses focusing on analytics, performance management, finance and mobile solutions.Prior to joining Qlik, he ran Product Marketing for analytics, mobile and finance solutions at SAP and previously held various marketing and consulting roles at BusinessObjects, Cartesis and PwC. James currently resides in the UK.

Vikram Mansharamani

Harvard lecturer and author

Dr Vikram Mansharamani is a global trend-watcher and lecturer at Harvard University. He is also the author of Think for Yourself: Restoring Common Sense in an Age of Experts and Artificial Intelligence. In addition to teaching, Dr Mansharamani advises Fortune 500 CEOs on navigating uncertainty in today’s dynamic business and regulatory environment.

Martin Veitch

Editorial Director, IDG Connect

Martin Veitch is an experienced business and technology journalist and is currently Contributing Editor to IDG Connect. He has edited publications including CIO, ZDNet and IT Week, and specializes in writing in-depth interviews with industry leaders including Michael Dell, Steve Ballmer and Scott McNealy.

Sally Eaves

Founder, Aspirational Futures

Dr Sally Eaves is a practicing Professor of Emergent Technologies, Global Strategy Advisor, and founder of Aspirational Futures, which guides, empowers, and supports the next generation of interdisciplinary talent. She is an award-winning speaker, author and influencer in advanced technology disciplines, digital transformation, future of work, sustainability, and social innovation.

Tom Davenport

Professor of IT & Management, Babson College

Tom Davenport is the President’s Distinguished Professor of Information Technology and Management at Babson College, co-founder of the International Institute for Analytics, Fellow of the MIT Initiative for the Digital Economy, and senior advisor to Deloitte Analytics. He writes for Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review and the Financial Times.

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