Data Discovery

Data-informed decision making is quickly becoming the norm in a wide range of industries, and firms are striving to provide their employees with simpler, more approachable ways to access and use data. Data discovery tools give businesses holistic visibility into their information assets while making it easier for business users to explore and work with an organization’s data. Even non-technical users can uncover valuable data insights without having to learn data modeling and other new skills. Data discovery technologies such as visual analytics and natural language processing allow users to interact with data and analytics in ways that come naturally—through visual interaction, drag-and-drop functionality, and natural-language conversation.

Data discovery defined

Traditionally, business intelligence had been the province of IT departments or complex technology stacks managed by skilled teams. Over time, BI reporting and analytics software has evolved, and today business users can prepare, load, and interact with data without requiring the assistance of IT. Data discovery capabilities are helping break down data silos, eliminating bottlenecks, and making it easier for users to understand and explore an organization’s information assets. Complicated, unapproachable BI tools fade into the past as users are empowered with agile data discovery tools to navigate and make sense of large volumes of information.

Out-of-the-box connectors offer fast, easy connectivity to a wide variety of data sources while graphical interfaces and AI assistance allow users to access, prepare, and interact with data through visualizations and drag-and-drop functionality. They can search data just as they would search the web and take advantage of advanced analytics and machine learning frameworks through simple visual interaction. With data discovery technology, users can quickly clean, combine, and analyze complex data sets and get the information they need to make smarter decisions and impactful discoveries.

Enterprise and next-generation data discovery solutions

Enterprise-grade data discovery tools provide built-in data governance and security, giving organizations a secure, centralized environment for data exploration. IT maintains full visibility and control over data and analytics applications while business users get self-service access to trusted, reliable data. Organizations can offer their users governed access to all of their assets including unstructured information, letting employees load and blend diverse datasets in order to gain deeper insights.

Next-generation data platforms like Qlik Sense® support search-based, visual, and augmented, or AI-fueled, data discovery. Users can leverage powerful, natural-language search to visualize the data they need, explore and interact with visualizations by making selections, and have AI surface relevant connections and insights. With AI under the hood, data discovery is not only more powerful but simpler, making data analytics more accessible to a broad range of users.

How data discovery helps the enterprise

By enabling more users to integrate and work with data from disparate sources and carry out analytics through interactive visualizations, data discovery helps organizations empower their workforce with knowledge and become more agile. Time to insight is shortened as users spend less time hunting down data and more time getting answers to their pressing questions. Frontline users get the information they need without having to rely on IT. Data discovery also helps drive innovation and creativity by allowing your decision-makers to synthesize large quantities of diverse data, giving them a broader perspective and deeper insight while also revealing new opportunities. And finally, your workforce gains confidence in working with data, leading to a more productive, insights-driven organization.

Using Qlik Sense for data discovery: analytics without blind spots

Qlik, the leader in data discovery technology, offers its customers an intuitive solution for self-service oriented data visualization and sophisticated business data analytics. Qlik Sense is a robust yet highly flexible analytics platform suitable for any BI use case, ranging from pixel-perfect business intelligence reporting to AI-fueled big data analytics. Thanks to Qlik’s unique Associative Engine, which indexes and understands all relationships in your data, users can search and freely explore all of your organization’s information assets—without being restricted to partial views or predefined queries. The analytics experience is fully interactive. Smart visualizations put data in context, highlighting outliers and letting users zoom in or out and make selections to further explore interesting patterns and trends.

Qlik Sense’s enterprise-class, cloud-native platform offers security, scalability, and superior performance for even the most demanding industries. Users get access to data discovery and advanced analytics capabilities in a secure, governed environment that everyone can trust. And with support for mobile analytics, users can search for and work with data from any internet-connected tablet or smartphone.


What is visual data discovery?

It is a way for users to explore and obtain insights from data using interactive charts and other data visualizations. A graphical user interface makes it easier for users to blend, manipulate, and investigate relationships in their data sets. Interactive visualizations enable non-technical users to identify meaningful patterns and trends in data.

What is smart data discovery?

It refers to AI-assisted or augmented data discovery and is fast becoming an integral component of big data analytics tools. AI, machine learning techniques, and natural language processing are used to automate data preparation tasks, recommend visualizations, surface trends, suggest insights, and enable users to interact with analytics using everyday business language.

How does data discovery differ from traditional BI?

Traditionally, BI has been focused on collecting, analyzing, and presenting data in controlled, standardized formats, through regular BI reporting, for example. Data discovery, on the other hand, which is supported by modern BI solutions, allows users to explore and work with data more freely, uncovering unexpected insights and getting answers to ad hoc queries or as the need arises. This new way of doing BI is more responsive and agile. It lets more users access and use data to solve problems, validate their ideas, and support their decisions.