While data is important, what’s even more important is information that can be derived after analyzing the data. That’s why business intelligence software are becoming popular as they help surface trends and insights that one should focus on. And one of the leading BI software is Qlik. We talked to Qlik India’s Managing Director Varun Babbar about the company’s growth in India, what makes it different, and more.

PS: the interview has been edited for the sake of brevity.

1) What’s the best way to define Qlik and what is it trying to achieve?

Qlik is a SaaS company that offers an end-to-end, real-time data integration and analytics cloud platform to integrate and manage data, analyze, and explore information, discover, and share insights, and make informed decisions.

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world – one where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems.

2) As you are talking about business intelligence, could you shed a light on various products that Qlik has on offer, and which one has the highest usage?

Qlik has four main products: Qlik Sense (Business and Enterprise) for data analytics, Qlik Data Integration Platform, Qlik Catalog, and Qlik Analytics Platform (for developers), with several additional value-add products like Qlik Blendr, Qlik GeoAnalytics, Qlik NPrinting, and Qlik Connectors.

Qlik’s Data Integration Platform includes Qlik Replicate (Change Data Capture), Qlik Compose (Data Lake and Warehouse Automation), and Qlik Enterprise Manager. The combination of Qlik Catalog and these products are the foundation of Qlik’s Data Integration Platform, which, when combined with Qlik Sense, creates the BI and analytics industry’s only end-to-end platform for raw data through to insights and action.

Qlik Sense is a complete data analytics platform that sets the benchmark for a new generation of analytics. With its one-of-a-kind associative engine, sophisticated AI, and high-performance cloud platform, companies can empower everyone in their organization to make better decisions daily, with smart visualizations that reveal the shape and insights in your data and pinpoint outliers.

Qlik Insight Advisor is our conversational analytics and natural language interface built into Qlik Sense. Drawing on Qlik’s unique Associative Engine, combined with natural language processing and cognitive technology, Insight Advisor deepens Qlik’s augmented analytics with AI-driven assistance that adds value to every interaction with data for cloud analytics users. Users get faster time to insight with assistance from Insight Advisor for chart creation, association recommendations, and data preparation.

3) What’s the current user base of Qlik in India? And what kind of industries are using it the most?

We have over 800 active customers including marquee names such as Indian Oil Corporation, HDFC Life, BookMyShow, Licious, L&T Technology Services, Lupin Pharmaceuticals, Samsung, Sitel, Samvardhana Motherson Group, TCS, and UPL. Some of the top industries that we cater to include IT/ITeS, Manufacturing, Financial Services, Public Sector & Retail.

4) When it comes to data, there are a lot of buzzwords like big data, machine learning, and all. How does Qlik stand out?

Enterprise data strategies have evolved to rely heavily on the creation of data lakes; however, customers are realizing that these and other data sources like the cloud (in all its forms) aren’t designed to deliver data easily and quickly to business users. In many instances, data lakes have only increased data complexity and management headaches. Enterprises have realized that they need to start with a data-driven strategy – one that marries data integration, data management, and analytics – to succeed. Qlik is addressing the entire spectrum of these needs with our end-to-end platform, starting with enterprise data integration (Qlik Data Integration), enterprise data catalog (Qlik Catalog), and our Qlik Sense analytics platform, all with our patented associative engine. Our combined portfolio enables Active Intelligence, which is realized when you have continuous intelligence from real-time, up-to-date information, designed to deliver insights rapidly and trigger actions automatically.

This extends all the way through enabling employees – our data literacy courses and trainings are offered to anyone interested in improving their abilities to work with and benefit from data. Qlik is a world leader at the forefront of data literacy and is the driving force behind the launch of the world’s first data literacy open community, the Data Literacy Project, which also includes leaders such as Accenture and Experian.

5) When it comes to data analytics, there’s a lot of competition from companies that are big and small. So how does Qlik stand out?

Yes, business intelligence software is crowded, but what separates Qlik vis-à-vis its competition is these three things:

i) The right data: Our Data Integration solutions harness all the right data, by leveraging highly efficient and automated data pipeline tools to provide real-time, analytics-ready, and governed data to your business users.

ii) The best insights: Our Data Analytics solution delivers the best insights, informed by a unique associative engine combined with AI-powered and conversational analytics that can be embedded at the point of decision.

iii) At the speed of business: Through this end-to-end solution, Qlik manages your data at the speed of your business, delivering real-time monitoring and triggering, using the cloud and technology of your choice – while also building a data-driven culture.

In addition, our continued innovation and advanced capabilities around multi-cloud mean we are bringing more data into the analytics realm than ever before for enterprises. And, with our augmented analytics capabilities through Insight Advisor, we are guiding users along their data exploration journey to help them more quickly and more easily surface hidden meaning in their data.

Qlik helps organizations do more with their data and transform the way they do business by moving from passive to Active Intelligence. Qlik’s Active Intelligence approach provides a unique, end-to-end solution that combines data integration with data analytics so businesses can harness the right data, to deliver the best insights, at the speed of business. 

6) How has the ongoing pandemic affected Qlik – both in terms of business and no of users?

The pandemic strengthened the digital integration for various businesses which were otherwise using a traditional approach. We have seen very strong double-digit revenue growth YoY (H1 2020 vs H1 2021). We are learning from our customers and employees. We are working on the analytics modernization journey, NLP journey, and Business Process.

Now people are asking for more data and for more ways to gain insights from their data.