What I think Qlikview is:
I’ve been working with Qlikview for a few months now and I think it’s great. It’s really easy to use, graphically stunning, enjoyable working with it, lightning fast and most important: my customers really like its intuitive user interface, the fact that there is hardly any learning curve, the quick results and the fact that they have fun in using it.
One strong point (among others) is the fact that you still see what you didn’t select. In “Traditional BI” you drill further and further but missing out on all the things you didn’t select. QV shows you what you didn’t select. Another thing that works for me and my customers is that it enables me to solve real life business problems really fast. It allows forms of agile development or quick prototyping, in stead of a waterfall approach where you first create a functional and technical design, build your ETL to fill up an enterprise datawarehouse, build datamart on top of that and just at that moment you can start building dashboards and reports (or the requirements changed…). With QV you easily get all the data, and just start Qlikking your dashboards and reports together.
Of course there are flaws, and it isn’t a full datawarehousing and BI solution, and it doesn’t support slowly changing dimensions, and it’s mechanism of relating colums that are named the same is a bit unhandy, and cleansing is difficult, but the advantages of quick implementation and huge customer satisfaction and the graphical possibilities makes up for a lot of the flaws.
What the one negative story I was able to find says:
What Gartner says: (from the 1st of february 2008)
- The perception of QlikTech as the “coolest” vendor in BI right now belies its efficiency as a business. It executed extremely well in 2007, growing faster than any other BI vendor and significantly expanding its customer base to over 7,000 organizations in more than 80 countries.
- QlikView’s use of an in-memory data model, automated data integration and a graphical analytical environment have attracted customers looking for both ease of use and highly scalable functionality.
- Unusually for a relatively small firm, the evidence shows that QlikView is being considered a BI standard by midsize firms, which is a testament to the breadth of its capabilities.
- The QlikTech customers Gartner contacted for this research are happy, with the highest proportion of any BI vendor reporting no technical problems.
- QlikTech remains the only vendor in the Magic Quadrant to provide a money-back guarantee, which takes some of the risk out of the vendor selection process.
- The QlikView 8 release improved ability to extend deployments to higher user populations and work within standards-driven corporate IT environments (including a Web services interface, support for third-party authentication, and login tools and performance gains). However, in most cases QlikView is deployed departmentally.
- QlikTech’s challenge (and its stated aim) is to grow these deployments across the enterprise.
- For QlikTech to become a Leader, it needs to show more examples of large enterprisewide BI deployments where customers use one single QlikView instance as the system of record for BI metadata for all BI applications, rather than a number of disconnected QlikView implementations.
- QlikView is adding functional capabilities as part of a strategy to broaden the types of BI applications it can address (the ability to allow data-entry into memory to support what-if analysis, for example). However, QlikView does not yet offer a complete alternative to more established BI platforms. This puts QlikTech in the position of being an additional BI supplier to firms that may already feel they’ve too many. Given the compelling nature of QlikTech’s technology, this isn’t an insurmountable barrier, but it may hinder its growth in large firms that are looking to consolidate BI suppliers.
What Forrester says:
QlikTech popularizes “BI without borders.” No matter what BI architecture or solution one chooses, a data modeling step is still required before reporting and analysis can be performed. In-memory data models from QlikTech (and TIBCO Spotfire) do not require that precondition, since all calculations and aggregations can be done at RAM speeds and therefore require little, if any, design and preparatory work. There are times when one needs to treat a continuously variable numerical value (like sales price) not as fact, but as a dimension. While conventional OLAP tools make this very difficult, in-memory models do not require a distinction between facts and dimensions – any element can be instantaneously used in either capacity. QlikTech spent years optimizing memory utilization and now can take full advantage of 64-bit architectures with in-memory models as big as a terabyte (as opposed to the 4 gigabyte limitation of 32-bit computers). While QlikTech does not have the breadth of functionality necessary to be the only enterprise BI solution, its lightning-fast response times for instant exploratory analysis and what-if scenarios, including on-the-fly re-aggregations, can be very attractive to power users and analysts.
What DBMS2 says:
QlikTech – the vendor of QlikView – contacted me to tell their memory-centric BI story. A Swedish company with >$23 million in estimated license revenue last year and a 100%ish growth rate, they claim to be the leader in that space, pulling ahead of Applix. But for now, I’ll call them “a” leader, and say that their story sounds like a hybrid between those of Applix (TM1 product) and SAP (BI Accelerator).
Frankly, at this point I only understand the pitch at a high level: The product is column-oriented, memory-centric, with full relational flexibility. Any column or calculation can be a measure, without the pre-determination of MOLAP or some ROLAP. And it has a more-or-less complete-sounding set of BI tools (reporting, OLAP, dashboards, ETL, etc.) They boast a patent, but I haven’t figured out yet what it really says. (On first reading it seems impossibly broad, along the lines of: “We take data and encode it in a presumably compact form for faster lookup later.”)
As for the company, it’s a Swedish outfit that had only 5 customers as recently as 1999. Their sales focus to date has been mid-market, or departments of large enterprises. (And their proudest corporate standardization win to date is the famously decentralized 3M.) This is both because that’s where the toughest competition isn’t, and because in-memory solutions were fundamentally limited in database size before the advent of 64-bit chips. They expect this quarter to be the first one that the US is their largest region, perhaps not coincidentally while Europeans take long vacations. And for unintended comic relief, they hammer on the performance claim that you can run the system with a lot of data on a laptop, apparently oblivious to the recent stream of high-profile laptop disappearances and associated privacy fiascos.
What Qlikview says:
QlikView provides fast, powerful and visual in-memory business analysis – without the limitations, cost or complexity of traditional BI tools. QlikView can be deployed in days and users trained in minutes. Designed specifically for business users, QlikView puts information at your fingertips instantly, giving you the intelligence you need to act – faster.
QlikView was created with a simple premise: analysis should work the way your mind does. We call this QlikView Associative Logic. Association more closely mirrors the way the human mind works – people think in a non-linear path driven by building associations. To achieve the goal of associative analysis, QlikView loads all data into memory and calculates metrics as the user clicks. We call this In-Memory Analysis. Operating in memory provides the speed, flexibility, ease-of-use, and visually interactive user interface that associative analysis requires.
We operate on the right side of the law — Moore’s Law. With each generation of processor platform, QlikView can handle more and more data. Today, with general availability of 64-bit multi-core systems, there is virtually no limit to what you can do with QlikView