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How Qlik is driving the data revolution in Australia

Australian firms are using data management software from Qlik to speed up data analysis while grappling with how to make data more accessible under a new consumer data-sharing regime

Australian businesses are starting to explore their obligations and responsibilities under the country’s new Consumer Data Right (CDR) legislation and assess what changes they may need to make to ensure compliance.

Data management specialist Qlik kicked off a 16-city tour in Sydney this week, and James Fisher, senior vice-president of strategic marketing, said the company was fielding questions about how to make data more accessible to external parties.

“The number of questions about how people can do that is an indicator that people are starting to take this seriously,” he said.

The CDR will be rolled out progressively, starting with the big banks, which will have to make data available to customers on request to facilitate open banking. Other sectors will follow.

Instead of hoarding customer data, organisations will have to make that information available on request.

Qlik is now being asked how to make that happen. Fisher said simply offering a dashboard might not work, because that might not be familiar to consumers. Instead, organisations needed to find a way to embed consumer data to make it much easier to consume, he said.

Delegates attending Qlik’s event in Sydney were warned that a gulf that still exists between collecting data and making use of it.

Fisher said Qlik bridged that gulf with “third-generation business intelligence and analytics able to use insights to take some form of action that drives identifiable value”.

Qlik is also embedding artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques in order to allow natural language queries of data collections to provide useful responses.

For example, the Qlik Associative Index engine has been designed to keep track of all the data spread across an enterprise and to handle queries in context, while machine learning continually enhances its concept of context.

The company is also focused further down the stack – at the data acquisition layer – following its 2019 purchase of Attunity, which specialises in data integration and big data management.

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Mercer Australia, which runs administrative systems for Australian superannuation funds, has used Attunity to collate data from multiple sources into a searchable on-premise data lake.

Previously, Mercer took four to five hours to analyse its cashflow, and the results might not be available when people started work the next day. That had affected its ability to act on, and make sense of, its cashflow, which tops $50m each day.

Mercer had also struggled to meet government requirements to complete data matching in three days or less and faced the risk of being fined for not doing so.

Corey Werfel, Mercer’s IT centre of excellence manager, said the issue had been addressed, with data being automatically collated by Attunity into a single location. “Now that we have got cashflow real time, we can start moving money based on what is happening today,” he said.

Werfel said his next plan was to implement Qlik to analyse Mercer’s data lake. “We will be able to make decisions about cashflow, workflow and HR to make the business work more efficiently,” he added. “A query could take an hour before – now it’s sub-second.”

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