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Mike Capone, CEO of data analytics firm Qlik, claimed a broad mission for the supplier’s data integration and visualisation software, at its customer and partner conference in Las Vegas.
Sweden-founded Qlik is well known as one of the pioneers of data visualisation, along with Tableau, now part of Salesforce. It is, subject to final French legal approval, on the verge of acquiring data integration company Talend. In the keynote, Capone claimed Talend had always been high on his list of acquisition targets, from when he became CEO in 2018.
In an interview with Computer Weekly on the eve of the conference, Capone said, in his view, Qlik now stands alone as a business intelligence and data management firm, solely focused on those twin domains.
And he claimed that data analytics is about to enter a new phase of development in the wake of the economic disruption that accompanied the Covid pandemic and the more recent economic dislocations connectable with the war in Ukraine.
“I had to shut down our business in Russia this year. War, inflation and supply chain problems, you name it, it’s been happening. We believe the best way to get through all this uncertainty is by leveraging data and analytics,” said Capone.
He referred to the 2021 blockage of the Suez Canal by a container ship. “That disrupted $10bn of trade every day that it was shut down. Companies are saying ‘never again’. They have to be more prepared and diversified so that they don’t get into a situation where their business completely shuts down because they can’t get inventory. We are seeing customers make big investments in modernising their supply chains, based on data analytics,” said Capone.
One such customer is Airbus, which has been a Qlik customer since 2017, and whose aeroplanes each have in the order of four million parts. When the Covid pandemic began, he said, imports were backed up, and Airbus realised this was a challenge.
“We are seeing customers make big investments in modernising their supply chains, based on data analytics”
Mike Capone, Qlik
“They leveraged our technology. And now they know up to the second where every part is, everywhere in the world,” added Capone. “When those planes are in the air and sensors tell them there’s a problem with a part on the plane, they can have that part ready at the airport where that plane is landing, so they can replace it right away. They are making big investments into real-time analytics so that they never have to worry about supply chain disruption.”
Capone believes once the Talend acquisition goes through, Qlik will be in a better position to help with complex, real-time data problems of that order. Both firms are under the umbrella of private equity firm Thoma Bravo.
“Talend will be my 10th acquisition [at Qlik]. I’m a big believer in acquisitions as one vector of growth, along with organic development. I had my eye on Talend from the first moment I got to Qlik, as a complementary company. We just never had the capital structure to be able to get it done,” he said. “Thoma Bravo saw what we saw in the company, and they ended up acquiring them as part of a separate investment. And, at the end of last year, I went to the investors at Thoma Bravo and made the case.”
Qlik was founded in 1993 by Bjorn Berg and Staffan Gestrelius in Lund, Sweden. Capone remarked: “We’re 30 years young. We’re very proud of how we’ve been able to adapt, survive and innovate over the years. And that [founding] technology, our associative engine, still is differentiating today, but the problem has gotten more complex – it’s no longer just an analytics problem, it is an end-to-end data problem. The problem for CEOs and CIOs is different now. They’ve got data all over the place, they need to harness it, run analytics on it and take action on the insights. We haven’t changed strategy, we just expanded out".
In a statement alongside the opening of the conference, Capone said: “We’ve always excelled at helping organisations drive efficiencies and performance improvements. We’re now seeing more and more leaders across different industries embed Qlik into their own internal and external products and services.
“This goes way beyond the classic vendor relationship into being true strategic partnerships. Organisations like [connected car technologies company] Harman are taking the benefits they see with Qlik and extending those through revenue-generating services directly to their customers.”
Nick Parrotta, president of digital transformation solutions and chief digital and information officer at Harman, said: “We know first hand the power of leveraging Qlik to make data a part of every decision across our organisation.”
Read more about Qlik
- Qlik acquisition of Talend adds data fabric capabilities: Through its latest purchase, the longtime analytics vendor adds data fabric and self-service data pipeline development capabilities to its existing suite of data integration tools.
- Qlik Research head talks Associative Engine, NLP and Data Swarm: Elif Tutuk, research head at Qlik, discusses projects her team is working on – including a smarter Associative Engine, multi-attribute visualisations and NLP.
- Qlik unveils roadmap for analytics, data integration tools: Supplier plans to increase its connectivity to SaaS applications so users can integrate data from more sources and to add new APIs for embedded BI and automation.