What is our primary use case?
I would say general business analytics is the primary use of this solution. Anything from Finance files, HR, Operations, Manufacturing, Mining, etc. It's not specific to any use case, but I would say it is used for general all-purpose business analytics.
What is most valuable?
The associative technology is the solution's most valuable aspect.
Qlik was the first company to implement an in-memory associative analytics engine. This basically means that all data is loaded into memory, but it also means that instead of joining data together, the data is associated together. From the front end, from the UI point of view, data can be joined or included or excluded on the fly. It can be drilled down and drilled through and users can slice and dice it and that type of thing can be done from anywhere in the data to any other place in the data. It doesn't have to be predefined. It doesn't have to have hierarchies or anything like that.
What needs improvement?
The real-time capabilities need to be improved.
What I mean is, the solution needs to have the ability to leave the data where it is. This is actually something that Qlik has been working to solve, however, traditionally, the way that 99% of Qlik customers use the product is in an offline data cache. This means data gets copied into Qlik, into this Associative In-Memory Engine and then the analysis can be done.
Obviously, that means data is duplicated. It also requires a certain lead time, from the time the data is changed to when the data is available in Qlik. Traditionally, that was something that was a little bit of a hurdle for customers.
My understanding is that Qlik is working on several features in this area. They acquired some new products. For example, they acquired a product called Utility in the last nine months or so, which has fixed the real-time data replication change, data capture, that type of thing.
I don't think I can think of any new features it needs right now.
The solution needs to make improvements to the licensing model. They need to make it more affordable at scale, and to make it more affordable for those companies at the low end of the market as well.
For how long have I used the solution?
I've been using the solution for four or so years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
It's a very stable product. I haven't had any issues with it. I can't recall facing bugs or glitches. The solution hasn't crashed.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
The solution does scale wonderfully.
From a technology point of view, the system is quite scalable, horizontally and vertically. You can add more nodes into the system, and you can load balance between nodes and you can of course scale in particular by increasing capacity on the nodes.
I would say one of the things that hinders scalability a little bit is the licensing models, which is mainly per user, which at scale can become quite expensive.
How are customer service and technical support?
Our team is extremely technically proficient because we've been around the Qlik product set for many years. It's not that common for us to need support from Qlik. If I have to be honest, in the last couple of years, their support has been okay when we needed it. I wouldn't say it's great. It's a little bit slow and unresponsive sometimes.
The last issue we had had to do with accessing the system via Apple devices with SSL certificates. The problem we had was that we implemented it for the customer with an additional security measure. It was a reverse proxy with its own SSL certificate and that used to work and then stopped working and Qlik hasn't been able to really help us to troubleshoot it properly. It was a nonstandard solution as far as they concerned.
They ended up responding and helping us within about 24 hours.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup is quite straightforward and happens quickly.
Deployment typically takes a couple of weeks. It could take longer in certain instances.
When I say deployment I'm not talking about installing the software. That's installing the software and developing the first solution.
Most of the time implementation is only done by one person. Obviously, on the larger projects, it can take a few more staff members. For the most part, it's a one-person project and the system is not too complex to configure and set up. Normally the BI Developer is also the BI Administrator and the BI Configurator.
Maintenance would not be a full-time job. One person can handle it part-time.
What about the implementation team?
We help our clients implement and deploy the solution if they require our assistance.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
My understanding is that there is just a license fee. I don't believe there are ancillary costs on top of that. It may not be an affordable option for smaller organizations, however, It's more suited to larger companies due to the costs involved.
What other advice do I have?
We are a reseller. We do implementation and deployment as well. All types of businesses use the product, from small to large enterprises. Company sizes range from a few people to thousands of active employees.
Qlik Sense, of course, is a new product that sort-of replaces QlikView. A lot of our customers are still using QlikView. Therefore, we are still using the product, but we're not actively selling it anymore. We are supporting it because all new customers are Qlik Sense.
While we mostly deal with on-premises deployments, the cloud is quickly becoming more popular and has just become available for this solution recently.
The advice I would give to other organizations would be kind of general. For BI projects, the trick is to start with the business value and then find the data to support the business value. Don't try to start with the data and then try and find the business value for that data.
The tool really is a good tool and you can do almost anything with it, but just using the tool is not going to deliver value to your customers. You need to help your customer find business value in what they want to do and then deliver the solution for them.
I would probably give the solution a nine out of ten. The reason being that it is a product that offers real value to businesses and it offers it fast.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?