What is most valuable?
The traditional BI tools are extremely limiting in the fact that they require very strict controls on the sources of data. This is understandable in very large corporates, but in a small- to medium-size business, where most supporting data sources are nothing more than an Excel spreadsheet, this is a pain. Therefore, my most valuable asset in QlikView is the ease with which any datasource can be integrated into the QlikView model for reporting.
How has it helped my organization?
The models created by QlikView have put critical information at the fingertips of management for decision-making processes. Our warehouse and distribution managers now have a view of the movement of stock, fulfilment of orders and can plan for demand more proactively. We produce our management sales dashboards daily and use the tool to integrate proof of delivery documents with sales orders.
What needs improvement?
I have several lower-level users who don’t need full functionality of the tool, but do need to access more than one model. In this regard, the licencing structure is limiting and costly for a user who is not using the analytical aspects of the tool. QlikView only offers full-user CALs (expensive) and document CALs (less expensive), but those licences only allow the user to access one model.
For how long have I used the solution?
The business has been using this product for four years.
What was my experience with deployment of the solution?
I did not encounter any deployment, stability or scalability issues.
How are customer service and technical support?
Our implementation provider is very capable, but it is important to partner with a vendor who has industry, regional and technological capabilities, as this cuts down the time to develop customised requirements. Also, it is not necessary to limit yourself to one vendor and lots of freelancers are cost effective for specific requirements.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
I looked at IBM Cognos, SAP BusinessObjects, and MicroStrategy. The main draw cards to QlikView was the cost and flexibility.
How was the initial setup?
Initial setup was straightforward.
What about the implementation team?
A team from the implementation provider did the installation and it was simple.
What was our ROI?
Our ROI is the ability to immediately take catalytic interventions with information at hand, implementing immediate savings from lost business and being able to put products to market more effectively.
In-depth analysis on the user roles using the tool should be done prior to implementation as non-managerial staff could probably use a shared licence scenario enabling lower licence count.
What other advice do I have?
If possible, a site visit to other consumers of the tool often sheds a lot of light on work that can be done before implementation to overcome unnecessary problems and delays. For example, properly mapping financial processes, documenting and getting them signed off before a QlikView model is developed will save time and money in rework after the fact. Also forming a network of other users who are not related to the vendor is very valuable in getting unbiased advice.
It is quite versatile and reasonably cost effective.