At Qlik because of our Corporate Social Responsibility program we have a very strong link with Medair and at the beginning of July I visited their headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland. They talked about all of the projects they have carried out and how their work had directly affected 1,542,966 people. As part of our CSR program we had supplied Medair with free software and support for their initiatives and this had helped to coordinate relief in Syria and many other countries. Their work included using drone data to target regions most in need and to track refugees so relief could be targeted to the right areas. I even got to try on an Ebola suit and bearing in mind the weather in Switzerland was unseasonably hot at the time, after five minutes I was suffocating in that suit. I cannot imagine what it would have been like in the heat of Sierra Leone working for hours at a time and worrying about the chance of infection.
In my life at Qlik I have visited many clients and talked about how our software could speed up ROI, increase supply line efficiency and streamline business processes. Now I was being told how Qlik had helped to save lives and deliver aid to refugees in Syria. This is software not just helping to save money but helping Medair to deliver aid that changes people’s lives. After eight years at Qlik I have sometimes gotten a bit complacent about my role and its impact. I travel the world talking about big data, disparate data sources, business discovery, the internet of things and much more; but this visit to Switzerland really added a different aspect and color to my work at Qlik. I fully realize Qlik is only a part of the solution and without the fantastically motivated team at Medair who do actually put their lives at risk with the work they do, it would just be another piece of software.
It’s great to talk about these things but I wanted to challenge myself and raise funds for Medair so over five days I cycled 400 miles over the roads of Hampshire and France as part of the Paris to Hayling Island ride and added a small amount to the 1.5 million pounds raised over the history of the ride. This also is an example of how my work at Qlik became more than just a job.