Time To Get Onboard With Self-Service BI

How static survey data can be turned into compelling interactive web apps.

Forbes Insights

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Have you ever contemplated why some technology companies engage 3rd parties to conduct a survey?  I believe the reason is simple: they either want to validate a conclusion or discover something new.  The benefit of using a reputable 3rd party is ensuring the data isn’t slanted with predetermined answers.  It also helps reach a diverse audience of unbiased responders.

Qlik has been recognized by industry analysts as a leader in the business intelligence (BI) and analytics software industry.  Despite this recognition, Qlik wanted to conduct a survey and see what others felt about the industry shift from traditional business intelligence to modern BI approaches based on self-service platforms.  The intent was also to discover new insights and answer questions such as:

  • What sets certain companies apart?
  • What is driving the shift?
  • What are the biggest roadblocks?
  • How can businesses stay ahead of the curve?  

So Qlik engaged Forbes Insights, a strategic research and thought leadership practice which is part of Forbes Media.  Forbes Insights surveyed 449 senior business and IT leaders from 12 countries and 16 industries.  The compelling results can be viewed in this infographic and whitepaper.  Some key highlights include:

  • 73% of respondents say improving data visualization is a strategic imperative
  • 63% agree self-service data analysis models create a significant competitive advantage
  • 54% say they are pursuing the creation of a center of excellence to improve their self-service data performance
  • 64% say some combination of senior management alongside an organic, bottom-up set of initiatives is what leads to adoption
  • 19% said the most difficult challenge is combining data from different sources
  • 82% of companies are moving to a distributed model of data analysis
  • As to where value is being created today, the most frequently cited functions include finance (67%), sales (61%), marketing (60%) and compliance (60%)

While the survey data shows some clear market trends and convincing metrics, someone viewing the results will inevitably ask: “How did responders answer in my industry, my country, my role and/or my company size?” 

Forbes survey example 

This is where most survey reports fall down – they rely on static PDF or PowerPoint documents to tell the partial story.  Traditional surveys rarely allow the user to freely explore the data and analyze it the way the user wants.  This same limitation exists in most traditional BI projects.  Recognized as a leader in modern BI and visual analytics, it only made sense for Qlik to build a survey analysis app to slice and dice the results and make it freely available to all of you.  You can interact with the app here (be sure to click on the “Filters” button in the upper right to tailor your analysis).  Worth noting: the survey app may not look like an out-of-the-box Qlik app, and you'd be correct! This app uses the open Qlik Sense APIs for a custom web app (mashup).

If you are interested in hearing more about the survey including an open Q&A session, please join me along with Forbes Insights’ Chief Insights Officer, Bruce Rogers on this May 24th webinar.

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