How Qlik uses BI, analytics to glean actionable intelligence from mammoth data sets

Jeremy Sim, Director of industry solution, Qlik, APAC

Headquartered in Radnor, Pennsylvania, Qlik is the global provider of business intelligence & visualization software that helps its customers generate better insights and make informed decisions. With a prior experience of working with technology leaders such as Toshiba and Panasonic, Jeremy Sim the director of industry solutions at Qlik, APAC, is responsible for the growth of company’s business in the manufacturing and high tech sectors. Qlik has over 40,000 customers globally, across all business sectors ranging from SMB to Fortune 500 companies.

In an exclusive interview with Ankush Kumar, Sim talked about how the data generated by the IoT devices can be effectively used by the industry and the government sector. He also gave an insight on BI which is being considered as an important tool for turning measurements into actionable information.

How do you see the combination of IoT and data analytics being used by the industry?

We are seeing an increase in the adoption of IoT, especially in the recent years. As you can imagine, you need a strong infrastructure in order for IoT to be pervasive. However, several organizations like the high-tech, auto and telco sectors are already seeing value from IoT data analysis. For example in auto, Qlik customers analyze the sensor data from automobile to understand the reliability of the product as well as the driving or usage patterns. These insights drive innovation within the product brand and also help improve after sales services.

What are the business verticals that will see major IoT adoptions?

In terms of Internet of Things (IoT), we do see the manufacturing and retail sectors at the forefront of leveraging this innovative technology. Manufacturers are empowered to gain greater insights into their production systems with sensor data from their equipment. Additionally, the items produced, especially electronics and automobiles, constantly transmit information about the reliability and usability. This allows the manufacturers to understand the relation between their products and the eco-system within which they function. Such knowledge is valuable for the development of new products and potential upgrades. Retailers can also learn of customers’ buying patterns via mobile devices, which results in better marketing activities. Through the installation of sensors in stores, retailers are able to analyze and monitor how customers navigate along the aisles in order to create effective assortment of goods and allocation of products.

How is the demand for BI and analytics solutions from the government side? What kind of projects the company has undertaken?

Business Intelligence is now being considered as an important tool for turning measurements into actionable information. With the augment of the ‘Digital India’ initiative, government departments have fast tracked how they want to look at managing, measuring & monitoring data. As government operations are largely information-based, data analysis is playing a critical role. They are also placing a huge focus on aspects such as embedded BI, as well as mobile and social BI. We have been working with various government departments in India and globally, and enabling them to glean actionable intelligence out of vast amounts of data. In India, we work for government agencies dealing with the Department of Information Technology, state governments, as well as departments associated with taxation.

How do you think IoT can be effectively used in the government sector?

The digital space has witnessed major transformations in the last couple of years. With the advent of the government’s ‘Digital India’ initiative in full throttle, IoT would play a very critical role. With IoT, the number of connected sensors will soon reach trillions, working with billions of intelligent systems involving in-numerous applications, which will drive new consumer and business behaviour. This demand for increasingly intelligent industry solutions based on IoT will drive trillions of dollars in opportunity for the IT industry and even more for the companies that take advantage of IoT. The government should therefore aim to create an IoT industry in India worth USD 15 billion by 2020, based on the approximation that India would have a share of 5-6 percent of the global IoT industry. Capacity building (Human & Technology) programmes should be undertaken for IoT specific skill-sets for domestic as well as international markets. The country should also undertake Research & Development for all assisting technologies. The aim should be to develop IoT products customized to Indian needs in all possible domains.

How can we make the best use of the data generated by IoT devices?

Firstly, there has to be a strong infrastructure to manage the transmission and collection of IoT data. Processes need to be in place to transform and managed the data once collected. Most importantly, the people who analyze the data
. There has to be a data driven culture within an organization to drive the growth of analytics. Besides increasing the usage of analytics, organizations also need to embrace the analytical results. This is where strong corporate and executive leadership is needed.

How is Qlik making a real sense of all the data that has been generated?

In general, there are 3 types of data in IoT: data in motion, data in use and data at rest. Different technologies are required for each of these, from the IoT devices that measure the parameters for example, the technologies that transmit and provide connectivity, as well as technologies that manages the data. Qlik provides the analytical platform to visualize and analyze these data. Hence, what an organization requires is a network of technologies that eventually draws data from the source to the end user where they can start their analysis. Qlik collaborates with numerous technologies in order to create the rich applications where users can make sense of their data.

How do you ensure the security of data on your platform ?

With huge amounts of data transmitting across cyberspace, security can be an issue. The different technologies at play needs to be responsible for the portion of the data flow they are involved in. Once the data is at rest, Qlik becomes responsible for the governance and usage of the data within the organization. This remains a key strength of Qlik as our analytical platform, can both govern the access and usage of the available data, as well as even the way the final analysis is shared.