In this blog, we discuss how Qlik has refocused into a cloud-managed platform and what that means for an organization’s BI needs. We dive into impactful features of Qlik Active Intelligence Platform—most that are underutilized or unknown—and explain why the platform remains a strong player in a crowded BI space.

In the BI space for nearly 30 years, Qlik has been a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in Analytics and BI Platforms for much of its history. Throughout the years, the company has continued to evolve its platform first with QlikView, then with Qlik Sense, and now with a new cloud-first focus—Qlik Active Intelligence Platform.

What makes Qlik’s new offering unique in an already crowded BI and analytics space? Qlik says it is the ‘next era of BI—an opportunity to optimize every moment with informed action. I agree, as the Qlik Active Intelligence Platform not only decreases users’ time-to-value, but it also enables business users to receive the important insights they seek faster, and on their terms.

What Is Qlik Active Intelligence Platform?

The Qlik Active Intelligence Platform brings together the capabilities of Qlik Sense SaaS for your analytics services needs and Qlik Cloud for your data services needs into one powerful BI platform. It is based on continuous intelligence from real-time information, establishes an intelligent analytics data pipeline, and is designed to trigger immediate actions. Additionally, the cloud platform does not require any server provisioning, updates, or additional infrastructure. Not having to worry about this setup allows you to get right into the process of building and serving analytics to your core business users.

What Are the Key Features of Qlik Active Intelligence Platform?  

Qlik Active Intelligence Platform can be broken into two core sets of features: Qlik Sense SaaS for analytics and Qlik Cloud for data integration. Qlik Sense SaaS covers all the core user-facing and analytics-based tooling. It also houses the management platform for orchestration, security, and management of data assets. Qlik Cloud is a compilation of tools to help simplify data ingestion, management, and cataloging of data assets in conjunction with cloud data warehousing products. It can be leveraged separately from Qlik Sense SaaS and integrates with other BI tools.

Blue diagram illustrating Qlik Cloud end-to-end platform, including data services and analytics services.

Illustration of Qlik Cloud’s broad set of core services and features—including data services, analytics services, and foundational services. Photo: Qlik

I have listed below some of the most exciting features included in the Qlik Sense SaaS and Qlik Cloud platforms. This is not an exhaustive list but gives an idea of some of the more transformative features of the Qlik Active Intelligence Platform.

Features and capabilities of Qlik Sense SaaS include:

  • Embedded analytics: Qlik’s embedded capabilities allow you to bring your Qlik visualizations to where your consumers need them with a few simple configurations and extensive customizations.
Learn more about Qlik’s embedded analytics capabilities
  • Alerting & actions: Alerts can proactively notify users when data changes, allowing them to quickly react to changes in their business.
  • Data lineage: Users can see the entire picture of an app or data asset’s lineage automatically within the Qlik Environment—no more tracking down of sources for an app or dataset.
  • Applications automations: These automations are a one-stop, simple-to-setup automation platform for data integrations between all your Qlik or third-party platforms. You no longer need a cronjob or python script setup in a server or cloud system to create robust production ready automations. (This is also bundled in data services but included with the SaaS platform is 5000 automations a month).
  • Reporting: Although this feature is still being improved upon, reporting can replace many of your simple NPrinting tasks or PDF manual reports in an automated way.
  • Qlik AutoML: Quickly train and deploy machine learning models within the Qlik platform on your curated data sets with no coding required.

Features and capabilities of Qlik Cloud include:

  • Hybrid data delivery: An automated no-code solution for ingesting data and managing changes in real-time. Greatly reduce cloud data warehouse or data lake creation time and reduce complexity in orchestration. Also, you can serve your required on-premises sources into the cloud with Qlik Forts.
  • Data catalog & lineage: Automated cataloging, testing, and lineage is generated for all pipelines and sources. This reduces manual upkeep of a data catalogue, simplifies data correctness, and provides transparency across your modern data platform.
Learn about the difference between a business glossary, a data dictionary, and a data catalog.

How Does the Qlik Active Intelligence Platform Benefit an Organization?

In my experience, a key business challenge that clients have voiced is in enabling their analytics teams to get the most value possible out of the data they have. Analytics and data engineering teams struggle to ingest and validate data fast enough to meet the demands of the business. Once data is available and consumed, it’s lineage and business context are lost through employee turnover or lack of documentation—further exasperating the business’s ability to adapt and be actionable with data.

The outcome: Data-driven decision making will always fail when data is not trusted by its end users.

Qlik has put a lot of effort into simplifying the complexities of the modern data stack and addressing this common business challenge with the Qlik Active Intelligence Platform. It provides flexibility in the governance and proper presentation of data—which can be the difference between a ‘nice-to-have’ and an essential data asset. As a developer, having a robust platform with low IT overhead and a broad set of features expands the impact and time to value I can provide to our clients, and ultimately the data consumers. Qlik has included in their platform ways to bring data and insights to where the consumer will be making a decision and deliver any data source in a governed and accessible way through its Qlik Active Intelligence Platform.

Talk to an expert about your Qlik needs.

What Sets Qlik Active Intelligence Platform Apart from Other BI Tools?

The BI space is rife with competition—vendors provide niche and broad solutions to all data consumers, and in a variety of options. When I evaluate a BI platform, I like to see that it has strong foundations in connecting to, transforming, and displaying data in a way that business users need. I also want to see that I can quickly provide value and actively prototype solutions for end users. The Qlik platform has been battle-tested, in that the core back-end language and associative engine have stayed the same over time, with a large and active community of developers.

The Qlik platform is proven effective as a single platform for small to mid-size data assets—allowing you to build end-to-end ETL pipelines entirely within the platform itself with a low total cost of ownership versus multi-product stacks. From these solid foundations, organizations may have expanded needs outside of the basics. For these organizations, the Qlik Active Intelligence Platform is compelling in that it has a broad list of features that are all managed and secured under a single user-friendly platform.

Key differentiators for the Qlik Active Intelligence Platform include:

  • Time to Value: No provisioning or maintenance of servers—apps and data pipelines can be connected to sources and prototyped in days versus weeks to months in a traditional data warehouse buildout.
  • Flexibility: The Qlik Active Intelligence Platform is not tied to a cloud stack and can connect to all data sources. There are many options on how to design your data assets and pipeline to fit your use case and leverage automations where needed. There are also many ways to serve your analytics applications outside of a simple dashboard through embedded analytics, alerting, or reports.
  • Governance and Security: Not just a tool, Qlik Active Intelligence Platform is a unified UI to manage users, data, apps, and automations across business areas through spaces and row-level security.
  • Proven Analytics: Qlik Sense is a proven best-in-class BI tool which can be developed by all skill levels through self-service and automated visualizations with AI and Natural Language processing.
  • Innovation: The Qlik Active Intelligence Platform is constantly rolling out improvements to the platform which expands its capabilities to meet analytics user demands and sets new standards for what a BI tool should look like.

Although Qlik is traditionally thought of as a seasoned player in the analytics and BI space, the company has continued to innovate and push forward the idea of a unified data platform—making it a major player still.

Keep up with Qlik updates and understand what they mean for your Qlik environment.
Brian Buxton Brian is a Senior Consultant based out of our Chicago office. He is a Qlik Practice Manager, working as a lead developer for Qlik and data engineering projects. Outside of work, Brian enjoys lifting, trying new restaurants, and being an avid Boston sports fan.
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