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Beyond Business Intelligence.... Business Discovery?

QlikTech, a pioneer in the emerging niche of Business Discovery– or user-driven Business Intelligence -- has seen its evangelism achieve industry recognition: it has been positioned by analysts Gartner, in the Leaders Quadrant in the 2012 Business Intelligence Platform Magic Quadrant report. 

According to Gartner, “In 2011, business users continued to exert significant influence over BI decisions, often choosing data discovery products in addition to/as alternatives to traditional BI tools.” Says , QlikTech CEO Lars Björk: “Continued momentum has solidified this trend toward user-driven business intelligence, which we define as Business Discovery. We’re excited to see the whole category continue to thrive. ”
To get an insight into what might well become a wider industry trend, IndiaTechOnline met Ramendra Mandal, Country Manager, Qlik Tech India at his Bangalore office last week.
With QlikView 11, thei last release of its flagship solution, QlikTech has introducied social decision-making on its self-service BI platform, Mandal explained, helping business users collaborate to make more insightful decisions. WithQlikView now enabled on the iPad and on Android-based platforms, the demands of enterprise mobility have also been addressed, he added. Since these extensions were based on HTML5, no proprietary or custom installations were required – and the apps work seamlessly even if the native OS is upgraded.
Together, the ‘social’ features of QlikView and the mobility features are seeing a sea change in how businesses collaborate to make decisions, Mandal suggsted.
In this space, we have recently drawn attention to the emerging trend of BYOD – Bring Your Own Device -- where Indian professionals are unexpected leaders. It seemed to us that QlikTech’s recent announcements and its advocacy of Business Discovery might complement the BYOD trend – which is why we have edited the following technology backgrounder from a QlikTech white paper:

If only organizations could enable everyone to leverage data for business advantage — to explore data and draw insights and meaningful conclusions from it. Isn’t that what the promise of BI was all about? But traditional BI software has failed to deliver on this vision because of its myriad complexities, time lags, and expensive professional services requirements. Traditional BI software is cube- and query-based, and is typically an enormous software stack cobbled together through mergers and acquisitions.
As an example, Forrester Research’s broad definition of BI is “a set of methodologies, processes, architectures, and technologies that transform raw data into meaningful and useful information used to enable more effective strategic, tactical, and operational insights and decision-making.” This definition of BI spans the entire data-to-insight process, including data preparation. This extraordinarily broad set of capabilities takes substantial time to plan and implement — from collecting requirements, to building a data warehouse, to populating a metadata layer.
This old way of doing business intelligence is a top-down approach in which everything is centralized. Traditional BI software is hard to for end users to learn and use and as a result, adoption is limited. In addition, distribution of information and analytic tools is tightly controlled . Just a few people in an organization are in charge of the entire flow of information as well as analytical application creation and deployment. And the few people who have access to business data must be at their desk, or have their laptop in front of them, to get to the data and their analysis tools.
Traditional BI isn’t fulfilling its original promise because it: is IT driven; comprises pre-packaged reports and queries; is all about the vendor stack; delivers value slowly if at all – and something that Indian corporates will empathise with -- is extraordinarily expensive.
Leading double lives: People lead double lives when it comes to technology. For many of us, the difference between our work and personal lives is striking. At home, we are the masters of our technology domain. We read books on a Kindle and watch movies on an iPad while our kids stream an endless supply of music through the devices of their choice. We tweet while standing in line at the grocery store as our kids watch YouTube clips on their phones. If we don’t like Facebook’s privacy settings, we tweak them until we’re comfortable. Our computers are the tools of choice for collecting photos, uploading videos, playing games, and communicating with friends and family.
Historically, at work we have less freedom. Until recently, many organizations took a command and control approach to protect and secure corporate assets — and the workforce itself — while keeping costs at a minimum. Traditionally enterprise software was designed to restrict freedom, not enable it. Some workplaces are still locked down due to strict corporate policies: web sites are blocked, USB ports are locked, and email clients groan under mailbox size limits and security measures. Users can’t install new browsers or communication tools, participate in social networks, or watch videos online
But people’s expectations of software have changed. Consuming, exploring, and sharing information has been redefined by the search bar, status box, and multitouch screen. Applications from Google and Apple invite users to open a window, start clicking, and become instantly productive
Four main trends are driving the evolution of the BI software market.
Internet search is the primary means of research. Google has become a verb..
Social networking is now a way of life. Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, social networking technologies are enabling billions of people to share information, connect with one another, and develop robust professional and personal networks — with no technology background required.
• People enjoy using targeted, task-specific apps. Lightweight apps are changing the world. For instance, developers can create Apple iOS and Android mobile apps, which are focused on solving very specific problems, and are developed quickly and easily. Hundreds of thousands of these apps are now available..
People are mobile and want their tools wherever they go. Business decision makers at all levels of an organization need data at their fingertips, wherever they are working. They want to work how and where they like — whether that be on the customer site, in the warehouse, or on the trade show floor. Tablets like the iPad, and other large-form-factor mobile devices, promise to make business data ubiquitous.
An alternative vision:
Business Discovery is the next generation of business intelligence. It bridges the gap between traditional BI solutions and standalone office productivity applications, enabling users to forge new paths and make new discoveries. It is complementary to traditional BI software and other enterprise applications.
Business Discovery infuses BI with new capabilities:
Insight for everyone. Instead of just a few people involved in insight creation, Business Discovery enables everyone to create insight. It’s analogous to open source computing or peer creation.
Zero-wait analysis. As the pace of business accelerates, the only acceptable lag is none at all. Business Discovery radically collapses time to insight with zero-wait, instantaneous results. Traditional BI takes months or even years to deliver results (and sometimes, not at all), forcing users to seek faster alternatives. But with Business Discovery, users simply call up data, ask questions, and receive answers — all on the fly, all on their own.
Mobility. Business decision makers at all levels in an organization need data at their fingertips, wherever they are. They want to work how and where they like — whether that be in the warehouse, on the customer site, or on the trade show floor. Unlike traditional BI solutions, Business Discovery platforms provide an intuitive interface and an application infrastructure that is tailor-made to exploit the opportunity of a truly mobile, well-informed workforce.
An app-like model. No one needs the headache of deploying and managing monolithic business applications. Business Discovery platforms empower anyone to quickly develop and deploy simple, focused, and intuitive apps that can be easily reused. These apps are easy to modify, mash up, and share, allowing innovation to flourish at the edges of the organization and spread inward.
A social and collaborative environment. Business Discovery enables users to share and collaborate on insight and analysis. They can share insights within Business Discovery apps or through integration with collaboration platforms like Microsoft SharePoint. Business Discovery is about creating a community of users who engage in wiki-like decision-making to drive knowledge that can cascade across an organization.
When BI software came on the scene 20 years, it brought a promise of enabling better business decisions by making sense of raw data. Due to technology limitations, traditional BI has hit a plateau as an information delivery platform, rather than blossoming into a decision-making, insight-generating powerhouse.
Business Discovery changes that. Business Discovery is the next generation of business intelligence, enabling users to forge new paths and make new discoveries. Business Discovery works with what you have and infuses BI with new capabilities: insight for everyone, zero-wait analysis, mobility, an app–like model, re-mixability and reassembly, and a social and collaborative experience.
The full paper can be found here:  
July 14 2012