How Not to Come Unstuck When Implementing a Business Intelligence System – part 1

Dirty Data

The problem of “dirty data” refers to virtually all Business Intelligence implementations, regardless of the size of the data. In every natural environment, every computer system, there are errors and omissions in the data. This includes the problem of so-called dark data, or data which is not used, both due to the fact that it is useless, and because it is poorly organized and therefore cannot be effectively processed. It is therefore important to devote sufficient time to eliminating inconsistencies and to determining their origins, as well as to the arrangement of the data that is valuable in the analytical process. The “cleansing” of the data is very important, because all incorrect or incomplete information will affect the quality or even the correctness of the results of reports and analyses in the BI system.

Implementation Business_Intelligence_1

Too much data

The amount of data stored and generated daily by companies is very large and constantly growing. However, this doesn’t mean that all this data will be useful for the implementation of the BI system. A difficult but necessary task is the selection of appropriate data – even at the stage of pre-implementation analysis. The integration of other data will result in prolonging the analysis and implementation processes unnecessarily (and thus also increase the cost), but does not bring any real analytical or business benefits.


Nobody to take responsibility for the processes and data

During the pre-implementation analysis it often turns out that there is nobody who is clearly responsible for some of the key processes. This just goes to extend and complicate the analysis and the subsequent implementation of the system, due to the fact that these “orphan” areas are very difficult to verify, clean and implement.


Differences in data during migration

During the implementation process, within which the migration of a current solution to another tool takes place, it often turns out that the data in the new system is different in relation to the previously used solution. This is a fairly typical situation and results from changes made to the system during use, and as a result the guidelines connected with the starting point and adopted for the migration may differ from the existing condition of the system. In such situations, cooperation between the developer and end-users is vital to identify the source of the problem and make it clear that the new solution is trustworthy.


Lack of openness to change

Even the best system would barely be worth having if there were nobody to use it. A Business Intelligence system must be based on real needs and the actual interest of potential end-users within the company. In a situation where employees are resistant to change, it is essential to ensure that they come to trust the new tools, and that in turn their needs and objectives are met in full.

Qonnections 2016 – how Qlik Has Changed Strategy to Become More Customer-centric

All this means that Qlik will be focused on a strong definition of the market, starting from a shift in centricity in the areas of development, data, buyers and analytics. Developers will no longer be “just” consultants, as their role will shift more towards web programming technologies; data will be moved to the cloud, outside of the organisation, and Qlik Sense will offer multiple opportunities to mix diverse sources of data; buyers will act in a more agile manner and more as ‘self-service operators’ as the latest Qlik Sense is about enabling customers to modify reports on a daily basis; and finally the shift in analytics means looking beyond the BI data pond and involves a greater dose of embedded analytics. It was clearly indicated during the general sessions of the conference that, as there is more and more external data, there will be a greater shift to analysis and data will be discovery driven. The future (and maybe this is the path Qlik will take) is about smart data discovery solutions. Qlik also focuses strongly on business, not procurement, as it is business that cares about the data and uses the results of data discovery.


Qlik Sense – seeing the whole story

The story of Qlik for 2016/2017 is about seeing the whole story that lives within the data, enabling agility for business users at the same time, but keeping the sense of trust and scalability that comes from IT. Another important aspect for the new Qlik Sense will be the shift from non-linear to associative visual analytics probing all associations within the data.

In terms of product positioning, Qlik will maintain its two-product strategy. Qlik Sense shall be more than a self-service product and QlikView remains a strong base with the platform approach. An important factor for improving the self-service aspect is the fact that there is no need for technical skills to create reports. An easy drag-and-drop approach is used for any user wishing to see the whole story in terms of data stored e.g. in Excel spreadsheets. A unique feature is that the latest platform is free-to-use for a single user, which means that even personal data such as household income and expenditure can be visualised after just a few clicks. On the other hand, there are more functions and possibilities for custom analytics, from non-standard designs to reporting and collaboration including data streams, data stories, sharing and exporting and printing.


Qlik Sense – what is your story?

The new Qlik Sense is also about design and proper UX/UI. It focuses heavily on storytelling, simplicity and comparability. It seems that it will now be crucial for Qlik partners to have in-house UX/UI designers together with web development capabilities to face new challenges and the customer-centric approach used by Qlik, as it is now up to the buyer to customise their reporting experience as much as possible using any device from a regular laptop monitor or mobile device to a properly arranged PDF printout. The reporting possibilities offered by Qlik seem to be endless, limited only by the needs of customers and the technological abilities of BI consultants and web developers.

The Qonnections 2016 conference was definitely a success in organisational terms. The number of events, a few hundred technical and success-story sessions and energetic morning meetings with key Qlik representatives, topped up with a final hour-long conversation with the renowned astronaut Scott Kelly, confirmed that, as Gartner’s magic quadrant shows, Qlik is the leader in the modern Business Intelligence world and will most likely remain so in the years to come.

Watch some highlights from Qonnections 2016

JCommerce implements Microsoft Dynamics NAV in Egypt

An Egyptian supplier of business tools which support electronic sales channels has decided to implement Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2016 hosted on the Microsoft Azure platform.

The implementation of the ERP system will focus on the integration of an Internet sales platform in the field of automatic sales document creation and accounting controls, as well as inventory and purchasing management. Features such as Accounting, Sales and Marketing, Purchasing, Human Resources, Billing and Warehouse Management will be implemented.

The project began in April, with a planned implementation period of 6 months. The decision to hire JCommerce as the implementation partner was based on the client’s previous, positive experience of cooperation with Polish partners.