Qlik accelerates its position as Analytics and BI leader in AI and Machine Learning

December 31, 2018

Throughout 2018 Qlik continued to accelerate its focus in analytics and business intelligence by delivering innovative AI, enhancing the potential of the Qlik platform for all its users.

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In November 2018, Qlik released its Qlik Sense product, introducing new machine learning systems into its cognitive engine and platform. The machine learning system enables the Qlik cognitive engine to become more intelligent over a period of time, continuing to learn via user interaction and from other feedback sources. Qlik is the first analytics enterprise to combine the potential of AI and ML with human intuition in a manner that utilises the power of a user for further discovery.
A report by Gartner suggests that augmented analytics is gaining popularity very fast. Combined with this progression, is the rise of ML automation and AI techniques to use human intelligence and rapidly transform data management, analytics and BI.

The new learning potential of the Qlik model will be used initially in Insight Advisor which was introduced back in June 2018 as part of the Qlik Sense Enterprise release. Insight Advisor can automatically generate and suggest the most suitable data and insights to research based on the data set and the user’s search criteria. The system makes highly relevant insight suggestions based on the machine learning from the user’s overall analytics interactions. The users can educate the machine by manually selecting analytics, modifying what the machine suggests and adding feedback to the system.

Moritz Schieder, the Visual Analytics Practice Lead for Deloitte Consulting explains that more of their clients are requesting for cases where they can utilise artificial intelligence. According to Schieder, the Qlik augmented intelligence approach is a perfect example of how machine learning can be used to combine data and the human decision maker by supporting data tasks, selecting the most suitable visualisations and recommending insights to the user.

Qlik’s AI and ML features are innovative because they work specifically with the Qlik associative engine, integrating the features of AI with human intuition. As the associative engine understands a user’s context and the data related, the suggested insights are far more relevant. As some industry members have explained, the Qlik service provides an extended view that enables users to discover hidden insights that were previously overlooked. Qlik provides the strengths of AI, where both machine and human sides become increasingly empowered. Elif Tutuk, the Director of Research at Qlik explains that their considerable investment into AI and machine learning is a significant factor for their users. It enables a higher ability to move more fluidly between levels of data exploration with added confidence. At the same time, the user will know the system is continuing to learn simultaneously and that each new insight makes the overall system smarter and can result in further opportunities.

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Oracle – cloud and future data management systems

December 31, 2018

After the recent Oracle OpenWorld conference in San Francisco, the business has progressed with its new Exadata project.

Oracle OpenWorld Event

The Exadata project intends to make it considerably simpler for enterprises to handle data without requiring the need to manage dozens of servers, varied networks and a range of storage options.

The ultimate goal of the project is to provide Oracle customers with a singular stack that is capable of delivering the highly effective results. David Sivick, the technology initiatives manager at Wells Fargo and speaker at Oracle OpenWorld explains that the bank is now utilising 70 racks of Oracle’s Exadata. Prior to implementing these systems, Well Fargo required thousands of Dell servers to produce the same results.

Sivick explains that the new system has resulted in savings exceeding millions of dollars every year.

He explains that Wells Fargo has seen significant improvements in overall waiting times, a reduction in space required for compression and a general increase in application speeds. The main objective was to consolidate overall processes, the business was attempting to manage a range of varying systems, with different databases and memory systems.

Whilst Exadata can sometimes take longer to implement and operate, it does enable larger businesses to avoid managing multiple platforms and situations of handling technology upgrades over numerous systems. Wells Fargo now operates over 90% of its databases on Exadata, leaving the remaining systems in their existing form purely for strategic decisions or because they are due to be removed.

At this year’s Oracle OpenWorld, the conference focused a lot on the cloud credentials of the business and their vision of how the cloud would manage existing operational challenges. The cloud based strategy of Oracle is focused mainly on the provision of important business applications. At the conference, Oracle states that larger businesses are now using its Exadata products to improve speed and enhance the use of data services and reduce overall reliance on traditional systems.

Larry Ellison, the chairman of board and chief technology officer at Oracle highlighted the competitive edge of the business against Amazon Web Services, referring to Exadata-based projects and data warehousing.

Oracle intends to place itself as a leader in the transformation of cloud technology, an area that is likely to be vital in future ERP applications. The business is also very aware of the challenge facing larger businesses like Wells Fargo that require a complex migration of multiple systems into a streamlined integrated network.

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Recent acquisition boosts Insightsoftware’s place in the EPM market

December 11, 2018

Insightsoftware is focusing on client relationships and implementing new technology to enhance the reporting demands of finance departments.

Recent acquisitions boosts Insightsoftware’s place in the EPM market

Reporting and Enterprise Performance Management platform Insightsoftware is pushing further into the competitive enterprise EPM market after announcing the recent acquisition of CXO Software, a highly regarded web-based reporting platform.

Industry analysts believe it is a clever move by Insightsoftware, enabling the business to streamline both it’s financial and operational reporting services for clients of all sizes.

The acquisition of CXO also means some added valued client partners within the social media, airline, automotive and fast food markets. Big branded client’s include KLM Dutch Airlines, Siemens, Experience and McDonalds.

What is probably the most important factor of the acquisition is that it will allow insightsoftware to manage large customer accounts and support significant EMP products created by SAP Business Planning and Consolidation, Oracle Hyperion, Tagetik and OneStream.

The latest acquisition comes not long after their recent purchase of Excel4apps back in October, which established Insightsoftware as a market leader for Excel-based enterprise reporting solutions for finance teams.

CXO software will also work alongside finance teams, transforming them from report-generating cost departments into insightful and strategic providers. Its most important product is a web-enabled solution that provides automated performance reporting by connecting to an EPM system and financial data hub. The tool provides real-time insights, independent of an IT system.

Mike Lipps, CEO of Insightsoftware explains that having the capability to efficiently transform enterprise data into information on business performance for quicker and more accurate decisions is a frequent requirement from customers in the business market. CXO focuses on the core challenges that exist between finance teams and C-Suite executives. CXO offers an intelligent and flexible way to view finance data and integrate into other daily systems. Lipps highlights that the CXO Software offers tools to support this process within the C-Suite.

Lipps believes the latest acquisition will work well with the reporting solutions of Insightsoftware and provide an extended range of financial tools that can be connected with EPM systems. A large part of the innovative changes relates to how C-Suite interacts with internal finance data through the development of a system that translates performance in a manner that executives can fully understand.

The acquisition will also generate further investment into the current CXO technology and through working with multiple companies, expand its offerings on a global scale. InsightSoftware is quickly establishing itself as a significant global competitor within the EPM and ERP markets, offering a service that can be effectively integrated into major blue chip performance management products.

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Digital Transformation and the risks to Finance

November 12, 2018

Market leader EY recently released a report highlighting that as financial businesses move towards digital they need to transform their risk management processes.

Digital Transformation

EY explains that determining business outcomes such as company profits are becoming difficult to control, particularly with pressure from governments, regulators and other stakeholder groups.

Digital risk management is now an essential focus for businesses analysing the risks associated with the process of digital transformation across an entire business and testing and launching new digital strategies to manage risk. Risk managers are experiencing several challenges related to digitalising risk management and controlling risks to an entire business as it becomes more digitally-minded.

Financial companies are experiencing more disruption and as a result, there is a growing awareness of the impact of technology on businesses. Technology is utilised throughout any financial services company, so we are experiencing a greater focus on awareness and education. Business is focusing on professionals who have strong backgrounds in technology and implementing the desired skills for this transformation. The EY report explains that in the near future companies will need to be prepared for constant change, rather than periodic changes. EY emphasises that businesses will thrive if they can embed change into their business model and hire and retain talent who can prosper in this type of environment.

Partnering up to tackle digital disruption

Christian Rast, the global head of tech and knowledge at leading auditing company KPMG recently highlighted that only a third of executives actually trust their technological and analytics capabilities. Speaking at the Nikkei Global Management Forum in Japan, Rast explained that the low figure was quite concerning, considering how new technology is transforming industries.

Rast highlights that the digital transformation of a business is not a case of ‘if’ but ‘when’, stressing that further changes are inevitable. Rast has suggested that one method to deal with this trust, or lack of, that may hinder businesses adopting digital practices is to collaborate with others. In other words, Rast is implying that businesses shouldn’t be focused on ‘winning the race’ without any support.

Rast refers directly to KPMG and how the business is by no means free of potential disruption, explaining that the company is working with nearly 5,000 startups worldwide to deliver new solutions for clients. Rast highlights the significant value of digital transformation will bring to customers, explaining that the process should not just focus on technology but an entire change of culture.

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