As profiled in my recent Market Alert, Qlik’s launch of the Qlik Sense BI application is an interesting one for many reasons. Chief among them is that a balance has been struck allowing line of business users to have self-service access to manipulate data and perform analysis while still allowing IT to maintain ultimate control of the data being accessed – a feature referred to as governed data access. It’s an important development, helping further the democratization of data access in a manner that decreases the chances for that data to become fragmented or out-of-sync between different users.
This launch comes at what is starting to feel like an inflection point in the realm of self-service access to data analysis. Interestingly, the same week as Qlik made Qlik Sense generally available, IBM unveiled their plans for Watson Analytics. I wrote about Watson analytics in my previous post, and while the solutions are each quite unique, the IT/line of business control dynamic runs unmistakably through both. IBM announced a freemium cloud deployment of Watson Analytics that is clearly aimed at targeting line of business analysts in hopes that the individuals who try it will evangelize broader adoption throughout their company.
Adding to this theme has been SAP’s continued rollout of Lumira, its own data discovery and visualization platform that is available both for personal desktop use and on an enterprise scale. A core component of SAP’s offering is that Lumira is built to enable governed data discovery as well, once again toeing the line of business users’ demands for access and the enterprise’s need for control and consistency. At this past week’s ASUG / SAP Analytics & BusinessObjects Conference in Fort Worth, SAP heavily emphasized the importance of an enterprise grade self-service solution and they certainly believe that Lumira fits the bill.
The pull for broader access to data analytics through self-service tools has been going on for some time as design and self-service management become the next great battlefield in business intelligence. Vendors are quickly responding with offerings that signal a maturity of these demands, recognizing the need to find a balance between democratized access and enterprise control. As the value proposition continues to be realized through further adoption of self-service tools, expect to see an influx of tools tailored to provide consistent data discovery throughout large deployments.