Q: Could you tell us more about your role as Head of Qlik Research?
Elif: At Qlik we do applied research and incubate new analytics technologies and experiences to define and lead the next generation of analytics systems, so people, business and governments can tackle their most challenging issues with data. Qlik is a very innovative analytics company, and it is so much more than just data analytics.
Q: Being a leader here at Qlik, what is your leadership style?
Elif: I always see myself as part of the “team” and lead by example. I think this is very important to encourage and promote innovation. In my current role, it is important that I create an environment where engineers and developers feel safe to “fail.” Each research project has many unknown unknowns at the beginning. I lead the team where they move fast, fail fast and adapt according to learnings. It should be okay to fail to innovate. I also demonstrate curiosity and lead courageously; I look to create opportunities for team members to share opinions with clarity and conviction, despite any resistance they may anticipate for their new ideas. As you can imagine, innovation means challenging the status quo and it many times comes with resistance.
Q: That sounds like a great way to keep the team motivated. We’ve recently learned that you have filed a patent, which is remarkable – could you tell us more?
Elif: The patent is granted for “Methods and Systems for Data Management.” The idea is about ways for linking data already loaded in-memory with big data sources for rapid visual analysis. With this hybrid model for comprehensive analysis, there is no need for users to choose between direct access to big data or pre-loading data in-memory for visual analysis and discovery. By directly querying tables without a complicated ETL process, and combing that data with the dataset that is in-memory, users have the advantages of both “live” access to data and the speed of in-memory data analysis.
I am excited to see that the idea is now patented! This method was implemented in Qlik products with QlikView 11 and the feature was called Direct Discovery. It enabled many of our customers with Big Data analytics, and it was our first step making “Big Data Just Data.” It also enabled Qlik to break “all data in memory” paradigm and established the path for future innovations. For example, this year we have launched a game changing technology, Associative Big Data Indexing, enabling our users to leave where the data is and bring the power of Qlik’s Associative analytics capabilities to data.
Q: Wow, that sounds incredible! Is this your first patent?
Elif: Yes, it is the first one that is granted. I have other pending patents in the areas of visual and interactive data exploration methods, visual data associations and analysis, conversational analytics and cognitive analytics.