At Qlik, we see that happen quite often. Qlik’s associative data model is a hard concept for some folks to get their head around. I’ve seen some who simply do not believe it – and others who believe it, but don’t immediately see how it can drastically change the way they analyze their data.
Unfortunately, human nature makes us continue to follow the path we are most accustomed to. In this context, that means they assume data is 2-dimensional, and they build visual analytics to fit that 2-dimensional viewpoint. It often takes guidance or a push from others to “see the light”, and the real power of analyzing data real time in a 3- or 4-dimensional perspective.
In one such case, Jonas Jonsson, Senior Director and Head of Northern Europe Consulting, told me about a customer situation that had followed a very typical path. Let me set the scene. The customer wanted to use Qlik to help them in situations where they had to quickly take on data for one of their clients; do analytics to find potential issues or outliers looking at millions of rows; produce a report; and then delete the data. In the current state, the effort would take 4 people, 4 weeks to complete with the likely potential to miss something due to the human element of manually loading and analyzing data.
Enter Qlik Consulting. Like on many projects, we were initially tasked with building a proof-of-concept on production data. The customer had very specific requirements, which were followed, but also reflected that 2-dimensional thinking I mentioned earlier. Then the customer started their path to the light. They started asking questions, and Qlik Consulting provided options on how they could change their requirements to leverage the power of that associative data model.
This is where it happens, and the room somehow just seems so much brighter. The “Aha” moment when the light bulb turns on. The instant they realize just how different, and how much faster and more effective their analysis can be, by viewing their data in that 3- or 4-dimensional way. Elimination of effort spent cross-referencing and regenerating, more energy focused on finding the real outliers and business insights, and opportunity to generate more value! (Cue angels singing)
Of course, it takes a bit more work to go from this “Aha” moment to the right application. In this case, the customer asked Qlik Consulting to stay engaged and they rebuilt the application. In fact, they ended up building many versions through many iterations, including developing some custom objects while still adhering to the customer’s very strict UI/UX requirements.
In the end, the customer was thrilled. With this new tool, their original effort of 4 people, 4 weeks was reduced to 2 people, 2 weeks – reducing to one quarter of what it was originally, and with more complete and robust results. That translates into the customer being able to take on more clients while delivering more value at the same time.A true win-win if I ever heard one, but a win-win that was created by having others help them “see the light”.