QlikTech CEO's Secret Weapon: Your Frustration With Big BI

Business users often watch as IT deploys costly, complex BI programs that take months to arrive -- then fail to deliver the needed insights. QlikTech CEO Lars Bjork says you don't have to take it anymore. In this Q&A, he explains how his company's data discovery tools give the power to users -- and even help police crack murder cases.

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Lars Bjork

According to Gartner Group, the business intelligence market is in the midst of a massive bifurcation, splitting into two camps of traditional BI solutions — sold by the IBMs, Oracles and SAPs of the technology world — and the so-called data discovery platform providers led by QlikTech International AB, which was founded in Sweden and is headquartered in Radnor, PA. QlikTech CEO Lars Bjork sees his traditional BI rivals as slow to change and inflexible, and he's trying to empower tech-savvy business users to mine their own insights and ideas from corporate data.

In this installment of the IDG Enterprise CEO Interview Series, Bjork talked with IDGE Chief Content Officer John Gallant about making BI more relevant for more employees and why QlikTech isn't trying to bypass IT — the buyer of traditional BI solutions. He also talked about how QlikTech's tools enabled police to quickly snag a sniper and could help you win your fantasy football league.

GALLANT: QlikTech is in the business intelligence market, up against some pretty big competitors. What makes the company different, unique?

BJORK: We're in the space of helping people making better decisions and that space is called BI, or analytics, if you want to put a label on it. But what we really do is help people turn all that data that they know is in there somewhere in some kind of system, and turn that into valuable information. We've taken a very different approach to this, enabled by our technology, by making it end-user driven. We put the end user in focus.

This is not the old-school, everything-controlled-from-IT analytical view of the world, because that's not the world we're working in right now. The world that we're working in now is the empowered consumer comes to work and he wants to be empowered at work too. He doesn't want to be told, "Use this tool this way, and you will get your information." That's not going to fly anymore.

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