QlikTech has a pretty interesting story, and a number of customers seem to agree. Their flagship product QlikView is a BI suite that runs off an in-memory copy of the data. Specifically, that copy is logically relational and physically columnar. In an important feature, QlikView is happy to import data from multiple sources at once, such as a warehouse plus an operational data store.
So the QlikTech pitch is essentially “Buy our stuff, and you can start doing BI immediately, running any queries and reports you want to. No reason to limit your queries to any kind of dimensional model. No need to prepare the data.” More precisely, QlikTech claims to do away with some kinds of data preparation; obviously, cleaning and so on might still be necessary. Indeed, they describe their classic use case as being the combination of data partly from an operational store and partly from a pre-existing warehouse.
QlikTech’s story is consistent with a variety of trends I see generally underway. The memory-centric aspect is shared with SAP and Applix. In particular, their technical story is very similar to SAP’s BI Accelerator, although I agree with QlikTech’s estimate that QlikView has close to 100X the customers BI Accelerator does. The columnar story is also on the rise in VLDB-land, as exemplified by Vertica and Kognitio. And the “leave the data in place” story is similar to what fellow Scandinavian FAST has been talking about lately.
What I haven’t done is looked into the actual QlikView BI suite, or how it’s used. Stay tuned.