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How Qlik is Using Data to Transform Business Processes

Qlik EVP Global Partnerships Poornima Ramaswamy shares how the software company is enabling customers to respond to real-world demands

When the pandemic struck, not even the most comprehensive business continuity plans considered the whole world coming to a standstill at the same time. During this time, data came into its own as the backbone of business decision-making.

In this week’s Business of Data podcast, Qlik EVP Global Partnerships and Chief of Staff to the CEO Poornima Ramaswamy speaks to us about data’s evolution from a back-office function to a front office enabler. With over twenty years of data analytics experience Ramaswamy has seen first-hand that although data has always been a key business priority, the challenge lies in putting it at the center of operations.

“CEOs understand the importance of harnessing data and what that can do for a business. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean they understand how to get to the end goal where data is a core part of their business strategy. They still lean on technology teams to help them navigate this,” she says. “But that is the first opportunity for CEOs to actually understand what it means to be data-driven.

“Many times, there’s a disconnect between organizational data goals and reality. The aspiration to become data-driven and to improve customer experience is there but the level of investment and effort doesn’t match the aspirations.”

Responding to Real-World Demands 

In Ramaswamy’s view, that discord between data aspirations and becoming a data-driven organization is where CIOs and CDOs step in. Data leaders will help business leaders understand what that data journey should look like and move it from driving strategic decisions to operational ones.

“Data teams should look beyond one- or two-year targets and base decisions on data,” she says. “Many of our customers are successfully getting executive buy-in and transforming the entire organization, up and down the value chain.

“We’ve got a few customers in retail and electronics and through COVID-19’s early stages, they recognized the importance of acting on real-time events. So, it’s less about a short-term strategy and more about keeping stores open and helping employees manage KPIs, stock levels and supply chain bottlenecks, for example.

“As the pandemic moves into being endemic, and as other international events pop up such as the California wildfires and the looming gas shortages, customers want to respond to events based on real-time data and not just at a strategic level, but right down to the factory level.” 

Key Takeaways 

  • CEOs embrace data’s role but don’t know how to operationalize it. As a back-office function, helping drive strategic business decisions 
  • CIOs and CDOs are stepping up to the plate. Data leaders are helping organizations fulfill their data strategies by mapping out the journey 
  • Look beyond data short-term goals. A data strategy should consider how to keep the business running in times of uncertainty