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Interview with Arun Balasubhramanian, MD, Qlik India

July 03, 2018
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Qlik is a data analytics company and has helped a wide range of organisations – including BookMyShow, Micromax and Bajaj Auto in India – to make sense of their data and use analytics to thrive in today’s ever-evolving business landscape. Arun Balasubramanian, MD, Qlik India talks about the company’s vision, growth strategy and future plans...

Which are the top five industries using data analytics?

We are in talks with various companies across different sectors who are trying to make sense of their data. While the demand for data analytics is coming in from every sector and growing rapidly, industries such as banking, financial services, and insurance (BFSI), e-commerce, retail, healthcare, and manufacturing definitely shade others in terms of the sheer magnitude of data processed.

How are data analytics tools emerging as one of the most useful business intelligence elements?

The ultimate goal of business intelligence is to help the organisation realise value where there was none before. It could be by way of launching a completely new business vertical or revenue stream, or doing the same things which were being done before in a better and more optimised way. It may even be identifying emerging market trends to capitalise on. State-of-the-art data analytics platforms empower organisations with the tools and expertise they need to make sense of their business data and gain a much-needed competitive edge. Data analytics enables access to information which would help business users – regardless of their level of responsibility – make better decisions which drive greater value for the organisation.

How are sectors like telecom relying on data literacy for getting maximum benefit?

Data literacy is not just relevant to a particular sector, but to the global business landscape as a whole. According to Qlik’s latest global data literacy research study, business decision-makers in India have the highest level of confidence (46 per cent) as compared to other countries or regions including the US and the UK. Higher data literacy not only equips business users to utilise their data to take big business decisions, but also to be more efficient at their jobs on a day-to-day basis. Employees who are confident about their ability to process and question data are more equipped to take accurate decisions, and are naturally the ones who perform better at the workplace.

To understand how sectors like telecom can benefit from greater data literacy, let’s take the example of some of Qlik’s global clients in this space and see how enhanced data literacy helped in optimising different aspects of their operations. For instance, Virgin Mobile (Middle East and Africa)  uses Qlik to help decision-makers in the company analyse its organisation-wide data, swiftly generate performance metrics, and track it against the allocated budget. It also helps the company to track shifting in market trends, thus helping it to be nimble and capitalise on emerging opportunities by automating key business processes and improving revenue streams. Higher visibility into the performance of various products and services has helped the organisation to find better ways to achieve regional objectives. This approach of embedding analytics within the workflow makes it possible for users to explore their data on-demand, at the time and place of need, and extract more meaningful insights to make more accurate decisions. Adopting a data literacy-led approach can thus help them streamline their operations and achieve more value-driven, profitable operations.

How effective is Qlik Sense for customer analytics and insights?

Customer intelligence and intimacy via analytics is important to the telecom sector in many different ways. Take network optimisation as an example. By associating network usage and subscriber density together with traffic and location data, network providers can accurately monitor and identify, through visualisation, highly congested areas where network usage is nearing its thresholds. This information can further be used to prioritise expansion for new capacity rollout.

On the marketing side, analytics can provide a view of potential personalised products or cross-selling opportunities based on modelling a number of key characteristics. These include usage patterns of the subscriber, device preferences, billing data, support requests and even purchase history combined with their demographic, location and socio-economic influences.

What makes Qlik Sense so effective is the fact that it leverages the Qlik Associative Engine to provide context-aware insights and automations across the analytics life-cycle. The fact that it is deployed as a layer over the various data sources makes it possible to dynamically adjust insights to account for real-time changes or additions in the disparate data sets under consideration. Business users, as a result, have access to the latest and most accurate information at all times.

Another factor that sets apart Qlik Sense from other data analytics platforms is that it empowers business users from different departments within the organisation to self-serve their own queries by presenting all the available information in an interactive visual format. Users, even those without extensive data science skills, can then explore and deep dive various data combinations. Instead of being overwhelmed by data, they can undertake an intent-driven yet unstructured exploration of the information available to them at a much faster pace and discover insights which might otherwise have been overlooked. This unique approach helps raise the level of data literacy across the board and unlocks value for them.

How has Qlik helped Micromax in spearheading business?

Micromax has been using various Qlik solutions for more than five years now. Having started with the structured analysis of Micromax’s supply chain, logistics, and sales data, Qlik is being used to generate insights for multiple functions, be it quality control or customer service. The best part is that Qlik makes it possible to perform analytics tasks, which earlier required several steps, swiftly and efficiently. This brings down the cost and time needed for data warehousing, as the Qlik platform sits on top of the warehouse and extracts the relevant information regardless of where it is situated.

For instance, decision-makers at Micromax use a supply chain dashboard created by Qlik to identify what material is coming in, where it is in the transit process, as well as where the finished product is being sold, when, and for how much. Such holistic information provides an overview of the purchase orders being raised for finished goods, the exact market stock, and the activation for each device on a daily basis. This makes it easier for Micromax to conduct reordering of finished goods.

Another Micromax business vertical that has been transformed by Qlik is that of service. The key performance indicators (KPI) dashboards enabled by Qlik allow the Micromax service head to analyse information on a granular level. It provides insights into the operations of individual service centres, and can even provide information about the parts requested most frequently and the failure rate of devices.



Qlik is headquartered in Bengaluru, India and also has offices in Mumbai and Delhi. Globally, Qlik does business in more than 100 countries and has more than 48,000 clients.

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