May 16 2012

Qlikchat

So, apparently a #Qlikchat was a bright idea. Now we just have to schedule a time that fits different timezones and a day. Friday is out of the question – we don’t want to run anything on the same day as #BIWisdome – instead a encourage you to participate in that chat. Ok – it starts at the completely wrong time for me in the Nordics – Friday evenings, but it’s a really good Tweetchat…

I will make this happen – but when and about what is up to you. Feel free to come up with interesting topics regarding everything QlikView related. It could be everything from feelings, marketing, design to technical stuff like extensions. But it’s important to remember that this is not a QlikCommunity! We set a topic, and than maybe we can bring up some expertise to participate in the chat. The rule is easy – we set a topic and we chat about it, share thoughts and inspire each other. Comment ideas in this post or simply connect on Twitter.

Now, why? After participating in #BIWisdome I thought that why not use Social Media to create a forum different than QlikCommunity, where we can connect, engage, share wisdom and inspire each other. And of course – discuss things about QlikView and QlikTech. And to get even more buzz and product advocacy around the product is not a bad thing.

This idea should be run by QlikTech – but that won’t happen for a couple of reasons. Some of which I have blogged about… So I’m start this up and we will see where it will go!

 

Stay tuned…

Toby

 


May 10 2012

Personal Discovery

Here are some thoughts and inspiration for the weekend. A ran across this article in The Boston Globe. It’s about a subject discussed before, and a subject that sets a higher expectation on Business Discovery – namely Personal Discovery. Thanks to an array of gadgets and apps, we can track all sorts of personal information, but what does it really tell us about ourselves? Maybe not so much, except to be inspired to more achievements.

Many of us – including me – live our lives through various apps. And I’m all in digital. We track almost everything we do in RunKeeper, TripIt, FitBit, Sleep Cycle – you name it. And through the numbers we hope for some more self-knowledge and inspiration. And that’s fine.

But what’s more important is that all this tracking of data and information, and that we take for granted that there’s an app form almost everything, sets a new standard when it comes to Business Discovery that needs to be taken in consideration. Why should it be so much harder to track data and gain insight when it comes to work? This is one of the core values in Business Discovery and we need to emphasize this more to attract the modern Business User, so he understands the Power of QlikView when it comes to Decision Support. And it’s not just bits and pieces of information – QlikView give you an overview that will help with decision making no matter where the data comes from.

BTW – more can be learned about Personal Discovery through Michael Anthony, a designer at QlikTech, or through Erica Drivers blog post about him and personal discovery.

But there’s a danger to be ruled by numbers – the gaming and competitive aspects make it easy to loose track of your real goals. It’s all just bits and pieces of information that overwhelms us.  – “If a woman spends an entire day walking around the San Diego Zoo but neglects to charge her FitBit, did she get any exercise?”

So explore the data, but don’t loose your goal, and use a Decision Support tool to help tell the story!

 

Stay tuned…


Apr 22 2012

Brain and Business Discovery

BrainThere’s not such thing as multitasking! The brain can focus on one thing, recall something of importance and have the ability to refocus and act on another due to it’s significance. But it can’t go in three directions at the same time. The implication of multitasking is that you are somehow performing several tasks at once, but trying to do a multiplicity of tasks well at the same time usually leads to one end – all of those tasks done inadequately or incompletely. Why – because the brain doesn’t work that way.

We’re simply not designed to attend to multiple inputs and perform many task at once. On the other hand, we have an innate and marvelous ability to focus on one subject but very quickly pull our attention off and apply the same level of focus on something else that we have rapidly surmised is of greater importance. Is this of some importance when we set out to design and build a word class Business Discovery app. Or do we have this in mind and think and design in a more storytelling way? In a storylike visualization of data the Business Users should be able to follow along and then instantly refocus of something of importance, and then shift sets, jump, to that thread and act upon it, thanks to the ability of a Business Discovery tool that puts all power in the hand of the Business User.

The shift of set, refocus or jump brings new insights, new ideas and new thoughts that will improve your performance on the task temporarily left behind. You can’t force these jumps, or set shifting – it’s almost like a state of mind. But you can encourage them in the visualization you presenting. The nature of QlikView as a Business Discovery tool will make it possible to directly change direction.

I can’t help thinking about a buzz word in business years ago – Silo busting. It was about thinking outside your own department to stimulate interchange and interaction with different parts of the organization, leading to new productive collaborations. With a Business Discovery tool that happens by default – everyone that have seen the faces on Business Users starting their first collaborative session in QlikView 11 knows what I’m talking about. It’s a fact that the greatest discoveries often happens in the cracks between or among silos, or specialities. When a potential shift present itself, when your brain signals for attention, there’s a decision to be mad. Engage your thought and feelings and make a beautiful decision.

I think it’s time to rethink our design and visualization of data to more align with how the brain works. A Business Discovery tool like QlikView can be a great help. But QlikView can also develop more to how we think and act as humans. The brain contains of several networks that inform us, organize us and helps us make decisions. The first I an alerting network that sorting thorough all information that we meet. And the less information – the better altering… Second, there’s an orientation network that enables you to react to the new course. And last, there is a  executive network that controls your feeling, action and thinking – your responses.

The goal is to see the bigger picture and act on it. But it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all information that we have in our hand today. But rest in this – our brain have the capability to handle it all if we just work with it, not against it. A Business Discovery tool should too.

Stay tuned…

 

With inspiration from “Organize Your Mind, organize Your Life” by Margaret Moore and Dr. Paul Hammerness.


Mar 1 2012

Entrepreneurs – Empowered Business Users?

EntrepreneursI ran across a blog post in Harvard Business Review about the importance for an organization to identify the entrepreneurs and engage them. Entrepreneurs have a distinct challenge-oriented and improvement-focused mindset, and are happiest when they work collaboratively on a task, in a team, striving for solutions to complex or recurring problems.

I my world that is exactly what an empowered Business User using a Business Discovery platform to solve problems and explore are.

Imagine QlikView’s Business Discovery platform in the hands of an entrepreneur. A tool that can respond instantly to all needs and find correlations in large sets of data. Not to mention the collaboration abilities. QlikView’s associative experience provides answers as fast as they can think up questions. It lets them interact with data without limitations to generate insight in ways they never imagined. That’s a problem-solving match with ability to drive business toward new goals.

But how many are entrepreneurs, entrepreneurial-minded or serial entrepreneurs in an organization?

Now imagine your Business User with collaborative, problem-solving tool that turns the notion of static reports upside down, putting data where users can explore it, share it, and combine it at will to find new opportunities and make better decisions, opens for finding solutions to complex or recurring problems, and where challenge can be visualized with the help of a story to find improvements. That’s close to turning your Business Users into entrepreneurs. How would that transform your business?

Business Discovery is a reality and can help you empower your Business Users. Instead of pushing insights from the top down, it enables Business Users to discover insights on their own, anywhere in the organization — and anywhere outside it. It simplifies collaborative decision-making.

That leads to the main issue – do you trust your Business Users enough to empower them with tools and access to information so they can start the transformation? I’m not saying it’s a easy step, but it’s crucial to develop as company, and make the Business Users a part of the business strategy. A company isn’t separate islands where an department may not know what other departments do or what they struggle with. A company should be guided with a common goal, a strategy on what they do, how they do it, and most important WHY  they do it. If you make your Business Users a part of that you will benefit from their transformation to entrepreneurs.

It is as easy as anyone with information can not avoid taking responsibility, but whoever doesn’t receive information have no way to feel responsible. Logic is as follows: Information and knowledge about the situation allows Business Users to take responsibility which fosters participation. This in turn leads to commitment and motivated employees. The opposite, i.e. when the Business Users does not have any information, you risk a situation of lack of participation, lack of interest and also inability to take responsibility and act in the company’s best interest. And that’s a big reason why star performers  become disengaged and flee— taking their new ideas with them.

In 1958 Hans Luhn coined the term Business Intelligence as “ the ability to apprehend the irrelationships of presented facts in such a way as to guide action towards a desired goal.” And that is what a Business User can do with a Business Discovery tool like QlikView. The question is: Can you afford not to empower your Business Users and turn them into entrepreneurs?

How would that transform your business?

Stay tuned…


Feb 3 2012

The Power of WHY

          “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” Simon SinekThe Golden Circle

Most people know what they do, and – hopefully – how they do it. But do they know why they do it? And why is WHY so important? I ran across a very inspiring book – Start With Why by Simon Sinek  - about how great leaders or companies inspire action. And it’s about communication inside out, opposite of everyone else. It will for certain make a impact in my life, when it have placed itself in alignment with every other thought that influence my ordinary life and work.

What is your why, or your employers. What is QlikTech’ s why – I know, but it always have to be communicated so it never falls in the shadow of what you do. It’s our most important message.

If you think about it, why is it that some companies become so much more successful than others, including QlikTech, when they all exits in the same world, with the same access to equal resources, time and funding. Something else is at play in how all great companies and leaders think, act and play. And it’s the complete opposite then everyone else. And it all starts with why…

It’s about how we communicate in  our life. Most every conversation is from the outside in – what we do and how we do it. But reverse that, communicate inside out. If you do it in that order and starts with why – what you do simply proves what you believe.

So – what’s your why? And it’s not about profit, that’s always a result.

Inside out communicates directly to the part of the brain that controls decisions and behavior. To communicate inside out – from why you do things based on your beliefs or your cause, to how and what you do – can help you become a leader. Because the ultimately goal is not to do business with people who needs what you have, but to do business with people who believe what you believe.

There are leaders, and then there are those who lead,  great leaders and companies like QlikTech. Those who lead inspire us, makes you want to be a part of what they do. But it’s not because we have to, but because we want to – it’s for ourselves, it’s what we believe…

And it’s all about communication and engaging in conversations in every media you’re present in!

Stay tuned…

More about the inspiration for this here… (Simon Sinek – How great leaders inspire action)


Dec 14 2011

The Art of Storytelling

Everyone loves a good story.

Storytelling today is now more important than ever before. We live in a world where access to information is fast and unlimited, and the risk for overload is something to take in consideration. With this deluge of information we now face the problem of expressing it all in a way that is understandable, entertaining, and insightful.

But when it comes to a Business Intelligence project – why does we often fall back to trying to present as much information as possible, still in a nice and graphical way, but the balance between much and overload is ever present. When will we take the step to scale down?

When I talk Business Discovery or demo QlikView I often have some sort of a script to stick with a storyline that express what I want to show. In life I think more and more of a minimalistic way of living. Why not combine these two when it comes to designing successful dashboards?

I would like to see more focus on one or a couple of key figures or problems to solve. That’s often enough, but the hardest part. Then weave them together in a story – use your imagination, sights and sounds.

Visual storytelling is having the ability to express complex data easily, while at the same time, having it evoke an emotion.  For me it’s a naturally path from Business Discovery and Social Business Discovery. Think minimalistic and story.

Everyone loves a good story.

Stay tuned…

 

[Inspired by Mindjet Blog]