17 May Extend The Lifetime of Legacy Systems using Business Intelligence (BI) Tools
When we look at the use of modern Business Intelligence tools like QlikView and Qlik Sense, we tend to think about the power of the data visualisation, predictive analytics, guided analytics, self-serve analytics and visualisation, the simplification of spreadsheets (Excel anarchy, it is called when it gets too much), governance of data access, and so many other cool features that are available. It struck me recently that there is another way of looking at the benefits of using BI tools like QlikView (particularly QlikView with its strong background in guided analytics, that provides users with all the power of Qlik’s analytics engine, in a very structured and ’guided’ way).
In the past I worked with many systems that were, in their day, leading examples of modern business platforms, whether for Finance, Customer Management, Time Management or even more Bespoke needs – many of these were thought leading products in terms of the features they provided, their ability to record and measure what was important – the sort of thinking that hasn’t gone away! What has changed over the years is how we can access these systems (use of more flexible workspaces and UI, Cloud based solutions), performance (e.g. of underlying databases and hardware platforms) and reporting.
When it comes to this last point, it can be a decisive one. The rest of the system may be OK, manageable, workable, performant (enough) to serve our needs, but woefully inadequate when it comes to satisfying the demand for reporting. Back to Excel anarchy – the time comes when these very useful systems need to get ditched, because we can’t get enough out of them. Enter QlikView: suddenly a world of associations and patterns are available in the data, and not just from the legacy platform we were struggling with – we can pull data from multiple sources, from modern and legacy platforms, from Cloud sources and on-premise.
At Capventis we are heavy users of QlikView for internal reporting, and some of our recent experiences are the trigger for this Blog. Like many companies, we have years of blood, sweat and tears invested in a range of systems, new and old, that we want to get the latest and greatest data from. We have found (no surprise) that Qlik provides us with superb access to all of this data, in degrees of detail that even the newer platforms were never designed to deliver using their native reporting features. However, the insight that we can Extend the Lifetime of Legacy Systems using Business Intelligence (BI) Tools is a slightly new perspective that I hadn’t considered before now.