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The new face of business analytics

F.Y. Teng | July 11, 2012
Insights on BI applications built with a Scandinavian flair.

Donald Farmer, VP, Product Management, QlikTech

Donald Farmer, VP for Product Management at business intelligence (BI) technology provider QlikTech, spoke with MIS Asia recently about the new face of business analytics. Find below the expurgated transcript of the first part of our interview.

Talk about organisations in Singapore and Malaysia as markets for BI technologies.
One of the things that are obvious with Singapore as opposed to the rest of the Asia Pacific is the strong emphasis on analytics here and I think that comes from the fact that this is a centre for so many regional headquarters. There is an analytic culture here that comes from the US influence, frankly, that you have here.

If you go to other parts of Asia Pacific such as China, you will find that there is probably an emphasis more on dashboards and reporting at a fairly more basic level because they will only be starting on that journey.

I think the Singapore market is just generally-and I wouldn't say that in terms of business intelligence but in terms of the business culture-more mature, and that drives the change. So the patterns we see are really more a reflection of that than any technological difference.

The other thing that you do find in the Asia Pacific as opposed to the rest of the world is the importance of mobile devices, particularly smart phones here as interfaces to enterprise and information systems. Because one thing that is very distinctive is the role of mobile devices, which are the primary means of accessing information.

It will be very common here, for example, to find people with very sophisticated smart phones and great data plans, which is also very important for accessing data, but who do not have a PC at home. In contrast, what find in the US is typically people would have a PC at home but not have smart phones. That's changing now, but the US is way behind in the smart phone market compared to Asia.

Now that creates a very distinctive and cultural trend where mobile becomes very, very important. Even more important than it is in the US. And important for every business user, not just for executive business users.

So those kinds of trends are interesting and different.

What exactly is it that you think that you guys have that makes you different from your competitors and makes all your customers come to you?
That's a really interesting question and nobody has ever asked me that before. That's kind of unusual because that's one of the reasons I joined the company.


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