How Qlik Sense Helped Both Our Company and Customers Get Closer to Data and Gain Deeper Insights


Everyone knows that data is an essential part of any business, and customer information has become increasingly valuable. But for data to have meaning, it has to be accurately sourced and its context has to be understood. This process also needs to happen quickly to provide maximum value.

Previously common data processes, such as gathering information to present in monthly or quarterly reports were cumbersome and time-consuming. These days, we want information instantly to provide ongoing guidance and make smarter decisions right now. The best way to make fast insights a reality is to democratize data. 

The best way to make fast insights a reality is to democratize data.

By removing data silos and making data and information more accessible, people across the organization can see how that information becomes valuable to their work. Rather than having a team of experts who control all of the data, there’s value in empowering everyone to seek out the knowledge for themselves. We are on a constant journey towards making more data and more insights available to our colleagues. 

Infomedia Transforms Data

Infomedia is a Nordic media intelligence company working with various industries all over the world. Today, communication can change everything, from elections to government policy. The right social media event can make or break companies. But with an ongoing flow of news and hundreds of thousands of social media messages going out every minute, it can feel nearly impossible to craft a cohesive communication strategy based on data alone and stay on top of the media coverage.

Infomedia tracks and offer media content from media sources across the globe and provides our customers with insights, so they can craft insightful branding and communication strategies and take timely actions in relation to position and reputation. We analyze data from millions of articles, posts and sources and convert raw data into usable nuggets for each of our customers. These insights are our main offering, and so we need the best tools for the job.

As Head of Business Intelligence (BI) at Infomedia, my team and I are the first lines of defense for our internal users when it comes to dealing with data. We are responsible for supporting our organization with dashboards and other data tools. We also assist on a variety of other data-related tasks across the organization.

For example, we create dashboards to help our sales staff track information about customer revenue, orders and product usage. This data makes their outreach efforts more efficient and informed. My team also helps our colleagues and the finance department with insights into forecasting and budgeting so they can make more accurate predictions and avoid surprises. In addition, we also focus on automating various data processing tasks to help our colleagues save time, so that they can spend it on other valuable work. 

A Self-Service Tool Emerges

One way to make sense of the mountains of data at our disposal is to gather it into one place and create visualizations. Then, the key is personalizing these visualizations so they make sense to people in a variety of roles and backgrounds. It is about understanding and creating the right context for the data to be valuable. 

Our previous data solution was QlikView. At that point in time we didn't have a dedicated BI team to take it further. QlikView was managed by help of consultants and on ad hoc basis. It was possible to get targeted information on relevant topics, but only a few were capable of adjusting and expanding it. As time went on, we saw a greater need for self-service capabilities, as well as a tool that could provide visualizations to our customers. About the same time my BI team was established to leverage the value of data even more. 

A colleague began to investigate other BI self-service tools, Power BI and Tableau. Ultimately, however, we migrated to Qlik Sense. We liked that over time, Qlik had evolved to focus on self-serve data, which was great for our internal move toward data democratization. Qlik Sense also enables us to easily integrate customers' own data with our media data if they need a broader perspective and context to it directly from us. Qlik Sense lets individual users get inside the data and look for personally relevant insights, in addition to offering new visualization features that we loved.

Once we decided to move forward with Qlik Sense for the BI domain, we started slow. Our first step was to move a few standard reports into Qlik Sense. Then, we focused on a core group of users who had been familiar with QlikView. It took some time to get to know the new platform, but we tried to help our users to get started by means of information meetings and various tips and tricks at our intranet. It's all about creating the best foundation for our users to have to ability to utilize the platform and work and analyze data in the best possible way. Recently, we have also tried out a a couple of short webinars targeted our Qlik Sense end-users, which have received great feedback. 

Along the way, we discovered some colleagues were naturally more data-driven than others. We leveraged these users to help other team members solve problems, foster curiosity and overcome any hurdles to adoption. That assistance was critical because the BI team is small, and we couldn’t drive it on our own. We helped the initial users get to a point where they could help themselves, and encourage others along the way. 

Better Insights for Our Customers Too

For most companies, data is analyzed to inform and improve internal decision-making processes. But Infomedia is unique in that we provide data insights to external customers as well. Qlik can handle both functionalities.

Our production units regularly produce analysis reports that are sent directly to our customers. In the past, many of these documents were manually created and compiled into a PowerPoint presentation or shared via paper reports. In addition to Qlik Sense, we also adopted Qlik NPrinting, which vastly improved our previous process. With NPrinting, we can generate and send these reports automatically. This provides more consistent, up-to-date information to our customers. It also saves us time and effort, which means we can spend more time listening to our customers’ needs, creating insights on top of the vast amount of data and offering them valuable guidance.

We also adopted Qlik Analytics Platform, a developer platform for building custom analytic applications based on rich frontend and backend APIs. With Qlik Analytics Platform, we can provide our customers with direct access to data and integrate a wealth of data sources. We can create dashboards that our clients can then use in real time to answer their own questions as they arise. With both Qlik Analytics Platform and NPrinting, our production and consulting teams can give our customers a much deeper understanding of the media landscape and help them make smarter decisions.

The Power Behind the Transformation

Part of what makes Qlik’s platform and visualizations so impactful is the associative selection model and its powerful data engine. The model uses a color-coded filtering method to enhance the systems' ability to provide feedback in response to data queries. That makes it easy to drill down through the mountains of data to find specific data points. Qlik’s data engine helps the user quickly establish relationships between various data sources and explore and uncover insights. Combined, these tools make it much easier to work with huge data sets and for the users to focus on what matters most to them.

Our Qlik upgrade has put us on a path to becoming a more data-driven organization. A few short years ago, the use of data was very operations-oriented and the bare minimum to keep the wheels turning. Sure, we found some insights and created reports, but we didn’t realize the true potential of the data. Now, people at all levels of our organization can see how different data looks and how much more specific our insights can be. 

Our Qlik upgrade has put us on a path to becoming a more data-driven organization

What is more, we can access these insights with blazing speed. Leaders have always known that more information can help make better decisions. However, we missed a lot of opportunities during the time it took to research and present the right data, reports and dashboards. Qlik Sense provides us with a robust and flexible tool that allows us to work with data in various ways, and move from thought to action much faster.

We’ve seen firsthand the difference this can make. We have always collected relevant information about our customers; the more we know about how they engage with us, our services and products in relation to their needs and goals, the better we can help them in navigating the media landscape and make smarter decisions when it comes to communication, performance and reputation. We recently started a project with the aim of providing a 360 degree overview of our customers, which will help us engage in a more informed dialogue with them. These conversations will also help improve forecasting and sales efforts.

Greater Success Through the Intelligent Use of Data

Anyone who has worked with data understands the feeling of being overwhelmed. Databases can be huge, with information coming from multiple sources. Qlik’s associative selection model and powerful data engine make it simple to turn piles of data into wisdom. This works not just for the data experts, but for average users.

We say that Infomedia helps companies and organizations achieve greater success through the intelligent use of media data. By using Qlik Sense, Qlik Analytics Platform, and NPrinting, we are making this vision a reality, in the same way as we use our data internally to drive development and inform decisions that will shape the future for Infomedia.

Data becomes most powerful when it is accessible to the hands of the decision-makers at all levels. Qlik Sense provided Infomedia’s teams with the capabilities and features we needed to harness the value of our data, provide more precise information to our management, and further enlighten our customers.