QlikTech Develops a BI Client for iPhone
April 28, 2009 Alex Woodie
QlikTech last week announced QlikView for iPhone, a free piece of software that allows customers to access their QlikView business intelligence data on the go from the comfort of their Apple mobile phone. The software offers some nifty features, such as support for the iPhone’s integrated GPS receiver to create location-specific data, which QlikTech says gives it the edge over other mobile BI offerings, specifically Oracle‘s.
QlikView for iPhone provides users with access to a series of reports, dashboards, KPIs, graphics, and other BI consumables from the iPhone. Like the standard QlikView interface, QlikTech’s iPhone interface gives users the freedom to drill down into the data, resort lists, or change their views of data, all on the fly. This is something that traditional OLAP tools have difficulty doing, but QlikTech handles quite well, while maintaining sub-second response times, as a result of its in-memory associative database design.
QlikTech envisions QlikView for iPhone being used by road warriors and mobile salespeople who need quick access to data from the field. Instead of trying to gather data from dozens of sources before making a sales or service call, users can just fire up QlikView for iPhone and start exploring the accessible data, seeing everything from individual customer accounts to SKU-level product information.
Is the new product a “groundbreaking” application? QlikTech says it is. “QlikView for iPhone tears down the boundaries between mobile and desktop BI,” says Anthony Deighton, the company’s senior vice president of product. “For years, mobile users have imagined having the ability to get up-to-the-minute data on a company’s sales, inventory, or finances. QlikView for iPhone makes this a reality.”
QlikTech claims several firsts for a mobile BI app with QlikView for iPhone, including the first to integrate with iPhone’s GPS receiver (which can be used to automatically pull up specific accounts in an area instead of forcing the user to search through a list) and the first to use its “multi-touch” finger gestures for navigation. The company also highlights the software’s use of the iPhone’s “cover flow” feature, which is often used to flip through album covers in media playback mode, but which can be used to flip through reports in QlikView for iPhone. Another cool feature: a user shakes the iPhone to clear a field of data.
With QlikView for iPhone, QlikTech has taken aim at Oracle’s mobile BI product. “We comprehensively surveyed the BI mobile landscape and it was clear all previous attempts at addressing user needs failed miserably,” Deighton says. “Just posting a static report on a mobile screen, as Oracle’s solution does, may be marginally helpful, but creates a tremendously frustrating user experience, leaving no opportunity to interact with the data. With QlikView for iPhone, users get a mobile view of a relevant data subset, as well as access to the specific answers they seek.”
Considering the recent success QlikTech has enjoyed, don’t be surprised if QlikView for iPhone gathers a good deal of interest from its customers. The software is available now at the Apple App Store.