Qlik Plans Expanded Data Management And Analytics Offerings With Podium Data Acquisition

Data analytics software company Qlik has acquired Podium Data, developer of an enterprise data management platform, in a move to expand Qlik's product offerings into a more complete big data system.

Qlik's acquisition of Podium Data is also expected to benefit channel partners that work with both companies by providing them with a more integrated solution they can take to their customers.

"Qlik has done a really good job building out the data analytics and visualization tools," said Qlik CEO Mike Capone in an interview with CRN. "We view this [acquisition] as the next logical step to building out a complete big data solution."

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Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Qlik, based in Radnor, Pa., is one of the industry's leading business intelligence tool suppliers, competing with Tableau, Microsoft's Power BI and other business analysis and data visualization software vendors with its QlikView and Qlik Sense products.

Like most of its competitors, Qlik's software pulls data for analysis from a range of data sources, including databases and data management systems from other vendors. That often requires time-consuming systems integration and data transformation chores to prepare data before it can be used by Qlik's business analytics applications.

"You can't be a leader in business intelligence and ignore the complexities of data management," Capone said.

Podium, founded in 2014 and based in Lowell, Mass., developed the Podium Data Marketplace platform for pulling raw data from a range of sources and building central repositories of clean, formatted, well-documented data that's accessible by a broad range of users.

Executives also said combining the two companies' products fits with the industry trend toward "self-service" business analytics that provides everyday business workers with access to data with less assistance from IT.

"Business analytics becomes far more agile and more democratized," said Podium Data CEO Paul Barth, in the interview with CRN.

With the acquisition of Podium, Qlik can now offer both front-end business analytics and back-end data management software.

"Customers are looking for a complete platform rather than buying the pieces and building it themselves," Capone said. "That is the strategic idea we are pursuing."

Qlik's Qlik Sense software already works with Podium's system, using Qlik Sense Connectors to link to the catalog of data assets managed by the Podium system and tap into its data for analytical applications. Capone and Barth said the two companies have a number of customers already using their products together.

Capone said Qlik will work over the next few months to more tightly integrate the two companies ' products. Podium Data's software will be used as the foundation for a Qlik data hub system that provides intelligent data profiling and onboarding, automated data quality management, and data preparation and publishing capabilities. The system will also include a searchable data catalog.

But Capone promised that Qlik will maintain Podium's openness to business analytics tools from other vendors, including competitors.

Podium will retain its entire staff, Barth said, who will move into Qlik's Boston-area office in Newton, Mass.

Both Qlik and Podium Data work with partners, including systems integrators, strategic service providers and big data consultants. Capone and Barth emphasized that combining their products will reduce the amount of integration development work partners must do, freeing them to focus on higher margin business analysis and data management consulting services.

Combining the Qlik and Podium products also means that partners can complete customer implementation projects more quickly. "Time-to-value is an increasingly important part of these projects," Barth said.

In April Qlik launched a new channel program track for managed service providers who could host Qlik's software as an analytical service. That came one month after the company named former Infoblox channel chief Chris Jones as its new global sales vice president.