Key Acquisitions Drive Qlik Community Growth

I had the opportunity to attend Clik Connect last week in Orlando, Florida with the Tech Field Day crewe. The event was a chance for Qlik to showcase their new product enhancements, all of which centered around Qlik’s data-first AI adoption approach. But what sticks out in my mind is the Qlik Community.

The Qlik Connect Advocate Reception

The Tech Field day team had the privilege of being invited to Qlik’s Advocate dinner. Others invited to the dinner included community members, partner advocates, and Qlik executives. I was able to have a great conversation with the Qlik community managers. However, our conversation was interrupted often as they often spotted an executive who needed to meet a community member. They were so attentive to these interactions, and immediately jumped into action to make those in-person connections.

We talked about the importance of involving your customers in your product development and your marketing. As they put it, you need customers to talk about their experiences with your product in “English”. Which is funny because the community is very diverse!

Qlik user presentation at Clik Connect

I knew what they meant though. Sometimes as product marketers and brand marketers, it can be frustrating when your active community members air your product’s “dirty laundry” in “plain English. It takes a lot of collaboration skills to deal with customers who are frustrated that a product they purchased isn’t doing what they think it should.

The skill comes in when you have to convince executives, and product managers and brand managers that it is a good thing that the community is venting in the public square. Guiding everyone to a happy resolution is not for the faint of heart!

These community managers have done a great job, because their CEO mentioned several times from the stage that their customers and partners are very vocal in helping guide the product development. That leadership is what helps the community trust the company, and makes their bond even tighter.

Acquisitions have fueled the Qlik Community

Qlik has made a lot of smart acquisitions in the last few years and have built a robust and diversified platform. Notable acquisitions include Talend, which brought a data fabric and cloud approach and enhanced data transformation, quality, and governance features, and Kyndi which brought a way to include unstructured data into structured analysis.

Although these acquisitions expanded Qlik’s technical platform, they also brought together diverse user communities.

A timeline of acquisitions:

  1. February 2019: Attunity – Strengthened Qlik’s data integration and big data management solutions.
  2. February 2019: CrunchBot – Added conversational analytics to the Qlik portfolio.
  3. January 2020: RoxAI – The Ping intelligent alerting software provided Qlik users a way to proactively monitor and manage data in real-time.
  4. October 2020: – Expanded Qlik’s data integration and automation capabilities.
  5. August 2021: NodeGraph – Improved data lineage and impact analysis features.
  6. September 2021: BigSquid AI – Expanded Qlik’s augmented analytics capabilities and built on its active intelligence initiative.
  7. May 2023: Talend – Added data transformation, quality, and governance capabilities and provided Qlik a data fabric and cloud approach.
  8. December 2023: Mozaic Data – Added a decentralized approach to data management to Qlik.
  9. January 2024: Kyndi – Provided a method for Qlik to incorporate unstructured data into its structured analyses, enriching decision intelligence.

That is a lot of acquisition work! In fact, this work led to the announcements we saw this week. In particular, the announcement of the Cliq Talend Cloud and Qlik Answers are based on the Talend and Kyndi technology.

Some of these acquisitions were of small up and coming startups in the AI world. However, some like Talend were fairly significant. That acquisition only happened 13 months ago! Additionally, Talend brought its own community with the deal. That meant new community members along with community integration work.

Blended communities are hard work!

Blending communities post-acquisition is a complex task that requires meticulous planning and understanding of varying user expectations. From my personal experience building the Dell Storage Community, integrating different user bases and executive visions requires a keen sense of diplomacy and strategy.

And patience. Lots and lots of patience.

I give credit to the Qlik community managers, because they obviously know the people they serve, and work hard to build the connections necessary to sustain community. Their work is critical, because strong communities help you build better products.

What happens next to the Qlik Community?

I look forward to seeing what happens next. I know many people associate community with parties and bacon and free socks. However, to me it was obvious that the hard-working community managers are dedicated to ensuring that executive teams are able to hear and understand customer voices.

If the executives continue to remain plugged in, this community connection will give them an advanced warning signal of any customer issues. However, if they ignore the community, they can ruin any good will that took years to build.

I can’t wait to see what happens! What are your thoughts on fostering community and maintaining active engagement? Share your experiences in the comments!

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