April 28, 2016
Information Insight

Uncovering Measurable Value from Business Intelligence with Qlik Sense

When it comes to analytics projects, it’s sometimes difficult to quantify the return on investment (ROI) at the end of the engagement. Much of the value is derived from additional opportunities discovered, time saved and pain points highlighted. While these do have measurable values (potential revenue, hours, and issues, respectively), what is generally uncovered beyond the qualitative value is quantitative ROI that can only be recognized by taking further actions. Utilizing Qlik Sense, a data visualization and analytics tool, Kenway was able to go the extra mile for our client to deliver accurate and measurable value from their data.

Before we get into what we did, here is some background on Qlik Sense. Qlik Sense is a data visualization tool by Qlik. Qlik Sense builds upon the successes of Qlik’s initial product, QlikView, to combine a powerful data processing engine with a user-friendly user interface. Qlik Sense has powerful features including:

  • In-memory data storage that allows data to be contained in RAM (Random Access Memory), removing wait times from querying data sources.
  • The ability to perform many common data operations, giving you the freedom to manipulate the data without changing the source data.
  • Qlik’s associative data model which allows you to navigate a complex data environment for accelerated data discovery.
  • The capability to consume and associate data from multiple, disparate sources.
  • A new, intuitive drag-and-drop interface allows business users to easily create visualizations, enabling true self-service BI without the need for substantive intervention from the IT organization.

Now, back to our engagement—one of Kenway’s clients expressed concerns about the prices at which suppliers were selling them products. Our client believed that they were being sold products at prices above the negotiated rate. Businesses often find themselves in this situation, that is, they are aware that a problem exists, but they don’t have a way to confirm their suspicions confidently. In order to prove that our client was being charged incorrect rates, the client would need to combine data from multiple data sources, apply business rules to the data, and display calculations based on that data in a manner that allowed them to highlight deviations from their expectations. This is where Kenway utilized Qlik Sense to help. Using the tool’s aforementioned features, our team:

  • Matched supplier data with the client’s procurement data.
  • Deployed business rules to determine the negotiated cost structure.
  • Incorporated additional logic to define the cost structure that was actually applied to the transaction.
  • Matched the negotiated cost with the client’s purchase order (PO) data to see the dollar difference between the actual vs. expected cost.
  • Created a reporting dashboard that allowed users to define which sellers were overcharging our client, on which products this was happening, and exactly how much specific orders needed to be reconciled.

Kenway was able to build the analytics framework within Qlik Sense, foregoing a large ETL / data modeling effort for short, iterative analyses. The delivered application revealed that between fifteen and twenty thousand dollars were lost each week due to incorrect cost structures being applied. It also enabled the client to see exactly which POs this revenue could be recovered from. After training the client to refresh and explore the application, Kenway handed off the tool, allowing the client to pursue this otherwise lost opportunity moving forward. In terms of measurable ROI, the client invested about $30,000 in Kenway’s services and has the ability to recover about $18,000 per week in revenue. This enables a 100% ROI in less than two weeks of using this tool. After those two weeks, any additional recovered revenue is net gain! And it will be substantial!

Want to learn more about Qlik Sense to see if you can find your measurable value? Kenway is providing a Qlik Sense training workshop at Northwestern University’s Escape Big Data Analytics Conference on May 7th. The event is being held at Robert Morris University’s downtown Chicago campus. In our session, Data Visualization: Making Sense with Qlik Sense, we will provide a hands-on workshop that will allow you to leave understanding how to load data, build visualizations, and gain insights into your organization. To learn more about the conference, visit the conference’s website.

Download the full presentation here.

We’re also happy to field any questions! E-mail us at–we’re always happy to help!


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