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QlikView World Tour arrives in London

2012-10-30

OK so it's not as big as the Olympics and Danny Boyle did not help with the opening ceremony, but the QlikView Business Discovery World Tour is still a significant event.


For the second year running the location was The Brewery in London's East End and yet again there was not an empty seat in the place. This time the organisers managed to squeeze in over 900 people and the writer is either getting larger or the seats were uncomfortably close together this time.


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Minor discomforts aside the two keynote speakers were excellent. After the introductions David Rowan (Editor, Wired UK) started us off by giving his view on his Magazine's Top Ten Tech Trends for the next Five Years. David was of the opinion that all of the trends had already started and that the next five years would be an accelerated continuation, perhaps even exponential for some. Perhaps the writer is being over critical but the real 'game changers' tend to be disruptive in nature, for example not even Apple predicted how successful the iPhone / iPad / App Store combination would be, and I'm sure that Nintendo thought they had a good product but did not fully predict the success of the Wii. Maybe the title should have been Top Ten Known Tech Trends?


What were they? For brevity some of the ten are merged together; Big Data; everything Internet enabled and connected; 30% of Cloud users moving back to in-house because of unfulfilled service level agreements; (and not a contradiction) a huge growth in Private Cloud deployments i.e. your own organisational Cloud; MS Windows will not dominate the desktop and the days of a monolithic software suite like MS Office are numbered; even more behind-the-scenes complexity necessary to give the illusion of inter-connected easiness for the user; even more virtual servers; and IT demand with more ways of connecting to live systems and at the same time trying to keep everything secure and running 99.999% of the time.


But this is a QlikView event so the second key-note was Donald Farmer who is the QlikTech VP in charge of product development. Donald talked about QlikView.Next which is their strategy to keep QlikView as a market leader for innovation and dovetailed nicely into some of the trends that David Rowan was addressing.


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The most significant was QlikView and Big Data. QlikView stores all its data in-memory which is fantastic because it works 1000x faster when in memory compared to a disk or any other media. The problem with memory is that it is smaller in size than other media e.g. NAS drives. To put this into context most organisations don't have Big Data and while there is no exact definition most observers are talking in terms of tens or hundreds of Terabytes (or thousands of Gigabytes).


And it's not just Amazon, Google, Facebook, Twitter, TelCos and the like that is causing this massive increase in data. Did you know that one Jumbo Jet flying from London to New York can collect as much as 640 Terabytes and there are 25,000 flights each day. So why do we need this? If we are ever going to fully understand things like weather systems, have next generation pharmaceutical break-throughs, advanced robotics and identify what the Large Hadron Collider at CERN is generating then not only do we need to collect unbelievable quantities of data but we need to be able to intelligently work with it.


The Big Data theme continued into the afternoon with a live demonstration of record retrieval from the Hospital Episode Statistics database for NHS England and Wales. Using QlikView with Google's Big Query, five billion online records detailing every single hospital visit or GP referral for the last four years, and anything could be retrieved, summarised and displayed in less than one second.


Believe me, that is impressive.