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Attunity acquisition expands data management for Qlik users

Qlik's acquisition of Attunity is another sign of the BI vendor's data management ambitions -- and may help attract new users that want to unify big data and analytics.

With its new Attunity acquisition, BI and data visualization vendor Qlik has enlisted the Israel-based data integration and data management vendor to move Qlik further into the competitive realm of data management -- targeting users looking for a more all-inclusive data platform.

The $560 million Attunity acquisition follows a string of other purchases by Qlik, most recently of AI chatbot CrunchBot and data management startup Podium Data, and signals anew that Qlik wants to more directly take on one of its biggest competitors -- Tableau.

The acquisitions show Qlik's ambitions to become a bigger and more wide-ranging technology vendor, said Doug Henschen, an analyst at Constellation Research.

"With its acquisitions of Podium and, now, Attunity, Qlik is becoming a broader technology provider encompassing data management at scale, as well as developing analytics on top of that data," Henschen said.

Qlik, in a Feb. 21 press release about the deal, cited Attunity's ability to deliver data in real time, across multiple cloud and data environments, as critical to the acquisition. Qlik didn't respond to requests to interview executives about the Attunity acquisition.

What it means for users

Qlik's Attunity acquisition will appeal particularly to larger users in financial services, healthcare, manufacturing and retail, Henschen said. Attunity's change data capture technology that addresses low-latency needs and data migration capabilities will help these users with cloud deployments, he added.

Long-standing Qlik customers will want to see evidence that Qlik is continuing to develop and invest in its core analytics capabilities.
Doug Henschenanalyst, Constellation Research

But Henschen also said customers should be wary of any vendor in the wake of acquisitions.

"You want to know that [Qlik's] not distracted by such deals," he said. "Long-standing Qlik customers will want to see evidence that Qlik is continuing to develop and invest in its core analytics capabilities and pursuing, for example, AI augmentation and cloud deployment capabilities."

Meanwhile, it is still unclear how Qlik will package the Attunity technology, which enables enterprise users to integrate data across multiple platforms.

However, Qlik's relaunch of Podium Data's technology as a stand-alone product called Qlik Data Catalyst is indicative of what users can also expect with the Attunity acquisition, said Matt Aslett, an analyst at 451 Research.

"In the longer term, Qlik customers stand to benefit from an integrated environment incorporating Attunity's data replication and data warehouse automation functionality," Aslett said.

Also, Aslett said that Qlik will now be able to provide a foundation of governed data on which to enable more powerful self-service analytics, in addition to the existing data catalog, data governance and self-service data preparation tools that are part of Qlik Data Catalyst.

Qlik takes on old and new competitors

The Attunity acquisition is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2019. Through the deal, Qlik is aiming at new markets -- including the data lake arena -- in which it will have to compete with big-name cloud providers, such as AWS and Microsoft Azure, as well as data management software vendors like Informatica, Information Builders and Tibco.

"This move sets up new dimensions of competition with data management vendors," Henschen said.

But Aslett said that Tableau also recently sharpened its focus on data management with the launch of its Tableau Prep Builder and Tableau Prep Conductor data preparation tools and the Tableau Data Management Add-on bundle, which is set to expand later this year to include a data catalog.

"It is interesting to contrast Qlik's approach of acquiring assets to build up data management capabilities from the bottom up, versus Tableau, which is working top-down, driven by internal research and development," Aslett said.

Despite the increased emphasis on data management, Henschen noted that Qlik last year laid out an analytics product roadmap, and that users will also "want to hear more about progress and future plans on those fronts."

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