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Qlik acquisition of NodeGraph adds data management tech

Qlik said it acquired NodeGraph in a move aimed at enhancing the longtime analytics vendor's data management capabilities, including data pipeline and governance features.

On Aug. 12, Qlik unveiled its acquisition of NodeGraph, a vendor whose metadata management platform enables users to automate aspects of the data management process.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Qlik, founded in 1993 and based in King of Prussia, Pa., said the acquisition expands its data pipeline capabilities by adding interactive data lineage, impact analysis and governance features to give organizations a higher level of trust and understanding of their data.

The addition of impact analysis and deeper data lineage capabilities, meanwhile, will help users to get insights beyond just the source of data, such as the calculations behind data fields and joins, said Doug Henschen, principal analyst at Constellation Research.

Impact analysis shows which data assets -- data sets, reports, dashboards -- might be affected by a change in a data source, while NodeGraph's data lineage capabilities enable users to get at calculations.

"Qlik has made very targeted acquisitions that have been consistently about adding capabilities and value to existing customers," Henschen said.

Meanwhile, the acquisition of NodeGraph, founded in 2016 and based in Gothenburg, Sweden, fits with Qlik's approach of active intelligence, a concept the company introduced in 2020. Qlik defines active intelligence as the ability to deliver data and analytics to users in real time on any device so they can make data-driven decisions at any given moment.

In particular, the trustworthiness of the data is critical to enabling data-driven decision-making at any time, Qlik CEO Mike Capone said in a statement.

Similarly, David Menninger, senior vice president and research director at Ventana Research, noted that NodeGraph's governance capabilities have the potential to fuel active intelligence.

Qlik has made very targeted acquisitions that have been consistently about adding capabilities and value to existing customers.
Doug HenschenPrincipal analyst, Constellation Research

"Active intelligence depends on a good foundation of data and metadata," he said. "Understanding how and where information is used should enable better recommendations and actions. [NodeGraph] will increase trust in the data and actions, which is a necessary ingredient for organizations to act on recommendations."

Beyond the data management capabilities Qlik is gaining with its acquisition of NodeGraph, the data management vendor's open design fits with Qlik's cloud strategy.

Qlik is cloud agnostic, which enables customers to store their data in the cloud data warehouse of their choice.

NodeGraph enables connectivity to AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure and other cloud platforms, as well as to analytics platforms beyond Qlik such as Tableau and Power BI in case customers use more than one analytics tool.

Acquisition strategy

The NodeGraph acquisition comes after Qlik acquired data integration vendor Attunity in February 2019 and data catalog vendor Podium Data in July 2018 to improve its data management capabilities.

In addition, Qlik continued its aggressive acquisition strategy that has enabled it to move beyond self-service analytics by adding augmented analytics capabilities.

In 2019, Qlik added natural language processing capabilities by acquiring Crunch Data. In 2020, it obtained collaboration and alerting capabilities with the purchase of Knarr Analytics and RoxAI, respectively. And the acquisition of Blendr.io in October 2020 enabled Qlik to expand its ability to integrate with SaaS and cloud data storage platforms.

Qlik acquisition of NodeGraph
Qlik's acquisition of NodeGraph enhances its data management capabilities.

"Qlik has been very effective using their acquisitions to fill in gaps in their portfolio," Menninger said.

"They also appear to have done a good job integrating the acquired technologies into the Qlik platform," he continued. "It's never immediate, but they seem to immediately prioritize and plan integration rather than spending any effort at maintaining independent brands of the acquired products."

Similarly, Henschen noted that Qlik has targeted specific capabilities with its acquisitions. He characterized NodeGraph as a "tuck-in acquisition" rather than a major one, but said Qlik has historically focused on adding technologies rather than swaths of new customers through its purchases.

"It's not about bulking up customer count and revenue on the books, regardless of the technology fit," Henschen said.

He added Qlik, like NodeGraph, was founded in Sweden and has a continued presence there.

"I'm sure it had a leg up in spotting the value [of NodeGraph]," he said.

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