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Qlik adds Forts to analytics suite, enabling faster analysis

Qlik Forts, a tool that enables customers to access and analyze data where it resides rather than forcing them to first import it into Qlik, is now generally available.

Qlik today debuted Forts, a cloud service that enables customers to securely access and use the vendor's analytics capabilities wherever their data resides.

Whether customers store their data on premises, in the cloud or in a hybrid model, they can use Forts to deploy the Qlik analytics platform to query and analyze their data in that location without having to first import it into Qlik. This expedites the time it takes to gain insights and make data-driven decisions.

In addition, Qlik Forts, now part of Qlik Cloud, uses a containerized approach to access data. Each individual Fort enables users to deploy Qlik's full array of analytics capabilities to localized data without having to first move that data. Meanwhile, Qlik manages the feature to ensure it stays up to date with enhancements.

Qlik, founded in 1993 and based in King of Prussia, Pa., first unveiled Forts during its virtual user conference in May, and the service is now generally available.

According to the vendor, by accelerating secure access to governed data, the development of Forts is part of its quest to enable what it terms active intelligence.

Active intelligence, first introduced in 2020, is the vendor's technology for delivering data and analytics to its customers in real time at the moment it's needed, whether users are at their desk or using a mobile device.

A plus for customers

According to Doug Henschen, an analyst at Constellation Research, Forts has the potential to be a significant tool for Qlik customers with data stored in multiple locations.

"Qlik is addressing hybrid and multi-cloud deployment requirements," he said. "Forts ensure consistency across deployment options by exploiting container technology, but without burdening the customer with container management."

Likewise, Mike Leone, an analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, noted that enabling users to more easily work with data stored in multiple locations is useful.

"Enabling hybrid analytics is a priority," he said. "For organizations to achieve data-driven success, enabling the use of more data across environments is critical. Data platforms that enable organizations to take back control of their diverse and growing cross-environment data ecosystems are essential to satisfying long-term data strategy goals."

Forts enables that cross-environment control, Leone continued.

"Knowing Forts can help minimize -- if not eliminate -- data movement as part of their ability to deliver hybrid analytics, organizations can be ensured they gain rapid access to all the data that matters in a timely manner," he said.

I see it as leading edge in providing one consistent approach across on-premises and multiple clouds rather than just offering similar services across multiple clouds with similar on-premises connection options.
Doug HenschenAnalyst, Constellation Research

Henschen, meanwhile, added that Forts is an innovative approach to accessing and analyzing data.

"I see it as leading edge in providing one consistent approach across on-premises and multiple clouds rather than just offering similar services across multiple clouds with similar on-premises connection options," he said.

While Forts is a significant addition to the Qlik analytics suite and takes a unique approach to accessing and analyzing data, other tech vendors also offer containerized capabilities, according to Henschen.

IBM, for example, uses the Red Hat OpenShift Kubernetes application platform to containerize certain workloads, he noted.

"Forts is unique to Qlik, but others are working on consistent, container-based deployment options," Henschen said. "IBM is containerizing workloads on Red Hat OpenShift, and to make things easier it's rolling out Cloud Satellite, which is OpenShift as a service."

Beyond Forts

Qlik Notes is a collaboration tool that enables users to share and communicate throughout the analytics process rather than only after reports and dashboards have been developed. Like Forts, it was designed to foster active intelligence by helping customers make data-driven decisions earlier in the analytics process than was previously possible with the Qlik platform.

The tool resulted from Qlik's 2020 acquisition of Knarr Analytics, and was made generally available in Qlik Sense in June.

Looking ahead, automation will be a focal point for Qlik, according to the vendor.

To that end, Qlik acquired Big Squid, a developer of predictive analytics software that enables users to automate machine learning models, at the end of September.

Editor's note: Enterprise Strategy Group is a subsidiary of TechTarget.

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