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Qlik on Monday unveiled a new integration with UiPath that will enhance the existing automation capabilities of the analytics vendor's platform.
Qlik, founded in 1993 and based in King of Prussia, Penn., already offers Qlik Application Automation, a tool that enables customers to automate responses and trigger actions within SaaS applications.
The vendor's integration with UiPath, a specialist in robotic process automation founded in 2005 and based in New York whose April initial public stock offering was one of the biggest software vendor IPOs in history, will extend Qlik's automation capabilities beyond those applications.
According to James Fisher, Qlik's chief product officer, rather than automate processes between two connected applications, the integration essentially connects Application Automation to UiPath to automate processes from a broader set of use cases and from applications not directly connected to Qlik -- downstream applications.
"Application Automation created that ability to create system-to-system integration," he said. "RPA is more about mimicking human input into some type of system."
Fuel for active intelligence
In addition, the integration between Qlik and UiPath furthers the analytics vendor's goal of fueling what it terms active intelligence, Fisher continued.
Qlik defines the concept of active intelligence, which the vendor first introduced at its virtual user conference in June 2020, as the ability to deliver data and analytics to customers in real time at any given moment and in whatever system they may be using so they can make data-driven decisions.
James FisherChief product officer, Qlik
"We're able to support our vision around active intelligence fully within the framework that we operate, but what we've done here is extend that paradigm out to a broader set of applications, a broader set of use cases," Fisher said. "It's also consistent with our overall approach to having an open platform and being able to foster an ecosystem of partners."
That ecosystem, which now extends Qlik's process automation capabilities beyond its platform to downstream applications, stands to significantly benefit the vendor's customers, according to Mike Leone, an analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group.
Process automation is a focal point for many organizations -- ESG research shows nearly half of all organizations plan to increase spending on automation tools -- and the integration between Qlik and UiPath directly addresses their wants.
"One of the biggest priorities for organizations over the next year continues to be improving operational efficiency, especially as organizations look to embrace data more effectively in their response to the real-time needs of the business," Leone said. "Going into 2022, technology that enables the business to leverage automation across data-centric tools and data workflows continues to drive spend."
Leone added that Qlik customers aren't the only ones who will benefit from the integration with UiPath -- UiPath customers will benefit as well.
Just as Qlik users stand to benefit from workflows being managed by UiPath, many of those workflows don't yet incorporate advanced analytics capabilities.
"This Qlik and UiPath partnership is a great example of … the vendors bringing together data stakeholders in a way the improves operational efficiency, agility, productivity and business responsiveness fueled by data and automation," Leone said.
The new integration between Qlik and UiPath, which addresses process automation, comes on the heels of recent moves to add automated machine learning (autoML) capabilities.
On Oct. 1, the analytics vendor acquired Big Squid, a developer of predictive analytics software that uses machine learning capabilities -- including autoML -- to fuel predictive models.
And just a week before unveiling the integration with UiPath, Qlik unveiled a new connector for Amazon SageMaker and an integration with SageMaker Autopilot on Nov. 30 during AWS re:Invent, the tech giant's user conference.
SageMaker is AWS' managed service for building, training and deploying machine learning models, while SageMaker Autopilot is an autoML tool.
UiPath, meanwhile, has developed partnerships with various data and analytics vendors as they also aim to add automation capabilities. Among others, UiPath has partnerships with Alteryx, AWS, Google Cloud and Tableau.
"We're in a world now where we can leverage automation to not be something big and scary that is going to replace human beings, but to create incremental value," Fisher said. "It can take manual drudgery, automate it, and give time back to people to do their job. And it can take linear, trivial actions and automate those to facilitate better downstream action and more rapid responses to events."
That, in turn, enables organizations to get more value out of their data, he continued.
More automation to come
Meanwhile, given the importance Qlik is placing on automation, Fisher said he expects Qlik to develop integrations with other RPA vendors in the near future to further its automation capabilities.
Data pipelines are no longer linear, with data ingested at the beginning, transformed in the middle and analyzed at the end, Fisher noted. Now, there are closed-loop processes within the pipeline, and there are multiple onboarding points for data and offboarding points for insights and actions.
Active intelligence, meanwhile, depends on orchestration and automation throughout the data pipeline, just as effective data-driven decision-making now depends on collaboration throughout the analytics pipeline rather than just at the end stage.
"Automation of workflows isn't the pinnacle of everything we're doing, but it's one very important part where the sum of those parts creates a compelling value proposition," he said.
Enterprise Strategy Group is a division of TechTarget.