After loading data into a server-based associative, in-memory database, Qlik customers could explore the data in a variety of ways from an AJAX Web GUI, enabling them to create and publish all sorts of reports and dashboards. The approach is not entirely dissimilar to the one taken by its rival, Tableau Software, which has also benefited from the big data boom and the democratization of BI.
The combination of market forces and a keen eye for product development were propellant for growth at Qlik. In 2009, the Radnor, Pennsylvania-based company had 11,400 customers and $157 million in revenues. By 2010, it had grown to 13,000 customers and had an IPO. By 2015, the company boasted 37,000 customers, $612 million in revenue, and a market cap north of $2.8 billion.
Qlik is definitely one of the big players in the visualization market, which includes Tableau, and Power BI/SSRS in Gartner’s Leaders quadrant and a bunch of competitors nipping at their heels.