Subscribe in a reader
Subscribe to Philadelphia Tech News by Email
This week's Barron's has an article by Dow Jones columnist Vito J Racanelli, Qlik’s Waning Value (paywall, but you might get a view).
The subtitle reads "The market thinks (Radnor-based) software developer Qlik Technologies is growing fast. We don’t buy it. Eventually, investors won’t either."
The column focuses almost totally on financial metrics, not the important nuances of product strategy, and it can be faulted on those terms. But having followed the company since it went public, I generally concur with Racanelli's findings on the financial side. And that, of course, is the ultimate metric.
Racanelli focuses on the (usual) lack of profits and stalling growth, while recognizing the recent drag from the stronger dollar on its results.
My simple conclusion: Tableau ate its lunch, in the US anyway. Although increased competition from others (including a stronger Microsoft offering) may have been factors.
|Tableau (Google Flnance)|
|Qlik (Google Finance)|
It probably produced some awful output, because the rigorous models and data governance required in Qlik weren't required in Tableau, at least to the same extent. But people could do what they wanted with it and they liked it. By last year's third quarter, Tableau'e revenue was $171 million versus Qlik's $141 million, despite a head start of several years for Qlik.
Qlik responded with a semi-bifurcated product strategy, introducing Qlik Sense as its visualization play in late 2014, and keeping QlikView as its more structured product. The jury is still out on Qlik Sense's market acceptance.
Qlik's market value is $2.54 billion, and its year end earnings report is scheduled for February 11.