I expected Qlikview 11 to be released on 11/11/11 but it was released today to Qliktech partners and customers. Since Qliktech is the public company, it releases regularly a lot of information which is not available (for now) from other DV leaders like Tableau and Visokio and more fuzzy from Spotfire, because Spotfire is just a part of larger successful public corporation TIBCO, which has many other products to worry about.

However I guessed a little and estimated for DV Leaders their 2011 sales and number of employees and got an interesting observation, which is true for a few last years: size of sales per employee (of DV leading vendor) is $300k/Year or less. I included for comparison purposes similar numbers for Apple, Microsoft and Google as well as for Microstrategy, which is a public company, established (22+ years) player in BI market, dedicated to BI and recently to Data Visualization (that is DV, thanks to it Visual Insight product).

Table below included 2 records related to Spotfire: 1 based on 2010 annual report from TIBCO (for TIBCO as whole; I know TIBCO sales for 2011 grew from $754M to $920M but do not know the exact number of TIBCO’s employees for 2011) and other record is my estimates (of a number of employees and sale) for Spotfire division of TIBCO. Update from 1/11/12: For Tableau’s 2011 I used the numbers from John Cook’s article here: http://www.geekwire.com/2012/tableau-software-doubles-sales-2011-hires-160-workers ) :

To me this is an interesting phenomena, because Qliktech thanks to its fast growing sales and recent IPO was able to double it’s sales in last 2 years while … doubling it’s number of employees so it still has its sales hovering around $300K/employee/year, while Software giants Apple, Microsoft and Google are way above this barrier and Microstrategy is 50% below it. I will also guess that Qliktech will try to break this $300K barrier and be closer to Apple/Microsoft/Google in terms of sales per employee.

Thanks to the public nature of Qliktech we know details of its annual Revenue growth and YoY (Year-over-Year) indicators:

and with estimate of 2011 Revenue about $315M, YoY growth (2011 over 2010) will be around 39.4% which is an excellent result, making it difficult (but still possible) for other DV competitors to catch-up with Qliktech. Best chance for this belongs to Tableau Software, who probably will reach the same size of sales in 2011 as Spotfire (my estimate is around $70M-$75M for both), but for last 2 years Tableau has 100% (or more) YoY revenue growth… Qliktech also published the interesting info about major factors for its sales: Europe (56%), Existing Customers (58%), Licenses (61%), Partners(52%):

which means that the increase of sales in Americas, improving New sales (as oppose to sales to existing customer by using “Land and Expand” approach) and improving revenue from Services and Maintenance may help Qliktech to keep the pace. Qliktech has the tremendous advantage over its DV competitors because it has 1200+ partners, who contributed 52% to Qliktech sales (about $136K per partner and I can guess that Qliktech wish to see at least $200K/year contribution from each partner).

Observing the strengths of other DV competitors, I personally think that Qliktech will benefit from the “imitation” of some of their most popular and successful features in order to keep its dominance in Data Visualization market, including:

  • free public Qlikview service (with obvious limitations) like free SaaS from Tableau Public and free Spotfire Silver personal edition,

  • ability to distribute Data Visualization to desktops without Server by making  available a free desktop Qlikview Reader (similar to free desktop readers from Tableau and Omniscope/Visokio),

  • integration with R library (Spotfire and recently Omniscope) to improve analytical power of Qlikview users,

  • ability to read multidimensional OLAP Cubes (currently only Tableau can do that), especially Cubes from Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services and

  • scalability toward Big Data (currently Spotfire’s and Tableau’s data engines can use the disk space as Virtual Memory but Qlikview limited by size of RAM)

This is not a never ending “feature war” but rather a potential ability to say to customers: “why go to competitors, if we have all their features and much more”? Time will tell how DV competition will play out, I expect a very interesting 2012 for Data Visualization market and users and I hope that somebody will able to break $300K/employee/year barrier unless the major M&A will change the composition of DV market. I hope that the DV revolution will continue in new year…

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