Qlik Luminary Life Kabir Rab

Post: Qlik Luminary Life Episode 3 – Kabir Rab of Tahola LTD And Co-Founder Of Kids In Data


Welcome to episode 3 of Qlik Luminary Life! This week we caught up with Kabir Rab, solution architect at Tahola LTD to learn more about his data literacy workshop for kids, his love for the sport of cricket, and his advice for those wanting to become a future luminary.

Why did you decide to apply to be a Qlik Luminary?

The Qlik Luminary program is such a great program because it brings together some of the best and brightest people from the Qlik community. The program also gives an opportunity to engage with the key people on the Qlik dev/product team. I wanted an opportunity to work with the brightest minds in the community and be close to Qlik products so we can influence the product for better, hence why I applied to be a part of the program.

Favorite thing about Qlik?

I am sure you hear this all the time but my favorite thing about Qlik is its associative engine and the power of grey. I have worked with some of the major BI vendors in the past, but none comes close to Qlik when it comes to the associate engine and the power of green, white, and grey. The ability to show not only what people are filtering but also what insight they may be missing out because of their filters is truly powerful. This certainly gives the user an edge.

Tell me about the biggest challenge Qlik helped you to overcome.

Qlik has helped me overcome many technical and business challenges over the years. The biggest challenge that it helped me with and continues to help me with, is the agile nature of the products, combined with the ability to build solutions so rapidly. It shows the user how their raw data turns into key insights for their business and wins their trust. I got involved in a project where a business did not have trust in BI reports as they were complex, weren’t showing them the full picture, and sat behind red tape making it difficult to make adjustments as requirements change. Being able to introduce Qlik there and change stakeholder’s attitudes while making the app part of their daily routine was truly an awesome experience.

Advice for those wanting to become a future Luminary?

Simple. Use Qlik, be brave, and test its ability to do new things. Challenge yourself and Qlik. Be a leader at sharing that experience with the wider team and the community. To me, passion and drive are two key elements.

Can you tell me more about the data literacy workshop for kids that you’re hosting?

Where do I start… I can talk about this topic for hours. The world has tackled the global literacy rate in the last 200 years really well. We went from only 18% literacy to now having less than 14% reported as illiterate. We have reversed the position. This is truly an amazing story, however, data literacy is not following this trend. There are many factors but largely this is due to how the education systems in countries around the world (mostly) have been playing catch up with the pace of the ever-changing technological landscape. This left a gap where children are not acquiring some key skills that are vital in these days and data literacy is at the top of the list. I wanted to address that, so I started with my eldest son (age 7). We then took that initiative to the school with my colleague and friend Ross. We wanted to teach the children while also making learning fun…not another math-related subject they do not enjoy as much. This led to our current project, Kids In Data (KiD, https://kidsindata.com). It’s a data literacy workshop platform for children. Our aim is to help children learn about data and visualizations through games. We want to make data fun. We focus our teaching around gameplay experience. We went for simplicity and wanted to remove barriers to learning. It is a free platform for everyone to use and the aim is to drive this platform with the power of the data community. Anyone can get involved. I believe that it is our collective responsibility to help build a data-literate world by teaching the children of today.

When you’re not working and being a Luminary what hobbies or activities do you enjoy?

I love cooking. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen and like to experiment with my own creations. My other passion is playing cricket. I coach children at the club I play for. My tech hobbies include playing with raspberry pi and other technologies.

Name a song you have completely memorized.

Californication – Red Hot Chili Peppers. Don’t ask me to sing it… (spoiler alert – he doesn’t sing it for us but we wish he would’ve!)

What would be your first question after waking up from being cryogenically frozen for 100 years? Why is it so cold? After posting this interview, we hosted a webinar with Kabir!

Interested in learning more about Kabir Rab? Be sure to follow him on his social media handles listed below and be sure to stay tuned for episode four! If you’re a Qlik Luminary and are interested in being featured for our blog series contact Michael Daughters at mdaughters@motio.com How do you document changes made in Qlik Sense? If your technique is to manually save changes locally, we have a solution. Read more about Soterre by clicking here!  

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As the BI space evolves, organizations must take into account the bottom line of amassing analytics assets.
The more assets you have, the greater the cost to your business. There are the hard costs of keeping redundant assets, i.e., cloud or server capacity. Accumulating multiple versions of the same visualization not only takes up space, but BI vendors are moving to capacity pricing. Companies now pay more if you have more dashboards, apps, and reports. Earlier, we spoke about dependencies. Keeping redundant assets increases the number of dependencies and therefore the complexity. This comes with a price tag.
The implications of asset failures differ, and the business’s repercussions can be minimal or drastic.
Different industries have distinct regulatory requirements to meet. The impact may be minimal if a report for an end-of-year close has a mislabeled column that the sales or marketing department uses, On the other hand, if a healthcare or financial report does not meet the needs of a HIPPA or SOX compliance report, the company and its C-level suite may face severe penalties and reputational damage. Another example is a report that is shared externally. During an update of the report specs, the low-level security was incorrectly applied, which caused people to have access to personal information.
The complexity of assets influences their likelihood of encountering issues.
The last thing a business wants is for a report or app to fail at a crucial moment. If you know the report is complex and has a lot of dependencies, then the probability of failure caused by IT changes is high. That means a change request should be taken into account. Dependency graphs become important. If it is a straightforward sales report that tells notes by salesperson by account, any changes made do not have the same impact on the report, even if it fails. BI operations should treat these reports differently during change.
Not all reports and dashboards fail the same; some reports may lag, definitions might change, or data accuracy and relevance could wane. Understanding these variations aids in better risk anticipation.

Marketing uses several reports for its campaigns – standard analytic assets often delivered through marketing tools. Finance has very complex reports converted from Excel to BI tools while incorporating different consolidation rules. The marketing reports have a different failure mode than the financial reports. They, therefore, need to be managed differently.

It’s time for the company’s monthly business review. The marketing department proceeds to report on leads acquired per salesperson. Unfortunately, half the team has left the organization, and the data fails to load accurately. While this is an inconvenience for the marketing group, it isn’t detrimental to the business. However, a failure in financial reporting for a human resource consulting firm with 1000s contractors that contains critical and complex calculations about sickness, fees, hours, etc, has major implications and needs to be managed differently.

Acknowledging that assets transition through distinct phases allows for effective management decisions at each stage. As new visualizations are released, the information leads to broad use and adoption.
Think back to the start of the pandemic. COVID dashboards were quickly put together and released to the business, showing pertinent information: how the virus spreads, demographics affected the business and risks, etc. At the time, it was relevant and served its purpose. As we moved past the pandemic, COVID-specific information became obsolete, and reporting is integrated into regular HR reporting.
Reports and dashboards are crafted to deliver valuable insights for stakeholders. Over time, though, the worth of assets changes.
When a company opens its first store in a certain area, there are many elements it needs to understand – other stores in the area, traffic patterns, pricing of products, what products to sell, etc. Once the store is operational for some time, specifics are not as important, and it can adopt the standard reporting. The tailor-made analytic assets become irrelevant and no longer add value to the store manager.