Mike Capone, CEO of Qlik, Qlik Sense

Post: Qlik Luminary Life Ep. 6 – Mike Capone, CEO Of Qlik

*Below is a summary of the video interview with Mike Capone. Please watch the video to see the entire interview.

 

Hey readers, welcome back to Qlik Luminary Life! This is episode 6 and we have a very special surprise guest for you today…Mike Capone, CEO of Qlik! We caught up with Mike for this special episode to learn more about his thoughts on data vs intuition, the legacy he hopes to leave behind, and how he used to have rockstar hair and play in a band. Keep reading to learn more about the man behind Qlik.

 

What question do you wish most interviewers would ask you?

 

My favorite question is always, what makes you excited to come to work everyday? That to me is the ultimate question because the reality in life is that you spend more time at work than you do with your family, in particular when you’re a CEO. With Qlik, and with the Luminary program, my enthusiasm is completely unbridled. I am the luckiest man in the world in terms of the fortune I have of working for Qlik and with all the Qlik community customers, luminaries, etc.

 

What is the company culture like at Qlik and what sort of changes to it did you spearhead when you became CEO?

 

Well, the culture at Qlik is what drew me to the company. Social responsibility is sort of baked into our soul and you know, the one thing I wanted to do when I joined was, don’t mess that up. When you stop people in the hallway at Qlik, they don’t talk about Qlik as a job. They talk about it as a commitment. It’s like a way of life. So the first thing I wanted to do was make sure people understood that I believed in that.

 

What’s your opinion on data versus feeling and intuition? With access to so much data, do you still feel the need to rely on intuition or feeling?

 

We at Qlik don’t believe artificial intelligence is going to replace people. That would be a leap too far ahead. In the spirit of really big decision making, ultimately good judgement is going to be involved and experience is helpful in shaping judgment. I am very data-driven. I have the Qlik dashboards up on my screen all the time as you would imagine and I always look for the most data that I can, but I can give you an example. We did the largest acquisition in company history last year with Attunity. That was a great deal. If I looked at all of the data I wouldn’t have been able to to draw a conclusion because it was a line of business that we’d never been in before and there had to be some judgment on my part that, as a company, we could absorb it. So, yes I collected all the data but in the end I had to leap and that leap was based on my experience and my judgment.

 

How has this pandemic inspired you with Qlik and the role that data analytics has in fighting the virus?

 

My background prior to Qlik, I was at a company that was developing technology for clinical trials. All the vaccine work that you’re hearing about is being tested on this software that I used to actually build and manage. I was really connected to that mission and one of the things that enabled me to actually move away from that even though I really loved healthcare was that I found out Qlik is deeply involved in healthcare as well. We have really great relationships with really big customers who are doing meaningful things to combat coronavirus from a medical, clinical, healthcare and drug development standpoint. We also work with nursing homes to help predict outbreaks and get them prepared. People are running analytics right now on our technology to see how you can distribute a vaccine to the billions of people worldwide.

 

Qlik has a keen interest in serving the IT community as well as end users and department heads for the ease of getting data, and your company has contributed to a major increase in data literacy. Are there any type of remarks you’d like to make to these audiences about Qlik that they might have missed, or maybe something they don’t realize about Qlik?

 

You always want partners and vendors who go on the journey with you, and companies that drive an outcome for you. Understand my strategy, understand where I’m trying to get to, don’t just show up at the end of the quarter and try to sell me software. The culture I try to build at Qlik is that you have to do it with our customers, not to them. We have to bridge that gap between business analytics users and IT. IT needs to secure this stuff, they need to do data integration. We try to be very collaborative across our customers in going on a journey with them and driving an outcome. What our customers value the most about Qlik is that we are true partners, not trying to sell around anybody but trying to sell a cohesive solution.

 

Your father was a huge source of inspiration to you. As a father yourself, what lessons or words of advice do you actively try to pass on to your daughter and even the upcoming generation of kids?

 

My father led me to believe that I could be whatever I wanted to be and unfortunately he didn’t live long enough to see me become a CEO, but I know he’d be super proud of me. The thing he always gave me was that belief and I try to pass that on to my daughter. She wants to be an oncologist and I’ll support her anyway that I can in that dream. I don’t talk to her about “well it’s eight years of school etc.” because it’s all about believing. I’m so grateful for that inspiration in my life and my dad, he grew up on welfare and his mother raised him as a single mom. He didn’t have anything. He worked his way up, he lied about his age to get into the military and eventually went on to become CIO of the third largest retail company in the world at that time. He did that by himself. He was determined and that is the moral of the story. Determination.

 

Name a song you have completely memorized.

 

I’ve probably memorized every James Taylor song and every Rolling Stones song. Well, you know, every well-known Rolling Stones song. If I had to name one I could sing you Gimme Shelter right now from the Rolling Stones. I won’t. But I could. (stay tuned for Mike Capone in concert at a future date)

 

Follow up question. Do you think you’re a better air drummer or air guitarist?

 

Well, things people don’t know about me, thank God there was no social media back at that time but I was in a band in college. I played bass guitar, so definitely a better guitar player. My hair was really long, and I’m not talking about Covid long, I’m talking about really, really long. I was a semi-serious musician until I couldn’t make any money at it and that, you know, led me to learn how to program I guess.

 

At the end of the day, what would you most like to be remembered for?

 

You know what I always tell people is, most of what you do isn’t going to matter 50 years from now. If you can leave the world a better place than when you came into it, that’s what I would be remembered for. For me it’s my wife and daughter, and the not for profit work that I do as well. I’m on the board of a large public university here in New Jersey and I’m on the board of the Leukemia Lymphoma Society, which is helping to fight blood cancers. From a corporate world, it’s not unabashed capitalism to say I believe that my company is changing the world and how people use data and analytics to make the world a better place and to drive good business outcomes.

 

If you’re a Qlik Luminary and are interested in being interviewed for Qlik Luminary Life, be sure to contact Michael Daughters at mdaughters@motio.com. Make sure to stay tuned for episode 7 with Angelika Klidas of 2Foqus coming soon!

 

*Enjoy the freedom to explore your data confidently with active, zero-touch version control. To learn more Click Here.

Scroll to Top
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.