The Qlik Luminary Program brings together the best and brightest customers, partners, and enthusiasts in the Qlik network.
Sandy Strauss is a long-term Luminary and has been a close partner of Qlik’s since she joined her current employer — a global pharmaceutical company — in 2010. Today, as Director of Global Commercial Operations, Business Analytics Solutions, she leads an elite team of analytics experts who manage the global business analytics CoE for several hundred Qlik applications. Read on to learn how she’s preparing her organisation for the next generation of BI.
Q: Describe your company’s analytical journey since you joined the company.
S: I was contracted in 2008 to help organise the company’s data and structure the reporting. Two years later, I joined the company full time as Senior Manager of Data Warehousing, with a strong focus on making information more accessible to the whole organisation. Back then, Qlik was used only by our Swedish branch. The rest of the organisation ran on another BI system. We designed a sophisticated information management strategy for which we recommended Qlik as the worldwide standard for analytics.
Q: We heard your team has won several internal awards for your work. What makes your team so successful?
S: We believe in close partnerships with all of our vendors. Because of that approach we were early adopters of Qlik Sense®, participating in the beta program and influencing the development by sharing our experiences and needs.
Q: Now I see the appeal of the Luminary Program for you…
S: Yes, the Luminary Program helps me stay connected to Qlik, get access to executives, obtain educational resources, and learn where the product is going.
Q: What are other strategies you’ve employed to run such a large, well-oiled analytics machine?
S: We have created best practices to which all organisations within the company need to adhere. We also make sure all team members are up to speed with the latest technology and innovation. For example, we tend to send a large team to Qonnections every year (Editor’s note: Qonnections is Qlik’s annual conference for customers and partners) to learn, and also present to share our knowledge.
Q: What are some of your immediate priorities for the future to stay ahead of the competition?
S: In the pharmaceutical world, with so much data available, it’s going to be essential for my team to provide tools that can process all of this information and help turn it into actionable insights. Our biggest priority is using data to understand the patient journey better and improve our products’ effectiveness.
Q: Is cloud a part of that strategy?
S: Yes, definitely. Right now, when I’m analysing and aggregating information, I’m using pretty confined data sets. In the future, we will need to be able to spin up a piece of data quickly, analyse it, and then move on to the next. Having a Big Data platform that includes cloud is the way to achieve that.
Q: That’s music to our ears as we’re laser focused on delivering our solutions in the Cloud. Now tell us, what do you do for fun outside work and do you have a motto you’d like to share?
S: I’m a huge football fan and like to either catch a game with Leicester City or Real Madrid. My motto is “People, Passion, Possibilities.”
If you’d like to hear more about Sandy’s thoughts on the evolution of BI and how to keep pace with the mountain of information businesses are generating, check out her presentation, Democratisation of Data.