By Larry Jaffee
All companies need key performance indicator (KPI) analytics to pinpoint what’s working and what’s not. New MESA member QlikView provides a business intelligence software solution that funnels all sorts of KPI data into one seamless interface.
“Hollywood typically is driven by data legacy information systems,” says Greg Sweeney, QlikView’s entertainment and media sector account manager. These systems are “home-grown” and built internally by studios’ IT departments, piggybacking on package sales applications from such suppliers as SAP, JD Edwards, Siebel, and Salesforce.com.
Studios “still get data on participations and residuals from [these systems], and they perform important functions,” Sweeney explains. But Hollywood has become far more data-driven in general over the past few years, Sweeney notes. Studios are conducting deeper title and genre analysis of their own releases to help forecast theatrical box office, as well as to set revenue expectations for home entertainment (e.g., Blu-ray, downloads). They also gauge competing titles’ performance using data sources such as Nielsen.
All the analysis makes a studio’s marketing and advertising efforts more efficient. A studio “can make real-time adjustments with business intelligence and discovery,” says Sweeney. “It’s a 360-degree [view] of the business. Before the data came from seven sources; now it’s all being put into QlikView.”
Sweeney explains that his company joined MESA in September when it realized several of its customers were members of the organization. QlikView was found in Sweden 18 years ago, and it entered the U.S. market in 2005. Last year, the company’s IPO made the top-five grossing public offerings globally. It’s traded on NASDAQ as QLIK, and its U.S. headquarters is in Radnor, Pa.
QlikView customers are in diverse industries, from consumer products to industrial machinery. Sweeney joined the company three and a half years ago to focus on the media and entertainment sector, after working at SAP and Oracle on those companies’ business analysis software products.
“We created a new category: data discovery,” says Sweeney, who works out of QlikView’s West Coast office in San Mateo, Calif., but is more often on the road making sales calls.
M&E companies typically utilize QlikView’s ETL (Extract, Transform & Load) to process raw data. Besides its application for movie studios, the software also can be used by broadcasters to gauge the quality of broadcast transmissions. Future applications, Sweeney says, may delve into supply chain needs.
QlikView is server-based solution, but users now also can access the system through their iPads and mobile phones.
With social media becoming ever more important to studios’ marketing plans, QlikView has responded with a “sentiment analysis” feature that brings in Facebook and Twitter feeds on what fans think about new releases. The ability to deeply analyze the performance of previous releases and by genre separates QlikView from competitive solutions.
“We represent a disruptive technology,” Sweeney says, adding that the company is “data agnostic.” The company’s main aim is for its customers to make “meaningful connections” with information that’s readily accessible, which will in turn enhance the business’s overall productivity and efficiency.
Sweeney will be moderating a session on data analytics and visualization at the Hollywood Information Technology Summit (HITS) in March 2012 produced by MESA in cooperation with Variety and Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management.