An announcement was made last night on both the Qlik and DataMarket blogs that one has been acquired by the other. With Qlik Sense only recently generally available this is an interesting move.

DataMarket Acquired by Qlik

Two almost identical press releases were published on the Qlik Blog and the DataMarket Blog. Nothing much is being given away as yet, but it will be very interesting what comes out of this union.

DataMarket was not a firm I had heard of previously, and unfortunately their web page has been taken down following the announcement, with simply an announcement that DataMarket Has Been Acquired by Qlik on the front page and 404 errors elsewhere. Fortunately there is an informative Wikipedia entry and their blog is still running.

From what I understand from what I have read this morning, DataMarket collect and make available many different datasets through their on-line portal. The UI of this, from what I can garner from screenshots, is similar to how GapMinder make their wealth, health and population data available on their excellent GapMinder World site. Interestingly, GapMinder data is just one of the data sources that Data Market have available. Other data sources they give access to are The World Bank and the United Nations Statistics Division.

With nothing specific being disclosed about the reasons for the acquisition this is obviously open to speculation. I am sure there will be much discussion about it over the coming weeks. From what I have been able to see there are two potential drivers for this move by Qlik, access to some of the neat visualisations or access to all of those datasets in one easy to get to place. From where I sit, I hope it is the latter. Qlik Sense already has some fantastic eye candy in it (and spinning pie charts – but we shall gloss over those) and there is an infinite possibility for more; with people being able to share extensions on Qlik Branch. I would say that neat visualisations are pretty much tied up. Massive volumes of data is much more interesting.

Publicly available data sources are something that I already use when working with clients. The NHS prescribing data that can be freely downloaded is very useful to pharmaceutical companies trying to get a handle on market share. Public data are also useful for demos. I have even used GapMinder data in QlikView to assist my daughter with her homework. The problem is that these data are dispersed across the web and there is no sensible catalogue of what is where. If Qlik make access to these sources available in a simple way in Sense then that is a massive win.

An encouraging hint that it may be more about the data is here in this announcement about the Qlik Hackathon taking place at the Qlik World Conference. Here conference attendees will be using United Nations data to build apps that have a “social good impact”. No coincidence perhaps then that United Nations data is one of the sources provided by DataMarket?

Whatever comes out of this acquisition it will be interesting to watch develop. If you have any insights or comments please feel free to share them below.