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Qlik's Mozaic acquisition adds decentralized data management

The longtime analytics vendor continues to expand into data management, now adding capabilities that enable a decentralized approach and an emphasis on data products.

Qlik on Tuesday revealed the acquisition of Mozaic Data to better enable customers to take a decentralized approach to data management with data viewed as a product.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Mozaic, a startup still in its beta testing stage, is developing an AI-driven platform that enables users to distribute data management across different domains within their organizations, rather than centralize data management with a single team of data experts.

In addition, its tools ensure data products are made available to everyone within the organization -- not just those in one domain -- in a secure manner to help inform decisions.

It's an approach that is gaining momentum as organizations recognize the inefficiencies of centralized data management. Therefore, Qlik's acquisition of Mozaic is a good move, according to Mike Leone, an analyst at TechTarget's Enterprise Strategy Group.

Qlik gains a proven platform with Mozaic that will help customers rapidly build, deploy and manage data products with flexibility in mind.
Mike LeoneAnalyst, Enterprise Strategy Group

"This acquisition is all about improving efficiency while ensuring confidence," he said. "Qlik gains a proven platform with Mozaic that will help customers rapidly build, deploy and manage data products with flexibility in mind, helping the broader business consume data in a more efficient, personalized way."

Qlik, a longtime BI specialist that began building up a data integration platform in 2018, has made a spate of acquisitions in recent years to add both analytics and data management capabilities. Its purchases of Podium Data in 2018 and Attunity in 2019 marked the beginning of Qlik's foray into data integration, followed by acquisitions of in 2020 and Talend in early 2023.

Trending toward decentralization

Historically, data has been centralized. Others within the organization -- those using models, reports, dashboards and other data assets to inform decisions -- had to submit requests that were then put in a queue.

The intent was to keep data secure, which it did. But it also led to bottlenecks that created lengthy delays between the time data was needed to inform a decision and the time the data was ready for consumption.

Those bottlenecks have only been exacerbated as data volume has risen and organizations collect increasingly more disparate types of data. To ease the burdens on centralized teams and make data management more efficient, decentralized approaches such as data mesh and data fabric have emerged.

Data mesh empowers different domains within organizations, such as departments, to manage and analyze their own data, while connecting the different domains with data catalogs and other tools that help avoid isolated data. Data fabric, meanwhile, is a method of connecting disparate data pipelines and cloud environments with automation to connect and integrate data.

Both decentralized approaches view data as a product, meaning data sets are treated as assets that fuel the development of secure, governed and trustworthy data products. In addition, by employing tools such as data catalogs, they ensure that data, though decentralized, doesn't become isolated.

Starburst is among the vendors that specialize in data mesh, while Denodo is among those that offer data fabric capabilities.

Mozaic's capabilities enable data oversight employing the principles of data decentralization with domain-centric, AI-driven data management, with data as a product as a centerpiece. As a result, Mozaic's acquisition is significant for Qlik, according to Kevin Petrie, an analyst at Eckerson Group.

"Mozaic focuses on a promising market opportunity ... of creating, governing and managing data products," he said. "Enterprises need standard, accurate and interchangeable data sets -- like products in a store -- to support their BI and AI/ML projects. And they need a catalog to find, consume and share these products."

Once Mozaic's capabilities are integrated with Qlik's platform, customers will be able to use Mozaic's tools to develop, deploy, govern and secure domain-based data products in the cloud.

Once developed and deployed, the products themselves -- models, reports, dashboards -- will be stored in a data product marketplace, where they can be accessed and discovered by anyone within the organization to inform decisions.

The acquisition aims to accelerate data deployment and utilization, according to Qlik. In particular, that includes deployment and utilization in cloud platforms such as Amazon Redshift, Databricks, Google BigQuery, Microsoft Fabric and Snowflake.

Leone, meanwhile, noted that by enabling domain-based data management and easy access to data products, Mozaic's capabilities will lead to more widespread use of data within organizations.

"This acquisition fits so well into what Qlik is prioritizing, which is improving and broadening data consumption and data usability," he said. "I believe it further strengthens their data integration and data management story by upleveling it to include more stakeholders who are increasingly thirsty for data."

Likewise, Petrie said the acquisition fits with Qlik's strategy as it continues to build up its data management capabilities. However, he noted that the addition of Mozaic's data catalog means Qlik now has such capabilities from three acquisitions -- both Podium Data and Talend also came with data catalogs.

"This acquisition makes sense for Qlik as they round out their portfolio for data management and analytics," Petrie said. "It does raise questions about their portfolio because they have three catalogs. ... It seems likely that they'll fold these capabilities into Talend's catalog, given the size of Talend's installed base."

In concert with the acquisition, Mozaic founder Sharad Kumar is now Qlik's regional head of data integration and quality. One of his priorities will be developing a data product catalog.

State of Qlik

While Qlik's acquisition of Mozaic adds decentralized data management capabilities, it also demonstrates an emphasis on addressing some of the challenges inherent in the data lifecycle, according to Leone.

Data quality and security, despite the increasing prioritization of data governance, continue to hinder analytics efforts. By decentralizing data management and dispersing it to the domains that are also consuming the data, there's inherent emphasis on quality and security.

"Organizations want flexibility and scalability as they develop data products, without sacrificing quality and security," Leone said. "And they want all of this quickly and reliably."

Petrie, meanwhile, noted that Qlik has made a series of acquisitions over the past five years, with its purchase of Talend earlier this year perhaps the largest of them -- financial terms were not disclosed. For the time being, Qlik would therefore be wise to focus on continuing to assimilate the technologies it has not yet fully integrated.

"Qlik has made a series of acquisitions, and Talend is a big organization to integrate," said Petrie, who worked at Attunity and witnessed Qlik's ability to bring acquisitions into the fold. "Their focus at this point is probably just to rationalize products and assimilate teams."

Eric Avidon is a senior news writer for TechTarget Editorial and a journalist with more than 25 years of experience. He covers analytics and data management.

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