How I Use Narratives for Qlik: a Q&A with Qlik's Financial Services Industry Solutions Leader

March 9, 2016 Mary Grace Glascott

Narratives for Qlik extension

We recently chatted with Qlik's Paul Van Siclen regarding Narratives for Qlik®. Paul leads Qlik’s Financial Services industry and functional go-to-market initiatives for the Americas. He has over 18 years of Banking and Finance industry, most notably as CFO for the Technology and Office Products division of Vendor Finance, and then prior at Bank of America’s Dealer Financial Services where he introduced price optimization and business intelligence methods.

Here's a snapshot of our conversation:

How do you use the Narratives for Qlik extension?

First of all, I was really impressed with the technology that Narrative Science delivers and in particular, your success in selling your technology in banks, insurance and capital markets firms.

The extension itself worked flawlessly with Qlik Sense®, and I now use it in nearly every application that I build. Most of the time I create a chart calculating the variance of a key performance indicator over time and point the extension to this chart. The reason I do this is that your technology has emphasized the fact that the variance is actionable, and I don’t want to waste my breath on analysis that doesn’t lead to action.

What is the feedback from your clients and colleagues regarding Narratives for Qlik?

Narratives for Qlik is now part of every single engagement with customers or leads that I have. The feedback is always positive. I have had clients literally jump out of their chair to get a closer look at the narratives that are automatically generated alongside the visualizations.

The extension is one proof point of Qlik’s open platform working with exciting and innovative technologies to bring value to the customer.

What's the best app you've developed with Narratives for Qlik?

I've added Narratives for Qlik into my existing portfolio of Qlik Sense applications including Finance/Accounting, Insurance, Wealth Management and Risk/Reward Analytics.

But my favorite application has to be the one focused on Pricing Analytics. I took publicly available data from the Fintech company called The Lending Club, which is the world's largest online marketplace connecting borrowers and investors, and imported it into Qlik Sense.

Financial Services Qlik Sense example

The app views a number of different KPIs, such as:

  • the volume of loans funded
  • weighted average of interest rate
  • number of loans per credit grade  

The Narrative extension dynamically delivers insights that aren't obvious when looking at the chart alone, specifically the total variance, distribution ranges, and standard deviation of the volume of loans per state.

Why do I love this use case? Every bank has a desire to understand the relationship between risk, price, and the customers’ price elasticity. In a matter of minutes, I was able to analyze 800K records, uncover insights such as how the Lending Club lowers rates, by how much, and the related jump in new business volume.


See Narratives for Qlik in Action! Both Qlik and Narrative Science are presenting at the Qlik Qonnections Conference on May 1-4, 2016 in Orlando, FL.

Narratives for Qlik examples
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