Qlik Buys Podium Data as Big Data Deal-Making Continues

Big software companies continue to shop for data management and analytics startups. The latest deal is Qlik’s acquisition of Podium Data, announced Tuesday morning. The price was not disclosed.

Four-year-old Podium sells software that helps large enterprises manage and prepare data for analysis, focusing on data quality and security. Business analysts and data scientists use Podium’s tools to quickly comb through their company’s digital information and pull out useful insights, without having to write any code, the Lowell, MA-based startup has said. That’s becoming increasingly important these days, as businesses in virtually every sector are generating tons of information and trying to use it to find a competitive edge.

Other recent acquisitions in data analytics and related areas include Google’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) purchase of Cask Data, Oracle’s (NYSE: ORCL) acquisition of DataScience.com, Tableau Software’s (NYSE: DATA) acquisition of Empirical Systems, and Salesforce’s (NYSE: CRM) purchase of Datorama.

Qlik wants to expand its data management capabilities by scooping up Podium. The startup’s approach involves software that can help businesses manage “data lakes”—huge repositories of information, often stored in a raw or unstructured form. Podium’s tools help to organize and convert messy data into formats that make the pieces of information searchable and more easily analyzed. Podium’s software can also encrypt data and control who has access to it, the company has said.

Qlik has worked on business analytics products for 25 years—long before “big data” became a cliché. The company was founded in Lund, Sweden, in 1993, and later moved its headquarters to Radnor, PA. In a 2015 interview, Qlik’s then-CEO told Xconomy the company was generating more than $600 million in annual revenues. Today, Qlik says it has more than 48,000 customers around the world.

Podium is a much smaller operation, but it has gotten traction with some large customers, including TD Bank, Charter Communications, and Cigna. Podium raised at least $11.5 million in venture capital, from investors such as Malibu Ventures and Converge Venture Partners. Podium’s CEO and co-founder is Paul Barth (pictured above), who previously co-founded a consulting firm and held various roles at companies such as Epsilon Data Management, Thinking Machines, and Tessera Enterprise Systems.

Jeff Engel is a senior editor at Xconomy. Email: jengel@xconomy.com Follow @JeffEngelXcon

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