This blog post was updated July 29, 2013.


Like most people, I relish a good story. And, like many people, my interest is piqued by pretty much anything that can add an element of lightness and fun to everyday activities like data analysis. Because of this, my favorite “” product scenario is Data Storytelling. (“” is the code name for the next generation of QlikView, spanning multiple releases.)


I recently talked about the Data Storytelling scenario with QlikTech product manager Ingemar Carlo, who is focused on this scenario and development tools used by QlikTech’s partners. I thought I would bring his perspective to you.

Ingemar pointed out some of the ways technology is fundamentally changing the ways we tell stories. ”This is especially true,” he said, ”when you look at advances in the computer gaming industry. With modern video games, the players are active participants in the unfolding of a story. They are not just passive recipients or listeners. There is also a great deal of interesting research going on in academic institutions, and we see lots of innovation especially in the news and entertainment media industries.”

For Ingemar, the highlights of the Data Storytelling scenario in are:

  • There is never just one story. The beauty of a Business Discovery application created with QlikView is that it never has a single story. ”Don't get me wrong,” Ingemar said. ” I still believe that IT departments face the need to design and configure their systems and data sources to contain a single version of the truth. But at best, a single story about the data would be incomplete.”
  • How do you uncover hidden stories? When looking at raw numbers – or even data visualizations – it may not be immediately obvious what the numbers are telling you. The implications and meaning of the data may not be clear. ”What fascinates me about stories from data,” Ingemar said, ”is when they lead you to pose new questions to try to uncover the hidden stories.”
  • Storytelling guides people toward a decision. How do you rally support for the decisions you want to make based on your discoveries? You need a convincing story. The data storytelling scenario in will help users emphasize a discovery they make so that it will lead to a decision. A story can also help remedy the problem of information overload by providing users with a structure or narrative that they can follow.

One of Ingemar’s favorite examples is the work done by one of our former partners, NComVA (now part of QlikTech), which developed advanced visualization techniques for multivariate statistics data.* See the related blog post, ”Bombillo Amarillo and the Importance of Data Storytelling.” For more info about Data Storytelling and the other “” product scenarios under the “Compulsive Collaboration” theme, see the QlikView white paper, The “” Product Scenarios.


* Update July 29, 2013: On May 6, 2013 QlikTech announced that we acquired NcomVA. We are in the process of integrating NcomVA's technology into QlikView.Next.