I was thinking about why developers become so addicted to QlikView after they start using it. Why did I become a QlikView addict? My reason is that QlikView gives users a moment of clarity, an “aha” moment, while they are creating apps. QlikView lets them use the features that they already know in different ways where they gain new wisdom to use their curiosity and creativity.
I decided to list and share some of my QlikView “aha” moments with you. The list has some simple and some advanced capabilities. The video is a quick run-through showing some of them in action.
- Drag and drop to open a QlikView application:
- Drag and drop a QlikView application (qvw) file into the QlikView Developer client to have it opened.
- The power of gray and selections:
- With QlikView, users can literally see relationships in the data. They can see not only which data is associated with their selections, they can just as easily see which data is not associated. This generates new insights and unexpected discoveries.
- With a right click, they can reverse their analysis by selecting the non-associated data (select excluded).
- By using the “show alternatives” option on list boxes, the user can get further insight on the data values that are related to the selection state besides the green value. When a selection is made on a list box, the selected value is highlighted in green and all of the other values are highlighted in grey. If the user would like to get insight on the data values that are still relevant with the selection state in addition to the green value, they can check the “show alternatives” option and can get insight on all of the relevant values in addition to the selected value.
- The user can move between selected values in a list box by using the down arrow on the keyboard. As the selection changes with the down arrow pressed, the charts recalculate on the fly and the user sees changes in the data.
- List box with expression:
- The user can create new data selection points by creating a list box with an expression. For example, the expression can define the sum of sales at the customer level. The user can then make selections on these new data points to do further analysis.
- Calculated dimensions:
- The dimension values on charts do not need to exist in the data model; new data points can be created and used as dimension values on charts. For example, in a chart showing the inventory quantities by the number of weeks, the number of weeks is a calculation that is used as dimension values.
- In QlikView, the current state of selections can be saved as bookmarks for later use. To create the bookmark, QlikView does not store the actual data values; it stores the criteria that are used while the selections are made (the filters the user applied). If the selection criterion is an expression, let’s say “top 15 products,” QlikView will store the expression and when the data refresh happens, the updated top 15 products will be displayed when the bookmark is selected.
- Document chaining:
- With document chaining, it is possible to open one QlikView application from another QlikView application and carry the selection states from the first to the second application.
- Power of in-memory data transformation:
- QlikView provides tons of functionality to transform data in memory. It is possible to create new tables, and new fields in memory to use them in Business Discovery. Please see the script syntax part of the QlikView reference manual document.
- Data exploration:
- On the table viewer, when hovering with the cursor above the fields, users can get information about the data density and subset ratio to understand any data integrity issues. The number of selected values vs. all of the values is displayed on the right bottom part of the QlikView screen.
- Binary load:
- With binary load, it is possible to load the in-memory data model from one QlikView application to another one. Binary loads are very fast. It is possible to do further in-memory data transformation on the data after the binary load.
- QlikView allows search not only by actual data values but also by new data calculations. For example, the user can type “=rank(sum(Sales)) <=5” on a product list box. This would select the top 5 products based on sales. The same type of search can be done on a search box. In that case, QlikView not only will display the top five products but also all of the associated data (e.g., sales people, regions, price, etc. . . anything related to these five top products). Pretty powerful!
These aha moments are some of the “unlisted” benefits of QlikView. Although people have different experiences in their lives that would result in “aha” moments, only QlikView users will experience all of these aha moments while doing Business Discovery or creating Business Discovery apps!