Book Image

Mastering Qlik Sense

By : Juan Ignacio Vitantonio
Book Image

Mastering Qlik Sense

By: Juan Ignacio Vitantonio

Overview of this book

Qlik Sense is a powerful, self-servicing Business Intelligence tool for data discovery, analytics and visualization. It allows you to create personalized Business Intelligence solutions from raw data and get actionable insights from it. This book is your one-stop guide to mastering Qlik Sense, catering to all your organizational BI needs. You'll see how you can seamlessly navigate through tons of data from multiple sources and take advantage of the various APIs available in Qlik and its components for guided analytics. You'll also learn how to embed visualizations into your existing BI solutions and extend the capabilities of Qlik Sense to create new visualizations and dashboards that work across all platforms. We also cover other advanced concepts such as porting your Qlik View applications to Qlik Sense,and working with Qlik Cloud. Finally, you'll implement enterprise-wide security and access control for resources and data sources through practical examples. With the knowledge gained from this book, you'll have become the go-to expert in your organization when it comes to designing BI solutions using Qlik Sense.
Table of Contents (16 chapters)

A review of Qlik Sense

With the release of Qlik Sense, QlikTech decided to address a new trend in BI – the emergence of self-service BI and the need for business users to become more self-reliant. Business users wish to be in more control and get faster access to BI and their business data.

Based on their Qlik associative analytics engine, which successfully promoted the ability for data discovery in QlikView, Qlik decided to reinvent itself by building a next-generation BI tool which addressed five themes to capture the new trend:

  • Gorgeous and genius: Within the theme, Qlik focused on making QS as slick and visually beautiful as possible, enabling the user to leverage the full power of the associative engine model and allowing for a seamless experience across all devices.
  • Mobility with agility: Moving away from a local installed client, Qlik Sense is 100 percent web-based and therefore can be accessed by any device that supports web browsers. The same applies to the enterprise platform, which with the release of Qlik Sense Cloud will ensure the whole environment will be hosted outside of your users' premises, making it accessible at all times from anywhere in the world.
  • Compulsive collaboration: With the focus on collaboration, new ways of consuming data can be explored if users have real-time capabilities to either modify or enrich existing reports or easily share insights with each other by sharing bookmarks or stories of their data.
  • The premier platform: Short development and deployment time to market – the platform focuses on simplifying and speeding up the SS BI supply chain from data access to development, with access through broadened API under one unified platform interface.
  • Enabling new enterprise: By unifying the whole platform, Qlik is offering its capabilities, including security, reliability, and scalability, not only for large enterprises but also for smaller companies. With their Qlik cloud offering, they aim to even increase the flexibility to address a new market: small companies or teams which do not have the resources or the time to invest in an infrastructure before deploying Qlik Sense.

Addressing the five themes earlier was not possible by releasing a new version of QlikView. Qlik had to disrupt itself and create a wholly new product almost from scratch, retaining their market-leading in-memory calculation engine and their expertise and vision around data discovery and business intelligence.

Qlik Sense is fundamentally different from QlikView in its approach to BI and the development process, as well as the user experience. What stays the same is the security model called section access, Qlik’s associative engine (the driver of data discovery) and most of the front end expressions to aggregate your data, including set analysis. However, the whole approach to developing apps and dashboards is different as all of a sudden the user becomes an integral part of the process. Qlik Sense’s easy-to-use approach gives them capabilities to significantly contribute to their own content even to the extent that all of the development can be done by them. This will be elaborated in Chapter 2, Transitioning from QlikView to Qlik Sense; however, it is important to understand Qlik Sense is not an evolution of QlikView, but a whole new concept on how to offer BI and data insights to the business.

The most common fallacy among Qlik customers is to believe an existing QlikView environment can simply be migrated to Qlik Sense, leveraging its new technology and implementing new cutting-edge visualizations. This is not the case, as guided analytics dashboards, a dominant development concept in QlikView, are not directly supported in Qlik Sense in the same way. For those who are not familiar with QlikView, its guided analytics aspect takes the user on a pre-canned journey through the dashboard with sometimes restricted views and constrained ways to interact and explore the data, hence guided.

While it is not impossible to implement something similar to the API using the approach of mashups and advanced extensions, this would require IT and the user to enter the world of web development, which is the absolute opposite of a business-friendly self-service environment. In there, possibilities are unlimited; however, new skills are required and the very value-add of sped-up dashboard development that QlikView provides gets lost in Qlik Sense when it comes to guided analytics dashboards. On the other hand, building simple visualizations is much easier in Qlik Sense, supported by the sheet canvas, the drag and drop functionality, and the suggestive dimensions and measure which is all hosted on the web, requiring no installation on the client side other than access to the platform. Also, the data loading process has been significantly simplified by offering a huge variety of connectors and user-friendly data processing interfaces.

Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of Qlik Sense, and how to best approach them and leverage the technology within the organization, is the goal of this book. For this understanding, the concept of the self-service BI model is key in order to also understand the Qlik Sense platform.

The next section will focus on explaining the self-service BI model in Qlik Sense, its advantages, and disadvantages, as well as classic user types and working models, finishing with some considerations and recommendations on how to best deploy self-service within your organization.