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When Qlik Sense meets FIFA World Cup Russia 2018

Hello everyone and welcome to QlikFreak! In the last few weeks, we’ve seen a lot of interesting things happening in the Qlik ecosystem. Personally, I’ve been playing a lot with the latest Qlik Sense release (yeah, the one with “the beast”) and I must admit it’s really cool. I specially liked the fact that you can change the grid size whenever you like and the new “Publish” option in the hub (sometimes, those small details make your life much better!). There are a couple of new courses available in the QCC, the data literacy initiatives are getting better and Qlik acquired Podium Data, which certainly will bring a new perspective to the company.

In addition to these events, I’m sure you’ve been extremely busy with other critical issues like scheduling fake meetings so you can watch the world cup in the meeting room with the huge screen. (Yes, I know you had a PowerPoint presentation in your screen, but you were watching all the games in your tablet, Maurice. You should be ashamed!)

Honestly, this was one of the best world cups I’ve seen (especially if you compare it to the last one!). We had great games, some unexpected results, a couple of heartwarming moments and of course, dozens of high quality memes. Actually, now that the dust has settled a little bit and everyone is getting back to their standard routine, why don’t you take some time to relax and analyze what happened during the tournament with a Qlik app? Get ready, because today Qlik Sense will meet the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018!

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Mastering Qlik Sense

In ancient times, there were not a lot of options to learn QlikView. The easiest one was to enroll in one of QlikTech’s official courses. However, they were not as frequent (nor as cheap) as you’d like. Most of the Qlik-dinosaurs… I mean, the most experienced consultants I know, learned this way. The less fortunate (i.e. trainees like me), were forced to follow the exciting and not-at-all depressing path of reading the documentation files. Yeah, those massive PDFs that got installed alongside QlikView with 2,750 pages full of fun! Sounds useful, doesn’t it?

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Luckily, those days are far over. Today, you can choose from a wide variety of learning options. The official Qlik courses are still there, but now they are taught much more often and in different languages and cities all around the globe. Some partners (like us), have even developed our own content to give customers a better experience with more examples and real-world problems.

Do you hate large groups of people? No problem, you can enroll to Shilpan’s course in Udemy or spend some time navigating in the Qlik Continuous Classroom from your office or home. Are you already an expert? Well, extend your skills with advanced courses like the Masters Summit, Qlik Sense Deep Dive or Websy / Vizlib’s workshops. Even the official (and super boring) documentation has evolved into a friendly portal that you can access anytime! Continue reading

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Widgets 101

Qlik Sense is all about empowerment and extensibility. Whether you are a business user designing a new dashboard just by dragging and dropping objects in your browser or an experienced developer coding extensions, mashups and custom connectors, this platform always gives you the chance to challenge yourself and create something completely new.

In today’s post we’ll explore widgets, one of the easiest ways to build your own visualizations in Qlik Sense. In my opinion, this is a great first step if you’re a newbie or you’re transitioning from QlikView because, unlike JavaScript extensions, widgets are more accessible to people without programming experience and allow you to create useful things early in the learning process.

As usual, this post will include random tips and some finished goodies so you can dissect and modify them as needed! 😉 (Spoiler alert: Today we’ll be working with KPIs!)

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About Widgets

Simply put, widgets are visualization objects that you can build using HTML and CSS. Once deployed, they can be created and configured just as any other chart in Qlik Sense.

While extensions are relatively simple to develop, they pose a big challenge for non-technical people like me because they involve some knowledge about JavaScript and other dark arts such as RequireJS and D3. These skills are not super-difficult to acquire, but they demand a fair amount of time and effort before you can create something decent.

If you want to know more about extensions, follow Karl Pover’s journey to become a Qlik Sense Developer and this amazing video colletion from Speros Kokenes. 

In contrast, widgets rely on earthly technologies, namely HTML and CSS. Luckily for us, these two are much simpler to learn and have a lot of cool things to offer to our dashboards. Don’t worry, even if you have never heard of them, you’ll be able to create not-so-awful-and-almost-cool visualizations right after the first tutorial. Continue reading

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Geo… what?

One of the most significant changes Qlik has experienced so far is the substantial growth of their product family. What once was a one-man show, is now a robust portfolio that addresses several business needs. Do you want pixel-perfect reports? Here’s NPrinting. You don’t like in-house deployments? Meet Qlik Sense Cloud. Do you need more data? Welcome to Qlik DataMarket. All these new modules help us work more efficiently, enrich our analyses, and ultimately, make better decisions.

One of the most interesting newcomers in this list is Qlik GeoAnalytics (formerly known as Idevio). Even though it isn’t exactly new, I think there are still some misconceptions around this product. Yes, it is a tool that allows you to create cool maps in Qlik, but there’s much more to it. In this post, I’ll show you some of my favorite features and how they can help you analyze geographic data. This might not be a comprehensive list, but hopefully it will give you an idea of the real potential behind GeoAnalytics.

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When Qlik Sense meets Ecobici

Hello everyone and welcome to QlikFreak. I know it’s been a while since our last post, I’m sorry! We’ve been very busy with new projects, hiring extra consultants for our firm and signing some interesting partnerships. In fact, I’m glad to announce that Evolcon is now an official Qlik Implementation Partner, so if you need any help in developing stunning apps or fine-tuning your current platforms, be sure to visit our website and leave us a message. We’ll be happy to assist you on-site or remotely 😉

Now, for today’s post I want to share an interesting Qlik Sense app I’ve been working on. Yeah, you heard that right, Qlik SENSE. I must admit that once you create a robust extension library and get used to the not-so-flexible grid system, developing in Sense can be quite fun too (especially after the June 2017 release with the R / Python integration, visual data preparation and cool new charts). So let’s get started, because today we’ll go out for a ride!

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About Ecobici

Today’s post is about Ecobici, Mexico City’s public bike sharing system. Before diving into the data, let me tell you how it works. Any citizen can buy an annual subscription to this program for $416 MXN (around $24 USD) and get unlimited access to the bike network (there are also weekly plans for visitors). The idea is simple: you get to one of the 450 stations around the city, swipe your card and pick up a bike.

Ecobici Mexico City

Once you get to your destination (same or different station), you secure the bike to the bar and swipe your card once again. Easy, right? You can perform all the trips you want from 5 am until midnight (Mon-Sun) as long as they last less than 45 minutes. If you break that rule and keep the bike more time, you’ll have to pay an extra fee.

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As most of the public programs in the city, Ecobici shares some information about its operations directly in their website. There’s a REST service for the catalogs and a couple of CSV files for the trips, so I decided to create an application to analyze how cyclists behave in my hometown.  Continue reading

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Double Qlik?

Time to write another philosophical post that will upset some people and will bore some others to death. Hell yeah. But don’t worry, we’ll also have fun stuff, so bear with me. Here’s my story: In the last few months, I’ve been working a lot more with Qlik Sense and, even though I’ve learned to love it, I still have some doubts about its adoption and the future of the Qlik platform in general.

A few days ago, I saw a post by Qlik Luminary Aaron Couron where he asked the world a simple question: QlikView or Qlik Sense? What’s your preference? While I was reading the answers, I remembered many treads I’ve encountered in QlikCommunity and some good discussions we’ve had in our Qlik Dev Group events, but it specially reminded me of the comments I got after tweeting these images not so long ago:

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Some people favored one over the other, some argued that both should coexist and some others simply went nuts. But regardless of which side you choose, it’s amazing to see the number and variety of opinions in this regard. In a way, I find it interesting how we’re still asking ourselves if this town is big enough for two Qliks. After all, Qlik Sense was released almost three years ago, which in technology standards is a lot of time!

Don’t forget to check Aaron’s full post here. Lots of cool stuff!

Like many of you, I’ve grown quite fond of Qlik Sense as well. It has many advantages like a flexible security schema, more competitive prices and amazing governability in terms of its users, data, apps, metrics and pretty much everything else. However, I don’t think I’m ready to get rid of QlikView just yet.

In the meantime, I also started questioning myself about how the users, developers and even our business model have changed recently. Even though I agree with Stephen Few regarding the soundness of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant (witness the mega-burn here), that’s definitely a message we should not ignore.  Continue reading

QlikAdvice: Give context to your data

Hello everyone and welcome to QlikFreak. This will be our first post in a new category called QlikAdvice, where we’ll talk about dashboard design in a broader sense. Instead of focusing on technical stuff (we already cover that in our Just Qlik It posts), this section will contain functional tips that will help you present information in an efficient and elegant manner. These principles will be applied to Qlik apps (QlikView and Qlik Sense), but you’ll find out that most of them are useful in other domains as well, from web design to NPrinting Reports, or even PowerPoint presentations (or should I say Qlik Sense Stories?). Today’s topic is an old classic you should never forget: context.

QlikAdvice: Give context to the data to improve the decision-making process

When it comes to analyzing data, context is everything. If you present isolated figures, users will have a hard time trying to find out the real story behind them. As a Qlik developer, it’s easy to fall in the trap and start shooting random KPIs right away. For example, I could start my sales dashboard with something like this:

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OK, we sold 3.56 M in 2016, that’s cool. However, what does this tell me? Was it a good or a bad year for our sales reps? Well, it all comes down to a simple question: “compared to what?”. In order to evaluate their performance, it would be better to have some kind of reference. For instance, the budget:

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