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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Qlik-Trivia

Hello everyone and welcome to QlikFreak. Since this is our last entry of the year and many of you are enjoying your holidays away from the office, I thought it would be cool to try something a little different. Today, instead of having a tutorial or a fun Qlik app, I created a Qlik trivia with interesting scripting scenarios that will make you think twice before writing down your answers!

I know you don’t want me to spoil all the surprises, so we’ll check the answers at the end of the post. So anyways, without further ado, let the games begin! OK, no, wait, before you go, there’s one more thing… I think you’ll get the same results regardless of the version you’re using, but just in case, I’m working with QlikView 12 SR4 and Qlik Sense 3.1 SR4 😛

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Question 1:

If you’re an experienced Qlik Developer, chances are that you’ve used DISTINCT in more than one of your scripts, right? Well then, tell me how many records will this table have:

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a) 4 records          b) 3 records          c) 0 records          d) OMG, he’s using Qlik Sense

Tip: The last two records are exactly the same. Continue reading

Just Qlik it: Electoral Gauge Chart

Hey everyone! Ready for another installment of our beloved section Just Qlik It? What? You forgot about that section? Well, for nearly two years so did I, but don’t worry, because it’s time to bring it back!

When I started this blog in 2014, I wrote a couple of posts under a category called Just Qlik It. These were supposed to be small recipes that everyone could just copy and paste in their apps. My idea was to contribute to your personal Qlik library (that messy file we all have where we store cool visualizations and useful chunks of code to reuse them later on). However, for some reason I forgot about that concept and kept going with other kind of posts… up until now!

Today’s snippet is a chart that you’ve seen a thousand times in the last few days: the electoral gauge chart. Even though it is really simple, its rectangular shape makes it very flexible when it comes to fitting into difficult spaces (you can make it wider or taller without impacting its aesthetics or functionality).

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It is also one of those noble visualizations that go well with almost any other object, just like a white collared shirt in your wardrobe (or so says my girlfriend). By mixing it with some images and text objects, it can become a great way to display the most relevant metrics in your dashboards.

As usual, you can download all the related files here or here, and the comment section is ready for your enquiries. On to the recipe!

Electoral Gauge Chart

1.- Create a new gauge chart. Don’t include any dimension and use a dummy expression like this: Continue reading

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When QlikView meets the blockbusters

The associative model is definitely one of the best features in the Qlik platform. It is simple, elegant and intuitive but, at the same time, it is a very powerful tool that helps us unveil the stories behind our data.

When I attended my very first QlikView training, I remember Karl Pover used a generic demo called Movies Database to explain the navigation schema. Even though the app wasn’t exactly breathtaking, it was a great way to understand that every selection turns green, the associated elements remain white, and the unrelated items become gray.

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From that day on, every time I had to explain the associative model, I relied on the always-available, rarely-updated but still-pretty-good, Movies Database demo that is installed with any version of QlikView. Up until now…

A couple of weeks ago, I was working with Daniela Lucero, one of the youngest consultants in our team, when I realized that my examples about The Matrix, Fight Club and Titanic were not making much sense to her because… well, she was 3 years old when those movies came out… So, we decided to take advantage of the Qlik REST Connector and refresh this old classic.

Daniela: Hello everyone, I’m Daniela and I’ll be using the orange font throughout this post! We took this opportunity to experiment with some atypical features in QlikView. To start with, we chose a dark background (which is usually a big gamble). We also decided to hide the tab row and use a custom-built menu instead, explore different wireframes, and use eye-catching visualizations such as infographics, image-based tables and even some extensions.

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As usual, we’ll walk you through the most relevant features in the app (download here or here) while sharing technical recipes and useful tips regarding data visualization. We had a lot of fun creating this app, so we hope you like it! Continue reading

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When QlikView meets Pokémon

Some people build QlikView dashboards to review the financial outcomes of their companies. Others use it to monitor their everyday operations in plants and warehouses. There are individuals who even create applications to analyze fun stuff like the Olympic Games or TV Series. In my opinion, QlikView should be exclusively used to answer humanity’s greatest inquiries and analyze relevant topics that affect our lives and our future; important things such as Pokémon 😛

When I was a kid, I used to play Pokémon games all the time. Blue, Yellow, Silver, Sapphire, Stadium, Snap, Pinball, Trading Card Game, you name it. And well, since everyone’s going a little crazy about Pokémon Go these days, I decided to create a QlikView document based on the original 151 Pokémon in the first generation (speaking about mixing good stuff).

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Today’s post isn’t exactly a tutorial. I’ll just share the QVW I created and highlight some interesting features I think you can use to improve your own applications. Even if you’re not exactly the biggest Pokémon fan, be sure to check it out. I’m sure you’ll find something that strikes your attention!  Continue reading