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More things I hate about QlikView

Let me start this post with a question: What is wrong with you people? I was building a little app for analyzing which are your favorite topics in this blog when I came across a sad realization. Even though QlikFreak is full of useful tips about visualization and data modeling, it looks like the most popular post is… well… the one where I complain about everything 😛

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In a way, writing this kind of posts is like talking about my problems with someone who really understands, and since I cannot afford a decent therapist, why don’t we put the constructive spirit aside and discuss the details we hate about the platform we love? Here we go: More things I hate about QlikView!

The extra space in listboxes when you use the AJAX client: I don’t know about you, but I’ve always had mixed feelings about the AJAX client. On one hand, it has great features such as notes, session collaboration and the fact that you don’t have to install anything special in order to use QlikView in desktops, laptops or even mobile devices. On the other hand, it slightly changes the size and alignment of the objects, modifies the amount of visible rows in straight / pivot tables and sometimes adds scrollbars to the charts. And well… I really hate unaligned objects in my apps!!! However, the thing that annoys me the most is, without a doubt, that blank space that appears at the end of certain listboxes:22_02

For God’s sake! Why. Are. You. There?!?! Aaaaarrrrghhhhh!!!

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Bulk Actions: At some point in our lives, we’ve all wished that QlikView had some sort of bulk actions (you know, a magical “Apply to all” button). For example, let’s say you just finished creating a 10-column straight table and you want to center all the labels.  You go to the Presentation tab and try to select all the expressions but you can’t, so you end up either clicking each column and centering its title or changing the object type to a Pivot Table and doing it all at once (I’m not really sure why this only works for Pivot Tables). Continue reading

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QlikView Consultant Starter Pack

Unfortunately, a couple of days ago, one of my colleagues invited me to one of those “Why am I even here?” meetings with a new customer. I’m sure you are all familiar with them: long reunions with no objective whatsoever where all the participants strive to look busy and productive, but in reality, they’re not accomplishing anything at all.

In the middle of this rampage (and questioning my very existence out of the boredom), I remembered some “Started Pack” memes I saw earlier that day:

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But then, I started thinking, I’ve never seen a QlikView Consultant Starter Pack. Of course there are several training kits and video collections for beginners, but let’s say you meet someone who has just finished his basic QlikView training. How would you help him equip himself with all the tools and resources that he’ll need for his journey as a new consultant? Well, after some thought I came up with this list (and yes, I managed to do something relevant during that meeting too):

Decent computer

OK, don’t give me that look… Yes, I can see you rolling your eyes already! Wait a minute, this is just a little reminder for the newbies.

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Don’t forget that QlikView models are loaded into RAM. So, if you’re going to work with several millions of records, you’d better get a good laptop (and yes, you’re going to need Windows). Though you can now develop in any browser or mobile device using Sense, let’s be honest: it is much more comfortable to work in your own machine, with all your apps, images and other resources available.

Continue reading

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Why do QlikView initiatives under-deliver?

Warning: Long and philosophical post ahead. Read at your own risk.

Last week I finished a research about QlikView implementations and I’d like to share some of the results with you. The complete document is about 70 pages long (one of the final assignments for my master’s degree), but I’ll try to reduce the theoretical jibber-jabber and only highlight the interesting stuff.

The study was based around a simple question: Why do QlikView initiatives under-deliver? The idea was to widen the scope of the analysis, not only reviewing projects individually, but evaluating the QlikView environment as a whole, because –let’s face it– you may deliver QlikView applications on time and within the budget, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to real and tangible business value.

I wanted a complete outlook, so the sample was divided in 3 groups:

  • Consultants: QlikView experts that stay with other companies for a couple of weeks in order to configure the platform and create applications. I had the chance to interview colleagues from different companies including Master Resellers, Solution Providers and Qlik itself.
  • Implementation team: People that were directly involved during the process. This includes developers, designers, DBAs, project managers, power users and functional personnel who helped with the definition of business rules and data validation.
  • Other stakeholders: These guys are not directly related to the implementation, but certainly have an interest in QlikView. This group is mainly composed of business users, C-level representatives (CEO, CIO, CFO, etc.) and procurement departments.

In the study, the interviewees had to distribute 10 points amongst their answers, giving us a prioritized list of the most common elements that hinder QlikView’s success according to each group. After analyzing the answers, I’ve come up with the main challenges encountered in a QlikView implementation in Mexico: Continue reading

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Top 10: Things I hate about QlikView

There is no perfect relationship. Your girlfriend is a little bit possessive, your roommate could use a shower once in a while and your boss always freaks out when you’re late. Come on, even QlikView has some flaws that you’d be happy to change.

Here’s my list of the most annoying things I’ve found as a QlikView consultant. If you’ve been creating apps for a while I’m sure that you’ll relate to some of them…

 

Splash screen

First things first: we will start our list with the splash screen. For those of you who are not familiarized with this term, the splash screen is that green window that pops up every time you open QlikView and disappears almost immediately. (I know… “immediately” is a vague term.)

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If you’re developing small applications in your PC this will hardly be an issue. However, if your computer lacks capacity, you work with multiple QVWs at the same time or have an important presentation with key customers, it tends to… linger a little more than usual.

Typically you can click on it and start working right away, but when this little friend it’s not in the mood, it stays there blocking your visibility even if you change the active window. Sometimes it stays green, other times it turns black, Continue reading

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From QlikView to… Qlik?

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I don’t know about you, but I’m finding a little bit difficult to embrace certain aspects of the new brand image that QlikView has adopted.

A fresh color palette has complemented the classic green gradients with warmer colors while a couple of orange circles have filled in for the emblematic QlikView swirls. I think that all these changes have reinvigorated the spirit of the platform, especially because they are aligned to its core values: effectiveness, real business value and simplicity.

To be honest, my only real problem is the transformation of the product name itself. If you recall 1994 (or read this post), in the beginning we used to call our favorite BI tool “Quik View” (maybe not very creative, but representative nevertheless).

After that, the name evolved to QlikView, a designation that is specifically difficult for Continue reading