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QlikView Rankings: Premier League

Hello everyone and welcome to our first post of the year. Today, we’re going to work with a simple data set from the Barclays Premier League and see how number formats, simple visual cues and other chart options can help us present better rankings:

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But before that, let me take a minute to share a couple of things I’m really looking forward in 2016. As Qlik fans and data enthusiasts, maybe you will relate to some of them:

  • Masters Summit @ Milan: The dream team will be offering new workshops with the Qlik platform in one of the most iconic cities of the world… Am I the only one excited?
  • Three long-awaited book titles in my list are finally coming out this year:
    • Data Visualisation: A Handbook for Data Driven Design, by Andy Kirk
    • The Truthful Art: Data, Charts, and Maps for Communication, by Alberto Cairo
    • Mastering QlikView Data Visualization, by Karl Pover
  • Deploying more projects with QlikView and R: I’ve been working in small apps that mix QV with machine learning, predictive models and text mining in R and the results have been amazing (more posts about this topic in the following weeks). However, I’m pretty excited about implementing them in large scale.
  • Seeing how Qlik Sense evolves: I have to admit that my inner System Administrator fell in love with Sense from the very first minute. However, as a developer, data analyst and especially as a designer, I think that it still has room to grow. Nevertheless, I’m eager to see how this platform matures. I think 2016 will be a crucial year for Sense.
  • Becoming a Qlik Luminary: Ok, we can take this one out of the list already. It looks like my blog, my Twitter account (which you should totally follow) and writing a book about QlikView while selling and deploying projects for all the Master Resellers in the country for the last 6 years are not reason enough to get that title. Man, I’ve trained over 250 students in the art of developing QV apps! But maybe next year…

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C’mon, maybe even Leo might get an Oscar this year! But anyways, on to the post. Today’s data set is pretty simple, we have the best 6 teams of the Premier League and how many points they scored in the last two seasons. The idea is to display the rankings of both tournaments and highlight the movements between them. [Download all the materials here].

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Even though the number of points is a valuable metric by itself, the way this competition works makes the rankings (the way one team compares to the rest in the current season) more relevant. For instance, let’s focus on Arsenal for a minute. As you can see, even though they scored less points in the most recent tournament (75 against 79 from last year), they improved their position by going from the fourth to the third place.

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Calendar View

Last week a customer asked me for a simple –but quite friendly– visualization for the daily sales. These guys are in the fast food business, and their operational supervisors (one on each restaurant across the country) needed a general overview of the daily behavior of the sales, orders and average ticket. My first draft was a straight table with the main KPIs compared to the last year accompanied by this chart:13.14

The blue line represents the current year while the gray one embodies the last one. As you can see, their sales are extremely predictable: slow weekdays and busy weekends. Sadly, they didn’t feel comfortable with it. They could compare a Thursday with its contiguous days (Wednesday and Friday), but it was hard to compare it with other Thursdays.

The answer was clear; they needed a Cross Table that involved the weekday. However, when I created the object, I realized it was hard to read. In the end, I came up with this:

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Quite simple, but it covered the operational needs. Here’s how to do it. As always, you can download the QVW file here.

Tutorial

1.- First of all, let’s create some fields in the script:

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It’s all about simplicity

People often say that in architecture, music and fashion “less is more”. However, when it comes to Business Intelligence and dashboard design, there are usually much more opinions.

I’d say that simplicity has become a trend in design in the last years and we can see it everywhere: your smartphone’s interface, the building you’re working at, your email or the menu in the wall of your favorite restaurant. Take, for instance, the evolution of Microsoft’s logo over the last few years:

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Non technological brands like Pepsi:

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…and yes, even QlikView:

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It is clear that elements such as gauges, animated charts and infographics are not only interesting ways to capture our users’ attention, but also powerful tools that provide insights. However, depending on the data we’re analyzing and the type of users we’re working with, other approaches may prove more effective.

When working on a dashboard, designers should strive for great analytical capabilities and usability while keeping things as simple as they can be. This doesn’t mean that all your tabs should look like a minimalistic painting, but as a BI professional, it is vital to understand when and how complexity is going to benefit our business users. Just follow the QlikView way: simple and powerful. Continue reading