Qlik to Discover Roadshow
Session attended: Baltimore, MD
Location: Marriott Waterfront Hotel
Audience: New and experienced Qlikview users, as well as folks with no exposure to Qlikview
Registration and Attendance Cost: Free
In order to help satisfy my intellectual curiosity for business intelligence, I attended the Baltimore session of Qlik to Discover Roadshow. My reporting/visualization background includes working experience with Crystal, SSRS, Business Objects and Spotfire, so I had to check out Qlikview!
Background: Qlikview = click and view results. Invented in 1997 in Sweden, by a team who needed a tool to keep up with their quickly changing data. Eventually the product spread to other Eurpoean countries and their current headquarters are in Pennsylvania.
Qlikview focusses on Business Discovery – and end-user approach to BI. I liked what I heard about the flexibility of bringing in data to be flexible. They don't want to restrict data to pre-defined questions. They want the analyst or customer to be able to explore data on the fly, rather than through a pre-defined path of questions. Having the end-user explore the data will ultimately lead to discovery insights not traditionally available in operational reports.
One of the ideas that resonated with me with business discovery is the Green, White, Gray concept.
Many tools have markings/selection capability. Often user highlights, or selections certain data points, and drill down for details of the selected data points. With Qlikview, Green highlights what the user has selected. White is the associated data from the original selection, and Gray is non-associative. The gray enables you to ask a question you didn't intend to ask. Green and white markings can show the top selling products. However the gray provides visibility into what isn't selling and you can drill through to see WHY that product isn't selling.
This takes us into another Qlikview aspect - natural analytics. Natural Analytics is the humanization of business analytics. In other words, how humans interact with technology. Qlikview analysis claims to enable users to easily see connections and disconnects in data, answer questions on fly, and make discoveries through streams of questions
In summary, it was a great event, great venue, and a great day. I appreciate Qlkview's generosity in promoting their product through a free event. I also appreciate how Qlikview is available through an unrestricted free product download. I'm looking forward to learning more about Qlikview.