I recently started using Qlik Sense for dashboard creation and thought I would share my thoughts on it. It’s been a while since I used something like this as part of my day to day work. Having been more on the ad-hoc analytics side of the business before, I’m more used to creating visualization using whatever seems most appropriate. Personally, I prefer to make my own tools or visualization whatever feels most appropriate. However, now that there is a big focus on reporting too, the company has been using Qlik Sense because it can be deployed easily, is simple to use and is fast.
Qlik Sense is free to download from this link. It isn’t available on a mac, only on Windows, which is a little bit of a shame.
Qlik Sense is a great tool for exploring data sets, creating a few visualization and perhaps even making a quick mock up of a dashboard idea (which you may keep in QS or consider later migrating to Qlik View or something else that’s a little less rigid on design rules). Qlik Sense would be a great tool for business users as it allows for light analytical capabilities and is easy to use, I have no doubt that almost anyone could pick up how to use it.
I won’t discuss the data load side, however I will only say that in the newest version of Qlik Sense, they have introduced the smart data load, which is more of a visual tool for data loading.
The general feel of Qlik Sense is very intuitive, smart and simple. Below is an image of the design area and the charts that you can use are available in the left hand navigation bar. You can then choose your measure(s) and dimension(s).
Compared to something like Tableau, my personal opinion in that Qlik Sense is a lot more modern and visually appealing. Things like colors etc are customizable and you can also color by expression. Further you can do set analysis, same as in Qlik View, which can be useful.
However, in terms of design, you are limited in QlikSense as it is fairly rigid in terms of where you can place elements and sizing is sometimes frustrating. The grid on the UI forms the limits of where an element can begin and end, which sometimes means buttons are too big or too small. A table that just could fit in the minds eye… well it just doesn’t.
But, let’s not let the down sides detract from the fact that this is a great tool. One that I use and will continue to use because I see it has a place in the company who wants business insights to be made available to those outside of the general domain of data science/analytics.
Other fun features in QlikSense are maps, which I will discuss in more detail in a couple of weeks. I’ll keep posting on Qlik Sense so stay tuned.