Recently I decided to perform a technology bake-off by taking one data set and building a dashboard utilizing QlikView and Qlik Sense. For this exercise I chose MLB Free Agency data that uses a SPSS regression model to help determine a players value based on years of historical baseball data and statistics. Below are some of my findings.
QlikView is what I would call a guided analytics tool. The end user has the freedom to explore, drill down and navigate information to discover questions and answers based on what the developer of the app has provided/built for them. Meaning this is a very controlled or guided analytic experience, which doesn’t allow the end user much freedom to create their own visualizations. The developer, however, has a very granular level control of the dashboards, layout and design, which is beneficial in the development process because your hands aren’t tied due to design limitations.
In the QlikView app adding a little flair to the dashboard was pretty easy, you can add a background image and logo by going to Document or Sheet properties. You also have quite a bit of control over adding color within QV allowing a user to brand the app with specific colors using RGB color codes. Going along with the baseball theme, I added two black horizontal lines with red diagonal lines represent the stitches on a baseball.
In QV you can also have the ability to write more advanced expressions. For example, MLB spent a total of 43 billion dollars on salaries in 2017. If I filter to look only at one particular team, take the Miami Marlins for example. They only spend 792.8 million. We had the capability to write an expression that stated if value was in billions, show B and if value was in millions show M. Just to make it as clear as possible to the end user. (I couldn’t figure out how to replicate this expression in Sense. It very well could be possible, but I was unsuccessful at my first go at it)
Qlik Sense is more of a self-service visualization tool. It’s more of an explorative tool as it gives the end user the freedom to create their own discoveries. Sense has a simple drag-and-drop interface which allows for the creation of flexible and interactive visualizations that are displayed in a clear, orderly fashion. Of course, all end-users are different and it depends on their organization, but most users are looking for a tool that allows them to quickly and easily create a visualization that tells a story without having to get caught up in all of the design elements that a traditional dashboard developer would think about.
Qlik Sense is very clean and the visualizations crisp. Your selections are clearly visible in the gray bar at the top of the page, so the user is never confused on what’s been applied to the visualization. As far as functionality there is quite a bit of consistency between QlikView and Qlik Sense.
For example there in QV instead of having the selections bar, there are selection boxes, that indicate the user what filters have been applied. Two different ways to show the same thing. There seem to be more advanced options available in QV, but that makes sense to me considering the slight differences in the two platforms and who they are designed for.
Although these screen shots are from my laptop, Qlik Sense is much better for mobile and touch screens. So being able to share data discoveries with co-workers on the go is a huge benefit of Sense over QV.
Overall both tools are easy to use and very powerful, offering a wide variety of capabilities that enable users, departments or entire organizations to see the story that lives within their data. In fact, Qlik has been a leader on the Gartner Magic quadrant for BI and Analytics for seven years running. Both QlikView and Sense make it easy to visualize and explore data, allowing users to generate key insights that will lead to improved business decisions.
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