What to know about QlikView

The need for Business Intelligence is growing by the day thus solution providers compete in bringing the best suited solution for each client. Qlikview is a BI solution that competes, among others, with Microsoft BI, Oracle BI, IBM Cognos and BO from SAP.Everytime one wants to use a solution to help him in his work, a analysis should be conducted before, to see which one is most suited for his needs. Taking this into consideration I think it is important to know some of the things that would convince someone to use Qlikview as his BI tool. The resons mentioned from this point onward are the result of our own analysis after researching, installing and using Qlikview in non-commercial projects.

From our experience with it, Qlikview is a tool that you can get accustomed to very easily if you have basic database and business inteligence knowledge. It allows you to work with a large variety of database types and also with .csv, .xls and formatted .txt files.

There is no need for data to already be in a data warehouse, Qlikview can work with normalized databases, being able to create his own snow-flake structures. Among other features worth mentioning are the mobile component, the ease of db users management and the fact that all processing is done in the RAM memory, which leads to higher speed of working.

Qlikview Main Features

  • a very important aspect is that the tool does not load the data from the database, but data is first saved in .QVW or .QVD files and loaded from here
  • Qlikview does not allow the user to setup relationships between tables, the tool does this itself, so attention is needed to naming conventions in scripts
  • the scripts use a lot of Qlikview specific functions, but there's also the possiblity to use SQL scripts by placing the word SQL in front of the command
  • a good customization of the objects' user interface (pies,charts...)
  • drilling down data directly on graphics is possible
  • animation can be built for evolution of dimensions graphics
  • Qlikview allows web publishing with browser access and acces from iOS and Android clients
  • Qlikview can be integrated with mapping API's (e.g. Google Maps)
  • a so-called social BI feature which allows you to save bookmarks with filters, send them to other users and collaboratively comment on them

Final advice

A very important aspect when deciding to work with Qlikview is a good understanding of the final project, otherwise you will ecounter difficulties in managing data the way you want it.

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