Welcome to the world of data visualisation

Data Visualization is one of the fastest evolving areas in Analytics and Data Science. With data increasing by the second, we need people who can not only visualise huge amount of data but also communicate data based stories to their customers. This is the reason, we mentioned data visualisation as a key skill to learn in 2015.

QlikView is one of the fastest evolving Business Intelligence (BI) and data visualisation tool. It is very fast to deploy, easy to learn and very intuitive to use for a customer. So, if you want to improve data visualisation practices, then Qlikview is the perfect tool to start with.

Here our aim is to provide a learning path to all those people who are new to QlikView. This path will help you to learn QlikView in a structured approach. If you already have some background, or don’t need all the components, feel free to adapt your own paths and let us know how have you made the changes in the path.


Step-0: Why data visualisation is Important?

Before starting our journey with Qlikview, I want to emphasise “Why data visualisation is important and how it helps business to take smarter decisions?” Here is a video to whet your appetite:

Talk on Data Visualization

We have various tools to perform data visualisation, then why Qlikview? Look at the video below to get an answer:

Qlikview: The decision is simple.

Step-1: Download QlikView & Install

You can download QlikView Personal Edition from Qlik website. You will need to register yourself and then mention your windows operating system to Download. Next, install it in on your machine (it is wizard based installation) and gear up for your data visualisation journey.

Please note that we will be working with a Personal edition of QlikView (provided free by Qlik). It comes with a limitation that you can not open files and documents from other people.

Step-2: Getting Started with Qlikview

Qlik provides free online training for beginners. This is the best point to start your journey. Here we have two videos explaining the following topics:

  1. How does QlikView work?
  2. Navigation in Qlikview

After going through these videos, you are ready to start exploring Qlikview as an end user. I recommend this training to all the business users as well.

Step-3: Build your first QlikView document

Now you start your journey as a Qlikview developer. There is another free online training, which helps you create a Qlikview application and to understand various objects for interface design. It also gives you a flavour of importing data from different sources and distributing your document to users.

This training also provides data for practice and some exercises during the course. The training “Build Your First Qlikview” is divided into four modules:-

After going through this module, you should be able to build basic documents by loading data and designing interface using objects. Please go through these exercises to review your knowledge before proceeding further.

Step-3.1: Take a short break and Join Community and Groups

Now that you know basics of QlikView, it is a good time to become a part of QlikView communities. Communities help you a lot while learning, you can get answers to your questions, simplified description for complex topics by bloggers. I am listing some of the most useful resources below:

  1. Qlik Community: It is Qlikview global online community. It has discussion forums, blogs and resources library. You can use the same ID that you used for the online training courses to access. My belief with this community is most of your questions is already answered here.
  2. Analytics Vidhya Discuss: Our discussion portal already has few questions related to QlikView and a lot of other topics. You should jump in if you have not already.
  3. Blogs: Qlikview blogs are a good source of knowledge, as most of them have detailed content covering basic and advanced concept. Below are lists of blogs having a good presence.
    1. Analytics Vidhya
    2. Quick Intelligence
    3. QlikFix
  4. Qlikview Linkedin/ Facebook Groups: LinkedIn and Facebook has some excellent groups to ask questions and connect with other Qlikview professionals, some groups of special interest are:
    1. Qlikview: The biggest Qlikview group on LinkedIn, with over ~23k members.
    2. Qlikview: A community on Facebook having a healthy discussion.

Step-4: Identify your learning mode

Now is the time for advanced QlikView learning. There are various modes in which you can accomplish the next steps depending on the time, resources and motivation you might have.

QlikView learning types

Let’s look at each of these in detail:-

Mode 1 :-  Training Institute

This mode requires less time with higher cost compared to other two modes. Qlikview training can be delivered by Qlik authorised institute only and these institutes follow their guideline for training delivery. Qlik offers various training programs, out of which we have selected the following two programs as a recommendation for anyone who wants to build their career as a Qlikview developer.

QlikView Designer: It is a mixture of demonstrations and hands-on exercises which include user interface layout, design fundamentals. This course primarily focuses on front-end design, how to visualise information using objects.

Duration          :      2 days
Cost                 : ~26k INR

Qlikview Developer: This course focuses on back-end design of a QlikView document like loading of data, data connections, scripting fundamentals, common modelling issues, how to optimise your QV data model etc.

Duration          :       3 days
Cost                 : ~39k INR

Mode 2 :-  Self-study


Even though you can attempt learning QlikView with resources over the internet, I would strongly recommend you to invest in this book:

QlikView for Developers: This book is good for beginners as well as QlikView consultants. Thanks to Barry and Miguel for such a wonderful book. It helps to learn QlikView from the basics in a structured fashion. The book not only provides details about various features and functions but also provides complete background to what is happening:

Cost                 : ~ 315 INR/ ~5 USD (Kindle) and 900 INR/ 50 USD (Paper pack)
Available at    : Amazon.com

You should also download the QlikView reference manual:

Reference Manual: This book, reserves its place in the library of every Qlikview professional. It is useful to have a reference to any topic. It covers topics from installation to document design. If you have installed QlikView in your computer, you can get this reference manual from the path “C:\Program Files\Qlikview\Documentation” or can download from below mentioned path.

Cost            : Free
Available at: Here

Next, I have laid out the ideal flow of topics along with resources for each stage. You can use the book and the reference guide along with the resources mentioned in the learning path and attempt the exercises mentioned in each section.

Stage-1: Introduction

  1. Loading data from different sources in QlikView.
  2. Introduction to QVD and how does it work?
  3. What is Table Viewer?
  4. Resources and Exercise

Stage-2: Objects and Properties

  1. Sheet object and Tab with their properties
  2. List Box, Multi-Box, Current Selection Box, Search Box
  3. Chart Objects and their properties
  4. Use of Object Container
  5. Expression writing and read about basic functions
  6. Resources & Exercise

You have now looked at various objects to visualise data. One of the big questions, you will face while creating data visualisation is which object should you choose to represent data. Below snapshot will help you to choose:

Qlikview, Visualize

Source: http://www.extremepresentation.com/uploads/documents/choosing_a_good_chart.pdf

Stage-3: Advance Visualisation techniques

  1. Conditional Formatting In Qlikview
  2. Gauge Chart, Thermometer and Waterfall chart
  3. Enable dimension and expression
  4. Ad-hoc Reporting in Qlikview
  5. Cyclic and drill groups
  6. Resources & Exercise

Stage-4: Data Transformation

  1. Loading Cross Table
  2. Loading Inline Table
  3. Loading data from already stored data in QlikView (Resident Load)
  4. Joins, Concatenation of tables
  5. Use of Mapping Tables
  6. Synthetic Keys and ways to remove it
  7. Incremental Load in Qlikview
  8. Partial Load
  9. Resources

Stage-5: Advance Expression

  1. Set Analysis
  2. Aggregate function
  3. Build expression using variables (Dollar expansion)
  4. Resources

Stage-6: Security

  1. Hidden Script
  2. Section Access
  3. Resources

Step 5: Practice, practice and then some evangelising

By now, I have almost covered all the concepts you need to create a good dashboard / visualisation. Now it’s time to practice more and more by creating QlikView applications. Once you know the subject, you can now start evangelising QlikView and nominate yourself / ask a friend to nominate for becoming a QlikView Luminary.

All the best