My 5 Favorite Things From QlikWorld 2020

At our annual Qlik event, we have a tradition – and I, the privilege – of selecting and highlighting five things over the past year that truly advance the field of data and analytics innovation. They can be entirely fresh and new capabilities, breakthroughs that revolutionize a process or anything else that pushes us forward in being transformation makers for businesses and users of our platforms. And there are just so many to choose from!

Still, I am only allowed to pick five. So, without further ado, in case you missed my Five Favorite Things as I announced them, here they are:

1. Everything In One Place

Our cloud hub has become the central point for our customers to access all their analytics needs. All your apps are easily accessible from one place. And I mean all your apps – Qlik Sense and QlikView from the cloud and on-premise. Qlik Sense apps can be created, edited and refreshed right from the hub and apps can be sync’d from an on-premise environment. QlikView apps can be sync’d from a QlikView environment and run in Qlik Sense Enterprise SaaS. If you need to create new apps, you can also find your data right in the hub as well. With our June release, we have taken it even further with the addition of chart monitoring in the hub. You no longer need to go to the various apps to see your most important chart. They appear in the hub and update whenever your data updates. Regardless of what you’re doing, it all starts with the hub – try it in Qlik Sense for yourself!

2. More Visualization Improvements Than You Can Count

Honestly, I’ve lost track of how many new visualizations and improvements we’ve made this past year (somewhere in the neighborhood of 50). But, for those of you wanting a snapshot, dive into our Visualization Showcase app, built to highlight some of the best new visualizations and improvements we have made. For new visualizations (and I can’t list them all), we have the Sankey Chart, the Mekko Chart, the Variance Waterfall Chart, the Org Chart, the Network Chart and more. For new visualization improvements, we’ve made enhancements to Sparklines, Trendlines & Indicators, Accumulations & Modifiers, Line Chart Styling and even more.

Just to give you a quick example, some people like their data represented in a very specific way or for a specific purpose. The Line Chart Styling feature lets you alter the line orientation, change the line width, or use a solid or dashed line. With the click of button or two, you can modify the measure to accumulate, show a moving average or apply a different modifier and then apply a trendline to the result. We’re making it easier than ever to get the look you need to get the most out of your analysis. And, remember: We’re never stopping. I’m sure someone is coming up with a new visualization or improvement right now!

3. Dynamic Views

At Qlik, big data is a big deal and timely access to that data is essential. Dynamic Views expands choice on how and when data is refreshed for users. You are likely aware of On Demand App Generation (ODAG), which takes a slice of data and creates a detailed app when a user needs it. Dynamic Views takes this concept to the chart level, so you have full control over responsiveness and latency. You can mix ‘regular’ in-memory visualizations with visualizations that call upon data on demand.

Here’s an example. Say you are doing analysis that includes multiple big data sources, such as Snowflake data and Google Big Query data. In most cases, you are analyzing aggregated data; however, for a few charts, you need details and/or near real-time data. In other words, you need a handful of charts to be dynamically refreshed with new data, while the other charts can use in-memory data. This enables faster discovery of crucial information, as well as lower latency with in-the-moment refreshes when needed while also optimizing your database calls. Each user will get just the data they need based on his or her analysis state, ensuring speed, timely information and optimized compute.

4. Qlik Alerting

Qlik Alerting, a new addition to the Qlik portfolio, is an intelligent alerting platform for Qlik Sense. It provides sophisticated, data-driven alerts that help users proactively monitor and manage their business. With Qlik Alerting, you can manage by exception, increasing the value of analytics by notifying users of potential issues, helping them immediately analyze further, and prompting action based on insight. This is all data driven, so everyone can receive only the alerts they need.

Say you’re a regional sales manager who needs to know if you’re hitting your targets. You can create a self-service alert that looks at your whole business, and alerts you if you fall below target, something changes significantly or when relative changes occur. Alerts can be intelligent, too – they can consider multiple conditions across entire dimensions. So, an alert can be setup for your entire team, and each individual will be alerted only if his or her specific criteria are met. As the regional manager, you can take immediate action before performance drops for your team overall, and each team member can make a course correction before account performance becomes a serious issue. Everyone is truly managing by exception.

5. Natural Language Processing (NLP) for Complex Questions

We’ve done a lot at Qlik over the past few years to combine the power of humans with the power of machines and NLP really brings that together. It’s part of Qlik Sense natively as an analytics feature available within Insight Advisor, which I’m sure many of you already use. Now, an example of this kind of functionality in simple form might be asking about the sales within a country. Insight Advisor will understand the question, and Qlik Sense will send back a map together with some other visualizations. Useful but not the end of the game – not by far.

With NLP now, I get to ask more sophisticated questions. We can refine the original question. We can ask for sales by country in Western Europe of non-frozen foods between 2017 and 2019. Again, but more specifically, Qlik Sense sends back visualizations related to what I asked for, recognizing with NLP that I want to know about sales of a particular class of product from a region of the world in a given time frame. And, as I mentioned, because NLP is natively part of Qlik Sense, it isn’t just some module but a fully integrated feature that brings together the magic of the Cognitive Engine and the Associative Engine, bringing you a complete user experience that flows beautifully. This means I can leverage the results fully in my analytic ‘flow’ to do other things, such as creating a master measure for later reuse. You get all the benefits of AI fully available wherever the data takes you.

Those are of my five favorite things this year. As always, Qlik Community members (and interested others) let me know what you think and tell me if I missed something. Maybe you even have some thoughts about what should make next year’s list. And remember, the entire QikWorld 2020 experience is on-demand, so be sure to check out the other keynotes and great breakout sessions!

Our own @joshdotbad highlights five of his favorite additions to Qlik unveiled at #QlikWorld. Read his blog post to find out more.


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