Event tip: Dutch Information Visualization Event 2016

Dutch Information Visualization Event 2016

Quick event tip: are you based in the Netherlands and interested in (tool agnostic) Data Visualization? If so, check out the Dutch Information Visualization Event (DIVE 2016) on June 23rd in Utrecht. More information (in Dutch) can be found here.

Thoma Bravo acquires Qlik for 3 billion USD

Thoma-Bravo

Those who have been following the news around Qlik (the company) lately have probably noticed that something’s been stirring the past few months. It started in March with activist hedge fund Elliott Management disclosed that it had bought a significant stake in the company. Later that month, Elliott raised its share even further and began pushing for a sale of the company. Potential buyers that were named at that time were IBM or Oracle, neither of which seem like attractive alternatives to me.

It became clear to me that a sale was at least considered as an option by Qlik when I saw the updated the severance packages for tier 1 to 3 executives on Qlik’s Investor Relations page on April 1. Meanwhile, rumors about a potential sale were everywhere. Rumors are just rumors of course, but where there’s smoke…

Then things got quiet for a while, until June 1, when the news appeared that private equity firm Thoma Bravo had submitted a 2.8 billion USD bid on Qlik. And today, June 2, things came to a conclusion when it was announced that Thoma Bravo has acquired Qlik for 3 billion USD.

Of course, for Qlik customers, partners and us developers that raises some questions, and maybe even concerns. I decided to put some of my thoughts in this blog post.

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Extracting embedded images from QlikView

ImageExtractor for QlikView

ImageExtractor for QlikView

ImageExtractor is a small utility that extracts images from your QlikView applications and stores them as bitmaps. It also gives you a browser that tells you which images are used in which QlikView application.

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Masters Summit Milan recap

Last week the Masters Summit for Qlik was held in Milan, Italy. For those unfamiliar with the event, the Masters Summit is a 3 day advanced training for QlikView and Sense developers. If you have followed all the Qlik trainings (Designer, Developer, etc.), have 1 to 3 years of experience and ask yourself “Now what?” then this training is perfect for you.

I was at the Masters Summit and presented two sessions, Data Modeling and Server/Publisher Administration. In this post I will share with you some of the experiences and feedback from the event.

81 Qlik enthusiasts participated in this edition and as you can see in the photo below, we were at full capacity.

A packed house!

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Geographical analysis with QlikMaps

QlikMaps

There are multiple mapping extensions available for geographical visualization and analysis in QlikView and Qlik Sense. Examples of commercial offerings are GeoQlik, NPGeoMap, Idevio and QlikMaps. Bitmetric (the people behind this blog 😉 ) is a QlikMaps partner, so I have been working a lot with QlikMaps recently. I have found it very powerful yet easy to work with.

QlikMaps demo

Today I want to share with you a small demo that I built. This demo shows demographic information about London mixed with a few of my holiday snapshots. The demo shows most of the common features of QlikMaps.

Webinar: 5 Unexpected Ways To Use Location Analytics

Wednesday, February 17, 2016 at 2:00 – 3:00PM CST.

Register now QlikMaps Webinar

What does Narratives for Qlik make of the 2016 Gartner Magic Quadrant for BI and Analytics Platforms?

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms

The 2016 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms was released last February 4. This year’s edition caused quite a stir on various blogs and social media platforms as most of the ‘old-school’ vendors were dropped from the Leaders quadrant, leaving only Tableau, Microsoft and Qlik as Leaders.

Many excellent blog posts appeared in the last week, providing further commentary and thoughts on the current state of the BI and Analytics market. Rather than adding another post with my own commentary, I will take a slightly different approach.

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The Joy of QlikView Grid Layouts

While most QlikView Designers are familiar with the works and principles of data visualization gurus such as Stephen Few and Edward Tufte, when it comes to dashboard layout many (including myself) are more likely to follow the design principles of that other visualization expert: Bob Ross.

Dashboard Design - The Bob Ross way

I plot different objects on the sheet, basing their location on my experience, sound judgement and the overall aesthetic appeal. “Maybe in our world there lives a happy little treemap over there.” Apply a little horizontal and vertical alignment and I’ve finished another ‘masterpiece’. It’s much more of an art than a science, or at least that’s what I like to think.

While this approach is a lot of fun, it’s not a very fast way to get things done. Not every layout works immediately, and reshuffling objects after “happy little accidents” can take a lot of time.

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Join me in the Qlik Sense Cloud

Qlik Sense CloudWant to build a quick dashboard or analyze some data? Want to share your findings with others or publish charts on social media? Then the Qlik Sense Cloud might be of interest to you. This cloud version of Qlik Sense has been available since September 2014. While it is still in beta, features are steadily being added. Best of all, it is completely free!

You can upload up to 250MB of your own data, but can also get external data from the Qlik DataMarket (for example information on exchange rates, demographics, weather or businesses) to augment your internal data.

 

A use case

The missus and I are expecting a baby early next year. Picking a name, in my opinion, is no easy task. I don’t want my kid to have the same name as 5 other kids in his class, but also not a really obscure name (like “Bamboo”, “Patient”, “Berlusconi” or “Zorro”, names that were actually given to some unfortunate kids in the Netherlands in 2014). To make things a little easier, I downloaded a list of all the baby names that were given in the Netherlands in 2014, loaded it into a Sense Cloud App and shared it with my wife. Now we can easily filter names based on popularity, length, letters, etc. and see what we like. It’s nothing too fancy, but the fact that we can use it from a tablet or our phone without having to install anything makes it a lot more convenient and fun.

Want to try the Qlik Sense Cloud?

If you would like to give the Qlik Sense Cloud a try, then enter your email address in the form below. You will then automatically receive an invite for my shared space on the Qlik Cloud. This will give you access to any applications that I publish to the Qlik Cloud and will also give you the option to create your own applications. (email addresses are only used to send the invites and are not stored)

Up to 50% discount on “QlikView 11 for Developers” this November

QlikView 11 for DevelopersThe good folks over at Packt Publishing are having a special promotion on our book QlikView 11 for Developers until November 25th 2015. Now is an excellent time to get the book if you:

  • Do not yet own the book (but want to!), or
  • ‘Borrowed’ a copy from the Internet before and want to regain some good karma, or
  • Are delivering our QlikView classroom training and want to replenish your stock, or
  • Want to give a gift to that special QlikView Developer in your life, or
  • Own the original version before it gets replaced by QlikView 12 for Developers (that might take a while), or
  • Have an exceptionally wobbly table that requires fixing.

If any of the reasons above apply to you, or if you have another good reason (would love to hear them, please comment 😉 ), then feel free to use the following discount codes:

Discount code
Discount Book version
QLIKVIEW50 50% eBook – English version
QLIKVIEW20 20% print book – English version
QLIK50ESP 50% eBook – Spanish version
QLIK20ESP 20% print book – Spanish version

 

Remote include scripts

Got a bunch of scripts here for you, where do you want me to put them?One of the reasons why I like QlikView so much is that there are always new functions and applications to discover. Yesterday I was at a client who is a Qlik OEM partner. During lunch we discussed various uses of include scripts. The question came up if it was possible to remotely update include scripts. At the same time they didn’t want these external scripts to be viewable (they sell a solution based on QlikView, clients get the solution but the OEM owns the code). Of course, that makes things a little more complicated. The include script sits outside of QlikView in plain text, so anyone can read it. Besides that, updating an external script that sits on the client’s local server is also not a straightforward affair.

I started wondering if it might be possible to fetch an include script from a remote website. So I just tried it, and it works!* (in QlikView, Sense requires Legacy Mode to be enabled, I will let you decide if that is a good idea)

Try this one for example:

$(must_include=http://www.qlikfix.com/remote_include/?license=12345);

In my opinion, this opens up some interesting use cases:

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