Author Archives: Barry Harmsen

Barry Harmsen

Barry Harmsen

Hi there, I'm Barry and I'm a Business Intelligence Consultant at Bitmetric and based in the Netherlands. Originally from a background of 'traditional' Data Warehousing, Business Intelligence and Performance Management, for the past few years I have been specializing in QlikView and a more user-centric form of BI. I have done numerous QlikView implementations in many different roles and industries. In 2012 I co-authored the book QlikView 11 for Developers. You can follow me on Twitter at @meneerharmsen.

Qlik named leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant

The 2017 Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms has been released and Qlik is in the Leaders quadrant for the 7th consecutive year! Besides Qlik, both Tableau and Microsoft return in the Leaders quadrant, where they also were last year.

 

Comparing this edition with previous year’s Magic Quadrant, we can see that Qlik has lost around 15% on Completeness of vision, while more or less keeping the same Ability to execute. At the same time, we can see that both Tableau and Microsoft have both significantly improved their lead in these areas. I haven’t seen the actual analyst report yet so the reasons for these changes remain speculation at this time.  (will update with a link once a vendor releases it for free).

Update 2017/02/22: the full report can be found here.

 

 

Looking at the multi-year trend, we can see that Business Discovery has truly become mainstream while the previously dominant ‘Mega Vendors’ have been downgraded to the middle of the pack (look where IBM was in 2013, and where it is now). The positive exception here is Microsoft, which seems to have reinvented themselves in the past few year (Power BI!).

 

Look who’s talking to your Qlik Sense Desktop

lookwhostalkingHappy new year to you! Just a very short post today with a little fun and possibly a warning. You may be aware that you can use the Qlik Sense API’s on your Qlik Sense Desktop, but are you also aware that any webpage can access them? The widget on the top right contains some JavaScript that tries to connect to your local Qlik Sense Desktop, if it succeeds the version and number of apps are displayed. (click on the X Applications link for an application browser)

This is just some harmless fun of course, and potentially offers some nice options for Qlik bloggers, for example click to automatically generate an app, online performance analyzer, etc. Just be aware that there could also be more nefarious purposes, for example deleting applications or extracting data. It’s probably very unlikely that someone will target this, but good to keep in mind anyway.

On a different note, Qlik Sense 3.1 SR4 was released yesterday. And, if you’re based in The Netherlands (or willing to travel there) and interested in Qlik Sense web development with mashups, extensions and widgets then we have an interesting training coming up. More info here (in Dutch, but training will be in English, contact me if you’re interested).

A very elegant link table script

Some nice out of the box thinkingToday was the last day of the Masters Summit for Qlik in Johannesburg and we all had a great time. One of the things I very much enjoy about these events is the chance to speak with so many experienced people who are enthusiastic about Qlik and keen to share their knowledge. I always go home with some cool new tricks and insights.

What I want to share with you today is an alternative script for building a link table. This was shared with me by Rene McGregor and the nice folks over at QlikView South Africa (who have also been very supportive in bringing the Masters Summit to South Africa, much appreciated).

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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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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)