Category Archives: Formatting

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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Adding annotations to charts

Annotations in QlikView charts

I am currently at the Masters Summit for QlikView in San Francisco attending Bill Lay‘s session on QlikView data visualization. Besides hilarious delivery, Bill is showing some pretty cool visualization examples and tricks.

One thing Bill was showing are various ways you can add annotations to charts, putting them either on the axis or in the legend. One additional view that Bill and I discussed earlier is to put the annotations on the data point. Bill just asked me if there was a blog post about it. There wasn’t, but there is now. Not as polished as usual, but you’ll get the gist by looking at the QVW attached below.

Download the annotated chart example

Remove scrolling tabs from QlikView Chart Properties

Remove scrolling tabs from QlikView Chart Properties

A short post today, but one that will fix a very common developer annoyance in QlikView 11 and 11.2; the scroll tabs in the chart properties dialog window. When you want to change properties on tabs that are on opposing sides of the tab row (for example, Dimensions and then Layout) you first have to click the scroll arrows before you can select the tab. Extremely annoying, if you ask me.

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Building a nicer (dynamic) multibox, without extensions

Building a nicer, dynamic multibox in QlikViewThe multibox is a QlikView object that I find extremely useful because it allows you to fit selection fields into a much smaller space. At the same time, I also find it extremely annoying; the gradient looks dated and if you want your field names and values to be readable you will often have to make both columns quite wide. For these reasons I tend to not use the multibox in my applications, using a conditionally hidden drop-down filter panel instead.

Recently, I was hired to perform a health check on an application. The application made extensive use of a multibox (in a very nice and flexible way, I should add). One of the challenges my client was facing was that not every field was relevant to every user. Besides a general technical review of the application, the developers wanted to know if it was possible to create a dynamic multibox. A multibox where users could select which fields they want to show.

As I started digging in to this question, I realized there’s a much nicer way to create a multibox. After experimenting with it for a bit, I actually like this solution so much that I will probably be using it in some of my future projects.

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QlikView hash functions and collisions

HashFunctionI’m currently updating my materials for the upcoming Masters Summit for QlikView in Chicago, and thought I’d share a little bit with you. In my session on data modeling, I explain how you can deal with various types of Slowly Changing Dimensions in QlikView. One of the techniques I explain is using hash functions to detect changes in (historical) records. During the previous events, this always lead to two questions from the audience:

  • What exactly are hash functions and hashes?
  • And, from those who already know the answer to the first question: Aren’t you worried about hash collisions?

Today I will answer both questions and hopefully give you some insight into hash functions, their usefulness in QlikView and the risks of hash collisions.

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Masters Summit for QlikView: European Edition

Masters Summit for QlikViewAfter the success of the Las Vegas edition last April, I’m excited to be once again presenting alongside Rob Wunderlich, Bill Lay and Oleg Troyansky at the European edition of the Masters Summit for QlikView.

Masters Summit for QlikView; London and BarcelonaComing to London from October 9  to 11 and to Barcelona from 14 to 16 October, the Masters Summit brings you 3 days of hands on sessions where we will discuss advanced techniques in building complex solutions with QlikView. The goal of this event is to take your QlikView skills to the next level and help you become a QlikView  master.

For the early birds, there is an attractive discount of US$ 300 (around 225 Euro’s) until August 16th, which, for example, should be enough to cover air fare from most locations within Europe. Make sure you do not miss out on this great offer and:

Register for the Masters Summit for QlikView

I hope to see you all there!

Announcing QlikView 11 for Developers: The Book

QlikView 11 for Developers book coverAfter many months of hard work, today I am proud and excited to announce the upcoming release of the new QlikView book that Mike García and I wrote together:

QlikView 11 for Developers

With 500 pages of original content and an extensive collection of code samples, we believe this book contains everything new (and seasoned) QlikView developers should know in order to put QlikView 11 to productive use.

The book will be published by Packt Publishing and is scheduled for release on November 15th. If you want to secure a copy for yourself, pre-orders can be placed via this page.

Of course, writing a book is not a solo (or in our case, duo) exercise. Mike and I could not have done it without the great contributions of:

Donald Farmer Foreword Blog @donalddotfarmer
Ralf Becher Technical review Blog @TIQView
Steve Dark Technical review Blog @quintelligence
Stephen Redmond Technical review Blog @stephencredmond
John Trigg Code support @qt_trigjoh
Rashmi Phadnis Acquisition editor @rashp
Joanne Fitzpatrick Acquisition editor
Sai Gamare Project coordinator @saigamare
Anugya Khurana Project coordinator
Ankita Shashi Lead Technical editor
Nitee Shetty Technical editor

In the coming weeks, we will be giving you insights into the book and will also be giving away a few copies, so be sure to watch this space. You can get notified of new posts by entering your email address in the input box in the top right corner of this page.

Update 2012/11/20: yesterday we were informed by the publisher that both the print version and the e-book will be released on November 23rd.

Update 2012/11/23: the book is now available for sale! (Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Packt)

Update 2012/11/29: for those that are unable to download the code bundle from the publisher’s website, you can also download it from this link:

Any colour, as long as it’s green

Any colour, as long as it's green. Henry Ford would approve.Today I read the blog post “Green Is The Colour” by Henric Cronström on QlikTech’s Business Discovery Blog. In this post, Henric points to the fact that, while green may be QlikView’s signature colour, it is the unassociated, gray values that are a crucial part of the discovery process.

While I completely agree with Henric that the colour coding is integral to the QlikView experience, his post did leave me wondering. Does it always have to be green?

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Consistent Dimension Colors

Consistent colorsA short tip today on how to ensure that dimensions in different charts get assigned the same color, regardless of how the data is sorted or if dimensions are missing.

The image on the right shows an example in which revenue per beverage is visualized in a number of different charts and tables. Each beverage is assigned its trademark color (Coca-Cola Red, Heineken Green, Pepsi Blue etc.)  and this color is used consistently in each of the charts. Read on to see how you can accomplish this effect.

(Please note that using lots of very bright/saturated colors in your dashboard or report is generally not a good idea, I am only using these colors because they are recognizable to many. Do not try this at work!)

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Custom formatting table cells

Custom format cellA short tip today about something that actually took me quite some time to figure out: how to easily format table cells. Where in Excel you can just right-click on a cell and choose “Format Cells”, that option seems to be missing in QlikView … or is it? read more »