“Art” in QlikView, now in color!

By Barry Harmsen

Mona Lisa in QlikView - Oh no the horror, it's only black and white!!!! Save us MicroStrategy!!!!! ;)I came across this post on the MicroStrategy Community tonight. It mentions a few of the Qlik and Tableau visualizations of famous paintings that floated around a few years ago. The images that were used back then, an example shown on the right, were black and white. Robert, the author of the MicroStrategy article, concludes that black and white is boring, and that it would be much better if the pictures were in color.

MicroStrategy to the rescue! Robert writes that as of version 10, you are able to do colored visualizations in MicroStrategy. He then goes on to demonstrate a few visualizations in color! Take that QlikView and Tableau!

Overwhelmed by this spectacle of colors, I was already considering dropping my career in QlikView and moving into MicroStrategy when a thought popped into my head. Could it be that the author was mistaking the limitations of the data set (which only contained black & white values) for limitations of the tools? Perhaps QlikView (and Tableau) could also visualize pictures in color?

As Robert challenged us to create a colored visualization, I decided to put QlikView to the test. After an intense 15 minutes (of which 12 were used to Google Spongebob images) I came up with this visualization, an original artwork by me titled “Yes we can” 😉

Colors in QlikView? No problem!

Turns out QlikView can do colored visualizations fine, who would’ve thought? (spoiler: everyone except Robert) For those that want to play around with the chart and data, you can download it below.
Download the Spongebob QVW -and- source data


A counter challenge

So to Robert a counter challenge; see if you can do any of this in MicroStrategy. Looking forward to your next article.


PS. Note that I do not make a habit out of badmouthing other BI solutions. MicroStrategy is actually a very nice solution that I’ve had good experiences with in the past. It is only the author of the article that I am criticizing. I would’ve done that on his own blog, but unfortunately there is no way to comment there without getting errors.

PS2. Ok, one more:

Female canine, thou hath been served! ;)

PS3. Got a few requests to share my code for creating these CSV’s. Basically I first convert the image to an HTML table, then load that into Excel and write the X, Y and color values to a CSV using a macro. (Yes, I know it’s quick & dirty). Please see the sources attached below. Note that there is absolutely no support on any of this.

Download the sources