16 Items on My Qlik Sense Wishlist

This article was written using Qlik Sense version 3.1 as reference. Let me first say that Qlik Sense is growing on me. Every version gives me a few more “Wish List” items that bring it closer to the functionality of QlikView.

At this point, the needle that judges Qlik Sense against QlikView that used to be decidedly leaning towards QlikView seems to be slightly tilting toward Qlik Sense.

I am aware that some of the features below have already been added by the use of extensions from the greater Qlik ecosystem especially over at Qlik Branch. That is great and I might not know whether an extension exists for this or not, so please don’t hesitate to let me know. But my feeling is that these features should exist in the base product and be supported by Qlik. Here is my personal list of features that completes my “Wish List” of Qlik Sense. This is obviously from my own personal experience and I am sure your list is different. I would love to here about your Wishlist in the comments below.

Wishing for Qlik Sense Design Tools

1. Dynamic Labels

This is a big one for me. We do NOT yet have the ability to define a label for an expression that is dynamic. So when doing set analysis with dollar sign expansion, we cannot modify the column label so that it changes with the evaluation. This is a significant problem as it does not give us many options for telling the users what each column is doing, if different from normal Qlik behavior.

Missing Expression Builders

Just put the FX button there already!

2. Straight Line Object

OK, some might say this is silly. But I would really love the ability to add a straight horizontal or vertical line to separate one section of my page from another. I imagine this object taking up one tile width and then as many tiles up and down as wanted (in the vertical orientation). We would be able to change style, thickness and color through the object options. So simple. Why do we not have this? Qlik Sense Line Object

3. Sloped and Curved Trendlines

I have looked at ways to add sloped trendlines to apps but I have not cracked the code on adding curved trendlines to my bar charts. And, by golly, shouldn’t this just require a click of a box in Qlik Sense? Curved Trendline in QlikView

4. Variable Grid Size

I don’t know about you, but I wish the grids were slightly smaller in Qlik Sense. There is an extension for that created by Masaki Hamano and we thank him for his contribution. But it has to be applied individually to each sheet and there some complications around its use. Shouldn’t this be something supported by Qlik that we could simply apply as a document setting?

Variable Grid Size in Qlik Sense

Smaller grid squares. I like it.

5. Dollar Sign Expansion Preview

Hear me out on this. Wouldn’t it be great if when we were building an expression, there was a preview pane that would display our calculated dollar sign expansion? Now this one would be great to have in QlikView as well as Qlik Sense. In QlikView, I accomplish this by omitting expression labels. After getting out of properties, you can see the evaluation of the dollar sign expansion. But hey, let’s just build it right into the expression dialog.

Expanded Dollar Sign Expansion Qlik Sense

Wouldn’t this be awesome? Hello!

6. Expression Building Wizards

While we are at it, the Qlik Sense expression builder is lacking. Compare it to the wizards in QlikView. Although I am fairly familiar with building expressions out by hand, this is an area where new users could gain huge benefits. Expression Builder QlikView vs Qlik Sense

7. Searching Multiple Values

In QlikView we can use the search object to find multiple values for selection. For example, if I want Birds and Giraffes, I can do the following: (“Birds”|”Giraffes”) But in Qlik Sense, we do not have this ability as of yet.

8. Master Item Categorization

It would be super helpful to be able to put master expressions into categories so it is easier for users to have some organization around their master items. I would create categories like “Global Expressions, “Time Based Expressions” and “Specialized Filters” as examples. In fact another part of this would be to make master expressions “hideable”. Although I want to govern all expressions, maybe I only want the user to access the “safe” ones. My typical user won’t know how “Inspections with Use Code SV* and Approval Code A aggregated by month and permit” should be used.

9. Master Item Reusability

Governed user objects is a great idea, but today they can only be used in the Data area of an object or for Color Expressions. This means that I cannot leverage them for Reference Lines or Calculation Conditions or Titles or for Sorting as examples. I would like to see the measure list used anywhere we see the “fx”.

10. Scramble Data

The scramble field option in QlikView is super-helpful. It allows me to share an application with somebody without having to completely empty it of proprietary data. By scrambling specific fields, I can take the meaning out of the data while still allowing the other person to witness the structural issue or expression problem I am having. To my knowledge, no such option exists in Qlik Sense.  Scramble in Qlik Sense

Wishing for Qlik Sense Scripting Tools

11. Binary Load

Many of my clients utilize the binary load mechanism to establish a wall between developers and designers or between the UI and the Data Model. It allows the UI to contain virtually no script. If you want to better understand the architecture layers in an enterprise implementation check this post out. To be clear the binary load function works fine if you are loading from qvf or qvw, but Qlik Sense Server requires us to utilize a data connection which prohibits us from doing a direct binary load. I did find some interesting workarounds and literature on this, but it seems that layer between data model and visualization simply does not exist anymore which is a shame. More reading: Qlik Community: Secured Binary Load Qlik Community: How to do binary load of qliksense app from server??? Qlik Community: Is binary load supported in Qlik Sense?

12. Parameters in Data Connections

In QlikView script, I can easily put variables in my database select. This is especially helpful for defining parameters for looping scripts through different databases. This also comes into play when pulling data from web connectors where calls are limited and we have to cycle through different pages or other parameters. Unfortunately, the only way today to do this in Qlik Sense is to Disable Standard Mode. So although this is a workaround, it does allow all users to basically load from wherever they want. It would be great if there was a way to still used governed data connections while still allowing there to be parameters defined. That way we could have both governed connections and flexibility for these for complicated tasks. Parameter in Data Connector QlikView

13. A Good Data Manager

I hesitate to “go off” on the newly introduced data manager. It is a feature that is full of unrealized potential. Enabling people an easy way of loading data into Qlik Sense is indeed a noble goal. And I am positive the experience of using the visual tools to bring data together will improve greatly over the next few releases. But in its current iteration, the Data Manager is buggy and problematic. I frequently get to a point where I can’t easily undo steps I have just taken. I have had situations where if I click on things too fast, they don’t populate on the next screen. Once in the “visual” screen, it is easy for me to “break things” for lack of a more specific explanation. Another annoying yet understandable issue is that once I go back to the normal script, the Data Load Editor, the sections created from the Data Manager cannot be altered without breaking the ability to go back to the data manager.

Data Manager Qlik Sense

It looks easy. in reality, easy to screw up.

Wishing for Qlik Sense Server Features

14. Live memory footprint statistics for individual applications

This has long been an issue in all Qlik tools. To optimally manage a Qlik Sense implementation, it is really necessary to know WHICH APP is causing the problem in your environment when the server goes down for example. Because we have no real performance measures built in to the server, we are forced to play detective, first figuring out which apps were open and then deciding which one was the perpetrator. If I simply knew the memory consumed for each app in some sort of monitor, I would be ecstatic.

15. Publisher: Data Reduction and Loop & Reduce

If you have experience with QlikView Publisher, these features are controlled within a task using the Reduce and Distribute tabs. If user names or emails exist inside the document, associated to data, we can simply loop through the values creating an output secured for each person in the list. Or, one could create these versions manually, creating the reduced versions and then distributing them to specific individuals or groups. The big benefit here is that we only have to maintain one master document. It gets split into different documents by the publisher. Although we do have “security buckets” to drop apps into called Streams on the Qlik Sense server, there is no automatic way to break an app apart into smaller qvf files and drop them in these buckets. I would bet this feature will be coming because it is just so obvious. The APIs can do data reduction and publishing to specific streams so the tooling exists. Somebody just needs to build the interface into the QMC. Loop and Reduce in QlikView

16. Categorize Apps in My Work and in Streams

I don’t know about you, but in my dealings with the Qlik Sense Hub, I have quickly built an unruly mess of thumbnails littering my view. This includes apps in some of my streams, but definitely in My Work. Currently, there is no way that I know of to categorize or filter my apps down to manageable groups. In the QlikView Access Point, we can filter by category, search for an application or even limit the number of apps that appear on a page. None of this exists in Qlik Sense yet, except the ability to search in the upper right.

Final Thoughts

So although there are still things on my “Wish List” for Qlik Sense, I have to say that I am loving the tool. The responsive design and easy extensibility are things that QlikView simply could not do because of platform architecture. Dare I say I prefer Qlik Sense to QlikView? One year ago, I wouldn’t have believed it. Today, it is reality. This list comes from only my limited personal experience. Please add a comment below with your wish list items.

Let’s create a list for the R&D department!

Also, feel free to correct anything I got wrong. This might be one of those posts that becomes less relevant with time (hopefully). Happy Qliking!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Jason Michaelides February 21, 2017, 7:20 am

    Hi Aaron,

    Yet another thorough and well thought out post sir! Many of these I fully echo and on several I have had the opportunity to take to Qlik, so here’s my tuppence worth of contribution to your points:

    1. Dynamic Labels. This is THE BIGGEST bug-bear of mine. I cannot for the life of me understand why someone thought it was a good idea to leave this out. Most peeps in Qlik R&D and Product Validation I have asked have also shrugged their shoulders. One person said I should use Master Items, but that misses the point entirely and Master Items are currently woefully lacking too, so I hardly ever use them. This one just makes me cross every time I encounter it!!

    2. Straight Line – I “think” one of my team did this with a widget? Wasn’t quite right though so I agree this would be good.

    4. Variable grid size – when I first used Sense this annoyed the hell out of me. It still bugs me a bit, however I have had the explanation that the grid size is best to ensure the most responsiveness on all devices. I can kind of accept this explanation as that is a big plus feature of QS for me.

    5. Dollar-sign expansion preview – great idea!! You should take this one to R&D via Luminary channels.

    7. Search multiple values – I didn’t know this wasn’t possible! Good to know.

    8 & 9. Master Items – these are a good idea but too immature to use in my book. BUT I hear things are a-foot to improve them and even move them server-side so to speak, so they become something useful in an enterprise environment. For now, I still hugely favour a data island of expressions loaded from an external script file/spreadsheet for governance and flexibility. Because I use this approach point 1 on dynamic labels is SO DAMN IRRITATING!!!

    That’ll do for now…a way to go!

    Cheers,

    Jason

    • Aaron Couron February 21, 2017, 2:20 pm

      Thanks for the insight Jason. I did some “knowledge transfer” last week, and the dynamic labels thing was also voiced as a huge “miss”. In the big scheme of things we are still “early days” on QLik Sense, but I would definitely prefer a higher rate of “feature addition/improvement”.

  • Ville Airo February 21, 2017, 8:57 am

    Good list.
    I would add also to QMC a place to check who is logged in to the system. Needed f.ex. when plannig on booting the system.

    • Aaron Couron February 21, 2017, 2:04 pm

      You are so right Ville. How could I overlook that. I think my server list might be lacking only because I have more experience on the UI.

  • Robert Mika February 21, 2017, 11:03 am

    Good article Aaron.
    My wish is that Qlik will listen to user.
    Looking at current Gartner Report Qlik is behind the competition.
    I believe is down to listening skills – (See Power BI position year ago, see today)
    Qlik Community forum is flooded with ideas but how many has been implemented?

    • Aaron Couron February 21, 2017, 2:06 pm

      Robert ~ That’s not really a feature 😉
      But you are correct. I have had all sorts of frustration over both Qlik Sense and NPrinting, in particular.

  • Gwain February 21, 2017, 1:10 pm

    Great list !
    I will add default value for selections and only one value selected, conditionnal display expression…
    And finally, to know the road map of Qliksense for the next 6 months…

    • Aaron Couron February 21, 2017, 2:08 pm

      Gwain, I am with you on the first two. Having default selections and the “one-value selected” option are invaluable. On conditional expression display, I would argue that the “ease-of-use” for end-users to manipulate/create their own charts precludes this feature.

      • Ajit Limaye February 22, 2017, 6:32 pm

        Aaron,
        Excellent post on the wish-list, I will dig mine to share sometime later.
        In the meanwhile, Gwain/Aaron, about default selections/One value selected I had taken this approach on a simple bar chart –
        If(GetSelectedCount([Bank Name])1, //this is true if no bank is selected
        Sum({}Value)
        At the start, it shows ‘MyBankName’ as default selection and allows the user to select ‘hisBankName’. works well for me.

        Thanks,
        Ajit

        • Ajit Limaye February 22, 2017, 6:39 pm

          Seems like the site removed the script. let me try again in English –
          If GetSelectedCount of FieldName A is not equal to or more than 1, then do a set analysis sum of value with FieldName A equal to MyBankName, FieldName B equal to list of items.

          Thanks,
          Ajit

  • Julian Villafuerte February 21, 2017, 3:27 pm

    Great post Aaron. Variable Grid Size and Master Item Categorization are definitely on the top of my list. I’d also like to see a higher level of customization of all the standard features in charts and tables (add/remove/customize borders, labels, grids, axes, etc.)

  • David Aubke February 21, 2017, 3:51 pm

    Another vote for #1: Dynamic Labels.
    Also, Master Item Categorization would help reduce clutter.

    And I like the idea of a dollar-sign-expansion renderer.. if only to help me get a more solid handle on how it works.

    • David Aubke February 21, 2017, 3:54 pm

      Just yesterday, I received this email “If I set a date range on the first sheet of the executive dashboard, is the Yesterday column below not really yesterday, rather the total for the date range I set?”

      No, it isn’t really “Yesterday” it’s just that I can’t do anything about that label.

      • Aaron Couron February 21, 2017, 6:15 pm

        David,

        I have gone through the same conversation a few times, lol.
        Reminds me of my old warehousing days, where the outbound pallet of widgets had a placard on it of “Shipdate: Tomorrow”. That pallet remained on the shipping dock for 3 months.

  • Hector Muñoz February 21, 2017, 7:21 pm

    Hi! Inspired by your post, I’ve made 2 widgets about lines (horizontal and vertical ones). I’m not sure if they are a valuable asset, but it was fun to learn how widgets work.

    Take a look if you want!

    https://github.com/HectorMunoz/Line-Widgets

    Any comments or PRs are welcome!

    Regards.

    • Aaron Couron February 21, 2017, 7:56 pm

      Hector!
      Wow. Inspiration Breeding Inspiration. I love the line extension and have installed and tested it in my environment. Great work! The one thing I would say about improving it is that it would be great for the line to either default to the middle of the space provided (rather than left aligning) or give users an option to left/center/right align. Thanks for contributing. Make sure you put it on Qlik Branch!

  • Steen Persson February 22, 2017, 7:42 am

    I think I can echo you on most of items in the list. Personally it also annoys me a little bit, that most times when I ask about “missing” features that existed in QlikView, the answer is “you can just code it yourself in a wdiget or extension”. No, we don’t buy a BI tool like this, just to have to code basic stuff ourself – we expect it to be a part of the package.
    On the QMC side, I’m also missing a simple email alerter, to email you when a reload job fails. That’s one of the basic administration things that I simply don’t understand is missing.

    • Aaron Couron February 22, 2017, 1:40 pm

      I agree about the “you don’t like it? code a widget” answer as well.

  • Paul February 22, 2017, 2:02 pm

    Hi Aaron,
    I’m agree with your comments, especially for Master Data and dynamic labels.
    I would add color for measures in graphs.
    For example, if i want to setup a color for a turnover and another color for margin, I can’t do this simple thing without coding virtual dimensions !
    It is very complicated to explain this to my clients.
    Thanks for your very interesting blog 🙂

  • Patrick B February 22, 2017, 5:00 pm

    Thanks for the article, an interesting read Aaron.

  • Randall Vader February 22, 2017, 6:58 pm

    Great post, most items are indeed things you would expect to be there. As far as I know publishing apps is possible, but promoting sheets to final isn’t possible without unpublishing the app en republish the app. Maybe a more linked way between development and production apps is nice to have. You’ll be able to create an app and publish it, but still keep a development one and when building extra sheets you can push them to production when finalized. With some version control ability. (Git like)

  • Cotiso Hanganu February 23, 2017, 11:37 am

    Great post and comments !

    I started so many times to write a blog post regarding the ups and downs I’ve felt with Sense !

    I would add, on a quick note, to all of those :
    1. the imposibility to edit font size, type, scalling (if not also coloring), without learning css and other crazy html. I remember Qlik was about simplicity …
    2. the imposibility to create a scrollable page (without entering in meshups)

    Sempre fi

    • Steen Persson March 1, 2017, 9:01 am

      I’m also missing the option to create a scrollable page. I know the answer from Qlik is that it’s due to the responsive design that you are limited in page size, but then it would be great to have to option to change this. If I develop an app that I know is never going to be used on anything else than a “big” desktop screen, then it would be nice if I could have the option to put in as many objects as I like – and then just get the scroll-bars. Just like we used to have in QlikView 🙂
      /Steen

  • Sohail Ansari February 24, 2017, 9:39 pm

    Agree with most of the items here and would like to add one of my own i.e.

    Just like QlikView, have an INPUTFIELD option in the script editor that allows to change value of any field in a straight table.

    Thanks,

    • Andrei Kaliahin February 27, 2017, 12:33 pm

      I checked this with Qlik and got an answer that INPUTFIELD is not in roadmap and hardly will be included in Sense at all due to possible security issues.

      Thanks!
      Kind regards,
      Andrei Kaliahin

  • Jose Mauel Martinez February 27, 2017, 10:09 am

    Great Post, Aaron.
    I agree with you in dynamics Labels. This is my main bug in Sense because is very common that clients which work in spanish language want to translate the application to some other languages.
    Mainly after watch that QlikView can do it.

  • Andrei Kaliahin February 27, 2017, 12:44 pm

    Great post, Aaron.
    I agree with all of above points including points in comments. And for me and many other users I work with situation with Qlik Sense looks like a global beta testing. All these points are actually essential and should be delivered out of the box but not separately (widgets, extensions, mashups) and not in version 4.x – 5.x – 6.x (somehow, may be, in road map).
    Reasonable question arises: whether we should buy Qlik Sense starting from version 7-8-9 or later?

  • Katrina February 28, 2017, 4:31 am

    I would certainly like to see the functionality of the Data Manager improved. Some of the competing BI products have much more sophisticated options available to transform the Data. Thus not requiring us to script everything from scratch, which contradicts the goal of making the product easier to use.

  • Rob Mullen March 10, 2017, 3:22 am

    When exporting to Excel the ability to export what you had selected. It’s in Qlikview but not Qlik Sense

  • Pedro Rocha March 12, 2017, 9:26 pm

    Hi Aaron,

    Hi
    I agree with all the points of your list.
    I would like to add:
    1. Number format in the definition of metrics
    2. Images in tables
    3. Alternative dimensions in tables
    4. Reporting and e-mail options without NPrinting
    5. User collaboration tools

  • VADIM TSUSHKO March 22, 2017, 7:02 am

    Qlik Sense “Export to Excel” function basically export just data, wihout any formatting. That is very limiting comparing to QlikView export.

  • Dalton Ruer March 22, 2017, 8:00 pm

    Can’t think of another topic so near and dear to my heart than QlikView and Qlik Sense. On Thursday April 27 from 2-3 PM EST I’m going to be walking through my thoughts. Whether you believe the right term between the two products is “OR”, “VERSUS” or “AND” please register to join me. I just might be able to provide some insights regardless of which word you would use to join QlikView/Qlik Sense. https://event.on24.com/eventRegistration/EventLobbyServlet?target=reg20.jsp&referrer=&eventid=1388224&sessionid=1&key=B3C1AB79E22DB6DC78EDDD6E33BF6E1B&regTag=&sourcepage=register

  • Facundo de la cal March 24, 2017, 7:20 am

    One point can be the total in pivot table. In qlikview we can choose it on top or botton, in sense always on top.

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