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.
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?
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!