I just watched an intriguing four-minute TED video called “Nathalie Miebach: Art Made of Storms.” It's a great example of science inspiring art. Nathalie Miebach is a sculptor whose work focuses on the intersection of art and science and the visual articulation of scientific observations. She translates scientific data related to astronomy, ecology, and meteorology into woven sculptures and musical scores.

Miebach’s TED presentation begins with the sounds of classical music. The music is the interaction of barometric pressure, wind, and temperature readings recorded during Hurricane Noel in 2007. The musicians played off a three-dimensional graph like the one depicted below. Each bead, colored band, and piece of string represents a weather element that can also be played as a musical note. Weather elements include hour of the data, air and water temperature, wind direction, humidity, barometric pressure, tide data, and moon and sun data. The artist extracts information from the physical environment and compares it to satellite images, data from off-shore buoys, and compiles numbers on clipboards.

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What’s interesting to me about Miebach’s art is how she has found new ways to convey relationships in the data that may not come across in two dimensions . . . perhaps not even three dimensions. Her art makes us think about the data that represents a weather system — like a hurricane — in new ways.  She starts with two or three weather element variables and translates the data into a piece of art that is visible, tactile, and audible.

Imagine that you are the head of sales for Europe. You have a 3D sculpture — a digital one rather than a physical one made of reed, wood, and plastic — on a second monitor on your desktop. Or perhaps, fast forwarding a few more years, you have a virtual sculpture on your desk — a hologram. When sales figures spike, you see a new branch grow out of your sculpture and your sculpture emits an orchestral sound you don’t often hear.  As the percentage of sales grow in a particular sector of the market increases, sections of your sculpture change color. These fresh, new forms of data presentation and visualization have the potential to lead to unexpected insights.

I don’t know about you, but I would love to have a data sculpture on my desk!

QlikView makes enterprise BI personal to each business user. Probably you are now all thinking about the term ““self service” BI or “ad-hoc” analysis as I mention “personalization.” What I mean by personalization with QlikView is more than these. With QlikView, business users can interact with the data in their own way, create their own analysis context, change visualization and navigate in the analysis based on their preference. This video walks you through the scenario that I cover below demonstrating QlikView capabilities enabling personalization.

 

 

Let’s think about a business analysis scenario and go through the steps to personalizing it with QlikView.

 

Analysis Scenario: Sales Analysis by Region, Product and Time


  • Step 1: Select metrics and dimensions.Organizations use many metrics to measure the sales performance: sales amount, margin, net sales, etc . . . With a traditional BI approach, IT group or power users create reports with some of these metrics with pre-defined drill down paths (e.g., product group, product category, month, state, etc.) based on the requirements that they collected from a group of business users. Based on the combination of the metrics and breakdowns required, there may be tens of reports available to any given user. But what if the user’s analysis needs are different or have changed? With QlikView’s conditional enabling feature, business users can create their own personalized analysis on the fly by just clicking on dimension and metrics names. With QlikView, all of the aggregations are done on the user interface on the fly so there is no need to “execute” this new analysis, as would be the case with a traditional query-based tool. As user executes clicks, they see the chart coming to life before their eyes, with their selected dimension(s) and metric(s), in real time with no wait.
  • Step 2. Select data values. Once business users create a personalized chart, perhaps the next thing they would like to do is drill down more on this new analysis to look for specific products, time periods, etc. With QlikView’s associative experience, business users can navigate through the analysis, applying filters by just clicking on data values.
  • Step 3. Select visualization type. Different types of analysis require different types of visualization. As business users personalize their analysis with conditional enabling in real time, they can also change the visualization type on the fly with QlikView’s fast change capability, available on charts.
  • Step 4. Socialize the personalized analysis. Once business users discover new insights on their personalized analysis, they can fire up a real time collaborative session and invite others to immediately interact with the new analysis. Or they can create a bookmark and share the bookmark with others. Bookmarks include the selections the user made and when others open the bookmark, QlikView automatically recreates that personalized analysis on the fly.

 

With QlikView, personalizing the business analysis and creating your own discovery is just few clicks away. No drapging and dropping, no wait time to execute the new analysis, and no force-fed drill down paths, just Qliks!

It’s time to celebrate—QlikView 11 is now generally available! QlikView 11 makes it easier than ever before for business users to leverage three important sources of insight: data, people, and place. Improve data-driven decision making with improvements in several core areas: enterprise platform, rapid analytic app platform, and comparative analysis. Incorporate the perspectives, opinions, expertise, and observations of other people into decision making with social Business Discovery. Take advantage of being in a particular place at a particular time with mobile Business Discovery.

QlikView 11 Has Shipped.jpgCustomers and partners can get QlikView 11 from our download site at download.qlikview.com. For more information about this new release, check out these additional resources:

Erica Driver

Long Live HTML5

Posted by Erica Driver Nov 18, 2011

Adobe recently announced that it was shifting its focus for mobile platforms from Flash to HTML5.* This is a big deal for software vendors like QlikTech. With support for the HTML5 standard from a broad range of software platform vendors such as Adobe, Apple, Google, IBM, and Microsoft, mobile devices—regardless of operating system or manufacturer—will be able to deliver highly interactive user experiences via the browser. Software makers like QlikTech will be able to build products our customers can deploy on all the varied mobile devices used throughout their organizations. Build once, deploy anywhere is a reality more now than ever before.

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As Danny Winokur, VP and & general manager of interactive development at Adobe, noted in this recent announcement, HTML5 is now universally supported on major mobile devices, in some cases exclusively. His conclusion was that this makes HTML5 the best solution for creating and deploying content in the browser across mobile platforms.

Adobe’s announcement is one in a string of recent announcements by tech companies announcing their support for the HTML5, building on long support for the standard from heavyweights like Apple, Google, and Microsoft. A few others:

QlikView supports built-in HTML5 browsers on Apple iOS and Android tablets and smartphones. For more info, please download the data sheet “QlikView on Mobile” and the white paper, “QlikView on Mobile: Beyond Reporting.”

 

* According to Wikipedia as of today, Adobe Flash is a multimedia platform used to add animation, video, and interactivity to web pages. Adobe positions Flash as “the standard for delivering high-impact, rich Web content” — and with Adobe’s recent announcement the focus is more on rich Internet apps (native apps) than on browser apps. Also according to Wikipedia, HTML5 is a language for structuring and presenting content for the web. It is the fifth revision of the HTML5 standard.

This blog entry is reposted with permission from Forbes. Original URL: http://www.forbes.com/sites/kymmcnicholas/2011/11/07/how-to-catch-a-serial-killer-in-three-minutes/

 

We’ve always been able to crunch the numbers. But software is now doing it for us a lot quicker than a calculator or even our brain. So you don’t have to be an IT technician to analyze data anymore. Software such as what Oracle, IBM, Tibco, Qlik Technologies and others  make, can take years of patient data, from diagnosis to treatments and within ten minutes, make sense of all of it. So, doctors at Children’s Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia are using it to save lives of heart patients. Fishermen in Peru are using it to  catch more fish in less time because all the information they need to find the perfect spot on the perfect day is pulled into one piece of software that spits out the answer in five minutes. Data analysis software is also helping police in Sweden to catch criminals. It pulls in all of the cell phone information, finger prints and DNA into one piece of software that displays the best matches almost instantly. Here’s how:

 

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Remixability and reassembly is a key aspect of Business Discovery — and of QlikView. What do we mean by this? We mean that business users can easily modify apps, all on their own using their web browser, to ask and answer their own streams of questions. Check out this video to see how.

Let’s say that in this sales analysis app I don’t have the info I need about which sales reps are selling what. I can make changes to the app, right there in my browser.

  • Start simple. I can start with a basic change: adding a dimension upon which to analyze the data. I right click on the screen and select “New Sheet Object.” I click on the type of new object I want and drag it onto the screen. Right away, my new object is fully interactive. I get that green / white / gray associative experience QlikView is known for. QlikView automatically maintains all the associations in the data; I didn’t have to do anything to make QlikView know what’s associated and what’s not.
  • Go crazy. Let’s say I want to do some deeper exploration and discovery; I want to do a little more complex remixing. I can right click and add a whole new sheet. Now I’ve got a nice white page on which to begin my exploration. Then, from the repository I can start dragging and dropping pre-built objects. Once objects are on my screen I can modify them to my heart’s content. I can change the properties of an object — say, change the number of sales reps shown to just include the top 5—with a few quick mouse clicks.
  • Get social. QlikView’s remixability and reassembly isn’t just a solo experience. I can add an annotation to my new object, along with a snapshot and comments. Then I can easily share my object — with everyone or just a select few. At some point the developer may decide that the object I created is really useful and should be folded into the core application.

It’s no wonder people say QlikView blurs the boundary between developer and business user.  It really does — and that’s a good thing. QlikView makes it easy for business users to remix and reassemble data in new views on their own and in groups and to easily create new visualizations for deeper understanding.

(Are you wondering what this demo application is that I’m using in this video? It’s the “What’s New in QlikView 11” demo app. You can get it here on the QlikView 11 demo site. )

 

What Visualization and Reports Can't Do

 

Before I joined QlikTech from a traditional BI vendor, I often wondered why QlikTech’s growth continued to significantly outpace the competition. Now I get it. QlikView does something very different. With Business Discovery apps, QlikView lets business users connect their own dots.

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Many BI tools and technologies deliver information to business users. QlikView does that too. QlikView does it quickly and simply as well but that’s beside the point. Most modern BI tools provide a reasonable degree of interactivity which enables business users to navigate up, down, and around the information.This, too, QlikView does extremely well. Again, that’s not the main point.

 

Competitors deliver reports and visualizations. These have value and the need for them will not go away. However, visualizations, by design, present someone else’s pre-conceived notion of how information should be viewed and used. QlikView developers and business users create interactive reports but — QlikView delivers applications that liberate the business user from pre-conceived notions and enables true Business Discovery with the freedom to:

 

  • Connect your own dots. A QlikView application enables business users to dynamically create associations in the data, enabling true ad hoc analysis. Competitive products require IT to pre-define the dimensions, metrics, and relationships in the data. QlikView automatically maintains all the associations in the data, enabling the business user to explore virtually any insight they want to.
  • Compare apples and oranges. There are times when it makes sense to compare apples and oranges. With traditional BI technologies, developers create groupings when they creat a report. This means that business users are locked into analyzing only on pre-conceived categories. With QlikView, business users can create their own groupings and sets on the fly, and modify them on a whim.
  • Coloring outside the lines. The associative experience QlikView provides encourages business users to look beyond the obvious to see the business in new and different ways. For example, while working in a QlikView app, you can see what is not associated just as clearly as what is. This is the process of dynamic Business Discovery.

 

A customer who recently replaced a competitor’s visual discovery tool with QlikView summed it up nicely. He said, “With that tool, I can answer any business question in about 20 minutes.  With QlikView, with a bit more effort, I can enable the business users to answer their own questions.“ That’s the difference between a visualization/report and a Business Discovery application.

A couple months ago, I wrote a blog article about how the change that’s taken place in business intelligence software during the last decade is similar to the change that’s taken place in the way people discover new music. (See, “’I Want This Song’—An Analogy for Business Discovery.”). The comparison seems to resonate with people so I put together a three-minute video.

With QlikView, you can explore your business data up, down, and sideways. You can ask questions in many ways: Do a search. Choose items in list boxes. Pick calendar dates. Move sliders around. Lasso data in charts. Select regions on maps. Go exploring! You never know what you discoveries you will make, and how those discoveries may change your life. (After all, life just wouldn’t be the same without Arcade Fire, Goldfrapp, Röyksopp, The National, Young Galaxy, and all the other great bands I’ve discovered thanks to SiriusXM satellite radio and iTunes. )

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