I recently wrote a post on LinkedIn about using Qlik Sense for visual analytics & GTD on emails.  I am releasing the Qlik Sense App and documentation on how to get it working.  This is personal project to help improve my time with email so I am looking for any and all suggestions.

 

Pre-requisites
  • Windows 7+ OS (sorry Mac fans, I am using VMware Fusion); 64 Bit
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Qlik Sense 1.1

 

Performance Note

Qlik Sense is an in-memory solution so the faster CPU and more RAM - the better.  Performance is very fast for Qlik Sense - typically a few seconds per query - however performance will vary on the number of emails that you have.


When using Qlik Sense - Global Smart Search (video), it needs to index all of your emails including the body text (which you wouldn't be able to search in most other solutions - a nice bonus).  With 1.1, this may take some time.  For example, I am using a virtual image on my Apple MacBook Pro 13" analyzing over 90k emails (since 2010) and it took approximately 3-5 minutes for the initial index.  It is speedy once the index is created.  Performance will improve with future releases - trust me I know

 

Step-by-Step Instructions
  1. Download and install the following free downloads:
  2. Install Qlik Sense
  3. Install CodeTwo - it is a plugin for Outlook
  4. Setup a new directory on your root C:\ folder and call it Outlook
  5. Create two sub-directories under C:\Outlook called Inbox and Sent
    Folders.jpg
  6. Open Outlook and click on the folder that you want exported as CSV.  In the following screenshot, you'll notice that (a) and (b) are my emails that I have received and (c) is my sent folder.  Click on (d) to export per folder - you can not import more than one folder at a time.  Note:  You may not have a processed folder - I use that as a folder to put emails that has gone through my GTD processing and doesn't need any further action from me.
    outlookCodeTwoExport.jpg

  7. When you click on the CodeTwo Outlook Export item - (d) above, you will need to configure several items.  (a) Create a single folder to put all of your exports and then name each folder.  I suggest making it easy to remember what type of email folder it is, especially if you are exporting several of Outlook folders. (b) Use the Outlook field names exactly as the screenshot by clicking the  "+ Add" button. (c) Hit export!
    ExportScreen.jpg

  8. Place the Inbox related emails in the Inbox folder.  Place the Sent related emails in the Sent folder.  Use the folders that you setup from Step 5.  Notice that I created a separate file for each of my folders.  I archive my emails per year so the below screenshot has the list of emails that I have exported from my work email.  Notice there is a file per year per folder.
    ExportedFiles.jpg
  9. Download the attachment from this post - Outlook - Analysis.qvf
    • This Qlik Sense App only contains the script and visualizations. It does not have any data.
  10. Qlik Sense Desktop should NOT be running at this point.  Please shut it down prior to Step 11.
  11. Put the .qvf file here (documents folder) or C:\Users\<your user name>\Documents\Qlik\Sense\Apps
    QlikSenseAppFolder.jpg
  12. Start Qlik Sense
  13. Open the App in the hub (name - Outlook- Analysis)
  14. Since the App has no data, it will open with the following window.
    AppNoData.jpg
  15. Press the Open button and it will put you in the Data Load editor - there is no need to worry about the script.  Just press the Load Data button on the top right of the window.
    ReloadDataButton.jpg
  16. You should now see this window
    ReloadStatusWindow.jpg
  17. Hit the Close button after the App reloads
    ReloadClose.jpg
  18. Goto App Overview.  Qlik Sense has powerful multi-screen / multi-window capabilities.  For now, open the App Overview in the same window.
    OpenAppOverview.jpg
  19. You’ll see the App overview window which contains two sheets
    AppOverview.jpg
  20. Click on the Summary to see your a Summary of your emails.
  21. Go analyze your emails!  Make a selection and then you move to the next sheet to review the detailed emails.