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The Design blog is all about product and Qlik solutions, such as scripting, data modeling, visual design, extensions, best practices, and more!

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How to create a heatmap with the new GridChart


What is a heatmap chart?


Heatmaps are two-dimensional representations of data that show magnitudes as colors. A color variation - may be based on hue or intensity - gives a clear indication to the reader of how the data measured is distributed or varies over space.

The result should be a data piece that doesn't require a lot of explanation. Typically, warm high-contrast colors are used to represent high-value data points, while cool colors represent low-value data points in heatmaps.


Most common Birth Dates (US)

Qlik Sense Feb 22  (day of the month/month)Qlik Sense Feb 22  (day of the month/month)



The chart above is an excellent use case for a heatmap, it is simple and straight to the point. Births are fairly evenly distributed throughout the year, with a slight bias towards the summer months. The average number of births drops significantly on some days, such as 4th July, 24th-25th December, and January 1st.


There is also a very popular version control product out there that displays a punch-card-like activity chart like the one below that I think is an excellent implementation of a heatmap.

Not my profileNot my profile


With the February 22 release, the Grid Chart will be your first choice when it comes to heatmaps. In addition to all the features that one expects in a Grid Chart, there is now a shortcut that lets us create a heatmap just like that.




Remember that this chart is especially useful if it is self-explanatory, so try to avoid complex combinations of dimensions. This chart is best suited to time-series-based dimensions.

Enjoy it!