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One of QlikView’s key differentiators is the associative experience, the ability for business users to easily navigate through data sets to not only find answers to their questions, but to also discover new insights,  and spot hidden trends. Only QlikView provides business users with this level of flexibility and insight.

Once the business users find a key insight or trend though, they might want to compare that with a slightly different view. For example, if they find that bike and accessory sales in Europe have flattened out over the last few quarters, they might wonder how that compares with the rest of Europe. Of course with QlikView they could immediately select the other European countries instead of France and immediately get the answer. But what if they wanted to see those two or more different views side by side?

One of the approaches that are used in those situations is using set analysis. With set analysis, it is possible to create data groups in charts and use them for visual comparison. The limitation of set analysis is the person creating set analysis should know about the type of groups that the other users would like to compare and set it up in advance accordingly.

QlikView 11 Comparative Analysis (Alternate State is the technical name of the feature) overcomes this challenge. The goal of Comparative Analysis is to make it easier and flexible for business users to see two or more data sets in the same application, alongside each other in the same graph, in graphs next to each other, or even as reference points for calculations and comparisons.

Comparative Analysis is a developer enabled capability, meaning developers need to set up the basic framework for comparison in an application. But it is a user-driven feature; meaning business users can then define the selections they want to compare. This video shows how to create alternate states, assign QlikView objects to them, and the concept of inheritance of alternate states. I will post about more creative ways of using alternate states in a couple of weeks, stay tuned!

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Great post to start with, in pursuit of learning this fantastic tool. Would be great if someone can direct to more scenarios and related hands-on exercises on Alternate State

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