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Michael_Tarallo
Employee
Employee

jason.pngHello Qlik Community! In this post, I’d like to introduce you to today’s guest blogger and Qlik enthusiast, Jason Yeung. Jason is our North East Solution Architect Manager who has over 15 years in the BI industry…flexing his muscles in Pre-sales, product management, consulting, and support. Jason wanted to get healthy, but traditional means of health data tracking weren’t enough. Continue reading to learn more about why Jason applied Qlik Sense to his fitness plan and how it was a better alternative to traditional fitness tracking methods.

This past year, I decided to get in shape.  Over the years, I went from being an avid runner to a car service, driving my children to hockey rinks on the weekends.  This year, things were going to change.  I had a strong plan, motivation, and allocated the right amount of time to be successful.  However, I needed an analytical tool to track my progress and keep me honest.

The Analytics Problem with Fitness Apps

Today, we have access to data around our personal well-being and there are data collection tools everywhere.  We wear them on our wrists, have them in our pockets, and have them built into our treadmills.  While these tools serve as great motivators, they all seem to fall short in 3 key analytical areas:

  • Data in, not data out.  These tools do an excellent job collecting large amounts of data, but tend to fall short when it comes to analytics. They often provide summary level dashboards that just show fitness activity over time, but with limited abilities to explore the data further.
  • Lack of self-service.  My fitness “dashboards” are never quite the way I want them.  Everybody uses slightly different metrics and different ways to visualize their fitness activity and it seems we are limited to static dashboards that can’t be modified easily.
  • I want “other” data.  No one fitness tracker really tells the whole story because they’re all used for specific purposes.  Additionally, these “apps” are all isolated from one another with no unified way to bring the data together, especially data from other sources. This is important because when it comes to physical fitness, we tend to only see the data relationships and associations that we want to see.

Enter Qlik Sense

At Qlik, I’m constantly working with customers and prospects to build and develop innovative analytical solutions to solve their real-life complex information needs.  Qlik Sense provides these organizations with an analytical tool that enables them to build dynamic and interactive dashboards from many different sources of data.  As you can see, this is the same problem that I’m trying to solve, so I put Qlik Sense to the test.

What I did
Here’s a two view dashboard that I built to track my fitness activity.

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At first glance this may not seem to be any different than other fitness dashboards, but the fundamental differences are as follows:

  • Data from four different data sources. RunKeeper, Fitbit, Weatherbug, and my personal data entry spreadsheet.  Therefore, no more isolated views of data.
  • No modifications or “massaging” of data needed. I was able to use the applications’ “out-of-the-box” functionality to export the data as-is and combine them together.
  • Personalization. I was then able to build my own custom visualizations tailored to how I wanted to see them.
  • Speedy. Based on my knowledge of Qlik Sense, I was able to easily load the data and build the visuals very quickly, while gaining additional insight from the data of the various tracking devices.

The Biggest Insights Can be Simple to Discover

The previous dashboard view was extremely effective in tracking my fitness activity. But the dashboard itself really didn’t shed any new insights.  However, the additional data from Weatherbug did!  For runners, weather can be the single biggest motivational driver. In the visuals below, there are two main discoveries.

The weather varies from week-to-week, but my weekly running activity remained relatively constant:


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But the “type” of day played the biggest role. I noticed that while my pace and distance doesn’t significantly change based on temperature, the outliers on the right suggests that I typically only run on “Clear” days.

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Telling the Story

After analyzing all this data, I needed to build a story to communicate the meaning behind the numbers. Using Data Storytelling, Qlik Sense allowed me to build a dynamic presentation with a narrative to highlight my overall activity. I wanted to share this information with my support structure, my family.


8.png

And the main point to communicate was:

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The Result

What was the outcome of all this?  My wife bought me a windbreaker!

In summary, as you can see, analytics is all around us.  In addition to being a top priority across all organizations, it should be a top priority for individuals to better manage their health.  Using data to gather and build new insights allows us to be more productive, make better and more informed decisions, and hopefully live healthier lives. Being able to communicate your findings effectively increases your chances of getting the message heard and understood. I used Qlik Sense to unleash my intuition and so should you. Download Qlik Sense today for free.

Jason Yeung

Qlik

16 Comments
abh
Employee
Employee

This is a great example of how to use Qlik Sense to explore your own personal performance. I do something similar with data from Strava in combination with several bespoke data sources to track my cycling performance. With a large event planned this summer I have already identified how I need to modify my training for the challenge ahead. In the past I have done the same on running data from Endomondo with similar outcomes.

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Not applicable

Thanks for your insight Jason!

Great App.

How do you connect your app with those different sites? Would you mind sharing your app?

Thanks again Jason!

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Michael_Tarallo
Employee
Employee

Hello Francois - thanks for your comment. I am working with Jason to see what content we can make available. There is also an initiative to share some of the process used to gather the information from the various devices. Stay tuned!

Mike

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ganeshreddy
Creator III
Creator III

Thank you Michael and Jason. Very good app,we are eagerly waiting to see your app.

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mikkeltaylor
Creator II
Creator II

Nice example.  I've also used Qlik Sense to create my own personal English Premier League football app using data pulled from the telegraph website and I'm always on the lookout for new sources of 'non-business' data 🙂

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gpe
Contributor
Contributor

Hello Michael and Jason,

Great Blog !

By the way, I started developping a simular app a few weeks ago as I am preparing for the vättenrundan,  with data from my Garmin (as a I am a cyclist), some excell files, tracx training data, live meteo data and my favorite music from spotity. It is 'under construction' and published on our qlik cloud hub. More than 10 years of data.

Greetings Gregory.

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rdg
Employee
Employee

Hi!!

I've created 2 apps (one in Qlik and one in Qlik Sense), based on Strava or Garmin information, to use it with your data.

If you're interested, please send me an email roberto.serrano@qlik.com

Regards!!

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rdg
Employee
Employee

Hi Gregory!

from where do you extract the Weather info?

thanks in advance!!

best regards!

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anguila
Partner
Partner

Interesting article but catastrophic design and user experience..

At a glance, it might look great, because you can see some charts, colors, and scatter there.. but.. sincerely, it's hard to read (at least in terms of what it could be!)

Dashboard:

- Labels hard to read: 2014/19, 2014/20, 2014/21... What about just the week number? Same with the day... full date there. Perhaps, year in the chart label?

- The chart in the bottom right, looks great (actually don't) but I don't know what it's. Title..? Axis label?

- No color meaning neither coherence between them?  (3 type of blues, yellow, brown, red, green, gray, ... boom.)

- Gradients in charts.. (Is because It make it looks like a mountain? But still...)

- 3 circle shapes and 1 square as icons, different sizes

- Green/red in the scatter.. what about color blind people?

- Unsorted charts (weather events bar charts)

- ...

I'm pretty sure that the mission of this Dashboard it's not the design neither following the best practices (even though at the moment It's published in the QlikviewDesignBlog I might expect a non best-practices-killing-party here..) but also it illustrates how easy is to screw it up.

I think this is the clear example of the self service B.I.. Interesting.. but, beh. There's (for the moment) something missing.

David

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abh
Employee
Employee

David, Although I can agree with you on some of the design choices here I think there is another side to this type of application. If there is no intention to share the data in the application with anybody else then it is very hard to judge the application by normal standards. My own sports performance app is constantly changing as the questions I am asking of it are changing. I know what each chart means and where it fits in and, unlike the official dashboards provided by organisations like Strava or Endomondo, this is good enough when I am the only user.

Interestingly, where I share the data out to a blog I have created a parallel application in QlikView which I can highly tailor to my needs. I do the discovery piece in Qlik Sense and then output standard reports in QlikView. An individual object might have a broadly similar presence in each application but the design of the whole experience is completely different.

It would be interesting to see a fully developed demo application around this data which would hopefully have a lot of "something" and minimal "beh" but then where would be the time to get out there and gather the data?

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