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lawrenceiow
Contributor II

Straight table or pivot table or text boxes or something else - presenting information

I have tried searching these web pages for help on this but I'm not entirely sure what to search for.

I'll start with what I've done so far and then mention why I can't continue in this way.

I have created a dashboard which displays a range of KPIs for a chosen location/area, see image 1.

001.PNG

Each KPI (only 4 are shown here) consists of 4 text boxes - 1 for the label, 1 for the value, 1 for the target and 1 for the icon. I chose this approach as I need to control font sizes/colours for 3 of the 4 elements. However, some KPIs don't apply to certain locations so, for example, if Staff Sickness didn't apply then I don't want it to appear but I want the Training KPI to take it's place and everything below to move up too. Also, this approach seems to be very slow to render using Ajax.

So for this I tried a Pivot Table but couldn't control individual column sizes. Then I tried a horizontal Straight Table (see image 2) as I could load each KPI as an expression and use "conditional" to control whether or not to display it.

002.PNG

This seems to be the best bet so far but I still can't get it to look how I need it to as shown in image 1.

So, my questions are:

Am I heading in the right direction with the straight table and how do I specify sizes/colours?

Is there some other approach which would do the job better?

Thanks for any help people can give.

Regards

Lawrence

8 Replies
richard_chilvers
Contributor III

Re: Straight table or pivot table or text boxes or something else - presenting information

Hi Lawrence

When I do this type of display, I tend to use a Chart object with a straight table. This gives nice control over many features when you click on the '+' beside the dimension/expression to show what you can change.

You can also better control the size/shape of the image you use to show the tick or cross etc.

I hope this helps and goes some way towards doing what you want. It took me a while of using QV to realise these features exist.

Regards

Richard

Re: Straight table or pivot table or text boxes or something else - presenting information

  1. Keep it simple
  2. Try using characters instead of images: Replacing images with Geometric Shapes as visual cues
  3. You can change text color and format of expression values by clicking on the + in front of an expression, select the item you want to customize and enter an expression. For example '<b>' to make the text format bold.

talk is cheap, supply exceeds demand
lawrenceiow
Contributor II

Re: Straight table or pivot table or text boxes or something else - presenting information

Thanks for your reply Richard, even got in there before Gysbert

I am already aware of the '+' button but it only gives me incredibly basic html style control over font - ie <b> for Bold, <i> for italic and <u> underlined, I want control of font size.


Re: Straight table or pivot table or text boxes or something else - presenting information

Enable the option Always Show Design Menu items on the Design tab of the User Preferences window. Once you've enabled that you can right click a cell in a straight table or pivot table and choose Custom Format Cell. That will give you the option to change the font size to some degree in a range of 60 to 140 percent.


talk is cheap, supply exceeds demand
lawrenceiow
Contributor II

Re: Straight table or pivot table or text boxes or something else - presenting information

Thanks for your reply Gysbert, I see your replies a lot in these forums, I almost started my question with "Dear Gysbert"

  1. I am trying to keep it simple for the end user - ie what a dashboard should be. But I presume you're meaning "keep it simple for the Designer or for QlikView itself"?
  2. That sounds like a plan, I had thought about this first but I wanted to make it really look nice for the end-user and felt the built-in icons looked better. However, on printing a table with over 300 of these icons in it to PDF the resultant PDF was a lot bigger than it needs to be. So, I think I'll change to the Geometric Shape approach and hope that no-one minds losing the nice looking icons. I should have kept it "simple".
  3. I see your post above re: "Always Show Design Menu".

Re: Straight table or pivot table or text boxes or something else - presenting information

But I presume you're meaning "keep it simple for the Designer or for QlikView itself"?

Both for the developer and for the end user. It's very easy to add to much 'decoration' resulting in a dashboard that isn't as clear as it could be. If you haven't read it already I highly recommend the book Information Dashboard Design by Stephen Few.


talk is cheap, supply exceeds demand
lawrenceiow
Contributor II

Re: Straight table or pivot table or text boxes or something else - presenting information

This looks promising, thanks Gysbert. 140% is not quite what I was after (currently the numbers are 200% compared with the label) but it's better than nothing.

It's one of those features you only discover after a while of using QlikView, as Richard Chilvers says.

I think, my main problem is probably down to my data structure - I need to have the KPI labels as a Dimension in the chart and currently these don't exist in the data. I'll have to create an aggregate of my FactTable.qvd and create these KPI items in the process.

lawrenceiow
Contributor II

Re: Straight table or pivot table or text boxes or something else - presenting information


I always aim to keep it simple for the end user. I attended a conference in the early 90's at the HQ of my previous employer. There were various speakers who had to present on what their department did. The only presentation I can remember, even to this day, is the one given by the IT dept. It was a very simple PowerPoint presentation, almost no text on screen - certainly no sentences, plenty of pictures, light hearted, and communicated at a level so that the audience "get it" rather than the presenter (or the presenter's peers) - ie no techno-babble.

Ever since then, I've always strived to create similar powerpoint shows for my presentations and subsequently in the dashboards I create. I always find it a lot harder or more time consuming to create a presentation in this way as if the audience don't remember it or "get it", then it's a waste of time doing it. Ultimately it's worth spending that extra effort in presenting information in a simple way for the audience.

That book you mention is actually the first book we got in the dept when we first ventured into creating our own dashboards. We started off with Xcelsius which was great, as far as it went. After a few years of using this we found that the end users, whilst they liked the simple presentation of information they got, they wanted to delve further into the information. At first this was because the didn't believe (or like) the figures presented but then it would enable them to discover where they needed to take corrective actions to improve their service. This, I think, is where QlikView wins, we get the ability to design the simple Dashboard but also we can hold all the data to allow the user to perform their own Analysis or perform 'business discovery' and also to have proper Reports rather than just the screen grabs they were used to doing.

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