40 Replies Latest reply: Jan 14, 2013 6:04 AM by Barry Harmsen RSS

    I thought QlikView was supposed to be easy to learn

      Hello Everyone,

       

      Of course I'm a newbie not only to this product but from a technical perspective BI in general. I'm not finding this product to be user friendly at all. Perhaps it's just the newness of it all but I'm wondering did anyone else fell this way at the start?

        • I thought QlikView was supposed to be easy to learn

          Yes, I felt the same but when you try a lot you will get the hang of it. Through this forum you can get much help.

           

          Succes!

          • I thought QlikView was supposed to be easy to learn

            Couldn't agree more. I started using it 3 days ago............

            • I thought QlikView was supposed to be easy to learn
              Steve Dark

              Hi There,

              I found that following through the tutorial that gets put in the folder C:\Program Files\QlikView\Tutorial (provided you do a full install with default options) was a brilliant start point. I got through this in a couple of days and was able to build simple applications at the end of it. Being able to use some of the advanced features only comes with time and experience. As others have said though, this forum is a good place to find answers, and ask questions.

              All the best with it. I am sure you will find it worthwhile putting the effort in.

              Cheers,
              Steve

                • I thought QlikView was supposed to be easy to learn
                  John Trigg

                  All

                  This is an illuminating discussion and one we are keen to keep learning from. Steve, glad that you found the tutorial helpful. It probably should have been easier to know where it was and how to get to it. We want to add content to this 'Getting Started' forum that can also help anyone starting with QlikView. Did you have a chance to look at any of the short videos available? Are they useful? Should there be others that focus on certain topics?

                  Let us know your thoughts

                  Regards

                  John Trigg

                  Global product Manager - QlikView Developer

                    • I thought QlikView was supposed to be easy to learn

                      I remember that I was completely lost until I went through the tutorial when I started with Qlikview. The tutorial became sort of an "aah" experience and after that I had the basic conceptual understanding of the product to go into a trial-and-error learning mode.

                       

                       

                       

                        • I thought QlikView was supposed to be easy to learn
                          John Witherspoon

                          I'm not sure if it means anything, but I found it user friendly from the start. My very first exposure was going through the tutorial on my own. I don't remember that being difficult. Shortly after that, we had a consultant in to teach a class on it for a couple of days to the intended developers. I remember being bored in the class and moving ahead to experiment with things on my own, read in my own data instead of sample data, that kind of thing. But all of this was years ago, so it's possible that it was more confusing at first than I remember.

                          Mind you, I've always had a love/hate relationship with QlikView. In general, I find it to be an extremely clever product that does so very many things right. But there are also aspects of how it was designed that make certain things unnecessarily difficult and occasionally seemingly impossible. And it seems to go through periods of instability and bugs, perhaps because so many new features are being rushed in so quickly.

                        • I thought QlikView was supposed to be easy to learn
                          abdullahkn

                          Dears,

                          I 'm also new in qlikview. And I think the suggestion of Mr. john is very helpful for newest people. At least to go it through step by step.

                          Abdalla

                           

                      • I thought QlikView was supposed to be easy to learn
                        Michael Solomovich

                        I sometimes compare using QlikView to writing. You can learn a few letters and write simple phrases quickly. You need some experience to write long phrases and short stories, and a good deal of talent for novels. And, only few who are able to create something like "King Lear" or "War and Peace". Oh, and they are not always the same people who invented letters.
                        Don't be upset if you're are not there yet... Smile

                          • I thought QlikView was supposed to be easy to learn

                            Im into it for about 6 weeks now. Im finding if Im playing with a concept its fine, pivots,straight pivots charts and general functionality its fine but if your trying to produce something releaseable to production its a differant matter.

                            The backend throws up issues around performance loading, persisting filtering and joining Qvds , Incremental Loads, optimised loads and dimension handling. and the Script window being modal is really irritating!

                            The front end is a bit easier as its all in property boxes (the modal dialogs are just as annoying here though), Im often finding the option I want is greyed out and its not clear Why (to me anyway!), set analysis is potentially great though i can see it becomming complex quickly.

                            Im currently struggling with Sorts (about as basic an operation as you can get) im sorting descending and getting ascending, im unable to sort a text branch code in numeric order correctly in a cyclic group that is used on a list box filter (a seperate post is on its way to forum for some more excellent assistance .)

                            II am also struggling with bookmarks not behaving as i would expect from reading the help

                            Its a bleeding edge product and at the moment im the one doing a lot of the bleeding ... The forums an excellent resource as has been said before in this thread. perhaps QlikView support can monitor it and assist a bit more to improve this aspect of the product

                            Regards.

                             

                          • I thought QlikView was supposed to be easy to learn
                            Brian Garland

                            It depends on your BI and SQL background. I was able to demo a Sales application within 24 hours. But others I work with took considerably longer, primarily with the scripting. You'll get it, then you'll fall in love!

                            • I thought QlikView was supposed to be easy to learn
                              gilesslinger

                              I'm also new to this, and I'm gobsmacked by the lack of clarity.

                              I've got a lovely .csv of data. (International cricketers by country, date of birth etc etc, for those who are interested in analysing the impact of birth month on sporting success!). I'd like to use it to test out Qlikview

                              I expected to be able to find a button marked 'upload data', then to be able to dive immediately into sorting, averaging, showing means, subtotals, comparing one country against another and so on. I'm (a) stuck at first base - can't even work out how to upload the stuff and therefore (b) I'm not using it. You could add (c) clearly v stupid, but something feels wrong! I'm an experienced excel user, so if I'm stuck, I'm guessing that Qlikview is losing approx 75% of the sales it could be getting. Key indicators for you to check:

                              1) What is your conversion rate of trials to sales?

                              2) What is your conversion rate of trial downloads to using more than twice?

                              I'm a little embarrassed to say that I haven't looked at the video tutorial. My excuse? I haven't got an afternoon to spare, and I can get on with things on excel for the moment. I'm aware this will sound wimpish, but if there are lots of products saying 'you just need to invest 2-3 days to get the basics' then I will simply wait until one of them gets easy enough to use out of the box... comments welcome

                              sincerely

                              A Late Adopter

                               

                                • I thought QlikView was supposed to be easy to learn

                                  I have about 3 years experience of using QlikView but as with John above, I don't remember it being too difficult to get moving on it, and I was immediately faced with existing complex load scripts to understand.

                                  I am, to say the least, not a QlikView evangelist but I do believe that the product is very easy to implement and it is possible to have applications up and running in a couple of days.

                                  As for the point above, loading data from a CSV into qlikview could not be easier, I have just done it and not counting the saving of the qvw application it took precisely 8 mouse button clicks! I'm not sure I have ever used an application that makes life that easy.

                                  I do of course accept that I am speaking now after 3 years of experience, however, one thing I did do at the start was to look through the tutorial (briefly) and hand pick a couple of the training videos to watch. I'm not sure there are many applications out there where you can get stuck in and produce something meaningful without allocating some time to learning, you seem to be forgetting that you are using Excel because you have some experience with it, and therefore it's easier.

                                  So......... what does "out of the box" really mean?

                                  If I can get data from a dat source into Qlikview in 8 clicks of the mouse, is that not "out of the box".

                                  I agree with John, there are issues with QlikView, but ease of use and "getting started" is most certainly not one of them.

                                  • I thought QlikView was supposed to be easy to learn

                                    Your points are valid and worth noting. However, I would encourage you to review the getting started online tutorials as they are critical in gaining a basic knowledge of how QlikView works. I too was exactly where you are initially and the tutorials helped quite a bit. While QlikView may be "easy" to learn the basics, a greater degree of effort and experience is needed to gain an advanced level of understanding of the power behind this tool. Unfortunately the marketing behing QlikView tends to wieigh heavily on the ease of use, time to value and overall simplicity from both the end user and developer perspective comparative to other products on the market.

                                    Best of luck!

                                    • I thought QlikView was supposed to be easy to learn
                                      John Witherspoon

                                       


                                      gilesslinger wrote:I'm also new to this, and I'm gobsmacked by the lack of clarity...
                                      I'm an experienced excel user...
                                      if there are lots of products saying 'you just need to invest 2-3 days to get the basics' then I will simply wait until one of them gets easy enough to use out of the box...


                                      I do think I understand exactly where you're coming from. I downloaded an evaluation version of Tableau, just out of curiosity for how it compared. I briefly glanced through some of their sample applications, failed to grasp in less than 5 minutes how to load in my own data, and moved on. I never got it working, and the trial period expired. I'm willing to bet that Tableau is no harder to use than QlikView. But I didn't NEED to learn how to use it, so since I couldn't learn it in 5 minutes, I gave up. I'm sure there are people evaluating QlikView having the exact same experience. Some of those people probably do represent lost sales opportunities.

                                      Excel IS an excellent product, and the "BI tool" of choice for a large number of companies. It has been around forever, and it has had lots of time to get things right. Many of us have grown up on spreadsheets, so they just "feel right" to us when using them. But I'm also pretty confident that if you took someone that had never used spreadsheets before, and sat them down in front of Excel, they would not find it "easy enough to use out of the box". It would probably take them two or three days of experimentation, reading or instruction to figure out what was going on, and it would take them much longer than that to master the product.

                                      So I don't think the learning curve of QlikView is much different than that of Excel. Both are excellent products. Both take a few days to get the hang of them. Just most people invested those few days in Excel so long ago that it may seem like something they've always known, something entirely natural.

                                      Now MAYBE BI tools will eventually reach your standards of "easy enough to use out of the box". Certainly ease of use is something everyone is working on, and would like to improve in their products. Let's say they finally get it just that easy after ten or twenty more years, kind of like the evolution of the word processor or spreadsheet from very clunky to the smooth products they are today. Companies that wait ten or twenty years to adopt BI because it's not "easy enough to use out of the box" are wasting an excellent opportunity to improve themselves. All it takes is a little investment in their future.

                                      • I thought QlikView was supposed to be easy to learn
                                        Martin Olsen

                                        A BI tool is a so much more complicated (and different) Application than Excell and I wonder why anyone would expect to be able to "handle" QlikView without a fair and dedicated effort. I do not think that anyone would expect to be able to handle MS SQL server, Oracle og SAP BI with a background of experienced Excel user only.

                                        It simply is not fair to give critic about anything (weather it is QV, or any other app.) without doing an effort of trying to understand it, and perhaps a bit arrogant to tell a company how to run business on that behalf. I understand your embarrasment of not having looked at the video tutorial.

                                        Give it a chance - a fair chance..

                                        Best regards

                                        Martin

                                         

                                        • I thought QlikView was supposed to be easy to learn
                                          John Witherspoon

                                          gilesslinger wrote:

                                           

                                          I'm also new to this, and I'm gobsmacked by the lack of clarity.

                                          I've got a lovely .csv of data. (International cricketers by country, date of birth etc etc, for those who are interested in analysing the impact of birth month on sporting success!). I'd like to use it to test out Qlikview

                                          I expected to be able to find a button marked 'upload data', then to be able to dive immediately into sorting, averaging, showing means, subtotals, comparing one country against another and so on. I'm (a) stuck at first base - can't even work out how to upload the stuff and therefore (b) I'm not using it.

                                           

                                           

                                          When you create a file (file -> new) in version 10, isn't the default behavior to launch a wizard to load your data?  I think I remember disabling that. 

                                           

                                          Without that, I can see the immediate confusion when starting QlikView.  There's nothing obvious for "upload some data".  There's no reason you'd know that what you need to do is edit script (file -> edit script, also an icon, also control-E).  Even once there, it doesn't jump out at you, as the most obvious thing are some weird definitions at the top of the screen.  "No, I don't need to change the month names", you could think to yourself, and just close it right back down.  You need to look at the fine print down at the bottom, where it says "Data from Files" on a "Data" tab.  And even then, what button should we press for Excel?  Turns out it's "Table Files", which will finally launch a wizard to load data from Excel.  Well, sort of.  It launches a wizard to write script.  It doesn't actually load the file.  To do that, you need to hit "OK" to get out of the script editor... oh, and for goodness sake save at that point... and then find "Reload" (File -> Reload, an icon, or control-R).  The reason you save is that QlikView's default behavior if you have an error in your script when you reload is to give you options of continuing despite the error, or canceling the load, which then incidentally wipes out all unsaved changes.  Fun, huh?  Now, you can fix that by going into Settings -> User Preferences -> Save tab -> checkmark "Save Before Reload", but that's far from obvious too.

                                           

                                          So yeah, I'll agree that it doesn't really work out of the box (though perhaps if I'm right about the v10 wizard it's a little better now).  You actually do need a few days of basic training to get much of anywhere with it.  I suspect that's true of most BI tools, even the ones that are supposed to be the most user-friendly.  For instance, I downloaded Tableau about a year ago to have a look.  I only had about an hour to poke at it, and was unable to figure out how to load in any data or make any charts in that hour.  I'm sure it's trivial to do so in Tableau, just as it's trivial to do so in QlikView, but nothing's trivial when you don't know how to do it.

                                           

                                          Hopefully BI tools will get better over time, and the way they behave will probably become more familiar to people as well.  It seems to me that at the moment, they're targetted more towards IT professionals than towards anyone else, even if that's not who they ultimately WANT to target (or at least not the ONLY people they want to target).

                                        • I thought QlikView was supposed to be easy to learn
                                          Mike Overson

                                          QlikView IS very easy to learn compared to other BI products. But, the manual is not well written and the steps to creating your first document are not clear, certainly not obvious to a non BI user. If it had a start-up Wizard that would be a great improvement.

                                          When I loaded my first data I DID have to read a little in Help in order to understand what I needed to do. However, once I figured that out and had used the Layout>Select Fields function, I quickly learned that QlikView is by far the fastest and easiest dashboard tool. It took another search through Help to figure out how to calculate averages, sums, counts, percentages, etc., in Chart objects. Once again, though, after creating the first one I was blown away at how easy is was. My first Doc took two days to create from QV install to sharing with others.

                                          After working in QV for 2.5 years, I'm still trying to figure out many of the advanced features. I often refer to the manual but occasionally I've had to get expert help for thorny problems.

                                          • I thought QlikView was supposed to be easy to learn

                                            Coming from a systems architecture and software design background, I found QlikView to be relatively moderate in difficulty to learn; largely due to the need to utilize 2 to 3 different languages to get started. Recognizing this, we created a standard practice in our company of attending and completing the free Online Courses before including them in user acceptance testing, and before getting started with development.

                                            After attending these courses and completing the available tutorials most of our users found QlikView to be simple and intuitive for basic analysis.. however very difficult for much beyond that.

                                            In order to enable our users to get more value from QlikView, we've started a process of pre-modeling the data structures for their consumption. After removing the hurdle of learning QlikView load script, our users have really flourished to develop some impressive applications. They're provided with a pre-loaded QVW (which the QV Publisher generates), and a simple tutorial document explaining the data structure. They binary load that QVW and go from there.

                                            I'd recommend this approach to anyone having trouble with initial acceptance and usage of QlikView. It goes a long way in smoothing out that sharp learning curve.

                                            ______________________________________________
                                            Alex Mumme
                                            Developer/Analyst, Business Intelligence
                                            Information Technologies Division

                                            CHG Healthcare Services, Inc.
                                            6440 South Millrock Drive, Suite 175
                                            Salt Lake City, Utah 84121

                                            • I thought QlikView was supposed to be easy to learn

                                              We initially had similar feelings. I echo others' comments about the tutorial: it is essential.

                                              The phrase we've uttered here over & over is: "Ohhh. I didn't expect to find it/have it work that way. Now that I do, it is easy/makes sense!" User groups, the QlikCommunity site, and experience will help you clear the hurdles.

                                              • I thought QlikView was supposed to be easy to learn
                                                hardik_1315

                                                Hi there, ofcourse it wasn't easy to begin @ the start, but i can assure u that as and when we got issues, the forum users were super quick to answer our queries which is remarkable, since QlikView training is not not easily available around here...

                                                • I thought QlikView was supposed to be easy to learn

                                                  I am having 3+ years of experience in qlikview.When i strated working with qlikview i was in the same situation but i m sure once u spent some time with qlikview u will find it very easy to learn & user frendly. Smile

                                                  • I thought QlikView was supposed to be easy to learn

                                                    Hi!

                                                    I had experience of Business Objects before, and after that experience: Yes - Qlikview is quite simple. I have now working with Qlikview something like 1 year. I am still newbie. But this product feels so much easier than ie. BO.

                                                    So good luck :) It will get more easier when you have worked with it for a while.

                                                    And like others say: It's like love/hate relationship sometimes ;)

                                                    • I thought QlikView was supposed to be easy to learn

                                                      Has anyone written a book on Qlikview Yet?

                                                        • I thought QlikView was supposed to be easy to learn
                                                          Joe Kirwan

                                                          Hi

                                                          For what it's worth, here is my experience so far.

                                                          When I started out on Qlikview (about 3 months ago),I searched the internet for a book on Qlikview, and concluded that the only material in book form out there was the tutorial and manuals available as downloads from the Qlikview site.

                                                          That for me has been the biggest difference between the Qlikview learning experience and that for something like, say, Excel.

                                                          With Excel, there are many good books around, any one of which will give you a good understanding of the product. For me, it was a question of learning how each Excel menu item worked, as well as mastering as many of the Excel functions as possible.

                                                          If you follow the Qlikview tutorial, you would certainly get the impression that it is easy to learn. But it deals with a fairly simple data structures - it is designed primarily to demo the variety of ways in which data can be analysed and presented.

                                                          However, once you go beyond these simple structures, I find things get a lot trickier, especially if you do not have sql experience (which I don't). And I didn't find the tutorial / manual much help in these cases.

                                                          The good news is that the forum is excellent. So far I have had almost 100% succes rate in resolving any issues, in many cases by reference to previous postings on the matter, but also by posting new threads on the issues myself. There are also numerous blogs that can be helpful. (Somehere in the forum there is a great book, if all the suggested answers could be compiled into a coherent format!)

                                                          So while my learning process may not be as structured as that I would have been used to with Excel, it is targeted on specific issues I encounter.

                                                          Hope you find this of help.

                                                          • Re: I thought QlikView was supposed to be easy to learn
                                                            Barry Harmsen

                                                            https://dl.dropbox.com/u/6795646/QlikFix/QlikView11ForDevelopersBook/QlikView11ForDevelopersBook.pngYes:

                                                             

                                                            QlikView 11 for Developers

                                                            (Packt Publishing, ISBN: 978-1849686068)

                                                            This book was authored by Mike García and Barry Harmsen and has a foreword by QlikTech's Donald Farmer. Technical review was provided by Ralf Becher, Steve Dark and Stephen Redmond.

                                                             

                                                            With over 500 pages of original content, QlikView 11 for Developers offers a completely practical and hands-on guide to learning both basic and advanced QlikView development concepts. The book follows a practical case based on a fictional company; HighCloud Airlines. This case evolves throughout the book, developing your QlikView skills step by step while gradually building a complete QlikView solution.

                                                             

                                                            Topics covered in the book include:

                                                             

                                                            • Using script to load and transform data, and best practices for keeping everything manageable
                                                            • Data modeling, and how to overcome common modeling challenges
                                                            • Styling and designing your applications
                                                            • Advanced aggregations and expressions
                                                            • Point-in-time reporting and achieving complex calculations using Set Analysis
                                                            • Best practices for setting up a scalable data architecture
                                                            • Securing your data with Section Access
                                                            • Time-saving techniques for making your QlikView development more efficient.

                                                             

                                                            All example and solution files are Personal Edition enabled. This means that anyone with the free, personal edition of QlikView can pick up the book and start learning how to develop QlikView applications. There is no need to invest in software beforehand.

                                                             

                                                            QlikView 11 for Developers is available in both paperback and ebook versions, and can be purchased online through Packt (paperback + ebook), Amazon (Paperback - Kindle), Barnes & Noble and many other places.

                                                             

                                                            https://dl.dropbox.com/u/6795646/QlikFix/QlikView11ForDevelopersBook/Packt.png

                                                             

                                                            https://dl.dropbox.com/u/6795646/QlikFix/QlikView11ForDevelopersBook/Amazon.png

                                                             

                                                            https://dl.dropbox.com/u/6795646/QlikFix/QlikView11ForDevelopersBook/BarnesNoble.png

                                                          • I thought QlikView was supposed to be easy to learn

                                                            Easy to learn, a lifetime to master...

                                                            • I thought QlikView was supposed to be easy to learn
                                                              Steve Dark

                                                              Hi there,

                                                               

                                                              After reading this thread and seeing subsequent postings over the following months prompted me to right a blog post on my thoughts around QlikView and the slogan Simplifying Analysis For Everyone.

                                                               

                                                              You can read it here: http://bit.ly/k6KqC0

                                                               

                                                              Cheers,

                                                              Steve

                                                              • I thought QlikView was supposed to be easy to learn

                                                                The best employees I ever had were good analysts and listeners first, then tool users.

                                                                 

                                                                So, if you have analytic skills, and you know what a column, row and join are, it will take 1 to 3 months to become truly proficient.

                                                                 

                                                                If not, it will take longer, because the lingo is new, and so are the concepts.  Understanding what an "associative database" is, by itself, can be a 30 minute lesson, much less how to write "load script" to make it right.

                                                                 

                                                                To be fair, if you are new to the tool, give yourself some time, and compare that time to any other new skill you attained by hard work and perseverence.

                                                                 

                                                                For example, if you wanted to learn how to play the guitar, or play golf, how long do you think it could take to get 'good'?

                                                                 

                                                                Or, if you bought your first SLR Camera, how long would it be before you could produce results which really 'pop'?

                                                                 

                                                                QlikView is the lowest learning curve of the BI tools I have managed and deployed, by far.

                                                                 

                                                                (Cognos, Microstrategy, BO, Essbase, and a few I can't recall)