A lot of the buzz around Qlik Sense is “Self Service” capabilities. Some people assume from that buzz that QlikView is not so good with Self Service. But what is BI “Self Service” anyways?
The goal of BI is to provide answers and insights to the business. Those answers come from interacting with content, not creating content. A reasonably well designed QlikView application used by someone with a small amount of training has always provided great Self Service. That is, if you define Self Service as a business user being able to quickly answer new business questions without engaging a developer.
Let’s look at an scenario. The Canadian government has proposed a 10% tariff on the very class of goods you sell. What might this tariff mean to your company? Quick — how much do you sell to Canada? If you pass this increase directly to the customer, how many customers do you need to talk to?
Do you require a chart of “Sales by Country” to answer this question? If you can select Country=Canada somewhere in the app, can you use the Total line from the “Sales by Year” chart to answer the question?
What if there is no Country listbox? Do you need to create one? Or can you use associative search, a search object, advanced search or a Country dropdown in a chart to make the selection?
QlikView can answer a broad range of questions with just a few charts and listboxes.
I’m not knocking Qlik Sense. The same excellent Self Service capabilities are available there with the added bonus that content creation, when required, is much easier. Plus you get consistent implementaion of current selections and global search.
I do think that an opportunity is overlooked if we first imagine Self Service as content creation rather than interaction. I enjoy teaching the two day QV Designer class to business users. However, I think many of the students may be better served by a two hour class that focuses on how to navigate QlikView well.
I don’t think of a “Power User” as someone who creates charts but rather someone who knows how to search, select and associate. A Power User doesn’t write a Set Analysis expression. They make a series of selections and store it in a bookmark.
What comes to your mind when you think “Self Service BI”?