Creating Time Groups in Your Data Model

I frequently create Date groups in my Qlik apps to facilitate selections like “Yesterday” or “Last Week”. Some years ago I published a pattern for creating Date groups in the Recipes section of and it’s been a very popular download. I’ve responded to a few requests on Qlik Community looking to do the same thing for Time groups, so I decided to publish a recipe for Time Grouping as well.

The recipe demonstrates selecting ranges such as “Day Shift”.

Selecting by Time Group

How do we create ranges that map to our data? In the script, create a Range table that defines range Names, Start and End times.

Range as Range,
Time#(RangeStart, 'hh:mm:ss') as RangeStart,
Time#(RangeEnd, 'hh:mm:ss') as RangeEnd
Range, RangeStart, RangeEnd
Midnight Shift, 00:00:00, 05:00:00
Early Morning, 05:00:01, 09:00:00
Daylight, 06:00:00, 17:59:59
Day Shift, 09:00:01, 17:00:00
Early Evening, 17:00:01, 20:00:00
Evening, 20:00:01, 23:59:59
12am-6am, 00:00:00, 05:59:59
6am-12pm, 06:00:00, 11:59:59
12pm-6pm, 12:00:00, 17:59:59
6pm-12am, 18:00:00, 23:59:59

Then use IntervalMatch to link the time field in our data (EventTime in this example) with the Range field.

JOIN (Ranges) IntervalMatch (EventTime) LOAD RangeStart, RangeEnd RESIDENT Ranges;
// No longer need RangeStart, RangeEnd, but may keep them for documentation or debugging.
DROP FIELDS RangeStart, RangeEnd;

There are additional notes provided in the downloadable example, but that’s it for the basic pattern. You can download the example from here Time Grouping

You may have noticed I used Time#() to read the text time values. That makes it easy to write the range values as readable hh:mm:ss.

If you are generating the ranges using another technique like Interval#() or division, be mindful of rounding. A Qlik time value is represented numerically by the fraction of 1, a whole day. 0.5 is 12:00:00 PM, halfway through the day.

There are four methods I’m aware of to generate a Qlik time. For example to generate the numeric time value corresponding to 12:00:05 AM:

Time#('12:00:05', 'hh:mm:ss')
Interval#('12:00:05', 'hh:mm:ss')

All four will generate a floating point number to represent the time. Will they produce exactly the same result? Results that would pass an equality test?

Time#() = Interval#() = MakeTime() = x/y?

For some inputs they are equivalent. For a significant number of inputs the odd man out is Interval#(). Given the 86,400 second values in a day, Interval#() will not match the others 36% of the time. Try sharing that interesting fact with your spouse at the breakfast table.

Join me at the Masters Summit for Qlik in Dublin or Orlando this fall to learn advanced scripting techniques for Qlik as well as inside tips. Our team of expert consultants will cover data modeling, set analysis, visualization techniques and Qlik integration as well as answer your “how do I” questions. Register now or get more information at the Masters Summit for Qlik website.

Happy Scripting


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