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What is Qlik Sense?
Qlik Sense is a data visualization and data analysis platform that sets a benchmark for a new generation of analytics. With its one-of-a-kind associative analytics engine, Qlik Sense helps users to connect and correlate data from multiple sources and also allows dynamic searches and selections. The tool focuses on data analysis by augmented graphics.
With the help of its sophisticated AI and high-performance cloud platform, Qlik Sense empowers users to make better decisions based on a concrete foundation of data. Be it an executive, decision-maker, or analyst, the platform is built for everyone.
Offering flexibility over a conventional query-based approach, Qlik Sense allows users to navigate through the large and complex maze of data to draw valuable insights. Its interactive features increase the users’ ability to draw ingenious inferences from various data sources.
Why is Qlik Sense Used?
Qlik Sense is the second BI tool launched by Qlik after QlikView. For people who have struggled to gather data insights from conventional methods, Qlik Sense acts as a powerful tool. By acting as a self-service business tool, Qlik Sense supports the work-from-anywhere-anytime movement and is a perfect fit for people who want to work from a remote location with their tablet, desktop, or laptop.
Apart from being a robust tool for work-from-home needs, any device can be used to create Qlik Sense apps and visualizations. What makes Qlik Sense an interesting data discovery and analysis platform is its amazing features that enable individual users and companies to produce reports and analyses easily.
In this tutorial, we will list a few features of Qlik Sense.
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Features of Qlik Sense
Qlik Sense has a lot of features that make it stand out. Let’s take a look at them:
- Associative Model – Qlik Sense uses an associative model to process data. All of the data is put into Qlik Sense, which is then linked or associated with each other. When a data value or field has any association with another data value or field, it can be seen clearly. This helps users generate unique insights. These associations can be easily viewed using a smart search.
- Smart Visualizations and Analytics – Qlik Sense has smart visualizations that are highly interactive. The graphics quickly adapt as the resolution of the screen changes. Qlik GeoAnalytics is a feature in Qlik Sense that makes use of smart visualizations and analytics by creating mapped visualizations.
- Self-Service Creation – Self-Service Creation has made making apps really easy in Qlik Sense. Qlik Sense has an easy drag-and-drop feature that users can use to make apps easily, without having to deal with queries and scripts.
- Centralized Sharing and Requirement – Qlik Sense lets users share reports and applications through a centralized hub. Users from a company can also form teams and collaborate with other companies.
- Data Storytelling and Reporting – Qlik Sense is widely known for its storytelling capabilities. Qlik Sense successfully generates a smart story and gives useful insights to the data analyst. This helps the user in generating unique insights from the data.
- Mobility – Qlik Sense supports mobile devices. It makes it easy for the users to work on the move.
- Custom Applications, Embedded Analytics, and Extensions – Qlik Sense offers an API where users can develop custom applications. Users have an option of adding extensions for analysis while they can also add various plug-ins into the Qlik Sense app. You can also embed Qlik Sense analytics into other apps.
- Data Preparation and Integration – Once the data is loaded into Qlik Sense, it is cleaned, transformed, integrated, and associated with other data sets available. Data integration is facilitated by the drag-and-drop feature. There are products like Qlik Connectors and Qlik DataMarket which support data integration and preparation. They help connect data from other sources.
- Enterprise Governance and Scalability – Enterprise-class management services are provided with QlikSense. These services give assured data security to the enterprise. The Qlik Management Console (QMC) is responsible for centralized data monitoring and management. Qlik Sense also allows elastic scaling which helps users load and analyze huge volumes of data.
- The QIX Engine – The QIX Engine powers all the features of Qlik Sense that we’ve talked about so far. The Qlik Indexing Engine (QIX Engine) is responsible for indexing and compressing data for Qlik Sense. This helps fetch more and more data from various sources.
Key Capabilities of Qlik Sense
Some of the key capabilities of Qlik Sense are as follows:
- Self-service capabilities
- Associate model
- Smart visualization and analytics
- Centralized sharing and collaboration
- Data storytelling and reporting
- Allows mobility
- Data preparation and integration
- Allows enterprise governance and scalability
- Insight Advisor by Qlik (AI-supported)
Qlik Sense Architecture
Qlik Sense architecture consists of several components and services that work in conjunction with each other in order to bring out the data management and analytics capabilities of Qlik Sense architecture. Qlik Sense architecture is easily scalable and flexible, comprising one or more nodes within a site. Based on the latest Qlik Sense technology, this BI tool has enterprise-ready deployment capabilities.
To completely understand the architecture of Qlik Sense, you will first need to unveil the underlying components of Qlik Sense architecture and its services. In this Qlik Sense tutorial for beginners, we discuss the components of Qlik Sense architecture one by one.
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Qlik Sense Architecture Components
This segment of the Qlik Sense tutorial discusses the four components of Qlik Sense and their functionalities:
Qlik Sense Clients
Qlik Sense is an easy-to-use platform, the credit of which goes to its user-friendly design. With the help of its easy drag-and-drop functionality, users can seamlessly create a designed dashboard for business analysis. Users can perform operations on the data and create applications with a range of visualizations that are available on Qlik Sense.
Qlik Management Console (QMC) lets the administrator centrally manage all the operations that are taking place in Qlik Sense. Now, let us briefly talk about the services managed by QMC:
- Data connectivity
- Application management
- Task management
- Security administration
- Data monitoring
Qlik Sense Nodes
Qlik Sense nodes are physical or logical computers that deploy separate or a combination of services. Generally, a node has three types of roles based on the services it provides. They are:
- User or consumer node that delivers apps to the end-users
- Scheduler node that manages all the service and app reloads.
- A proxy node that handles authentication processes, load balancing, and session handling.
All nodes in Qlik Sense work independently and can be used for production, development, or both at the same time.
Qlik Sense Sites
Qlik Sense site consists of a node system. It can have single or multiple nodes, also known as servers. Every node has a single repository, database, and license. A single-node deployment consists only of a central node that has all the required services deployed on it.
While single nodes work in sync with data repository and file-sharing systems, a multinode site is a distributed system having services distributed across many nodes. On the other hand, the central node manages all the peripheral nodes that share the repository, database, and license key. A multinode system also provides better scalability, resilience, reliability, governance, capacity, and flexibility to suit customer requirements.
Qlik Sense Storage
The two storage components of Qlik Sense are the repository database and the file-sharing system. While repository data, also called Postgre database, keeps metadata, a file-sharing system stores the Qlik Sense application data such as dimensions, measures, objects, and visualizations. These details are stored as binary files and such data files are made available to all nodes or servers on a site.
Qlik Sense Architecture Services
To learn Qlik Sense in a more comprehensive manner, we will have to learn about the following Qlik Sense services:
Qlik Sense Proxy (QSP)
This is the entry point in Qlik Sense for users and administrators through different sources such as the hub and management console. QSP mainly serves four purposes, license management, session management, load balancing, and linking with user identity providers such as active directory, SAML, etc.
Qlik Sense Engine (QSE)
This is the main engine that facilitates the major features and functionalities of Qlik Sense. Some of the functions of QSE include data indexing and calculations for in-memory data, smart searching, interactive and self-service interactions, and corresponding with Scheduler, repository, and applications.
Qlik Sense Schedule (QSS)
As the name suggests, the function of this service is to schedule and coordinate data loads and application reloading.
Qlik Sense Repository (QSR)
It refers to the place for all data and information related to the configuration and management of other Qlik Sense services. The primary role of QSR is to manage user definitions and security.
Qlik Sense Applications (.QVF)
This is the last layer for users; it is used for creating visualizations and sheets.QVF files also have compressed data that is loaded into the Qlik Sense in-memory and final presentation layer.
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Qlik Sense Editions
In this segment of the Qlik Sense tutorial, we will talk about the different editions of Qlik Sense. Qlik Sense Desktop tutorial, Qlik Sense Cloud tutorial, and Qlik Sense Enterprise tutorial are discussed below. They will help you to understand the significance of each edition.
Qlik Sense Desktop
This edition is a Windows update that can be easily installed on a desktop. Qlik Sense Desktop is available for download and is often used on an individual level. The desktop version includes all functionalities such as local file sharing, visualization and exploration, data loading and planning, cloud application exporting, storytelling, and business support.
Qlik Sense Cloud
In this Qlik Sense edition, apps can be created and shared by users. This edition has two versions called Cloud Basic and Cloud Business. While Cloud Basic can be availed for free, for up to five users, Cloud Business can be shared by an infinite number of users for a monthly subscription fee of US$15.
Qlik Sense Cloud is a cloud-based version of Qlik Sense. In this edition of Qlik Sense, apps can be created and shared by users. They will also collaborate on analytics studies. This edition also allows the use of multiple devices at the same time. Expanded storage, unrestricted data, collaborative community research, and data governance are a few other features of the cloud edition of Qlik Sense.
Qlik Sense Enterprise
As the name suggests, Qlik Sense Enterprise is for enterprises having a huge user base. It is the premium version that is specially designed for full-fledged business use. This edition is marketed on a token basis, with one token costing US$1,500.
Some of the features that Qlik Sense Enterprise offers are reporting, visualization, discovery, multiplatform cloud deployment, collaboration, data integration, API for custom analytics, corporate governance, scalability, and so on.
Qlikview vs Qlik Sense
There are multiple differences between Qlikview and Qlik Sense:
|Application of the Software||Designed for advanced analytics||Focused on business use cases|
|OLAP Functionality||Uses OLAP to perform data analytics||Does not have|
|Guided Analytics||Provides guided analytics function||Does not provide guided analytics function|
|Data Filters||Data filters are required||Data filters are not required|
|Data Storytelling||Feature isn’t present||A unique feature in QlikSense|
|Mobile Support||Only has browser support for Apple Mobile Safari in iOS 10.0 or later||Has a mobile app and is supported by iOS 11.0 or later|
|Associative Indexing Engine||Associative Indexing Engine is present||Associative Indexing Engine is present|
|Advanced Analytics and Integration||Offers advanced analytics and integration, but not as good as QlikSense||Advanced analytics and integration offered is better than QlikView|
|Integrated App Development||Provides environment for integrated app development as it is a development based tool||Does not provide integrated app development as it is a visualization based tool|
|Modern Visualization||Offer basic visualizations||Offers modern visualizations|
Qlik Sense vs Tableau
Both Qlik Sense and Tableau have widely used BI tools. Even though they are mostly used for the same purpose, there are certain differences between the two:
|Usability||Average||Tableau is faster|
|Dashboards||Attractive and easy-to-use||Better, quick response dashboards|
|Reporting||Better Ad hoc reporting, output, transformation, and scheduling||Good in predefined reports|
|Pricing||Quote-based pricing model||Monthly, annual or quote-based pricing|
|Platform||Better than Tableau||Tableau is better in internalization|
|Scalability||A lot more scalable than Tableau||Not better than Qlik Sense|
|Customer Support||E-mail, phone, live support, training and ticket system||E-mail, phone and training|
In this comprehensive Qlik Sense tutorial, we have covered all the essential concepts of Qlik Sense and why it is important for businesses to leverage Qlik Sense’s prowess. Hope this Qlik Sense tutorial for beginners gives you a comprehensive insight into Qlik Sense, its architecture, and other relevant components.
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