Friday, 5 December 2014

Searching Questions


I had the privilege recently of visiting Qlik Labs (or "Q Branch", as I like to call it) in London and listened to Alistair Eaves, the Director of Qlik Labs, give a talk on some of the work that they are doing there.

Needless to say, I can't go into the specifics of everything that was said (nothing about laser pens though!) but I can talk about one feature that has made it into Qlik Sense - global search.

I particularly wanted to talk about this one feature because I am not sure that enough has been said about it - probably because most people who are experienced with QlikView might miss the significance of it.

In the Search Object in QlikView, you can enter multiple terms.  It will then highlight where all of those terms might match in the different fields.  There is no concept though about how well those search terms have matched - do they all match, if not how many match?  If I type the query light beer minnesota into the object, then I might get some hits across some fields, but I don't really understand how well I have searched.  I don't know if there is any association between the values that have been found - and Qlik is all about association.


In Qlik Sense, however, the same query gives me far more interesting results.  It gives me qualitative information about how many hits that I have had, what fields I have hit, and how they associate together.  It also gives me information on places where I didn't have exact hits, but still might be very useful to know about.

This might appear to be quite a simple thing, but it is really very powerful.

Users are already used to asking questions of Google to find information.  In the future, they may expect to ask similar questions from their own data to discover insight.  Perhaps even verbally!

Watch this space...


Stephen Redmond is author of Mastering QlikView, QlikView Server and Publisher and the QlikView for Developer's Cookbook
He is CTO of CapricornVentis a Qlik Elite Partner.
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