One of the gripes I hear most frequently from QlikView users who are moving across to Sense is around creating a table. It is much quicker in QlikView. In this blog I share a quick tip explaining how to create tables in Qlik Sense quickly.

Quick Table Creation in QlikView

QlikView has some awesome features for profiling new data sources and getting apps built quickly. Even now I will still turn back to QlikView for this purpose, even when building a Sense app for a client. One way you can build something quickly is by creating a new Table Box, multi-selecting fields (even selecting All, if required) adding those to the table and then sorting in Load Order.

Options for table create in QlikView

No equivalent feature is available in Sense, where adding fields to a table requires confirmation of each field – choosing whether you wish to add a dimension, replace a dimension or add a measure.

Building a table with many fields in Sense can take a while.

Tables in Qlik Sense using Convert

Something Sense does have, which can be very useful, is the ability to drag a different chart type over the top of an existing object with the option to then convert that object to that new chart type. It also has an object which it is quick and easy to add fields to – the Filter Pane. If you add a Filter Pane to your document and keep it selected (with the orange border) you can simply go to Fields (or better still Master Dimensions) and double click to add columns to the Filter Pane. Once you have that Filter Pane with the fields you want you can simply convert that to a table. This way you have the table you want in far fewer clicks.

To quickly create tables in Sense with many fields:

  1. Select Charts
  2. Double click Filter Pane icon
  3. Select Fields or Dimensions
  4. Double click each dimension field to add
  5. Select Charts
  6. Drag Table icon onto your Filter Pane
  7. Select to convert your Filter Pane
How To Create a Sense Table

Creating a Sense Table by converting a Filter.

Converting, like this, also means that you can quickly copy and paste and convert to have both Table and Filter Panes with the same fields. You can add both to your Master Visualisation library for later use. I always have a ‘Master Filter’ object in every app I create, containing the key Dimensions. Sometimes I will place this in just a couple of squares of the grid – and you get the ellipsis to allow the user to expand to all the main filters for the app. Placing the filter all along the top, or down the side, is also an option.

The Cognitive Engine

If you are running a version of Sense at April 2018 or later (or are using Qlik Cloud) then you have probably noticed the new Assistance mode. Now you can simply double click a field with a blank screen and Qlik’s rule engine will decide the best object to add (usually a filter pane for a dimension or a KPI for a measure). If you add another field, again with a double click, then the object will change – now you may get a bar chart or a table. Adding more fields will give you other objects, perhaps a scatter if you have two measures and a dimension or a stacked bar chart if it is two dimensions and a measure. Once you get to the point of having several dimensions, or more measures than can be encoded in a chart, then a table will be created.

This makes the need for the workaround above, utilising a filter pane, less necessary. However, I still like it as an approach as I am not quite ready to surrender to the AIs and robots that are coming to replace us.

If you want more information on the Cognitive Engine, this blog post by Mike Tarallo, from just before the April 2018 release has some good information and a video:
https://community.qlik.com/blogs/qlikviewdesignblog/2018/04/17/cognitive-engine-chart-suggestions-tips-and-tricks-qlik-sense-april-2018

If you really want to impress someone with the Cognitive Engine, load in a list of countries and then double click this on the field list to get a map of that data. I’ve done a quick YouTube video to show this in real time. Enjoy:

Closing Thoughts

If you have any time-saving tips for Qlik Sense (or QlikView) then please do add them in the comments so that others can benefit.

I must thank one of my clients, who I was working with when we discovered the Filter Pane approach to building tables. We both realised at the same moment that neither of us would need to spend as long creating a table in Sense again. Thanks, Tris, for letting me share this with the readers of this blog.