How To Create Tables in Qlik Sense Quickly

One of the gripes I hear most frequently from QlikView users who are moving across to Sense is around creating a table, and how it is much quicker in QlikView. In this blog I share a quick tip for making the creation of tables much easier in Sense.

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 of the ways you can build something quickly is by creating a new Table Box, multi-selecting fields (even selecting All, if required) adding thse to the table and then sorting in Load Order.

Options for table create in QlikView

No equivalent feature is available in Sense, and 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.

Add field to table in Sense

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

Convert to the Rescue

Something that 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 in which you want you can simply convert that to a table, and you have the table you want in many fewer clicks.

Convert Sense filter to table

The approach of using convert also means that you can quickly copy and paste and convert to have both Table and Filter Panes with the same fields. You can then add both of these to your Master Visualisation library for later use. I always have a ‘Mater Filter’ object in every app I create, with the key Dimensions in. 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, with another 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 a number of 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:

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 also.

I have to 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.

By |2018-09-05T13:38:07+00:00June 18th, 2018|Qlik Sense Tutorials|8 Comments

About the Author:

Steve is owner and principal consultant at Quick Intelligence. He is a Qlik Luminary, Qlik Community MVP and Technical Editor of a number of QlikView Books.

8 Comments

  1. Agostino June 19, 2018 at 11:15 pm - Reply

    Great Trick

  2. Dave Matthews June 20, 2018 at 11:39 am - Reply

    I love this, it’s been a big frustration point for me. Thanks Steve and Tris.

  3. Alexander Boyko June 20, 2018 at 7:15 pm - Reply

    Great idea! Thank you.

  4. Karl Pover June 20, 2018 at 10:35 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the tip Steve. I must admit that I still use QlikView for faster Data Discovery even when the customer has Qlik Sense. Table boxes in QlikView also have a higher data resolution. Maybe a tweet to the theme to darker the font color and decrease the font size might be a solution to that. A little help from Qlik to be able to drag more than one field into the dashboard would also be wonderful.

    • Steve Dark June 21, 2018 at 6:38 am - Reply

      Hi Karl, thanks for your comment. The table object has been improving slowly in Sense (the nightmare that was the ellipses on the right hand side is gone) but agree that QlikView’s table is much better for viewing lots of data. Why settings can’t be provided to shrink the font and the padding on the table I have no idea. I’ve noticed that in June 2018 release the table is the default object when you double click on most fields (rather than the filter pane). Hopefully the table is about to be shown a little more love.

  5. Karl Pover June 21, 2018 at 10:10 pm - Reply

    People thought I was joking when I said my favorite feature of the Nov 2017 release was the horizontal scrollbar for tables, but I was dead serious. Keep the love coming, Qlik.

    • Steve Dark June 22, 2018 at 5:49 am - Reply

      Typically the features that I am most pleased to see are not the ones that make the “What’s New” videos. It’s the things they don’t even bother mentioning. Insights in June 18 is nice, but the UI fix for dropping objects (so I don’t have to explain it multiple times to people) is a real improvement (see this tweet). I’ve been given a hush-hush heads-up on a new feature for Sept 18 which I am very happy to see – which probably won’t make the feature video either.

  6. Murray Wood June 27, 2018 at 9:21 am - Reply

    Lovely job. softly, softly, catchee monkey… Sense is getting there gradually. Thanks Steve and Tris!

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