The world of social media and the real world are blending together more and more. Twitter is again in the news – rather than just being where people talk about the news. There is an absolute explosion in unstructured data – are you able to capitalize on these data sources?

Any Data Source?

One of the great things about QlikView is that it can connect to just about any data source. Whether this is via a native driver or a stock OLEDB driver there is a way to get to pretty much any database. Excel support is superb and there are mechanisms for dealing with flat files and web tables. With a bit of coding file systems and images can be loaded. The possibilities are nearly endless, but what about that situation where you can not get to the data you need?

Enter QVSource

This is where QVSource steps in. Running as a service on your QlikView server it acts as a bridge between QlikView and numerous data sources that QlikView can not consume on its own. With a focus on web APIs the world of social media and online databases is opened up to you. Popular platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn can be interrogated and analysed with the same flexibility as your business systems data.

Why Should I Care?

The obvious question about anything social media related is ‘so what?’. Well, these days just about the whole of human existence is mirrored online. It’s where people shop, play, interact and complain. What are people saying about your brand or service? What are the demographics of those individuals that have chosen to Follow or Like you online? By hooking QVSource into Twitter and a sentiment engine you can find out how opinion is changing. Bringing in data from LinkedIn can show the industry and location of the people you are connected to. By applying the same design processes to data from these sources as you do to your existing QlikView data many new possibilities are opened up.

It’s Not Just Social Media

Other data sources can also be unlocked by QVSource. As a Web site owner Google Analytics is my biggest use of QVSource – tracking visits, link sources and usage patterns for this website. Sticking with Google, data from their cloud sources can be loaded in including Google Calendar and Google Spreadsheet. Getting at otherwise tricky internal data sources can also be simplified – such as downloading data from SharePoint lists. I’d you have ever struggled to load data into QlikView, QVSource may be the answer.

UPDATE: QVSource is now an official Qlik product – Qlik Web Connectors.