There are a growing number of books on the market covering QlikView and Qlik Sense. QlikView Your Business is Qlik Veteran Oleg Troyansky’s new tome. What makes this book different and should you invest your time into reading it?
An Impressive Team
Oleg Troyansky is one of the names that I recall being associated with many of the helpful posts on Qlik Community when I first started with QlikView, several years ago. He is still active on that forum, and now also associated with the Masters Summit and authors his own blog. Certainly someone with the pedigree to author a great book on QlikView. Co-authors Tammy Gibson and Charlie Leichweis also bring years of QlikView and management experience to the table.
In addition to the authors; the roster of individuals involved in the book is supremely impressive. The foreword is by none other than the CEO of Qlik himself, Lars Bjork. The technical editors are Qlik legends Rob Wunderlich (another name from my early days on the Community) and one of QlikTech’s first employees Henric Cronström. Now, I am always really pleased when I get a positive comment from Henric on one of my blog posts – I don’t think I would dare invite someone with that level of knowledge to critique my pieces though. Credit to Oleg for getting him on board.
A Refreshing Approach
The book references in it’s introduction the need for a Qlik consultant to wear multiple hats, this is something that I firmly agree with and covered years ago in a blog post on What Makes A QlikView Developer. Not only does the book reference this ability to span different disciplines, it puts it at the very heart of the content. Rather than being a straight technical reference book that teaches you how to use QlikView, it puts forward business scenarios and then identifies what types of visualisations are required to support those scenarios. From this it breaks down what measures should be considered, before going on to explain how these can be obtained using the toolset.
Even if your role doesn’t require you to get your hands dirty building load scripts or data models there is content that will be useful to advise you what you should get your BI team to build for you and your business. The handy three track guide at the start of the book, guiding the reader to the appropriate content, is a useful feature.
It Makes Sense
Given that the book is business requirement led, and the solution follows on, it makes sense that the method of delivery is secondary. This means that descriptions of how to deliver on the requirements is given in both QlikView and Qlik Sense. Seeing both products presented side by side in this way is great for anyone evaluating the two products, or choosing which is the best for a particular use case. There are also two chapters dedicated to the new kid on the block at the end of the book.
With the the frequent addition of new features, and the moving about of some of the old features, it is inevitable that some of the Sense content (particularly the screen shots) don’t match up to the latest version. This shouldn’t put you off though – the core functionality of the product has not fundamentally changed.
Using Your RAG
It is nice to see that even the print version of the book is in full colour. This is used to add clarity to the content, but also lifts the presentation. It is appropriate, perhaps, that a book about KPIs and dashboards uses a RAG colouring; Red for Warnings, Amber for Notes and Green for GO and do an exercise. Blue call out boxes contain summary information, and grey ones contain content that not everyone need read (for example terms that will be obvious to most, but not all, readers).
The colour also indicates the attention to detail that has gone into this book. Code examples have been given syntax highlighting that mirrors that which is found in the product itself. This must have taken ages to get right, and if that level of attention has gone into such a small detail you kind of trust the content itself has had that kind of attention.
Simply put, this book is a pleasure to flick through (for a Qlik nerd like myself it is anyway).
You have probably already worked out that I think this is a book that you should own. The requirement first approach is a useful one, and is a good reminder that all BI development should be done that way. Whilst no book can cover everything there are enough features and techniques referenced in here for it to be really useful. Topics like Data Modelling, QVD layers and Set Analysis are in there, alongside ‘softer’ things like selection of which visualisation to go for.
If you are looking for a quick route to getting started as a developer, and you only want to buy one book, this may not be the book you require. If you want to get under the skin of some more complex functionality in QlikView then the exceptional level of detail given on some topics in QlikView Your Business are well worth spending the time on (I was particularly impressed with the section on AGGR). Alternatively, if you are BI team leader or manager who wants to know a bit more of the why you should do things, and not just the how, then this book is also ideal.
Congratulations to Oleg and the team behind the book for adding another valuable resource to the Qlik ecosystem.
QlikView Your Business is published by Wiley. For more details, and links to purchase the book, please see Oleg’s own blog: