This September sees the fifth birthday of Quick Intelligence. Rather than celebrating with jelly, ice cream and a trip to the cinema, we have decided to mark it with five blog posts. These posts will give lists of a few of our top five favourite QlikView things.

There is also a chance for you to vote for your favourite QlikView videos. More on that later in the post, but first here is the list of…

Our Top Five Software Titles

1. QlikView

I can’t imagine this comes as a surprise to anyone, but we love QlikView. Not just because of the fantastic stuff it can do with data, but because of the opportunity it presented me. A little over five years ago, it was clear to me my role as SQL developer was not going to get much more interesting than it was. My Classic ASP skills were not enough to land a new role in the midst of a massive recession. When, by chance, I saw QlikView I could see that mastering that would open doors. Six months later I had resigned from my previous job and Quick Intelligence was born.

2. NPrinting

Whilst we love QlikView there are some things that it doesn’t do as well as it might. Whilst a new arrival addresses some of these things (more on that later), NPrinting ticks a number of other boxes. Anyone who has used the native report writer in QlikView will know that it is frustrating, at best. Anyone who has tried to get formatted output to large numbers of users will know it gets expensive (using Document CALs or PDF Distributor). NPrinting addresses both of these things with an intuitive report builder and a distribution engine to send these reports to those who need them. There have been many new features and improvements in the couple of years we have been involved in the product and Vizubi seem committed to keeping NPrinting the report tool that QlikView deserves.

3. QVSource

This product bridges the gap between QlikView and some of the data sources that would otherwise be difficult to get to. Most well known, perhaps, for providing connections into Twitter and Facebook this tool provides connectivity to many other sources as well. We have found most useful the connectors for Google Analytics, Secure Websites, SMTP and FTP – you may find that for you it is something else. Most connectors are backed up by pre-canned examples on the QVSource wiki, which can be a massive time saver. The support provided by Industrial Codebox is legendary – and something I blogged about recently.

If you have a data source you are struggling to connect to then QVSource will be well worth a look.

4. QViewer

I could have picked a number of products here. QViewer kind of represents all those small utilities that save you that little bit of time each day and make your life just that little bit easier. The reason this particular tool made the list is that it is the one that I most miss when working on a client machine that does not have it installed.

With QViewer you can simply double click on a QVD and view the contents of that file and also the meta data in the files header. All of this it does quickly and efficiently, as I mentioned I almost don’t notice it is there. The only time I notice it is when it is missing, when I double click a QVD elsewhere and don’t get a quick view of the contents.

A longer list of products (including many more referenced in the comments) can be found in this previous post.

5. Qlik Sense

Whilst QlikView is the product that has enabled the last five years of Quick Intelligence, Qlik Sense is the one that is undoubtedly going to power the next five. In the years I have been using QlikView many new tools have borrowed from the technologies it pioneered to give us a large range of in-memory tools. Qlik Sense now sees the Qlik product roster leaping right back to the front of the pack. Built from the ground up to live on the Web it is set to fully deliver on the promise of mobile business intelligence. Screens and charts flex to show a level of detail appropriate to the size of device being displayed on. Intuitive building of dashboards is key and the product should open up self service data discovery to even more users.

In a previous blog post I give a quick overview of some of the best resources out there for Qlik Sense, including a post by Henric Cronström which clearly points out the similarities and differences between Sense and QlikView.

These are exciting times, and we are excited about the future – delivering solutions with Sense.