QlikView Review
BI Tool Rant: Qlikview Pie Charts


This posting is the first in a subset of posts I plan to make on this site that I can use as my method of stress release in regards to general frustrations with business intelligence tools and all related subject matter. In terms of BI tools I can not say that I align myself to any single software. They all have their own strengths and weaknesses and it’s a combination of that matrix of features (or lack thereof) along with the context of the business implementation that needs to be considered when picking a tool to investment.

That being said let me get back to my rant…

IF YOU LOVE PIE CHARTS DON’T USE QLIKVIEW!

Okay, okay let me elaborate on such a strong claim. On a recent piece of work that I had done for a client they had wanted to utilize a portion of their dashboard with a pie chart that would show the breakdown of possible values for a particular field. The pie chart was actually quite cool to see. It drew the correct relationship. It gave the pie chart one of the 3D angled views. The thing it couldn’t do? It couldn’t label the chart inside the pie slices! I could show percentage breakdowns, counts for each value, and have any dynamic label I wanted AROUND the pie chart – but trying to put the details within the slices cued up the “Impossible Dream.”

So is there a workaround for something that isn’t second nature with the application? Well there is a solution per say. Option A would be to possibly add a text label within the chart and try to position it within the slice. Each text label would show the percentage for a certain value. The issue is that as your pie chart changes there wouldn’t be a guarantee that your static label would be sitting in the correct spot. Option B would be to use some kind of macro or javascript plugin that would relocate the label – but now you’ve added custom macro codings for a LABEL. *Insert a headshake here*

Qlikview has a lot of power behind its engine and can offer many ways to illustrate your data. The warning is to do a bit of research and try to browse through different Qlikview demos to see the strongest visualizations. Or hire a web developer.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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