Qlikview

QlikView Review
It is easy for developers and for end users. The management console could have better interfaces for managing security.


Valuable Features:

Usability, usability, usability: It is easy for developers and for end users.

Improvements to My Organization:

We have cut Fire Department 911 response time 8-30 seconds.

We have improved the timeliness, accuracy, and consistency of reporting.

Unmetered water reports (e.g. fire hydrants, FDCs in commercial buildings)

Wage verification requests

Performance metrics

We have improved processes and increased compliance of firefighter training and certification, ensuring that firefighters are properly trained (“a trained firefighter is an effective firefighter”), expensive training courses no longer have empty seats, and we have improved our performance on training/certification audits from our regulatory agency.

We have engaged line managers on tracking and monitoring of program and operational budgets, leading to better oversight of the taxpayer dollar.

Room for Improvement:

The QlikView management console could have better interfaces for managing security. Right now, it is hard to tell “who has access to exactly what apps?”

Better out-of-the box governance features, to allow analysis of application architecture, optimization of scripts, identification of unused fields/data.

Current GIS interfaces (e.g. with ESRI) are through partners, and are acceptable, but could be easier to implement, more streamlined interface between the two.

Use of Solution:

I have used this solution since 2008.

Deployment Issues:

No issues at all. This application requires very little care and feeding. Cannot speak to big data scaling, our largest data sets are in the 1TB range — but no problems noted at that level.

Technical Support:

Customer and technical support are fine. Account manager deals well with the added layers of demand that come from being a government client — purchasing is always more complicated.

Previous Solutions:

Like everyone, we used Excel and Access. We tried using the enterprise MicroStrategy and both developers and users rejected it as too much effort, not intuitive compared to QlikView.

Initial Setup:

Technically, initial setup was very simple. The hardest part was getting visualization requirements form unsophisticated users who were not used to any sort of reporting on their processes.

Implementation Team:

We did it in-house, with one week of one vendor person assisting. (The four apps he helped us put together, we ended up redesigning altogether once we had a chance to use them and redefined requirements.)

Advice: Keep it simple. We know of similar organizations that used third-party implements, who created apps that were complicated to support and use, and consequently those implementations were not entirely successful. In at least once case, they abandoned the product (and haven’t done anything else that I’m aware of).

ROI:

Qlik has a reputation for being expensive, but our TCO - compared to two other BI products in our organization (MicroStrategy and Cognos) is way, way cheaper. We didn’t have to pay for consultants or any professional services. The more we let our business managers design and develop their apps, the happier they are.

Other Advice:

Keep it simple, involve the team (prototype with them - don’t throw a fancy app over the wall at the end users and expect them to actually engage), do POCs before you decide which BI system you will adopt.

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

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