IoT Data And The Power Of Qlik

The Internet of Things (IoT) has grown rapidly in recent years and shows no signs of slowing any time soon.

In fact, it’s estimated each of us will own 28 IoT devices by 2020 compared to the average six devices per person we see today – that’s a massive increase. It’s no wonder that, as a result, the IoT market is expected to be worth more than 11 trillion USD within the next 10 years.

All this newly acquired data raises a new set of questions and most importantly the main query for us is what are we going to be doing with all this data. The amounts of information available are going to be huge.

The reason behind this increase in IoT devices is the obvious advancement of technology, which also shows no signs of slowing any time soon. Cost-effective and energy efficient sensors have enabled the sentient enterprise, while Edge/Fog computing has provided real-time intelligence close to the source of data creation.

The rise of connectivity through the likes of IPV6, LTE (5G) and low-energy BT allows the constant transfer of this data, which is then stored in the cloud meaning all this data is then easily accessed. This is all great but it’s still huge amounts of data, which, despite easy access, is seemingly insurmountable when it comes to any type of analysis.

That’s where Qlik comes in.

Firstly, to truly understand the value of IoT data, it must be associated with other data. Secondly, any innovation from IoT data must be discovered within the data itself, and, thirdly, for the true value of IoT data to be realised, insights need to be easily shared and acted upon.

Qlik’s influence on these three key areas cannot be underestimated nor overstated. It’s simple, without a platform like Qlik, there’s no way of breaking down, digesting and disseminating this data without the requirements of hours and hours of human processing, analysis and, ultimately, sharing. With Qlik, this process becomes almost instantaneous in comparison.

We could spend time here running through numerous examples of how the Qlik platform has enabled swift processing of IoT data and the subsequent results but I’m going to focus on one that I’m sure we can all relate to, one that is understandably a forward-thinking leader in the IoT phenomenon.

BMW have been using Qlik’s platform to help them understand all areas of their products, processes and procedures. They use Qlik to analyse machine-generated data including in-car data, paint-shop robotics and diagnostic readouts in service.

You can imagine the reams of data produced from one vehicle alone, which is why Qlik is so important to the company. It’s used to analyse data from advanced analytics for creation and tuning of algorithms as well as delivering insight into business processes.

If you’re looking to capitalise on your IoT data, or utilise your business data to ensure advantageous decision making over your competitors, we’re here to help.

Get in touch with the expert Ometis team now to request a free demo of the Qlik platform. After that, as the UK’s largest dedicated Qlik consultancy, we’ll look after everything. So, call us now on 0330 363 9900 and start using your data to your competitive advantage or visit http://www.ometis.co.uk.

By Ross Greig

We’re Heading To IP Expo – Europe’s No.1 Enterprise Event

It’s official, Ometis are heading to this year’s IP Expo, Europe’s leading enterprise event, at Excel London from 4 – 5 October.

We’ll be joining more than 300 exhibitors as the must-attend IT event of the year for CIOs, heads of IT and insight leaders. IP Expo is a platform for exclusive content and senior-level discussion topics, and we’re happy to announce we’ll be joined by Qlik to host a seminar session.

The annual event is an important part of the Ometis calendar and incorporates expert opinion and knowledge around analytics and IoT, key factors in the understanding and capturing of business data. We’ll see you inside the Analytics area on stand KK17, make sure you pop by.

We’ve also organised a special appearance by Qlik Director of Retail & Services Market Development, Paul Winsor, who’ll be hosting a seminar session on discovering the value in IoT Data.

It is estimated there will be over 20x connected devices per person on the planet by 2020, and anything from 50-200 billion IoT devices. That’s a lot of data being generated from IoT ecosystems. The challenge will be making all that data accessible and understandable to start extracting value from it all. Paul will explain how Qlik are making this happen at 2.40pm on Thursday 4th October inside the Analytics Theatre.

While we’re there, we’ll be taking the opportunity to discuss Qlik’s various products and complementary platforms that ensure you get the most from your software. These include Narratives for Qlik and NodeGraph and we’ll have a number of pre-set demos that showcase the power of Qlik, with true data visualisation at the touch of a button.

If you’re heading to this year’s IP Expo in London, come and say hello – we’ll have a few goodies to give away and plenty of charm and wit to make your visit worth it.

Don’t despair if you’re not attending this year’s event either, we’ll keep you up-to-date over the official Ometis social channels, so get following! We’ll also have a complete IP Expo review to follow so you won’t feel too left out.

 

By Ross Greig

Trends in the BI Marketplace

Data is entrenched within business processes and decisions. In today’s digital world, it’s imperative to organisations across the globe and a controlling factor in whether a business achieves success and continues to grow, efficiently and sustainably.

Companies that have already harnessed the power of data have secured a hugely competitive advantage and generated innovation that’s enabled positioning above their competitors. It wasn’t long ago that obtaining, digesting and distributing business data was a full-time role, perhaps even a full team’s role, but the previous decade has seen unparalleled development in business intelligence, its collation and readability.

Never before has so much data been available so swiftly and simply, and no more simply than via the ground-breaking Qlik platform. As an official Qlik partner and BI consultancy, we enjoy divulging the latest news and evolutions – that’s why we want to share our expectations for digital BI over the coming months and years.

So, we teamed up with Qlik for the recent Qlik Sense Tour to collate some predictions which include AI, hybrid clouds and the death of ‘big data’… read on to find out why.

INTERACTIVE VISUAL RENDERING

The first big trend that’s taking hold is the move from basic visual rendering to context-driven visual analytics, which will enable simpler visualisation of every aspect of your data.

It means an end to consuming only the data you can see, the end result of a set of queries in report format. Instead you can visualise the data throughout preparation and acquisition, while seeing and understanding its lineage – and the whole process will be presented in an easy-to-digest visual format.

This trend is driven by organisations becoming more data literate, and leaving the ones that aren’t behind. According to MIT and Emerson University, data literacy “includes the ability to read, work with, analyse and argue with data” and that only comes with true visualisation.

DEATH OF ‘BIG DATA’

The second trend is data consumption. Combining data sources is where the true value lies and this has become easier, faster and generally more efficient in recent years. Easy access to higher quality data is going to drive a change in the way we consider ‘Big Data’.

Most ‘Big Data’ projects have met with limited success. Throwing the data into a data lake, or hoarding it with no clear purpose is inefficient. That’s always been our opinion at both Ometis and Qlik but Gartner validates this further by explaining that, through 2018, 90% of deployed data lakes will be useless as they are overwhelmed with information assets captured with no clear plan.

That’s the key here. It’s great having lots of data but you must still make sense of it. It’s not about size but combinations of different data sources, regardless of where the data is coming from. It’s why Gartner is predicting that by 2019, 75% of analytics solutions will incorporate 10 or more external data sources, and that 100% of enterprises will purchase external data.

AI… BUT NOT AS WE KNOW IT

We are beginning to see focus shift from ‘advanced analytics’ to ‘advancing analytics’… or from BI to AI but not necessarily AI as you may know it! Let us explain…

Advanced analytics will continue to expand in companies and the market in general, we know the creation of data models is dependent on highly-skilled experts, as is the governance of creations of these data models. However, many more people should be able to benefit from those models once they are created, enabling them to be brought into self-service tools.

There is clearly something going on in the area of Artificial Intelligence. People are talking about Deep Learning and Machine Learning and in fact, Artificial Intelligence is the new ‘Big Data’.  We believe analytics can be advanced by increased intelligence being added into software but to really make the most of AI, it needs to compliment and assist rather than replace.

We know it’s as important to ask the right questions as it is to get the right answers. Processes like synthesis, non-linear thinking, and asking the right question, as well as instincts will continue to be provided by humans. The sweet spot will be the combination of human reasoning with machine learning and the result will be better data literacy and faster delivery.

HYBRID CLOUDS

The final trend we want to talk about here is the move from on-premise to cloud hosting – and this trend may surprise you but we believe the mass move to the cloud will peak in 2017.

The battles between public cloud infrastructures like Amazon, Google and Microsoft will continue to heat up. After all, their ultimate goal is to own all the data and processes, but the single-stack approach didn’t work out on-premise and we don’t see it being much different in the cloud.

Workloads, data, publishing – these things need to sit in many places. That’s why we believe Hybrid Cloud Analytics will emerge as the dominant design, where platform-based, visual analytics is available on-premise and/or in the cloud publicly or privately depending on the customers’ specific needs.

 CONCLUSION

There are exciting times ahead in the realms of data. It’s clear that direct access to data will ignite a better understanding of its power and drive a greater need for visualisations that help organisations make informed decisions across all areas of their business.

Ometis’ role is to facilitate organisations understand the true nature of these trends and the power they have for decision makers. These trends are not only being addressed by the Qlik platform, they’re being fuelled by it.

If you want to know more about Qlik and how it can help you, don’t hesitate to get in touch and a member of the Ometis team would be happy to discuss the data-driven opportunities we can help you unlock.

Call +44 (0)330 363 9900, email info@ometis.co.uk or click here and fill out the contact form.

Qlik Sense June 2017 Release – First Impressions

For those of you who follow Qlik closely, you’ll have noticed that the Qlik Sense June 2017 (or 17.06) Technical Preview has been released. This is the first in the new release naming convention and cadence – now five times per year.

Having seen it demonstrated at Qonnections, we were excited to get our hands on it. So as soon as it came out I installed the Desktop version to start familiarising ourselves with the new features. The data I decided to use was the electricity generated by the solar panels on my home roof which is logged at 15-minute increments.

The first thing you’ll see when loading data in is a range of new options in the Data Manager…

Measure Suggestions & Tools

Qlik Sense June 2017 Release 1

Here you can see that Qlik Sense has recommended the selected field should be a measure and shown a histogram of the frequency of values in that field – including the min, median, average and max statistics. Qlik Sense has also suggested that, since this has numerical values they could be put into buckets. All of this can be customised, but Qlik Sense makes some good guesses.

Dimension Suggestions & Tools

Qlik Sense June 2017 Release 2

In this screenshot, you can see what analysis – range and uniqueness – and options – the split tool – Qlik Sense presents when you select a dimension field. The split tool allows you to break a dimension field down, which is common for things like date/time fields, phone numbers or composite keys in source data.

(Yes, I know the split location looks wrong – that’s what I had to do to make the preview look right – I’ve logged a bug about that)

If you select a field that has fewer distinct values, you get a different set of tools:

Qlik Sense June 2017 Release 3
Here you can see that I have the choice to replace values in the DayofWeek field – perhaps I want to group my Sat & Sun into one value called “Weekend” – I can do that here.

Qlik Sense June 2017 Release 4
I can null values if I want to ignore those in a chart for some reason – here I’ve done that with some errors from the source data.

Qlik Sense June 2017 Release 5
And here’s how you set custom sort orders – drag & drop interface for setting the default sort order.

Please note that not every combination of these tools works with every other one – for instance you can do Order & Split together but not Nullify/Replace with Order.

What’s going on behind the scenes?

With all this in the data manager, what’s going on in the Data Load Editor? The script that Data Manager generates is all there and viewable – locked by default.

Qlik Sense June 2017 Release 6
New chart types

Once you’ve got your data imported using this new interface, you’ll see some three new charts you can use:

Qlik Sense June 2017 Release 7
Histogram – you just select a numerical field and it shows you the frequency distribution of values. You can customise the buckets (number or size of them), but that’s about it – so there will be scenarios where you want to use the buckets in the data load and a bar chart to achieve histogram-like charts with more flexibility.

Qlik Sense June 2017 Release 8
Box plot – this is something that has been much-requested – especially by the statisticians among us. While I’m not a statistician, I can see the value here. You select a couple of dimensions and a measure and it will do the box plot for you. You can choose from Standard (Tukey), Percentile-based or Standard deviation as presets or you can customise your own:

Qlik Sense June 2017 Release 9
In this case I chose to use the percentiles preset, setting the whisker lines at the 1st and 99th percentiles with the box ends at the 1st and 3rd quartiles and the line being the median. The dots are the “outliers” – there tends to be at least one each month as I only have 14 months of data in there so there are only up to 62 days for analysis, so they’re effectively the minimum and maximums within the months.

qlik-sense-june-2017-release-10-e1497954761945.png
Distribution Plot – a simpler, less statistical, chart that, similarly to the box plot takes a dimension or two and a measure. Here we can see each day’s generation plotted in its month, visualising the minimum, maximum and range of each month.

Consistent Colours for Dimensions

Qlik Sense June 2017 Release 11
Qlik Sense June 2017 Release 12
Enhancing the “Colour by dimension” functionality, here we can see that I’ve set custom colours for the months, inspired by someone with synaesthesia who sees the months as these colours. For example, this could be useful in your sales performance app – setting a consistent colour for each salesperson to be used across the app.

Not yet reviewed

There are a few things we’ve not covered here because we’ve not had enough time to test them just yet:

  • iOS app including offline support – we’ve got this installed and are starting to test it now.
  • Advanced Analytics, including R integration. Qlik have just published the details of setting this up – we’ve got it running but want to work with it a little more before sharing our thoughts.
  • Platform component updates – in this blog we’re been looking at the end-user experience, but the removal of the requirement for a single “central node” certainly looks interesting and a good step forward for resilience. The Enterprise Mobility compatibility (MobileIron, AirWatch & Blackberry) will certainly appeal to some of our more security-and-mobility focussed customers too.

Summary

This is a really exciting release of Qlik Sense – great new features across the board serving the end users, power users, enterprises, IT administrators and more. We can’t wait to get our hands on the other features we’ve not been able to test yet and the final release when it comes out.

Next steps

Most people should now wait until the final release to get these features and then look to upgrade at that point. However, if you’re a Qlik customer and keen to get hands on, you can also join the Technical Preview that will run until 26 June. To do this, just visit the community page and register. Health warning: this isn’t recommended for anything approaching a Production environment and it may stop working altogether after the 26 June deadline and/or you may have to uninstall it completely before being able to upgrade to the final release when that comes out.

Some useful pages in that community include:

  • What’s New – a good summary of the new features, although lacking in a little detail so some can be hard to find! Also note that it’s listing some items that aren’t actually new in this release of Qlik Sense – like new Web Connectors and Qlik Sense Cloud features.
  • Advanced Analytics video – first half of this shows some of the things the R integration will be able to do.

 

Alex Walker
Service Delivery Manager

2017: Pushing the Boundaries

My previous blog talked about our successes in 2016. Now I’d like to focus on all that’s still to come in 2017.

If you have any questions about the topics listed here, please feel free to contact me for more information.

Qlik GeoAnalytics

At the end of 2016, we were evaluating third party add-ons for Qlik to enhance the out-of-the-box geospatial/mapping functionality. We concluded that the product from Idevio in Sweden was the best available, so it was great news in January to hear that Idevio had been acquired by Qlik!

The product has been renamed Qlik GeoAnalytics and is available to purchase via the Qlik pricelist, so now is the perfect time to talk to us about how it could enhance your location-based decision-making.

Qonnections 2017

Since we became a Qlik partner, we have always attended Qonnections, Qlik’s annual Partner & Customer summit. 2017 is no different and we’ll be taking a full team over to the US next month.

We’re looking forward to getting a glimpse of the new features Qlik are developing and bringing you all the latest information. You can stay up-to-date with all that’s going on at the summit via our social media channels, so if you’re not already following us, now is a great time to do so! Follow us on Twitter!

Events

There are lots of events in the calendar, here’s what to watch out for:

  • We’re exhibiting at Big Data Analytics on 22nd June. It’s the UK’s premier cross-industry event, showcasing the latest big data insights and innovations.
  • We’re hosting the Birmingham leg of this year’s Qlik Sense Tour event on 5th July at The Belfry resort. Come along to find out all about the Qlik Platform and how it can help your organisation. Register your place.
  • We’ll also be at IP EXPO Europe, 4-5th October – Europe’s number one enterprise IT event.
  • We’ll be hosting regular webinars to showcase all that Qlik can offer.
  • Roundtable events – the next one is on insurance on 11th May. Register here.

See all of our upcoming events here.

Partnerships

We’ve got some exciting partnerships to introduce you to. Firstly, we’ve teamed up with the guys at NodeGraph to offer our customers greater insights into the data lineage in their Qlik implementations.

Available for both QlikView and Qlik Sense installations, NodeGraph provides a clear way to assess where the data in your applications has been extracted from and where it’s in use. It also provides automated documentation to support your development teams.

Another fantastic partnership for 2017 is IN4BI. We now offer IN4BI’s Platform Manager for Qlik solution, which gives development teams increased control when developing and publishing Qlik applications. This is especially powerful if you have multiple environments (e.g. Dev, Test, UAT, Prod) as it helps users to manage deployment processes, rollbacks and changes across each server efficiently.

We’ll be adding more information to our website in due course, but please get in touch if you’d like to find out more about either of these new offerings.

Get Social

We’re committed to keeping you in the loop with all things Ometis, Qlik and data analytics related.

Make sure you check out our blogs each month on a variety of relevant topics, follow us on social for news, tips and insights plus subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to know about the latest Qlik offerings.

Release of Qlik Sense 4.0 & Qlik Roadmap

Qlik Sense continues to follow the release schedule of 2 x minor releases (Feb/Sept) and 1 x major release (June) per calendar year.  The following schedule shows the expected release cadence across the whole Qlik Platform:

qlik

As well as expecting some great new functionality in Qlik Sense 4.0 this June, I was pleased to read the updated ‘Statement of Direction’ from Qlik about where they see their product development resources being focussed over the next couple of years.

It’s fantastic to see the level of continued commitment to innovate from the product team at Qlik. As expected, Qlik Sense and the Qlik Analytics Platform remain the key areas for investment in 2017 and beyond.

This is turning out to be another exciting year for Ometis. We’re very proud to be the UK’s largest, dedicated Qlik Partner and we’ll continue to grow our team of experts throughout the year to make sure we can continue to deliver the highest quality Qlik solutions available.

If you have any questions relating to the topics covered above, or would like to speak to one of our team about how we can support your adoption of Qlik solutions, then please get in touch.  We’d love to hear from you! Call us on +44 (0)330 363 9900 or email info@ometis.co.uk.

Ross Greig
Managing Director, Ometis Ltd – Elite Qlik Solutions Provider

2016: a Year in Review

2016 has been another year of great success for Ometis, and Ross Greig (managing director) has highlighted some of the year’s key moments.

Our new website

Released in February, our new-look website provides our customers with a wealth of information and resources to make sure they are up-to-date with all our technology and industry solutions.

We’re always adding new content. Have you taken a look recently?

Social, Blogs & Vlogs

Following on from our website launch, we have also been busy writing and recording lots of great content for all our followers across our various social media platforms.

Our blogs and vlogs have proved very popular, specifically our blog on the Gartner Magic Quadrant which was being read and shared by thousands of people across the globe.

Our regular #QlikTips are also particularly useful snippets to keep your Qlik knowledge relevant.

Want to join the conversation? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.

qonnections

Qonnections 2016

In May, we took many of our team to Orlando, Florida for Qonnections, Qlik’s annual customer and partner conference. We discussed the Qlik Platform roadmap with our colleagues at Qlik.

As an early adopter of Qlik Sense, we were pleased to see some of the amazing new features and functionality being developed. In all my years working with different software vendors, I don’t think I’ve seen a year packed with so many great updates. The innovation is truly remarkable.

With 3 releases each calendar year, we’re always talking about the new features, so make sure you follow our social channels to keep up-to-date with all the latest information as it becomes available.

Marketing Events

Just to make sure we were spreading our word far and wide, we also embarked upon a series of events to showcase the Qlik Platform and inform people about how Qlik and Ometis can help businesses to become more data-driven.

Some of our 2016 events included:

  • WealthTech, London
  • Food IT Summit, Birmingham
  • Qlik Sense Tour, Manchester
  • Wealth Management Round-table, London
  • IP Expo, London

It was great to be able to talk to so many people about how the platform approach from Qlik can really help to address analytics and reporting challenges across all departments and user cases. Whether you need pre-built dashboards, self-service analytics or you want to embed analytics inside another applications or portals, the Qlik Platform can do it all for you!

narrative-science

Narratives for Qlik

Part of our responsibility to our customers is to keep abreast of any interesting 3rd party products that can help add another dimension to their analytics. During our trip to Qonnections, we were pleased to meet with the team from Narrative Science.

Narrative Science is a US company focussed on processing data in order to return a natural language interpretation that is easily understood by the reader.

In 2016 they released their Narratives for Qlik® product that can be embedded in your Qlik Sense dashboards to give a responsive, easy-to-read analysis of your data. We describe it as like having an amazing Business Analyst working alongside you.

In July, we became the first non-US partner of Narratives for Qlik® and have enjoyed showcasing its unique offering to our prospects and customers at events and via our webinar schedule.

This is the first step towards Artificial Intelligence (AI) becoming a core part of data analytics. Expect more on this topic in 2017!

New Support Offerings

We took some time in 2016 to evolve and improve the ways in which we provide ongoing customer support.

We recognise that many of our clients use in-house resources to develop Qlik dashboards, but they still want access to expert support when they hit a problem. Our Enhanced Support product now adds an increased level of support for both Ometis-developed applications, but also for Customer-developed dashboards too.

We also created a new Proactive Support solution that allows us to monitor your entire Qlik estate to help avoid any unwanted issues, downtime and complications. Many of our customers are already seeing the benefits of having our team of experts keeping a close eye on their Qlik solutions so they can spend their time making more-informed business decisions and not worrying about application performance, licence allocations and potential hardware bottlenecks. It’s a win-win!

We also now offer a new Qlik Healthcheck solution for companies who are already using Qlik, but who want to make sure everything is setup correctly and performing optimally. Our team will examine all aspects of your Qlik estate, document the results and provide a list of recommended changes or areas to improve. Our team can then be on-hand to walk you through making those improvements, if required.

Qlik Sense Training

Given the fast-paced release cadence for Qlik Sense, we invested in updating and restructuring our training materials so that we can quickly adapt and extend them with each release

Through our classroom training we can teach you how to build great-looking and performing dashboards, create reliable data models that follow best practices and install, configure and administer your Qlik Sense Server correctly.

Check out our training schedule to see how you could improve your Qlik skills. Want something more tailored to your requirements? No problem! We offer bespoke training/workshops to suit every requirement.

In summary

2016 was a fabulous year for all involved with Ometis, but that wouldn’t be possible if we didn’t have the best team of Qlik experts anywhere in the UK. A big thanks goes out to everyone who helped to make 2016 our best year yet!
I’ll shortly be writing about our plans for 2017, so keep your eyes peeled for that one. Exciting times are ahead, so watch this space…!

Ross Greig
Managing Director

NPrinting 17.2 Review – Three Steps Forward and One Step Back

For those who don’t already know, Qlik NPrinting is a content distribution tool for the Qlik Platform. It enables the distribution of static reports in various widely-used formats such as Word, PowerPoint and HTML.

A brief history

NPrinting 17 (NP17) is the result of the project code-named “Opera” – which was started before Qlik acquired Vizubi and finally came to fruition early in 2016. It’s fair to say the first two releases (17.0 and 17.1) weren’t quite ready for primetime, but 17.2 is a great step forward in reliability as well as functionality.

The NPrinting story so far…

  • 17.0 was the first release in the series – introducing web-based management of reports, schedules and related items. In version 16 and before this had all been done through a Windows application.
  • 17.1 introduced initial compatibility with Qlik Sense (QS). Previously it was a QlikView-only product and it became known as “Qlik NPrinting” not “QlikView NPrinting” at this point.
  • 17.2 was mostly a stability and performance release, but did also re-introduce the On-Demand functionality for QlikView (QV).

I’ve worked with NPrinting since 2012 (when it was Excel-only and being developed by Vizubi) and I have the honour of being the first ever certified NPrinting developer! I’ve been using 17.2 for the last couple of months and, combined with my experiences around earlier releases, here is my considered opinion.

nprinting-image-1
Alex being presented his NPrinting Developer Certificate by Vizubi’s Aran Nathanson,
now Qlik NPrinting Product Manager.

New architecture and delivery mechanisms

NPrinting 17 is a massive step forwards in terms of enterprise architecture – adding web-based management and report consumption, multi-user capabilities including permissions management. It keeps the familiar flexible structure of previous releases with Connections, Tasks, Reports, Filters and so on.

nprinting-1
The new NPrinting 17 web interface.

It adds two new distribution methods:

  1. NPrinting NewsStand – here users can see which reports they have access to and can subscribe to have them generated and/or sent to them on a schedule of their choosing.
  2. Qlik Sense Hub – you can push NPrinting reports into the Qlik Sense Hub so users have one place to go to consume all of their Qlik information. (Note: QlikView Publisher can do this now too – heading towards what Qlik are calling the “Unified Hub”.) The process for getting this up and running isn’t exactly slick, but once done, it’s a useful additional delivery mechanism.

nprinting-2
The Qlik Unified Hub – Qlik Sense, NPrinting & QlikView.

Additional compatibility

“Qlik Sense compatibility” is more true for this release than it was for 17.1 (where you’d often have reports fail if based on QS), but it still doesn’t come with all the functionality of the QlikView side of the tool.

The Select Objects dialog has improved with 17.2, now showing the IDs that you can (if no other way than via the dev hub single configurator) trace back to objects in the Qlik Sense app – which may be useful if you haven’t or can’t set a Name.

nprinting-3

One of the main limitations remains – that you don’t get to see previews of the Qlik Sense objects when you drop them into your template. Instead you just get a generic icon which can make designing your reports quite tricky.

nprinting-4

That said, when you do view a report, they look great. No issues with scaling here: since Qlik Sense has a fully responsive interface, the objects you embed flex as you resize them to fit your slide, document or web page…

nprinting-5
Example PowerPoint report with Qlik Sense objects embedded.

What’s missing?

As you can see from the three major releases this year, Qlik are actively developing NPrinting and I’m sure they have these ideas in mind, but here are some of the things I think should be on the roadmap:

  • Previewing of Qlik Sense objects in reports. As identified above, this is probably the most limiting factor right now.
  • Embedding reports into HTML emails. This was one of my favourite things in NPrinting 16 – embed the actual chart / KPI etc. in an email so the end user doesn’t even have to open an attachment! Unfortunately, whilst the help says this is possible, it’s not (yet).
  • Importing recipients from somewhere other than an Excel file. We have made extensive use of the ability to import from a QlikView object. There are workarounds to this but we’d love to see this re-introduced in NP17 for QV and QS.
  • Simplifying the process for adding reports to the Qlik Sense Hub and integration with the Qlik Sense QMC for user management and so on.

The conclusion

NPrinting has a special place in my heart and I have definitely skimmed over some of its amazing features that I’ve taken for granted over the last four years. So my advice is this:

  • If you’re a current NPrinting 16 user and you only have QlikView in your estate, then you might be better off sticking with NPrinting 16 for the time being. The main reason I can see to consider upgrading here would be if you need a multi-node environment to cope with the sheer volume of reports you distribute or to make use of the NewsStand feature.
  • If you’ve got a mixture of QlikView and Qlik Sense then I think that NP17 is worth a shot now it’s stabilised. Definitely check the features you need and trial it before making a decision on which version to use.
  • In a purely Qlik Sense environment, you’ve not got a choice – I’d just say be cautious about what you promise to deliver in tight timeframes as there is a learning curve as well as more improvements to come down the line. Again, trial it in your environment to see if it works for you.

For more information on NPrinting, please visit our product page where you can request a demo to find out how it can enhance your Qlik experience. We also have an NPrinting training session coming up on 23rd February 2017 – call us on 0330 363 9900.

Alex Walker
Service Delivery Manager