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Get to know your ingredients 

Every good chef uses fresh ingredients that they know all about.  Take time to investigate and understand your data.  What formats are they in?  What do they have in common?  Where are they stored?  Make use of Qlik Sense’s new Data Profiling Cards to examine data as it enters your model.

Wash your ingredients

It’s rare that any real business situation data is clean.  Standardise your data formats, remove any fields you don’t need and provide friendly field names.


Certain ingredients enhance the flavours of others.  Often your data will come from different sources, let alone tables, so pay attention to your model.  A star schema is your friend, construct a central fact table and link your dimension tables around it wherever possible.  Stuck on which join type to use?  Then check out this handy article.

Don't burn it

Sometimes the temptation is to build one huge script that looks the bee’s knees but in reality, results in a painfully long reload time.  Consider breaking your ETL script into 3 scripts (Extract, Transform, Load) with each outputting QVD.  Also consider the end user experience (you don’t want those calculations to time out).  Move calculations to the script, make use of binary flags and don’t overload the screen – conditional show/hides/calculations can save a lot of CPU.

Taste your food

Test your dashboard by making selections.  Get others to sample your dashboard and provide feedback.

Presentation counts

Use the right chart for the right KPI.  Stuck for inspiration?  Check out this PDF.  Make sure to label your charts appropriately - if using QlikView make use of dynamic labels utilising getcurrentselections() or concat().

Any dietary requirements?

Consider your audience.  Are any of them colour-blind (if so check out this article)?  Consider how executives might use or navigate your dashboard differently to admin staff.  Consider desktop/laptop/tablet/mobile consumption, especially when using QlikView.

Season your food

Add a bit of spice with an extension from Qlik Branch or with some extra data from Qlik Market.


And even though they say you should never play with your food you should definitely play with your dashboard.  Try new functions, charts and get inspiration from all the great blogs gathered by Make it stand out!

By Michael Laverick, Qlik Consultant at Catalyst and Qlik Luminary     


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