Beginners guide to learning Qlik Sense – Part 1

by | Oct 5, 2017

Qlik Sense is a powerful tool for visualizing and analyzing data. It also has a strong support base and is heavily documented. This means it is ideal for self paced teaching. In the next few blogs, I will be documenting my progress and the resources I use in hopes that it may help someone else who wants to learn Qlik Sense.

Introduction to Qlik

Before diving into Qlik, it may be useful to know what Dimensions and Measures are. As a quick synopsis of this link, think of a bar chart showing the number of people in different countries. The Dimension in this situation is the different countries or the individual bars on the graph. The Measure, is the number of people in the country or the height of each bar. In Qlik, when selecting a Measure you will also be asked to select an aggregation such as sum, average, count, range etc. Knowing what a Measure is makes having to select an aggregation make a lot more sense.
The resources I am going to use for my self paced lessons are – 12x Introduction videos (1.2hr) + 2 Webinars(2hr) + Allowance for notes and follow along =  8h of time. An overview of the first 8 videos is below:

Video 1: Qlik Sense – Getting Started with Qlik Sense Desktop

This video covers downloading Qlik Sense Desktop but it also has a nice introduction to creating apps. I advise getting access to Qlik Sense (Not Qlik View) and following along with creating an app just to familiarize yourself with the layout and flow of Qlik Sense. Some of the more important points to take away are the descriptions of left panel nav on the app development screen.

  • Visualisations : Charts and Graphs etc.
  • Custom Object : Extensions, Plugins, and Widgets
  • Master Items : Saved ojects. Can be Visualisations, Measures, Expressions, and Dimensions.
  • Fields : All fields from your imported data



Video 2: Qlik Sense June 2017 – What’s New – Part 1 – Data Preparation

This video was a little confusing. While it introduced some new features, it seemed a little complicated for the position in the learning schedule. So for now don’t fret if you’re not sure about whats going on, we’ll probably revisit this later when we have a better idea of whats actually going on. Something to note though, is the simple table modification such and bucketing and splitting on a delimiter.


Video 3: Qlik Sense Desktop – Create your first app and Visualisation

This some what builds on the 1st video where we built a simple app. I would still advise you follow along with this video too as it is a bit more in-depth and it never hurts to reinforce learning with repetition.


Video 4: Qlik Sense Desktop – User Interface

This is a particularly useful video as it helps with basic Qlik Nav. A function that is brushed over but should be remembered is the Reference Line function. It is mostly a great start to familiarizing yourself with the control panel to the right of the editing screen.


Video 5: How to create visualizations

This video builds on creating a basic app. The most important take-home in my opinion, is the Master Items functionality. This is essentially how you can save and duplicate graphs and charts. Another really good snippet of information is using the ~ character when searching. This will search for words containing the characters follow the tilde. For example searching “~afrsnti” might return rain forest. Adding to this point, it is also possible to search using expressions.


Video 6: Qlik Sense Desktop – Data Storytelling

This video covers something you may not have heard of yet. Qlik has a built in PowerPoint-but-better called Qlik Stories. This video is simply an introduction. The next video covers it in a bit more detail.


Video 7: How to work with Data Storytelling

A follow-up to the previous video, the take should be as follows; Qlik Stories are made in two steps. SnapShots will create reusable captures of your visualizations and these are taken from inside your app while in view mode. Stories are then made using these SnapShots by dragging and dropping them onto your storyboard. There’s a bit more to it than that but that’s the gist of it. In


Video 8: Qlik Sense Desktop – Sharing Qlik Sense Apps

Sharing information have become an important function of modern society. To do this with Qlik, you export apps to .QVF files.


Part 1 Conclusion

So that’s the end of the first part of my introduction to Qlik Sense. Feel like a Qlik expert yet? Yeah, neither do I. But we have covered a fair bit of ground, so for the sake of our sanity, I will write a quick recap of things we’ve learned.

  • Know the difference between Dimensions and Measures (resource 1)
  • Know what each of the menus to the left of the edit screen do (video 1)
  • Add data to our Apps (video 1, 3)
  • Creating Apps, Sheets and Visualisations (video 1, 3, 5)
  • Bucketing data (video 2, 4)
  • Create calculated fields (video 2, 4)
  • Simple edit data before load (video 3, 4)
  • Style our Apps. Title, logo, name, colour etc. (video 4)
  • Add alternative Measures and Dimensions (video 4)
  • Form data associations (video 4)
  • Create reference lines (video 4)
  • Search visualizations (video 5)
  • Convert Graphs (Video 5)
  • Create Master Items (video 5)
  • Style our visualizations layout (video 5)
  • Use Data Storytelling (video 6, 7)
  • Export and share Qlik apps (8)

If you’ve found this helpful, part 2 will be published next week.
From hard data to fluid design – Scott

Useful Resources

All of our Qlik blogs –
Our guide self directed learning with Qlik Sense – 
Dimensions vs Measures –
Hidden Functions –

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