Not Just A Pretty Face

Data joined up with pretty pictures isn't enough: that app needs to go deeper.

Qlik Sense Demos

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My role at Qlik involves being a part of the Demos and Best Practices Team. This means creating Qlik apps that will encourage people to explore and discover using Qlik products. The team is a large one and located across the globe. So why does Qlik invest all of this time, money and expertise to this project?

In one of my previous blogs, I talk about how human beings need to see something and experience it for themselves before deciding whether it fits their requirements or piques their curiosity. In our case, this might be the first time they get to test drive a Qlik product. All of these factors make producing these apps integral to selling Qlik to the world.

So, is this a simple thing to do? Can you just create one of these apps in a day? Well yes you could of course: if it meant joining a couple of spreadsheets together and creating some standard charts. Many of you have likely seen how the simplicity of Qlik would make this a very trouble-free process. But I am not talking about a simple app. Instead, I am talking about an app that captures your imagination and implores you to explore, that’s where the magic comes in.

The most important thing about an app is to capture the viewer’s curiosity and get those endorphins flowing all around the brain. When done correctly, it will compel them to explore. Now this is the important bit because if they explore and the experience stops at the first visualization it’s like peeling the skin off a banana and the fruit is rotten. All that expectation dissolves and you’re left with a feeling of disappointment. What we are not trying to do is give them the answer because the builder of the app isn’t going to know what the viewer's answer is. After all they can’t read minds (now that would be a skill!) But, what we are trying to do is give the viewer the tools to explore and discover.

I am involved in a project at the moment called How European Are You?  This links together many different data sources and gives the user the ability to explore and find out how closely they are linked to countries in the European Union. It would be pointless tying people down to a predefined route, give hints or give them a map on how they should find out.

When you are exploring the Qlik Demo Site and exploring apps on your favorite beer or how your favorite golfer did in the PGA Championship you will realize it’s not just a bunch of data joined up with pretty pictures, it’s a mainline to your brain so let those endorphins flow.

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