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Qlik Sense Desktop is intended to create customized interactive data visualizations in which various data sources can be integrated. The program is oriented to both individual users and teams. Yet, when you are working collaboratively, it unleashes its full power.
The tool’s interface is quite intuitive; yet, to create meaningful apps and interpret the results correctly, you require at least basic knowledge of business intelligence. There is the Desktop hub, which allows organizing your work in a folder-like structure and is essential in sharing your apps and visualizations with others. Luckily, as soon as you start the tool, it prompts you to create a new app and begin exploring your data, so you do not have to guess what to do next.
Qlik Sense lets you create various types of use cases, such as visualizations, reports and dashboards. One of its main assets is the possibility of not only picturing data but also discovering potential associations between different data collections, which is done by dragging and dropping datasets to create a sort of story. Fortunately, an extensive list of data source types, including but not limited to Amazon Redshift, Apache Hive, Google BigQuery, DropBox, PostgreSQL, Azure SQL Database and Salesforce, is supported.
It is good news that you can create visualizations not only from scratch but also using the available templates. It is a shame, though, that they are hardly customizable as there is a limited collection of themes and styles.
All in all, Qlik Sense Desktop can help you deliver interactive data visualizations, which, in my opinion, are a better choice than static PowerPoint presentations or PDF reports. Luckily, you can exploit its real potential if you know how to write code in Qlik’s scripting language. There are three different editions of Qlik, the one reviewed here, called Desktop, is absolutely free. The other two editions, Enterprise and Cloud, require purchasing. Good news is that the free edition comes with practically all the features of the paid ones, except that collaboration is somewhat limited as it runs locally instead of on an Internet server.
- Supports multiple data source types
- Creates various types of use cases
- Integrates data from various sources
- Creates interactive visualizations
- Support via forum only
- Fewer collaboration features than the paid editions offer
- Customizing ready-made visualizations is limited