Qlik Sense Mashups; They constitute a powerful tool for combining different data sources that empower users, analysts and data scientists across an organization to strike meaningful and informed data-driven decisions.
But how do we ensure accuracy and relevance when it comes to delivering Mashups that center on a data-driven decision making process, and at the same time help users optimize time and resources?
This post aims to point you towards some of the most common pitfalls when it comes to developing a Qlik Sense Mashup, and to think about ways and techniques that will, most importantly, help you avoid them.
1. Not Understanding User Requirements
First and foremost: know your audience. Before anything else takes place in your development pipeline, make an effort to narrow down your user profiles. Are they C-level executives with little time that need instant access to churned snippets of data, or are they analyst types that will want to play around with different data projections scenarios?
This design-approach will prove vital as you start to make decisions as to whether to create a Traditional Analytics Dashboard (more suited for your C-level management, for instance), or a Self-Service Dashboard (which your analysts will fall heads over heels for, but your C-level types will blow a fuse with information overload).
So… that said, make sure you sit down with the stakeholders that are going to use your mashup and have a conversation about their needs and identify data-access problems the mashup needs to solve. For them. Not for you.
2. Not defining (or understanding) a “Data Storytelling” approach
Your data without context has no meaning. And as such, before diving into the nitty-gritty code, you need to understand and answer a few fundamental questions to ensure your data remains relevant both for your Mashup’s target audience and the broader business process.
– What data do I need to display?
– Why am I choosing certain data, while excluding other data?
– When is this data going to be useful and for what purpose?
– For whom is this data relevant?
In answering these questions, or at least having them actively present in your mind during your Mashup development process, you will gain tools that enable you (and your users) to build (and support!) a story based on the data you will be displaying in the Mashup. (edited)
3. Unclear or insufficient knowledge of appropriate Technology Stacks
Last but not least, there is the technology issue. A Mashup will only meet its intended purpose when it succeeds in delivering relevant content for the right audience in fast, timely and device-relevant ways.
To get to this point, you need to now understand how (for example) a Qlik Hypercube will help you deliver information-rich content with the help of lightweight “strings” of data that you can call freely and independently from the Qlik Server, without performance tolls and even more efficiently than with Native Qlik Objects.
Qlik Sense provides us Front-End developers with a robust API from which we can integrate fully-customized Web Apps that connect to the Qlik Engine and populate real-time Qlik Sense Data.
So, to deliver on this powerful Mashup promise effectively, in-depth knowledge of Front-End web development technologies is crucial. At Cluster (Sense Templates team) we chose to focus on and HTML/CSS/JS stack braced under a ReactJS framework because it provides 3 fundamental advantages when developing Mashups:
- Fast performance and robust tech support (Open-source Framework created, used and maintained by Facebook Engineers)
- Real-Time data updates (We can open and close API connections to the Qlik Engine on a ‘need-to-connect’ basis for resource-efficient real time updates)
- Scalability (Object Oriented Programming that allows us to re-use components across different mashups and environments)
There are countless more advantages to developing Qlik Sense Mashups as you start to understand that different user groups have different data needs.
At Cluster (Sense Templates team) we are prepared to guide you through this process, while delivering performance optimized Mashups built on latest Web Standards that help optimize data-driven decisions at your organization.