It was the usual Client meeting, where the customer was asking questions back and forth about the functionality of the software package we were offering. Can it be integrated with .NET applications? how do you export a table from QlikView and write it back to the database? How do you publish the applications to the Server? How does collaboration work?…. and the list goes on and on.
Suddenly, the IT Manager, a very quiet, insigthful and smart guy, comes up with something that would make me think about it for a while. He says: “I din’t want to ask, maybe it is a little off-topic, but here I go: Is it possible to write comments into the applications so that everyone sees them when they open it?” At first, I said sure! you can use text boxes and write everything you want, like a Situational Assessment about what’s going on in Operations so that others make sense of the numbers they are seeing. Or even more, you can create pop up alarms about almost anything within the application. Then he was more specific about his question: “What I mean is if the user can write comments for everyone to see.” My first reaction was, well yeah! you can have macros that ask for the user to input some text, and send that text to a repository outside QlikView. You can then use those comments and display them as a timeline, QlikView could display them in a TextBox Maybe. Another way would be that your people take care of all the web development and create a typical Forum page.
He said, “OK”, and seemed satisfied with the answer. The next day, I thought more and more about his idea and I thought of course!!! That would be just like Twitter, the users make their daily analysis, come up with conclusions about the numbers, make some decisions and then SHARE it. That is the keyword: SHARE the results of a user analysis.
Think about it for a moment: How useful would be for an organization to have that kind of collaboration among their analysts and business people? I think it would very useful if it is embedded in the applications and updated automatically as the users write the comment. I imagine it could be just as the Collaboration Pane in the Enterpise Editon.
For departamental teams:
- It would serve as a way to motivate your teammates when something goes wrong, for example: “Don’t worry John, I know your people will pick themselves up next week. Remember we are a team and our region will beat our folks from Region B by the end of the month.”
- It will enhance the (healthy) competition spirit accross teams: -John Doe:“Uhhhh, do you guys see that? looks like Region B is getting closer to Region A.” – Jane: “I really doubt it John, end of month is just a few days away, they will NEVER reach our standards”.
For decision makers:
- It would serve the purposes of bouncing ideas before making a business decision. User A: “I see the trend of of our sales for Region A is nothing but negative since the beginning of the year, we should focus more resources over there. Maybe make an On-Site Assesment with one of our execs. User B: “You are right, but they are experiencing severe issues because of a quake near our production plant, we should give them some time, plus, look at our Employee Satisfaction Rate on that area. It is the best, enterpise wide!“
For The CEO:
- It is widely known that the main issues that are disturbing frontline operations are kept secret from top executives. But if it is a conversation about a specific performance issue (discovered with QlikView) and every one is sharing opinions about it, and how to fix it, inside QlikView, then the CEO would just have to take a peek at what his people are saying about certain metric and voila!, he would say: “OK, At least I know these guys of Region B are doing something about it, and they seem to be on the right track to fix the issue”.
Other features I imagine having in this “Twitter for QlikView” are:
- Share BookMarks inside the post.
- Use tags in the posts.
- Link the post to a specific Sheet Object. For example, use a titile icon to start the post and automatically link to the object.
- ALWAYS, embed the Selections Status in the post, in order for others to be on the same page.
I was, and still am, so excited about the feature that I suggested it to the Product Management team from QlikTech. Got no answer though.
So what do you think? what uses do you see for this feature? do you think it is worth it?
More importantly: How would you achieve this functionality with other tools?
Lyzasoft already does this.
Thank You for your comment. I really don’t know anything about Lyzasoft, but will definitely take a look at it to understand it.
Its good to know the functionality already exists, but wouldn’t it be great to have it on QlikView?
Love your idea!! I am searching now for how to make annotation in Qlikview possible. Extensions?! I love your Twitter idea.
Thank you for your comments Cheryl!
Yes, I believe it would be possible using extensions. Also, in the recent partner summit (Qonnections), QlikTech guys talked about how QV11 will be about making “Social Business Discovery”. It is definitely something to look forward to.
Good vision, Mike. It seems QlikTech have implemented your suggestions to a great degree. Not sure about comments attached to UI objects — it would be better to indicate commented values (in charts or tables) but keep all comments in a single stream, as it matches common user behavioral patterns. I wrote more about this in my recent article about annotations in BI tools – http://bi-review.blogspot.com/2011/09/annotations-in-bi-tools-why-are-they.html
Thank you Dmitry. I appreciate your comments.
I’ll be reading your post this week, since the topic itself is interesting and would like to know other people’s ideas on it.
I believe that SAS Visual Analytics does this, but have not been able to look at the actual functionality of it.
It is a very interesting topic, but it would require some thinking before implementation (what should it be used for vs what will it be used for vs what can it not be used for).