Qlik Sense offers a great extension interface for adding new visualizations. The initial install of Sense has the standard visualizations found in most tools, like Power BI, but if you want to show more advanced visuals, you will have to create your own. In our example, we will create a Sunburst visual that acts like a TreeMap with hierarchical data, but is presented in a radial fashion. Here is what will will be building:
If you do not have Sense desktop installed go here and download it for free. Follow the installer wizard and it should install without any problems. Once Sense is installed you will have a link on your desktop. If you don’t have a link, either search for it through Windows, or navigate to its install directory C:Users<USERNAME>AppDataLocalProgramsQlikSense and click on the QlikSense.exe file.
When Sense launches, you will arrive at the Qlik Sense Desktop hub. It will look like this:
Since we are going to create an extension, the best place to start is using the Qlik Dev Hub.
Click on the drop down menu that looks like a hamburger and select Qlik Dev Hub.
This will launch your browser and take you to ://localhost:4848/dev-hub. Here it is:
Once you are here go to the left menu and select Extension Editor. Click on the menu toolbar and select Create new project.
A dialog box will appear, name the project Sunburst, and choose Basic Visualization template from the template drop down. Click Create & edit.
Once the project is created, three tabs will be displayed.
- This is a JSON type file that stores the metadata about your visualization
- This is a picture of what will be shown in Sense when you hover over the chart
- This file is not visible through the developer hub, but it stores a listing of all the files that are in the extension, with each asset on its own line.
This information will be stored on the file system under the following location:
Next, drag the chart to the canvas and you will see our 4 dimensions and 1 measure we stated in the properties above.
I have a dataset for tornado sightings in the USA that has dimensions for Region/State/County for our hierarchy and number of sightings for the measure. The chart will then render and look like this:
I added filters on the left to show that it works with existing visuals in Sense.
Here is our visual side-by-side with the TreeMap that Sense has as a default visual.
Here is filtering on the TreeMap that cross filters our Sunburst visual.
Sense provides an excellent environment for creating your own visuals. It is much easier to debug and deploy than Power BI. If I had to choose which tool to use for our clients, I would recommend Sense without hesitation.