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Data alerts

Data alerts allow a Qlik Alerting user to create a variety of alerts which will check their data in a Qlik Sense application. This check is performed as a user session which impersonates the user ensuring all application and data access security is respected. Alerts can be created on a schedule or when an application reload completes through a reload task in Qlik.

Creating an alert

  1. Click My Alerts from the top menu bar to see a list of all the alert records you own.
  2. Click Create at the bottom of the table to create a new alert.

Building a data table

In this section you will be building the table of data from which you wish to create your alert.

General

  1. Enter an Alert Name.
  2. Enter an Alert Description (optional).
  3. Select the Qlik Sense Application.

Add measures

Select the different measures that you want to use in creating your alert. This may be one or multiple measures depending on the conditions that are required, for example the condition may be based off a different measure(s) than the one presented in the notifications. The standard notification templates will present the first 4 columns in your data table. You can add more but these will not show in the standard templates.

  1. Select a measure. This will either be a measure from the list of master items or you can select a custom measure and you should complete the expression and label for this measure.
  2. Select the Format for this measure when presented in the notification.
  3. Click Add Measure and the measure will be shown in a table just below and in the preview.
  4. Repeat this process to add additional measures.

    Note: Measures can be removed by clicking the delete icon next to the measure in the list.

Drill to Dimension (optional)

The drill to dimension option allows the selection of a dimension to allow checking conditions across a table of data. Each row in the table will be evaluated to see if it meets the conditions or not.

  • Select a dimension or field from the list that is displayed in the Dimension dropdown. You can search by typing into the entry box.

Filters

Bookmarks OR filters on fields are supported, but the use of both at the same time is not supported.

  1. From the filters dropdown you can select an existing bookmark or a custom filter.
  2. If you have selected a custom filter do the following:
    1. Select the filter field.
    2. Select the Values in that filter field. Search for the values to simplify creating the value list by typing into the space.
    3. Click Add Filter.
    4. Repeat this process to add more field and filter values.

Preview Table Sort

You can manage the sort order of the data table in the user interface, which also sets the sort order for the notification tables.

  • Sort By - choose the column you wish to sort by.
  • Sort Ascending - choose whether the sort order is ascending or descending.

Condition section

The conditions section allows you to create up to 10 conditions from the measures and dimensions you have selected in the data table section. There are simple and complex condition types available with standard numeric and text string condition options. You can set multiple conditions and use the Rules area to organize those conditions to get the exact result you require with AND / OR and step options.

Condition types

There are a number of condition types which you can choose from which range from simple to those which offer some complexity. The main condition types are:

  • Manual Value - Compare the row value for the measure or dimension selected to a fixed value that you enter against the condition. This can be numeric (for measures) or text-based (for dimensions).
  • Measure - Compare the row value for the measure or dimension selected to a second column from the data table you have created.
  • Previous Scans - Compare the row value for the measure or dimension selected to a previous scanned value (for measures and dimensions) or to an aggregation of previous scanned values (for measures only) such as the average of the last 10 scanned values.
  • Set - Compare the row value for the measure selected to the rest of the values in the column with some simple (average, min, max) and advanced (percentile, standard deviation) aggregation options.

Setting a condition

  1. Select a Column from the data table you have created. This can be a measure or the dimension column.
  2. Select the Operator you want to use to compare the selected column value.

    Numeric Operators

    • Greater Than (>)
    • Greater Than Or Equal To (>=)
    • Less Than (<)
    • Less Than Or Equal To (<=)
    • Equal To (=)

    Text String Operators

    • Includes
    • Starts With
    • Ends With
  3. Select the Type of the condition, once selected additional fields will show.

    Numeric Operators

    • Manual Value

      Value - enter the fixed value that you will compare your selected column value against.

    • Measure

      • Compare with - Select another column from your data table.
      • Offset - Enter a value that you wish to offset the returned value by. This can be both a number or a percentage but both should be entered in numbers (i.e. 50% = 50)
      • Is percent - Select this check box if the number you have entered is a percentage.
    • Previous Scans (the history that has been stored from the previous scans for this alert held in the Qlik Alerting repository)

      • Scans - Select the number of previous scans. If you select 1 you will be checked versus the last time Qlik Alerting checked this alert. If you select a number greater than 1 you will need to set an aggregation type.
      • Aggregation
        • Average - for example, compare the current value with the average of the last 10 scanned values.
          • Offset
          • Is percent
        • Min - for example, compare the current value with the minimum of the last 10 scanned values.
          • Offset
          • Is percent
        • Max - for example, compare the current value with the maximum of the last 10 scanned values.
    • Set (the returned dataset in the data table)

      Aggregation

      • Average - the average of the values in the set of the selected column
        • Offset
        • Is percent
      • Min - the minimum of the values in the set of the selected column
        • Offset
        • Is percent
      • Max - the maximum of the values in the set of the selected column
        • Offset
        • Is percent
      • Quartile

        • Quartile - Enter a value between 1 and 4 which indicates the upper boundary of the quartile. I.e. 1 is the 25th percentile value, 2 the 50th percentile value, 3 the 75th percentile value and 4 the 100th percentile value.
      • Percentile
        • Percentile - Enter the value of the percentile, i.e. 90 is the 90th percentile value so your condition might be <measure> is greater than the 90th percentile value of the measure set
      • Standard Deviation
        • Standard Deviation - Enter the number of standard deviations, i.e. -2 for a condition which looks for less than the lower bound of the 2nd standard deviations from the mean of the set, 1.5 for a condition which looks for all values above the upper bound of 1.5 standard deviations from the mean of the set in the selected column.

    Text String Operators

    • Manual Value
      • Value - enter the fixed value that you will compare your selected column value against.
    • Previous Scans
      • Scans - Will default to 1 as you can only compare with the last scanned value for text string operations
  4. You can add further conditions by clicking Add Condition.

Setting the rules

The rules entry option allows you to apply the conditions you have created in a way that is as flexible as possible. Each condition you have created will have an identifier (A, B, C, ..). You can also add layers to your rules (rule steps) which allow you to create very complex rule conditions where, for example, you can use the first step to filter values by a measure and the second steps to look for the outlier values (i.e. standard deviation).

Note: By default the Rules section will only show the first condition (A) and you will need to enter in the additional rule references (B, C, ..) and syntax.

Rules syntax

The following operators are permitted.

Note: Use lower case for the and and or operators when you write a rule. For example, (A and B) or C.
  • and - use and to create a rule where both conditions should be true for the record to be present, for example, A and B.
  • or - use or to create a rule where either of the conditions can be true for the record to be present, for example, A or B.
  • ( ) - Use parenthesis to group certain rules so that you can combine and and or in the same rule, for example, (A and B) or C.
  • ! - Use an exclamation mark to add a NOT function to the rule, for example, (A or B) and !C. An example where this would be used is where you have a condition that is set to equal the previous scanned value, but you want to set it to not equal, you could use the ! option to ensure the rule return catered for this.

There is a validation check for the rules which presents as a tick (when the rule syntax is valid) or as an exclamation mark (when the rule syntax is invalid).

Rule steps

To allow for a much greater range of capability in condition setting there is a capability to set rules in groupings (sets) which will apply in order. This can be used to allow filtering by measure values before looking for outlier values which is something we cannot do in a single step, and that is not possible in Qlik Sense without writing complex (and inefficient) expressions.

To demonstrate how this works we can use a simple example. As a regional sales manager I want to know my worst performing 10% of stores in terms of gross margin %, however I only want to see the results from those stores that have sales over a certain level, say $50,000. In this example:

  • Use rule step 1 to apply a Manual Value condition where the sales value is greater than 50000.
  • Use rule step 2 to apply a Set condition with a Percentile aggregation where the value is less than or equal to the 10th percentile value of the dataset that is output from step 1 (i.e. filtered to remove those with sales values less than 50000).

Click Add Rule Step to add new steps.

Calculate conditions

Click the Validate Conditions button in the preview area to review the output of the conditions and rules you have created. This will present a table and a summary of the number of records returned as true in the current set of data.

Note: If you are using a previous condition, there will be no history available when you create the alert. It will automatically allow this condition type to be true. This allows you to test any other conditions you have. On save, the first history values will be captured and from then on the previous history will be respected as a condition.

Schedule section

In this section the triggering of the alert scan is setup; this can be

  • Select the type of trigger you would like to set; On Reload or On Schedule.

On Reload (default)

An on reload trigger will trigger the scan process after each successful reload of the Qlik Sense application. A reload is typically when the data changes in a Qlik Sense application (excluding direct connect setups) so is the primary means of triggers for Qlik Sense applications. A scheduled reload allows you to set time-based reload options.

On Schedule

When you select on schedule you will see the server time is presented. All times you enter into this schedule area will be set based on this server time which may be different to your local time.

  1. Enter a Scan Since date and time.

    This may be left blank if you wish the alert to start immediately.

  2. Enter a Scan Until date and time.

    This may be left blank if you do not wish to set an end date at this time.

  3. You can select one of Days of Week or Days of Month. This allows you to select on which days of the week or which days of the month the alert scan will trigger. For example you could set it to be only for working days of the week. Leaving these selections blank will automatically select all days of the week and all days of the month.

  4. For Schedule Alert By, select Interval or Times.

    Interval:

    1. Set the start time and end time for the alert scan to trigger for a day on which it is scheduled. This allows you to manage your alerts so you do not get notified of changes in out of work hours.
    2. Set the interval in hours and minutes. The alert scan will trigger at the start time and then each interval from this time.

    Times:

    1. Enter the time on which you would like the alert scan to trigger.
    2. Click Add Scan Time to add the time record.

      Note: You may enter more than one time on which it should trigger during the day.

Distribution section

Channels

Select the delivery channel(s) you wish to receive the alert notifications through, you may choose one or more channels from the following:

  • Email
  • Mobile (sending to all a users registered mobile devices - up to 5)

Notification frequency

This functionality allows you to ensure you are not sent notifications over and over again simply because the application has been reloaded in Qlik Sense for other purposes. These settings allow you to choose a frequency of being notified that will control how many times in a period you are notified. Options are:

  • Every time [default]
  • Only the first each Hour
  • Only the first each Day
  • Only the first each Week
  • Only the first each Month
  • Only Once (and never again)

Advanced

The advanced option is governed by the distribution setting privilege which is assigned by the administrator. This allows a user to distribute the alert to others in the Qlik Alerting user list.

  1. Use the advanced switch to show the advanced distribution settings.
  2. Select the type of distribution you would like.
    • Broadcast - takes the result of the data query using your Qlik data access and shares this result with all users.
    • Managed Shared - takes each recipient in turn and queries Qlik with their user (assuming section access and app security is in place) and sends each user the result of the queries based on their data access.
  3. Select the recipients or groups using the assigner windows.
  4. Preview the users who are currently assigned for the alert

    Note: The preview also allows you to see which users have unsubscribed from the alert.

Notification section

Link back to the Qlik Sense app

Select the relevant Sheet in the selected application. This is used in generating the URL with filters that will be sent in the alert notifications. The first sheet will be selected by default so you do not need to make any changes if you do not need to.

Customize notification

You can choose to customize the notification text. This includes the email subject and mobile push notification message and the body of the email which can be adapted. You will need knowledge of HTML and CSS to manipulate the body template.

Review the detailed instructions in Managing custom notifications.

You can skip this section if you do not want to change the default notification (recommended). The default templates present tables up to the first 4 columns for alerts with a dimension and multiple measures.

  1. To modify the notification setting, click on the Customize Notification switch.
  2. On the Notification Subject line you can enter text or construct a free text plus variable string.
  3. You can import a template into the email message body area using the options above the text area and the templates you can download (see Managing custom notifications). It is important to note that HTML can behave differently in different email clients so we have created our templates to be as consistent as possible. This does mean they are more complicated so you will need reasonable knowledge of HTML and CSS to manage this.
  4. Click Preview to check that your HTML is formatting correctly.