Exploring Qlik Sense using CCH Tagetik as a source

Exploring Qlik Sense using CCH Tagetik as a source

The partnership between CCH Tagetik and Qlik strengthens CCH Tagetik's ability to support internal reporting, thereby fulfilling the need for dashboarding and analytics. CCH Tagetik's powerful consolidation engine, combined with integrated modules for planning processes, cost allocation, ETL and disclosure management are reasons why we see organisations selecting CCH Tagetik as their enterprise performance management system.

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In this article we investigate the functionalities of the CCH Tagetik and Qlik Sense integration and we highlight some reporting visualisations offered by the integration module.

The good old reporting client

The reporting client that is delivered standard with CCH Tagetik offers limited possibilities for dynamic and mobile reporting. The look-and-feel that you will get with the native reporting client will be similar to existing Excel features, also in terms of visualisations. With the release of CCH Tagetik version 5, an attempt has been made to offer dashboarding functionalities for web and mobile reporting based on HTML5. Creating useful data visualisations such as waterfall charts and gauge diagrams will eventually - with the necessary Excel tricks - be possible, but these approaches are far from optimal when comparing it to built-in visualisations that BI software vendors offer.

The benefit of the native reporting client however is that it utilises CCH Tagetik's internal data model, logic and database structure. The central question that we investigated is if Qlik Sense is able to do the same.
 

CCH Tagetik & Qlik Integration

The OEM partnership between CCH Tagetik and Qlik made us wonder if Qlik Sense would be able to effectively handle some fundamental aspects of CCH Tagetik. Think for instance about the way in which CCH Tagetik manages currency conversion on the fly, segment reporting, hierarchy nodes reporting and periodic reporting (using the period length function).

We had the opportunity to investigate the integration between CCH Tagetik and Qlik Sense and we will share our experiences so far. The CCH Tagetik Data Discovery and Visualization module consists of an extensive "plug and play" Qlik Sense script that directly connects to your CCH Tagetik database and retrieves all relevant CCH Tagetik tables. The script ensures that all CCH Tagetik data model definitions (codes, descriptions, hierarchies, attributes) are available in Qlik Sense. Also your Financial Statement Template definitions as configured in CCH Tagetik will be converted to variables in Qlik Sense, allowing you to use CCH Tagetik as a central repository for the definition of KPIs and other reporting items. Note that the interface is unidirectional, calculations created in Qlik Sense will not be synced to the definitions within CCH Tagetik.

It takes some time to understand which filters and variables should be used within Qlik Sense in order to retrieve figures that actually make sense. Profound knowledge of both CCH Tagetik and Qlik Sense is definitely a requirement for this learning process.

After taking this hurdle, we were able to compare Qlik Sense output with native reporting client output. The CCH Tagetik Data Discovery and Visualization module ensures that foreign currency conversion is also available in Qlik Sense, a functionality required when reporting multi-currency figures using a CCH Tagetik original scenario instead of a consolidation scenario. The period length dimension required for e.g. year-to-date, monthly or last twelve months reporting is readily available as well. Likewise the entity hierarchies are present, required for segment reporting in Qlik Sense.

One of the main benefits of using Qlik Sense on top of CCH Tagetik is the underlying associative data model. When you click on a chart or selection box, all associated data is highlighted instantly. This is a totally different experience as compared to the native CCH Tagetik reporting client, Qlik Sense really enables you to explore and analyse your data. Additionally Qlik offers great possibilities to extend the product with custom visualisations which can be downloaded. We used this feature to visualise a dynamic driver tree.

One of the limitations of using Qlik Sense is that it needs to load data in its in-memory using scheduled data loads. This implies that the data within Qlik Sense is not real-time. The module supports delta loads to facilitate frequent data loads, but it may still be a concern for operational use of the reports. Furthermore it will require additional hardware and resource costs for hosting and maintaining the Qlik Sense environment.

Conclusion

CCH Tagetik has acknowledged the improvement need for data visualisation, dashboarding, self-service reporting and mobile reporting in its offering. With Qlik it found a strong partner and it ensured that the (consolidated) CCH Tagetik figures can be reported as well in Sense.

Since the Qlik objects can be integrated seamlessly in the CCH Tagetik 5 user interface, users experience one platform and do not notice that the Qlik engine is used for the dashboards. For static tables reporting the native reporting client is still the best option in our opinion. But when it comes to interactive reporting, value driver visualisation, geospatial analysis, waterfalls and other data visualisation concepts that are mainly used in the internal management reporting domain, the Qlik solution offers a strong new feature to CCH Tagetik.
 

Authors of this blog are Joeri Heijnen and Jeroen Veldhoen

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