Qlik Associative Engine

One of the key advantages of Qlik over its competitors.

SQL was not designed to meet the demands of modern analytics. However, many so-called "modern" BI tools rely on a query-based architecture that restricts users to basic filtering within limited subsets of data.

Only Qlik Sense and its innovative Associative Engine empowers users to freely search and explore through all of the data as quickly as their minds work unveiling valuable insights that query-based tools often overlook.

Qlik Associative Engine Green
Analytics Engine vs Query

How is this different to SQL or query-based tools?

Unlike Query-based visualisation tools, Qlik's associative engine retains the unrelated values in an analysis.  The ability to be able to answer the "not" questions using these unrelated values can often be where the most value or opportunity can be found such as:

  • Why are customers buying product A but not the complimentary product B? Is training required for staff or increased advertising the answer? 
  • Which employees do not have the appropriate qualifications to work with specific customers or products?

Queries simply filter these values out leaving users with a partial view of the data as they see only what matches the query criteria.

Explore without boundaries

Search and explore through all of your data, in any direction, without any limitations or predefined queries to hold you back. Make selections anywhere and witness the far-reaching impacts. Grasp the connections between related and unrelated data. Instantly adapt your perspective based on what you observe. With Qlik, you are no longer confined to basic filters or linear exploration.

Leverage all your data

You can effortlessly blend all your data sources, regardless of how many there are, how large they are, or how imperfect they may be. The Associative Engine seamlessly integrates them all, ensuring that no data is left behind or misinterpreted. It identifies and maps all the relationships within your data, creating a compressed binary index that is optimised for interactive analytics. Now, everything is at your fingertips, ready to be explored.

Discover insights as fast as you think

Experience the incredible speed of powerful, logical inference and on-the-fly calculation. Instantly update all analytics and uncover data relationships, enabling you to make exciting new discoveries every time you click or search. Say goodbye to slow queries that hinder critical thinking. Plus, this speedy and flexible solution effortlessly accommodates large numbers of users and complex data sets.

Assoc Engine
Assoc Engine 2

How does this transform the analytics experience?

When business users explore dashboards or visualisations, they often find themselves with more questions than answers. The process of making well-informed decisions involves a constant cycle of questioning, evaluating, and exploring new avenues until the perfect insight is unearthed and comprehensively understood.

However, traditional query-based tools lack the flexibility and interactivity required to support this process. That's where Qlik's Associative Engine comes in. It empowers every user, regardless of their expertise level, to engage in powerful exploration and discovery.

So how does it work?

The Qlik Associative Engine achieves an unparalleled blend of speed and flexibility that cannot be achieved with query-based tools. How does it do this? It combines numerous groundbreaking technological advancements, such as compressed binary indexing, logical inference, and high-performance dynamic calculation.

Compressed Binary Indexing

Compressed binary indexing

During the loading process, the Qlik Associative Engine cleverly combines various data sources, ensuring that no data is lost or inaccurate due to executing SQL joins at this stage. It creates a compressed, binary data store in-memory and efficiently indexes all the relationships between the values in your data.

The join keys are seamlessly integrated into the multi-table structure, enabling automatic joins when you click. Each unique value is stored only once, with binary pointers utilised everywhere else, resulting in a minimal data footprint and optimised calculation performance.

Logical inference

After each click, the engine goes through a two-step process. First, it uses logical inference to determine which data values are related or unrelated to the new selection state.

The engine handles the overall context and, with the help of its associative index, identifies the data set that is included or excluded at the row-level. This context is then applied to all analytics in the app.

Logical Inference
Dynamic Calculation

High-performance Dynamic Calculation

The second step involves dynamic calculation, where the engine instantly recalculates all analytics in context, providing results as quickly as you can think. These calculations utilise record-level data, ensuring the highest level of detail and flexibility.

With advanced techniques like hypercubes, caching, and optimised in-memory data, calculations are performed instantaneously, making exploration and analysis faster and enabling seamless scalability for large, complex data sets and numerous users.

Schedule a Demo

What can you expect?

In short, we offer a simple, honest and interactive demo.

A typical agenda:

  • Introductions (5 minutes)
  • What are your current challenges (5 minutes)
  • High-level slides inc. pricing (5 minutes)
  • Product demo and continuous Q&A (40 minutes)


  • An in-depth technical demo
  • A link to pricing and a bespoke proposal

But, this is your meeting, your time, so feel free to focus us on what you need from the call.

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