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Healthcare data can be tricky to deal with, and that’s one of the reasons we love what we do. We’ve solved hundreds of visualization challenges for healthcare organizations over the years, from helping them see disparate sources in a meaningful way to tailoring the user interface depending on the detail necessary for a given user.
Depending on the relationship between the data model and the user interface, there are many tricks we use to show exactly the information we’re seeking as part of a visualization. One of the ways we do this in QlikView and Qlik Sense is through Set Analysis.
What does Qlik’s Set Analysis functionality do?
Set Analysis is a syntax that lets us add our own logic in addition to (or in place of) user selections. Essentially, it lets us control the interpretation of parts of a whole.

Why does Set Analysis help with healthcare data scenarios?
In visualizing health data, we are often looking for ways to segment the whole. For example, we might have 3 years of admissions data loaded into our application, but we want to limit a specific chart to just the most recent 6 months, or to admissions coming from just from skilled nursing facilities, or to admissions with just the observation patient class. Sometimes, we want a chart to show a large set of data and then let the user filter based on a dimension (date, department, admission source, etc.). Through Set Analysis, not only can we control how the data loaded into the application is accessible within a chart, we can also define whether the logic should consider user selections. Depending on the scope of an application, presenting all the information and a bunch of filters and letting the users have at it won’t meet the consumption requirements. Effectively using Set Analysis lets us choose when to open the floodgates to the dataset in an application, while giving us chart-by-chart flexibility in how we show the subsets.
What does Qlik Set Analysis syntax look like?
The Set Analysis syntax looks like this:


It seems to get kind of complex, but when you break down the syntax relative to what you want to show, it starts to get easier. For example, if you want to know how many admissions there were in 2014, your Set Analysis looks like this:

Once you get comfortable with Set Analysis, there are lots of other fun ways to refine your results. You can use variables, use parameters, or change your assignment operators (see the overlapping circles image above). We consider Set Analysis a key tool in building healthcare-data user interfaces in QlikView and Qlik Sense, so we love trying to address new challenges through set analysis!
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