Every year we take a pulse on customer needs, potential customer requests that we couldn't provide, and trends of the business analytics industry. Being the first, and having the latest and greatest produces the glitz and the glamour, but our primary goal is to provide a positive and happy customer experience with tools that contribute to the bottom line. If we can push the envelope in this vein, then we have a win-win situation.
The Intuit SDK (Software Development Kit) has added literally no new functionality in 5 years, and after 17 years it still has holes in it that gives our development team headaches and gray hair. But with some elbow grease and creative thinking, we have been able to craft this very successful product. But, all of the available QB data is in our product, and we want to do more than just have data just sitting there in a repository.
We want to bring your data to life!
There were three strategies for this version
We can't control how Intuit exposes their data using the SDK. We can, however, control the speed of the data transformations once the data has been extracted from QuickBooks.
The biggest task to perform from a technical standpoint, was to make things much more efficient than the methods we had used in the first six years of our application. This meant a total re-architecture, and code re-write; something that took almost 15 months to do.
The result is a data warehouse that is exponentially more efficient, 50% quicker, and just as stable as our previous iterations.
Software always has bugs. For a complete list, read our release notes.
For a complete listing of specific analytic and field additions please go to:
Speed. Extracting and storing the data in QQube is 40% - 60% quicker. Refresh times on incremental data synchs are 80 % faster.
Excel Add-In. New Refresh Options and Synch Status on Add-In
Ease of Use. Measures are now separated from other information in the Analytic Details folder making it easier to find your fields.
Single Date Fields. Like all traditional warehouses,QQube provides a true Calendar Dimension for the various dates that exist in transactions, e.g. Transaction Date, Ship Date, Expected Date, etc. Excel and Tableau provide their own date dimension extensions e.g. Year, Quarter, Month, Day; so we have provided single date fields to accommodate those applications, and simplify the field options.
Fields that remove clutter from the canvas: There are a few DIMENSION folders which may have only one or two fields, or contain several fields that are rarely used - but clutter up the canvas. So to simplify, we have added those single fields into the Document Attributes Folder:
Better Documentation. We listened to many customers who wanted to see a complete overview of each analytic. We have a whole section dedicated to this - about 100 pages worth.
We did two things to help users get started easier:
Less is More. Rather than attach every field and folder to the out-of-the box examples, we started with just a few of the most often used fields and folders to make it less intimidating.
Calculated Measures. The DAX language used by Microsoft to create calculated measures can be intimidating to novice users so we have done our best to create as many common calculations as we can so that their learning curve is much, much smaller.
Power Pivot becomes necessary when your need to bucket information into columns based upon different filters - something a regular pivot table doesn't do.
Microsoft Power BI
We have an out-of-the-box gallery of over 60 examples, each with a dozen or more individual metric examples. Start with what we have, or create your own. We even provide all of the additional calculations - over 150.
In QQube 6, we went way beyond just "providing shells" - we have provided usable dashboards out of the box - no matter what analytic you choose to use.
Currently QQube is the only way you can connect QuickBooks data to Power BI. The QOBDC driver won't work, and you can't connect PowerBI using their custom reporting feature, because Enterprise uses a File DSN - which PowerBI won't allow.
For the complete gallery visit our How-To Guide Section on using QQube with Power Bi.
The best way to experience all of these features, is to download it, and play with it. As one existing customer told us once he had access to the new version: "I'm so excited, it's like Christmas all over again".
I still find it crazy that the QODBC drive won't work with PowerBi. I always thought it was a "real" odbc driver. By the way, after I told you this I was able to get the "custom reporting feature" ODBC to work, barely. It's a fragile and difficult process that I don't really recommend (especially because their views are so esoteric (see: http://http-download.intuit.com/http.intuit/CMO/qbes/resources/pdfs/CustomReportingODBCImplementationGuide.pdf )