Qlikview vs. Tableau

We have been working on Qlikview and Tableau for a while and we have decided to compare these two tools, which have evolved as market leaders in Business Intelligence. Both have their pros and cons and finally its you and your business requirement, which may narrow it down to one tool. I’ll put down those differences which I have found so far while working on both.

Here are the differences which we have found between these two BI giants in the market. In this comparison below, we have also rated each tool based on categories development, deployment, user interface (UI) and storage,  on a scale of 1-5 along with description of differences. Where 1 being poor and 5 is excellent.

  # Index Attribute Type Qlikview Score Tableau Score

1

Data storage for optimized loads

Storage

QVD

5

TBE, TBEX with all data

5

2

Direct load from Database (Any denormalized/staging or direct database)

Development

Scripting and Manipulation adding logic

5

Custom SQL option, adding Excel or Tableau sources can only have joins or restrict data using filters.

3

3

Coding standards

Development

Almost similar to SQL – that is Qlikview scripting

5

Custom SQL function while connecting database can be used, But, this has its limitations. (i.e. Certain syntax and aliases has to be used , normal SQL can fail at times)

3

4

Joining tables at the load from database or external data source

Development

Direct code in the scripting

5

Add first table then add second table and use define joins at that stage

3

5

Objects in Sheets

UI

Sheet can be made as Dashboard by adding in Objects or all real estate can be used for one object

4

Sheets can have only one object, for keeping more than one Object, Dashboard option has to be selected

5

6

Graphical inputs and Changes by data (Colors of Bars, Size, Labels)

UI

Logic has to be written in specific areas where graphical changes has to happen based on data

2

Just drag and drop columns and data will be sorted based on it.

5

7

Adding different data sources and Joins

Development

Qlikview makes automatic joins between tables.

4

Need to establish a relationship between tables, though it establishes relationship between two tables on same column names, We need to edit them for more refined execution and while creating dashboards link should be established between two data sources, for using both in one dashboard.

4

8

Flexibility of using multiple data sources in Dashboards

UI

Qlikview can handle multiple data sources effectively without much work arounds

5

Tableau has limited functions while handling multiple data sources. But It has direct click access to more data sources . Example:  Actions (Triggers) have limited functionality for applying on multiple data sources.

4

9

Creating data sources –  (Format structure)

Storage

Qlikview creates data sources in stored xml file format with an extension – QVD for faster execution.

5

Tableau also stores data sources pulled from database in stored xml file format with an extension – TBE

5

10

Extracting multiple tables from Databases

Development

Qlikview script can pull data from multiple tables and joins will be established between them based on common columns. (Primary Keys and Foreign Keys).  This has its limitations.  But this is faster and easier compared to Tableau and this is based on scripting.

4

If multiple tables should be extracted from same data source, they should be linked to first table which was extracted and each table which has to be extracted should be added to the first and all of them will be extracted as one big Data Source. Tableau does this to avoid performance issues, even when we try to link each of them after extract, It will prompt to do the first process. This is just click and add process, no script or code involved in this processs.

3

11

Establishing relation between data sources.

Development

Without defining proper relationship (that is putting out columns with same name for Joins) between tables may result in Synthetic keys (Joining between common columns) and again, that would make developer’s work more time consuming.

4

If multiple tables are extracted from same data source without establishing relation between them at the load time. May result in performance issues and becomes developer’s nightmare. As listed in the earlier point, It will prompt for establishing relation while extracting as it causes performance issues.

3

12

Data analysis in charts

UI

Qlikview has complex analysis features like Accumulation, Running Total and Forecast. But these options should be defined using proper functions requires coding

3

Tableau has these features based on click and drop basis and adding function name directly in the calculated expressions feature.

5

13

Geographic  Maps

UI

Qlikview needs scripting and export an extension for this and we need to generate a Longitude and latitude file for the proper map fuctionality

1

Tableau has inbuilt extension for Maps and all we need to have in data is Country and City information.

5

14

Server 

Deployment

Qlikview Server is a propreitary version and not available for public use.

2

Tableau has a version which is Tableau Public, which can be used by registered users, which is free and dashboards can be uploaded and shared. But, this is a public version. Privacy is not ensured. However, they have a leasing out option for corporates for that purpose.

4

 

So, finally here are the total scores, when it comes down to each category.

Qlikview and Tableau scores:

Qlikview and Tableau scores.

Comparison by their scores in each category: Tableau vs. Qlikview by Category

 
So finally, Qlikview scored more on the development and more or same on the storage and on other areas Tableau has proven to be stronger, because more of its ease of use, advanced UI and Tableau public.
 

Personally, I’d use more complex and complicated dashboards on Qlikview, due to its scripting abilities, where I can write complex logic and retrieve data from database without much struggle. Where as, Tableau for already manipulated and saturated data from database without much complicated logic needed to be built on Tableau while retrieving from a database and for a better UI and better geographic maps.

Yes, its debatable. You may end up saying I can do what all you can on Qlikview, on Tableau as well and yes, you can. But, the effort it takes to build that same application on Qlikview may take much more effort on Tableau and vice-versa the UI which can be developed in Tableau may take more effort in Qlikview than earlier.

At the end, We love them both and we love working on them.

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3 thoughts on “Qlikview vs. Tableau

    • Not yet,

      Improved UI, yes I have seen some articles and videos of it and as they put it, Qlik.next will have ‘Visually Beautiful’ UI.

      They also included some features like drag and drop and a limited free cloud space, same as Tableau.

      It’s been announced that it will be released in third quarter of this year and I’m very much stoked to get my hands dirty and find out how good is that.

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