Tableau vs QlikView

In the modern global business environment, competition and pressure have become greater than ever before. Performance-driven executives only have seconds to convince a skeptical audience, and thus the visual elements of the presentation play a vital role. If what you are presenting is not attractive or interesting, the audience will get bored and will not pay any attention to the important points and messages. By using good visual elements, you will be able to keep your audience’s attention much more easily. Visual elements now are incredibly important for adding clarity and comprehension, allowing people to quickly understand what you want to say.

Today, glossy interactive graphics have become obsolete. People now want something that doesn’t just look fancy – they want something that can analyze the data and explain things to them. Thus, visualization tools like Tableau and QlikView become widely used. The days of glossy dashboards and ad-hoc reports have gone; Tableau and QlikView are now what you need.


Both Tableau and QlikView are above-average graphic manipulation tools designed for visualization and business intelligence. Thus, they both offer various advanced capabilities for interactive analysis on the segmented business data.

Tableau is developed by Tableau Software, a software company based in Seattle, Washington, USA, that produces tools for interactive data visualization on business intelligence; it was founded in 2003 by Chris Stolte, who specialized in techniques of visualization for exploring and analyzing relational databases and data cubes. Tableau queries relational databases, cloud databases, spreadsheets, and OLAP cubes in order to generate various graph types. However, Tableau has been criticized for being too US-centric (the built-in postcodes and sales areas are mostly in the United States).

QlikView is developed by Qlik, a software company headquartered in Radnor, Pennsylvania, USA, that focuses on visualization and business intelligence; it was founded initially in 1993 in Lund, Sweden. QlikView has been praised for the extensive functionalities, including excellent business intelligence (BI) features.

Tableau Advantages

Tableau has been preferred by many due to the highly intuitive interface. It is very easy to use, regardless of the user’s analytical or technical background. The highly intuitive interface enables incredibly easy and quick data set creation, data exploration, and dashboard exploration. So, if you have little to no time to prepare for your next presentation, and you are not very familiar with these tools, Tableau would be your best bet. Tableau is a wise choice for first-time users and beginners.

The simple drag-and-drop system is the highlight of this particular software. The advanced tools allow you to see dots and interesting interactive graphs instead of just basic tables. The software is also able to visualize a data set and blend multiple data sets together, pull data from a back-end system without requiring the user’s effort, and automatically calculate conversion rates. The tools are great for mapping and viewing trends.

Plus, Tableau is generally more affordable and budget-friendly. It even provides a free cloud-based version for startups and users looking to try before buy.

Tableau Disadvantages

Even though Tableau is able to pull data automatically, you will still have to Extract, Transform and Load (ETL). Such process takes some time, especially if there is already a line of coworkers requesting other reports before you. In addition, even though Tableau allows you to integrate multiple data sources, the list is shorter than that of QlikView.

The most significant disadvantage of using Tableau is perhaps the limited features. Yeah, the ones available are great, but it doesn’t have as many powerful things as QlikView. An advanced user may find Tableau lacking in advanced features such as embedded business intelligence, data preparation, and metadata management.

QlikView Advantages

Many people believe that QlikView is currently the world’s most powerful visualization application. It is not just for visualization and analysis; it also incorporates various business intelligence tools, such as the QlikViewExpressor (for metadata intelligence solution) and the NPrinting (for report generation, distribution, and scheduling).QlikView aids the user’s productivity in creating ad-hoc analysis of huge data sets by providing a robust tool set suitable for even the most complex analysis. The performance of QlikView is relatively faster than Tableau, especially when dealing with in-memory databases.

When one is talking about QlikView, they are talking about flexibility. QlikView is loved by developers because it has built-in scripting functions. The interface is more mature, featuring the multi-document interface (MDI) support. Other notable features include advanced data filtering and manipulation options and decent third-party integration including with MS Excel.

QlikView is well integrated with the mobile and social media platforms. It enables you to perform instant data search, access, capture, and analysis through the dynamic dashboards and apps.

QlikView Disadvantages

With the superb flexibility, comes a certain level of complexity. With the complexity, QlikView may provide a steep learning curve, especially for those without a technical or analytical background. So, if you are not familiar with the software, you will need some time to learn and prepare.

In addition, the back end of QlikView is not as friendly and intuitive as the front end. It will occasionally ask some IT assistance for data management and mapping. And tracing an error in the case of a data load crash can be very complicated.

Another common complaint regarding QlikView is the relatively huge budget it requires. Of course, compared to Tableau, the budget requirement of QlikView is quite significantly higher. Not to mention the highly demanding hardware requirement; printing visually appealing reports can be tricky and difficult if you don’t have sufficient hardware.

- Significantly lower budget requirement- Significantly higher budget requirement
- Simple, highly intuitive interface featuring a drag-and-drop system- More complex interface with MDI support
- Limited advanced features and flexibility- Comes with much more powerful features, great flexibility and customizability
- Relatively slower performance, especially in dealing with in-memory databases and calculations- Faster in handling in-memory databases and calculations


If you are looking for an easy, simple, and reasonably affordable solution for data visualization, Tableau is the way to go. The highly intuitive, easy-to-use interface is a significant plus point for anyone not familiar with such tools. Tableau is applicable for most startups and local companies. On the other hand, if you require something that is highly flexible and customizable, and you have prepared a sufficient budget for that, QlikView can be your choice. The advanced drill-down functionalities and BI features are great for deeper, broader analysis. QlikView is more suitable for enterprise-level companies.

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