zoho vs. qlik bi tools.
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Qlik and Tableau help business executives and decision-makers build data-driven strategies. You can save a lot of time and energy with these business intelligence tools‘ features such as automatic data collection, analysis and visualizations.

The two BI suites provide cloud-based services and allow creating guided apps and dashboards from pretty much any source, but they don’t have the exact same approach and performances. Learn about the key features of Qlik and Tableau to help you evaluate each solution and choose the right one according to your business context and expectations.

Qlik Sense: Key features

Qlik is particularly efficient for generating smart visualizations and mappings, but it can also perform analysis using the Qlik Analytics Engine, Qlik’s associative technology for data discovery and artificial intelligence to combine data from multiple sources.

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The BI suite provides advanced configurations to power users. For example, the engine can take scripts as inputs to make predictions. Beginners can use the drag-and-drop interface to create applications with ease.

Qlik focuses on contextualization and security.

Tableau: Key features

Tableau is full of features and interactive visualizations. It can source data from multiple sources such as custom databases, cloud services or Google Analytics, and combine all data natively. Neither complicated macros nor advanced scripting is required to start.

Its capabilities are pretty high, including statistical, behavioral, multidimensional or predictive analysis. Its Einstein Discovery tool leverages the Salesforce’s no-code platform and machine learning to predict new trends and deliver recommendations.

The software focuses on intuitiveness and does not require any preselection. Users with various levels of expertise can use it, but power users can add more filters and optimizations. Developers can query performant APIs to integrate the software into existing apps or websites.

SEE: Looker vs. Tableau (TechRepublic)

Features comparisons of Tableau and Qlik

FeaturesQlikTableau
Ad hoc query and reports
Predictive analysis and machine learning
Bayesian and statistical analysis
Behavioral analytics
Benchmarking
OLAP (multidimensional analysis)
Relational display
Strategic planning
Mobile support (iOS, Android)
Documentation/knowledge base

Data analysis

Qlik analytics dashboard with AutoML.
Image: Qlik.com

Both Qlik and Tableau provide advanced analysis tools and models. Users can create pipelines from multiple sources and leverage the benefits of machine learning to sort data.

However, Qlik focuses on data association while Tableau promotes exploration for users with author permissions. In other words, Qlik promotes the discovery of critical data relations that are easy to miss, while Tableau requires users create their own searching pattern and find hints themselves. While both software options help users find the data that will drive business decisions, Tableau may require more technical expertise to build insightful reports.

Data visualization

Tableau Server dashboard with visualizations.
Image: Tableau.com

Aesthetics and design can really make the difference when it comes to visualizations, as the idea is to highlight key figures and trends to make them easily understandable.

Tableau can generate visualizations that combine many design elements with data for reporting, apps, and dashboards that are designed for business and consumer audiences. You can get an overview on its public gallery.

Qlik provides various pre-defined charts and custom objects you can use and reuse in sophisticated visualizations, but with fewer graphical options, as the primary audience is business users. Qlik has more granularity in the types of data combinations or drill-down options, but beginners might find the number of options a bit overwhelming. That said, the end product includes the Insight Advisor feature, which gives business users the ability to query and use the data associations for self-service insights.

SEE: Top Power BI alternatives (TechRepublic)

Security

You’ll get a decent level of safety with the two solutions. Their services rely on trusted data sources and other critical aspects of enterprise security, but Qlik has better capabilities, especially regarding access control.

While Tableau complies with an extensive range of security obligations for data, cloud-based operations or networks requests, Qlik provides more granularity and access control, for example, with the Section Access that can reduce data to the appropriate scope.

It requires more technical skills, though, but power users and administrators may appreciate this possibility.

Price of Tableau and Qlik

Both suites offer free trials but Tableau provides now a free app for Mac and Windows called Tableau Public. This is a limited option that allows anyone to create and share visualizations for free from public data sources and private data. All of these visualizations are hosted for free, but also publicly searchable within the Tableau database.

Tableau has three versions,Viewer is view only, Explorer allows for data manipulation and one $70 Creator seat is required for every license.

Qlik has three offers: Business starting at $30 per month, per user, Enterprise Client-Managed and Enterprise SaaS.  Qlik customers who look for high-scale performances might select the SaaS version or the client-managed option, an in-class solution to extend analytics across departments and organizations. There are also several other pricing tiers available for data integration needs.

Editor’s note: Prices may vary over time and are only given as indicators at the time of writing.

How to choose your BI tool

Both tools have favorable reviews on Gartner, and the same overall rating of 4.3/5.

Both use machine learning to identify trends and build robust models, but Tableau requires far less technical expertise and is recognized as a reference in the industry.

Both support a large range of devices, operating systems, and web and mobile platforms. Data and reports can be accessed from pretty much every device. The two companies have built strong communities and offer great support.

You’ll get a decent level of safety with both tools. Their services rely on trusted data sources and other critical aspects of enterprise security, but Qlik has higher access control capabilities.

Questions to ask before purchasing Tableau or Qlik

Before jumping in and in addition to the points above, here are some of the questions you may ask and the answers for both products:

Do I really need a BI tool?

If you’re a business executive or a decision-maker and you struggle every day with too many reports and data you have to cross-check manually to extract key figures you write yourself in PowerPoint documents, both Qlik and Tableau can change how you make business decisions.

Is it easy to use?

Both Tableau and Qlik users will need to have a decent level of BI and data analytics knowledge to load data and build the initial reporting. After that initial lift, business users should be able to explore data and discover new insights on the fly. However, both tools have drag-and-drop functionalities for beginners.

How fast is the learning curve? Does it require lots of training?

There’s always a learning time, especially if it’s your first BI tool, but both products have detailed documentation and videos, and even in-person training that can help you.

How flexible is the tool?

Is it Mac- or Windows-friendly? How does it integrate into my existing workflow? Does it have third-party integrations? Is it extendable? Both Qlik and Tableau meet these needs.

Are there any hidden costs?

While it’s hard to assess, BI tools can require significantly more RAM and CPU for the calculations if you handle high volumes of data and extra-large datasets. Vertical scaling can thus become an issue at some point.

How good are the visualizations?

Aesthetics and design can really make the difference when it comes to visualizations, as the idea is to highlight key figures and trends to make them easily understandable.