Compare Qlik Sense® vs Power BI

This guide provides an in-depth comparison of two top BI tools and practical advice to help you select the right solution for your organization.

Screenshots of Qlik's interactive dashboards.

Qlik vs Power BI: Evaluation Guide

At a quick glance, it appears that both Qlik and Power BI allow you to scale insights by exploring data from multiple sources, but there are fundamental differences. Read on to find out how Qlik and Power BI compare.

Popular resources to help you compare BI tools

  • Comparison Guides

    See how top BI and analytics tools compare on the 12 key factors you should consider in your evaluation process.
  • BARC’s BI & Analytics Survey 23: Qlik Highlights

    BARC, a leading enterprise software analyst firm, talked to real BI users to analyze and compare leading BI and Analytics products. Users ranked Qlik Sense® #1 in Performance Satisfaction, Dashboards, and Project Length in its peer groups.
  • Hear from a trusted source

    BI initiatives come with many functional requirements and priorities, so finding the right platform can be tough. Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for BI and Analytics report will help.

Qlik vs Power BI Comparison

In their 2023 Magic Quadrant report, Gartner named only three vendors as “Leaders”: Power BI, Tableau and Qlik. This guide compares Qlik vs Power BI on the 12 key factors below.

Interactive Dashboards

Lots of tools can make cool-looking dashboards. Your BI tool should let you explore all your data in any direction, directly from within the dashboard. That way, you can uncover relationships which you may not have considered when you or an analyst first set up a query.

  • Qlik

    Qlik’s “associative” data engine allows you or any user to explore all your data freely from any angle, allowing you to answer the next question. And Qlik’s cognitive engine uses machine learning to learn over time and give you exploration ideas.
    • Power BI

      Power BI’s SQL engine forces you to follow specific paths and limited data. This means that for each query, only a slice of your data is analyzed, so patterns and connections go undiscovered.

      “The ‘Associative Engine’ is what sets Qlik apart from other BI solutions.”

      -Grzegorz Dadowski*

      Screenshots of Qlik's interactive dashboards.

      Data Visualization

      Most BI tools can visualize data in interactive graphs, charts and maps. But like dashboards, you’ll need to freely explore all your data, in any direction, directly from within the visualization. Plus, modern tools offer AI to help you create charts, highlight outliers, and suggest new visuals.

      • Qlik

        Qlik’s data engine lets you explore all your data in a full suite of interactive visualizations. And it compresses large data sets, reveals the shape of your data, pinpoints outliers, and provides AI help for creating charts, recommending associations, and preparing data.
        • Power BI

          Like most top tools, Power BI offers a full range of interactive data visualizations. However, like their dashboards, the preselected query paths will restrict your filtering and exploration.

          “Qlik is more powerful and robust compared to Power BI.”

          - Peter Eerdekens*

          Our technology works with your infrastructure

          Deployment Flexibility

          You need high-performance data analytics no matter which infrastructure you have. You also need an agnostic, independent web-based platform if you want to move, manage, integrate, and analyze data across multiple sources, at enterprise scale and speed.

          • Qlik

            Qlik is an independent company and offers you total freedom and control of your data. Qlik also provides a full enterprise SaaS environment and on-premise or private cloud options. Learn more.
          • Power BI

            Power BI will require you to use Azure and will become another way to lock you into one vendor. And, their cloud experience is different from their on-premise functionality.

            “The performance of Qlik just simply crushes Power BI.”

            - James Anderson*

            Total Cost of Ownership

            There's more to making a BI platform investment than just the initial purchase. The Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) factors in all the costs associated with using a BI solution for 3 to 5 years, such as infrastructure, systems setup and app development, and systems admin and support.

            • Qlik

              Qlik’s total cost of ownership is lower than Power BI. And Qlik has no additional or hidden costs as you scale.
              • Power BI

                Power BI may seem low-cost on the surface. But to scale up even moderately, you have to pay for an upgrade. Learn more.

                “The price comparison is very misleading.”​

                -Tomasz Wojcik, Thermoplast*

                Chart showing increasing users, data scale, and analytic complexity.


                Uncovering insights works best when users have a complete, up-to-date view of all relevant data. This requires the ability to integrate and combine data from any source, as close to real-time as possible. To do that successfully, you need an analytics platform that’s built to handle data at any scale without compromising performance or driving up costs.

                • Qlik

                  Qlik’s associative engine provides instant calculation performance, even with massive data sets, real-time data and high numbers of users. Plus you can keep data fresher in a much smaller build window, due to Qlik’s ability to add, modify and remove records. Learn more.
                  • Power BI

                    Microsoft will make you pay extra if you want to scale. Once you pass Power BI Pro’s low data limit of 1GB per data set, you have to upgrade to Premium (or use live query, which will slow everyone’s work to a crawl). Even if Microsoft can work with big volumes it will always come with a much bigger cost or a much lower performance.

                    “Power BI can't handle larger data volumes at the visualization layer like Qlik, performance-wise”

                    -Srikanth Penumutchu*

                    Governed Self-Service

                    Everyone in your organization wants to trust their data, analytics and insights. They also want to work quickly and not have to wait for IT or analysts. So, your tool should allow you to control your data and content with a centralized management capability that uses rules-based governance.

                    • Qlik

                      Qlik centralizes and unifies your data in the cloud, creating governed data models with robust data security. And all content creation happens in the cloud, where it’s governed and controlled at every step. Plus, governed libraries provide reuse and standardization for analytics.
                      • Power BI

                        Power BI takes a decentralized approach, spreading data across people’s desktops and the cloud. The end-users don’t have the possibility to create their own viz or make changes to the existing ones; they are always dependent on the authors for that. This makes managing data expensive and time-consuming.

                        “The power of the Qlik engine, Set Analysis and QMC far outweigh what can be done in Power BI.”

                        -Mark Little*

                        Diagram showing how data is processed into the Governed Data Catalog and BI Applications.

                        Data Integration

                        Data integration refers to bringing together and transforming raw data into analytics-ready data. Today’s BI tools should be able to leverage real-time data integration technologies like change data capture and streaming data pipelines and make data available across your enterprise.

                        • Qlik

                          Qlik Sense has built-in, best-in-class data integration capabilities for combining and transforming data as well as data cataloging. Plus, Qlik also offers an enterprise class data integration platform which provides a seamless analytics data pipeline.
                          • Power BI

                            Making data integration work on Power BI requires you to purchase additional products from the Microsoft stack. And even then, it can be difficult to manage the disparate offerings.

                            “Qlik’s end-to-end is what makes it superior to Power BI.”

                            -Mitch Speer*

                            AI-Powered Analytics

                            Augmented analytics brings the power of AI and machine learning to suggest new insights and connections. This helps you quickly analyze your data, increases your productivity and helps you make better data-driven decisions.

                            • Qlik

                              Qlik’s full range of AI capabilities are built into the platform at a foundational level. This lets Qlik's AI be an always-on engine within the context of the analysis you’re performing and suggest insights and new connections as you explore your data.
                              • Power BI

                                Two Microsoft AI features, Quick Insights and Q&A, were added on to Power BI. And, these features are objects on a dashboard which you’ll need to add every time. ML capabilities are additional Azure products.

                                “Qlik is way more user-friendly. It’s easier to use filters, to do powerful drill downs, and it has intuitive dashboards”

                                -Benoît Gochel*

                                Screenshot demonstrating Qlik's embedded analytics capabilities.

                                Embedded Analytics

                                Embedded analytics refers to incorporating full analytics capabilities within other processes, applications, and portals across an organization. This allows your employees, partners, suppliers, and customers to make better, data-driven decisions from within the systems they already use.

                                • Qlik

                                  Qlik’s platform was built API-first using modern standards. This allows you to embed a dashboard and individual numbers, values, and metrics within the latest web and application technologies.
                                  • Power BI

                                    Power BI does make it possible to embed dashboards and objects within other apps. However, Power BI is not API-first and many capabilities are not available in its SDKs, the more relevant being the lack of self-service.

                                    Many Use Cases, One Interface

                                    All users in your organization should be able to perform all BI use cases using the same data and the same platform. This is because different types of users, such as analysts, engineers and businesspeople will want to perform many use cases, such as embedding analytics, exploring data or sharing dashboards.

                                    • Qlik

                                      All users can perform all activities pictured here–plus app automation, Auto ML, alerting and reporting and real-time analytics–all on the same platform with a common analytics engine, AI capabilities and analytics data pipeline.
                                      • Power BI

                                        Power BI does deliver on a range of common use cases but you will need to invest in the full stack of Microsoft data and analytics products.

                                        “Qlik has more features and is very easy to use. It handles more data, and publishing apps is simple.”

                                        -Taj Mohamed*

                                        Mobile BI

                                        Curiosity can strike at any time. It doesn’t wait for you to be at your desk, computer on. That can make desktop-based data analytics software frustrating. You need a platform that lets you freely explore data and uncover hidden insights whenever inspiration (or curiosity) strikes, no matter where you or what device is closest to you.

                                        • Qlik

                                          Responsive design and touch are native to the Qlik platform and Qlik offers a full-native mobile app. The app offers fully interactive online and offline exploration and integrated alerting with push notifications.
                                          • Power BI

                                            Power BI has a mobile app but it only allows for viewing, not creating. And Power BI’s cloud is used primarily for uploading reports.

                                            Data Literacy Support

                                            Today, you need everyone in your organization to be data literate. This means that they are able to ask the right questions of data and machines, make data-driven decisions, and communicate meaning to others.

                                            • Qlik

                                              Qlik makes it easy for anyone, at any skill level, to explore their data. Plus Qlik offers data literacy training for any user.
                                              • Power BI

                                                Power BI only provides self-service access to authors. And once these authors have published content, it’s only available with very limited interactivity. All other users must go back to the author for a new report when they want to explore deeper.

                                                “Such a great focus on developing data literacy!”

                                                -Mitch Speer*

                                                Popular resources to help you compare Qlik vs Power BI

                                                • Analyst Report

                                                  2023 Gartner Magic Quadrant for BI and Analytics

                                                • Whitepaper

                                                  3rd Generation BI – Accelerating Data Literacy in the Analytics Economy

                                                • Whitepaper

                                                  Qlik Sense Enterprise SaaS Technical Overview

                                                Considering other Qlik alternatives? See how Qlik compares to other data analytics solutions.

                                                Should you compare Power BI vs QlikView®?

                                                It is still common to see comparisons between QlikView and Power BI, and while our classic analytics solution continues to provide more value than Power BI in many fronts, context is critical. QlikView was built on a “develop and publish” paradigm, enabling highly sophisticated BI apps still used by many large enterprises. Since Power BI is a self-service analytics tool, it's misleading to compare QlikView vs Power BI in a modern self-service context.
                                                That’s where Qlik Sense comes in. It offers the incredible simplicity critical for self-service with all the capabilities that let QlikView consistently outperform Power BI – the Associative Engine’s one-of-a-kind analytics experience and complete platform capabilities to tackle even the most complex multi-source analytical challenges – not to mention all the other advantages we’ve already covered.
                                                kpi dashboard examples

                                                Why do customers choose Qlik?

                                                Compare Qlik Sense® to other data analysis tools and you’ll see why Qlik sets the benchmark for a new generation of data analytics. Our one-of-a-kind associative analytics engine and sophisticated augmented analytics let you freely explore all your data to make bigger discoveries and uncover insights you can’t find using other data analytics tools.

                                                And with a true governed multi-cloud architecture, deploy any way you want, massively scaling users and data without compromising security or performance. Qlik helps you empower people throughout your organization to make better decisions, take smarter actions and drive stronger business performance, every day.

                                                *Upshot by Influitive Interviews
                                                **Qlik User Survey

                                                Experience Qlik Sense today.