Compare Qlik 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.

Qlik vs Power BI

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. This guide compares Qlik Sense vs Power BI on 14 key factors.

Data Visualization

Lots of tools can make cool-looking visuals. Your BI tool should let you explore all your data in any direction, directly from within the visualization. That way, you can uncover relationships which you may not have considered when you or an analyst first set up a query. Plus, modern tools offer AI to help you create charts, highlight outliers, and suggest new visuals.

Laptop showing Qlik's interactive dashboards on the monitor

Qlik Sense

Power BI

“Not only was the Qlik platform substantially more user-friendly, but we found the visualization possibilities to be highly dynamic.”
- Sravani Nyayapathy*

Interactive Dashboards

Lots of tools can make cool-looking dashboards.  But like visualizations, you’ll need to freely explore all your data, in any direction, directly from within the analytical dashboard.

Diagram depicting a modern associative model versus an old school linear BI

Qlik Sense

Power BI

“The third advantage of Qlik Sense is its Associative Engine. This ability to quickly explore potential correlations between separate data pools is a powerful way to discover new insights.”
- Brad Ringen*

Total Cost of Ownership

There's more to making a BI platform investment than the initial purchase. The Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) factors all the costs associated with using a BI solution. From implementation to usability and scalability over the years. Major cost considerations include infrastructure, systems setup, app development, cloud computing cost management, security, usability, systems admin, and support.

A line graph showing the total cost of ownership between Qlik Sense and Power BI over a 3-year period

Qlik Sense

Power BI

“The price comparison is very misleading.”
- Tomasz Wojcik, Thermoplast*

Augmented Analytics

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are resetting the expectations of a modern BI tool. Augmented analytics suggests new insights and connections and this helps you quickly analyze your data, increases your productivity, and helps you make better data-driven decisions.

Screenshot showing how Qlik's Insight Advisor makes automatic suggestions from your data.

Qlik Sense

Power BI

“Conversational analytics in Qlik Sense allows us to give the intelligence that people in the field need right where and when they need it.”
- Pavan Arora*

Machine Learning and Predictive Analytics

Machine learning is the process of creating models from historical data in order to make future predictions. Automated machine learning allows you to leverage the power of predictive analytics in more user cases not handled by data scientists.

Diagram showing ML and AutoML Scenerios

Qlik Sense

Power BI

“We were stumbling blind, trying to figure out what would stop churn and it was frustrating trying to find something that would move the needle. Now, machine learning has really given us direct clarity as to what will make a difference. Instead of guessing, we now know what will bring results.”
- Ben Dean*

Many Use Cases (On One Platform)

Your organization should be able to support all BI use cases using the same data and the same platform. This is because you may have many different types of users, such as analysts, engineers and business people performing many different use cases beyond just visualizing data–like embedding analytics, enterprise alerting, and collaborating on dashboards.

Diagram depicting Qlik Sense at the center of different use cases

Qlik Sense

Power BI

“Not only has Qlik's partnership brought us where we are today, but it's been used for dozens of different use cases around our organization.”
- Jason Ferriggi*

Triggering Action

It’s not enough to create dashboards and visualizations. Your platform should have the ability to initiate action. This can take the form of prompting human action through sophisticated alerting or orchestrating events in downstream systems.

Diagram depicting Alerts and Triggered Actions

Qlik Sense

Power BI

“We believe the combination of self-alerting and mobility is responsible for the continual growth in our user base.”
- Rob O'Neill*

Governed Self-Service

You want everyone in your organization to trust their data, analytics and insights. You also want everyone to work quickly without having to wait for IT or analysts. This means your tool should allow you to control your data and content with a centralized management capability that uses rules-based governance without restricting what users can accomplish.

Image showing a woman standing inside a bar chart looking at line graphs above her

Qlik Sense

Power BI

“Not everyone is a data geek. Creating a simple-to-use application gives everyone—regardless of their comfort with data—the tools they need to better perform their job.”
- Michael Taylor*

Mobile BI

As workforces become more mobile, keep in mind that you and your teams need to be able to explore and analyze data and share insights wherever you happen to be.

Image of a mobile phone showing a Qlik Sense dashboard metric and chart

Qlik Sense

Power BI

Scalability

You need a complete, up-to-date view of all relevant data. Plus, you may need to support hundreds or thousands of users across your organization. This means you’ll need a tool that can handle data at any scale without compromising performance or driving up costs and can integrate and combine data from any source, as close to real-time as possible.

Bar chart depicting increased users, data scale, and analytic complexity

Qlik Sense

Power BI

“Near the beginning of our journey with the analytics platform Qlik, we had about 2,000 users. However, as word spread, the number of interested staff grew exponentially. Roughly a year later in 2020, we had nearly 20,000 users on the platform. As of the first quarter of 2021, more than 35,000 people were engaged.”
- Axel Goris*

Embedded Analytics

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

A laptop showing a metrics dashboard with callouts highlighting a bar chart and pie graph

Qlik Sense

Power BI

“Qlik’s complete set of open APIs enables us to fully customize analytics solutions, rapidly develop new custom apps, visualizations, and extensions, and embed fully interactive analytics within the applications people use every day.”
- Aaron Growitz*

Combining Data Sources

To get a holistic view of your business, your BI tool should be able to easily bring together data from hundreds of data sources such as apps, databases, streaming data , and cloud services. Robust data prep and combination capabilities are essential for applications that go beyond just a single source. And, they must not be limited by the complexities of SQL.

Diagram showing data being combined from multiple data sources.

Qlik Sense

Power BI

“Databases can be huge, with information coming from multiple sources. Qlik’s associative selection model and powerful data engine make it simple to turn piles of data into wisdom.”
- Sandra Norman Andersen*

Platform Architecture

You shouldn’t be limited in your cloud strategy or where your data resides. Your BI tool should have a platform-agnostic, multi-cloud architecture that lets you deploy in any environment, from on-premise to cloud to hybrid.

On-premises, Private cloud, Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud

Qlik Sense

Power BI

Data Literacy Support

Most vendors will teach you how to use their tool. Today, you need more. You need people at all levels of your organization to be data literate. They should be able to ask the right questions of data and machines, make data-driven decisions, and communicate meaning to others.

A group of men and women around a table discussing prints of charts and graphs

Qlik Sense

Power BI

“We use features like Qlik Continuous Classroom to help people to develop data literacy.”
- Vladimir Baklanov*

Should you compare QlikView vs Power BI?

No. QlikView was Qlik’s first product introduced over 30 years ago, leading the data discovery revolution. Many customers still use and love QlikView and while Qlik continues to support them, Qlik Sense has been the lead product for almost a decade.

When Power BI compares itself to Qlik, they focus on QlikView. This is misleading, as they’re not comparing themselves to the modern platform, Qlik Sense.

This results in misinformation and confusion for the customer.

*Qlik User Survey

Experience Qlik Sense today