Qlik vs Tableau – Comparison Guide

Trying to choose between Qlik or Tableau? Find out how Qlik takes you way beyond the limits of Tableau’s query-based technology and its narrow focus on self-service visualization.

Every organization trying to gain an edge using a data-driven strategy understands that finding the right business intelligence and analytics technology is key to success. Whether you are considering Qlik or Tableau, BI initiatives bring numerous requirements and priorities, so understanding how they differ is critical to your evaluation process.

Qlik or Tableau: What’s best for your organization?

When evaluating Qlik vs Tableau, you need to consider both your immediate needs as well as the larger role BI and analytics can play across departments with customers and partners, and in the context of IoT. You’re not only investing in analytics technology but also employee expertise, infrastructure and more, so you want analytics that can evolve with your business. And that highlights a key difference when choosing between Qlik or Tableau: Qlik Sense® is a complete data analytics platform while Tableau is simply a data visualization tool. As you’ll see, this has big implications for your analytics strategy.

Compare Qlik Sense vs Tableau

While Qlik and Tableau both deliver interactive dashboards and visualizations, their similarities quickly diverge from there. Explore some of the reasons customers consistently choose Qlik Sense over Tableau:

1. Freely explore data to uncover hidden insights.

At the core of any analytics technology is its data engine. Tableau’s traditional query-based approach limits the data you can explore and discoveries you can make. Qlik’s Associative Engine easily combines any number of data sources and lets you freely explore them all to uncover connections you’d never have thought to query or simply can’t find with query-based tools like Tableau. And that’s where real business transformation happens. See the Qlik vs Tableau comparison below.

  • Qlik Sense – Free form exploration

    Only Qlik has the Associative Engine, the one-of-a-kind technology that gives every user the power to explore their data in any direction. Qlik’s Associative Engine analyzes all your data all the time, for every possible connection within it. As a result, it uncovers hidden connections and insights that other solutions miss.
  • Tableau – Predefined paths

    Tableau operates like every other query-based BI tool — that is, over a SQL database that restricts users to following specific (and predetermined) paths within a narrow slide of data. In any given query, only part of your data is analyzed, leaving key patterns and connections undiscovered.

2. Augmented Intelligence (AI) that brings the best out of human and machine.

Artificial intelligence is one of the most disruptive forces in technology we’ll see in our lifetimes and it is fundamentally rewriting the rules for analytics. Qlik offers a new breed of augmented analytics that amplifies the power of human intuition with the scale and speed of machine intelligence, raising the data literacy of every user. Compare augmented intelligence with Qlik Sense vs Tableau below.

  • Qlik Sense – Human-machine breakthrough

    Qlik takes an industry-leading approach with Augmented Intelligence, combining machine intelligence and human understanding to suggest fascinating insights and new connections as you explore your data. Ask any question and get robust answers in natural language.
    • Tableau – AI that’s not very “I”

      Tableau’s Ask Data doesn’t work with the business logic built into workbooks because it can’t access workbooks. It connects only to data sources, which means it can’t leverage the insight your analysts have built. Plus, it’s limited. Ask a simple question and get a simple answer.

      3. Go beyond visualization. Deliver any BI use case.

      Today, self-service data visualization is just table stakes. You get self-service visualization with either Qlik or Tableau, but unlike Tableau, Qlik Sense is a complete analytics platform that supports any use case. To transform your business, people at all levels need the ability to use data to uncover insights and make better decisions. This includes skilled users who need advanced capabilities and novice users who need the ability to explore on their own. Compare Qlik Sense vs Tableau below.

      • Qlik Sense – All the use cases

        With Qlik, business authors can easily create dashboards — and not just dashboards, but full-featured interactive apps that novice users can explore with great freedom and context. Qlik also offers traditional reporting, custom and embedded analytics, and much more. So no matter how much your business evolves, we’ll be with you at every step.
        • Tableau – One use case

          Tableau claims it can deliver on a range of use cases. The truth is, their product really only does one thing: self-service visualization. They also claim that anyone can use it. The reality is that you need skilled business authors who know the rules of databases and SQL to create dashboards. Everyday users just can’t get that far. End of story.

          4. Get blazing-fast analytics at massive scale.

          In business, speed matters. This is certainly true with analytics. A platform that delivers faster performance — even as users and data scale and the complexity of analytics rise — lets users discover more insights while driving adoption. And Qlik leads the way when it comes to speed, maximizing the value of your analytics investments. See if Qlik or Tableau is faster below.

          • Qlik Sense – Fast

            The Qlik Analytics Platform® can ingest billions of rows of data from an unlimited number of sources with complex schemas with dozens of dimensions – and deliver answers in seconds. And thanks to Qlik’s ability to add, modify and remove records, you can keep data fresher in a much smaller build window.
            • Tableau – Slow

              What happens when Tableau’s engine attempts to handle large volumes of disparate data, especially when paired with complex analytics? It. Slows. To. A. Crawl. And if you need to increment data – and keep it fresh – in small build windows, you’re out of luck.

              5. Bring world-class embedded analytics everywhere.

              Building a competitive edge comes from making new discoveries in every area of your business. But that only works if analytics are everywhere, too. Qlik extends robust analytics to the applications, portals and processes your business runs on. Go beyond the basic dashboards you can embed with Tableau to bring the power of data and insights to your entire enterprise ecosystem – so employees, suppliers, partners and customers alike can make better decisions faster than ever. Compare Tableau vs Qlik – read on.

              • Qlik Sense – Embed analytics

                With Qlik Sense®, you can embed a dashboard – and individual numbers, values, and metrics – so you can embed analytics in your products, workflows, portals, and edge devices. Qlik’s API-first platform was built using modern standards to work with the latest web and application technologies, allowing you to extend functionality wherever your imagination takes you.
                • Tableau – Embed a dashboard

                  Tableau can embed a dashboard – an entire dashboard (woot!). But that’s all. Its APIs are notoriously limited, which means your options for embedding and extending your analytics are seriously limited, too. Without these essential capabilities, it is becoming increasingly difficult to meet the massive rise in demand for insights across most organizations today.

                  6. Governed data and analytics everyone can trust.

                  At Qlik, we know how valuable it is to empower users of all skill levels to freely explore data and make discoveries on their own. In fact, we brought this innovation to market over 20 years ago! But from the beginning, we’ve known that total freedom brings real challenges. If the data or analytics can’t be trusted, neither can the insights. That’s why we’ve invested heavily in making governance central to Qlik Sense. See the Qlik vs Tableau comparison below.

                  • Qlik Sense – Governed self-service

                    All content creation on Qlik happens on a server, where IT can validate it at every step. Plus, Qlik centralizes and unifies your data, creating and updating a single source of reliable truth that everyone can trust. It’s self-service without the risk.
                    • Tableau – Self-service chaos

                      Tableau is a desktop product, where individual users build workbooks on their hard drives. Sure, they could share on a server. But do they? (Hint: no.) Versions get passed around. Data gets polluted. Updates aren’t made. And IT has no insight into any of it.

                      7. Keep your data free from “lock-in” and deploy your way.

                      Few companies run on a single stack. Qlik offers the most value and least risk as an independent analytics vendor with a platform-agnostic multi-cloud solution that can leverage all your data investments. While Tableau supports on-premise and cloud deployments, you have to choose one or the other. And with the acquisition by Salesforce, you need to consider how that may impact control of your data over time. Compare Qlik Sense vs Tableau below.

                      • Qlik Sense – Complete data freedom

                        Qlik is independent, offering total freedom and control of your data. And you can deploy on-premise, in a public or private cloud, or in any combination of these options – at enterprise scale and with unprecedented speed.
                        • Tableau – The threat of data lock-in

                          Now that Tableau will answer to Salesforce, what does that mean for their customers’ data? Great question. If you’re evaluating Tableau, it’s time to start asking where your data could end up and whether it could get locked in.

                          Popular resources to help you compare Qlik vs Tableau

                          • Analyst Report

                            2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant for BI and Analytics

                          • E-Book

                            Built for Transformation: How Qlik Gets You Farther, Faster in the Digital Era

                          • Whitepaper

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

                          • Whitepaper

                            Qlik Sense Architecture & Scalability Whitepaper

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

                          Bonus! Four more ways Qlik outperforms Tableau.

                          At Qlik, we always want to over-deliver, so here are several critical ways Qlik offers more valuable analytics to customers than Tableau.

                          • Ease of Use

                          • Qlik Sense – Any user, any skill level.

                            At Qlik, we believe that every and any user should be able to explore data. Every Qlik app can handle massive stores of data, empowering users at any level – without edit privileges – to broadly explore it. Users aren’t restricted to a dashboard with filters, and they can take advantage of huge range of rich interactive capabilities.
                          • Tableau - Experts needed

                            In Tableau, users are restricted to a dashboard with filters – and every dashboard is limited in depth and breadth. Want to explore your data broadly, beyond a few key items? You have to keep creating new workbooks – and for that, you need experts. Tableau limits exploration to authors, not users.
                          • Mobility

                          • Qlik Sense – Enterprise mobility

                            Qlik is built for mobility. Responsive design and touch are native to the platform and we offer a fully functional mobile app. You’re free to explore data to discover deep and unexpected insights exactly as you do on a laptop or desktop – wherever you are, even offline.
                          • Tableau – Skimpy mobile

                            On mobile, Tableau allows you to download one sheet from a broader workbook. You can’t filter; you can only highlight one value at a time and scroll to see where that value shows up in related charts. Trying to get insights on-the-go? Prepare to be stopped short.
                          • Security

                          • Qlik Sense – Multi-level security

                            The Qlik data analytics platform secures data at the row, column, and table level. Plus, Qlik can secure access both to an app and within the app, at the sheet level and even at the object level. Different users can see different elements within the same exact app. And Qlik also gives you granular control over which features are available to each user. Architecture & Scalability Whitepaper
                          • Tableau – Skimpy mobile

                            Tableau can secure data only at the row-level and secure access only at the workbook level. To deliver different information to different users, Tableau may have to create workbooks based on essentially the same data multiple times with different security. The outcome? You have to maintain and refresh all versions.
                          • Technology Innovation

                          • Qlik Sense – Ambitious roadmap

                            At Qlik, we were built from the ground-up on modern architecture that allows for rapid innovation – and there’s no Big-Cloud overlord throttling our progress. We won’t be wasting time rewriting existing product to resolve overlap. And unlike Tableau, we already integrate beautifully with Salesforce, so that won’t slow us down, either.
                          • Tableau – Stalled innovation

                            When mega-vendors make acquisitions, roadmaps get rewritten. What’s in store for Tableau? Nobody knows. But we do know that Tableau has significant overlap with products Salesforce already sells – including analytics, data prep, and natural-language query. That could be bad news for customers who’ve adopted these features in Tableau.

                          What is the difference between QlikView® vs Tableau?

                          When Tableau compares itself to Qlik, they focus on QlikView, our classic analytics solution that pioneered modern analytics over 20 years ago. QlikView was built on a “develop and publish” paradigm, enabling highly sophisticated BI apps still used by many large enterprises. Since Tableau is a self-service visualization tool, when they compare Tableau and QlikView in a self-service context, it’s an easy, misleading way to claim an advantage.
                          What isn’t easy for Tableau is a comparison with Qlik Sense. It combines the extreme simplicity essential for self-service with everything that let QlikView consistently outperform Tableau – 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 the many other advantages of Qlik Sense covered earlier. So don’t be fooled by Tableau’s misleading comparisons of QlikView vs Tableau — Qlik Sense offers a whole new class of data analytics.

                          Qlik or Tableau - What is best for your organization?

                          Take data visualization to a whole new level with Qlik Sense.

                          Trying to compare QlikView vs. Qlik Sense vs. Tableau to determine which option is best? Qlik Sense is the clear winner, leading the way for a new generation of analytics. It combines all the power that made QlikView a modern analytics leader with breakthrough AI, native mobility, and more, while supporting any BI use case.

                          So what analytics vendor should you choose, Qlik or Tableau? Self-service visualization is just one of Qlik’s many strengths — but it’s the only use case Tableau supports. Our complete data analytics platform gives you far more opportunities to transform your business data into powerful business results. Try Qlik Sense free free and find out why Qlik should be at the top of your vendor list.

                          Experience Qlik Sense today.