In a previous post I wrote a short article about the pro’s and con’s of Tableau, Xcelsius and SSRS. These products aren’t really comparable as they should be used for different styles of reporting. So how does Tableau compare to one it’s major competitors, Qlikview?
I’ve never used Qlikview but I was curious. I found this site which goes a long way to answering the question: http://www.quora.com/What-data-visualization-software-is-better-Tableau-or-QlikView
Comparing Tableau and Qlikview
Qlikview is a nice product. I’m far from experienced with it but my impression is the dashboard capabilities are strong.
The filtering and Excel integration is better than that of Tableau, although not as visually appealing.
It’s also not as easy to use as Tableau.
With Tableau it’s possible to load data and produce a visualisation in a few minutes.
QV requires much more time and planning.
Connecting to data
Tableau links to multiple data sources; Excel, text files, databases, cubes, etc. at the click of a button.
If the data source is “flat” it’s very easy to get started in Tableau.
However, this is a big IF as often the data requires some element of reshaping to produce the outputs you want.
In fairness, this is quite normal. For example, to use a pivot table within Excel requires the data to be laid out correctly; and if the data is laid out correctly for a pivot table it will work well with Tableau.
Without some basic technical skills and a simple understanding of databases I think Qlikview would be a struggle to begin.
There certainly appears to be a need for reasonable technical knowledge to use the product.
It’s not so simple to load the data into it, this is an ETL process, which is one of the major differences to Tableau.
With Tableau it’s simple to produce good visualisations without really knowing what you want.
It’s very simple to move components, alter chart types and build filters.
With Qliview you need a fairly good idea of what you want to produce before starting to build.
As it’s less flexible than Tableau it takes longer to build the different dashboard components.
From an analysis tool perspective Tableau is far more powerful than QV. Qlikview isn’t really a tool for analysis.
For building dashboards it’s a close contest. QV can produce better dashboards but it takes more technical knowledge and time to develop comparing with Tableau.
The Excel integration is a definite positive for QV. Users are generally very comfortable with Excel and want the ability to use the data in Excel.
Tableau and Qlikview are both good products
Personally I use Tableau over Qlikview. Due to the nature of my work I need to produce dashboards/reports very quickly and I never know the type of source data until I meet the client.
Meeting tight deadlines would be more of a challenge with QV with the planning and ETL work to start up.
If you’re working in a more structured environment, supported by a good technical team, then either Tableau or Qlikview work well.
In summary, as an all round product I would choose Tableau over QV.
However, if you want to have a software for only building dashboards then Qlikview is equally as good as Tableau.