Tableau vs QlikView: A Comparison

Dhwani Chotalia - Consultant

In the age of democratized business analytics, more and more BI tools are emerging to answer customers’ business requirements. Tableau has firmly held the trophy for many consecutive years as per the Gartner Quadrant. According to the quadrant in 2016, Tableau as well as Qlik were considered leaders in the Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms.

With a plethora of information on various BI tools and each BI company vouching their tool to be the “best”, you may find yourself confused as to which tool is actually the best for you. The internet is full of biased reviews and with this article, we hope to clarify some of your concerns while deciding between Tableau and Qlik.

Both are product differentiators in the market

Tableau has an edge over the other tools with its interactive visualizations and drill down capabilities, along with other features. It is superior to what other BI tools have to offer and it’s drill down functionality is something Tableau holds against others. It allows you to cross filter and dig deeper into your data to uncover insights you couldn’t imagine through your traditional Excel reporting.

Qlik comes with its library of pre-built templates that do allow a form of interaction. You can extract data in memory without the need of a data warehouse.

User friendly and self-serving

Tableau is a self-serving platform. With minimal coding to achieve custom features for your dashboard, anyone can use its drag and drop platform to create dashboards and reports for the end user. You can easily perform complex data visualizations without prior programming knowledge. It’s intuitive platform makes it a very user friendly experience. The only catch is, when the user is required to connect to a database. Prior SQL knowledge is required to pull the data through queries.

According to the Gartner survey, over 70% of users pick Tableau for its ease of use. QlikView on the other hand requires the user to depend on the IT for support. Building dashboards is not as quick and easy as it is on Tableau. QlikView is highly dependent on SQL queries to be able to build a dashboard that is easy to use.


Tableau is known to be higher on the pricing. But compared to QlikView, it’s upfront costs are much less. It is less expensive to purchase, there is less dependency on developers for implementation and ofcourse, anyone can learn how to use it. Considering all these factors, the cost of ownership over Tableau’s lifetime turns out to be much less than Qlik. Having said that, Tableau’s server license may be hard to obtain for most SMBs. Tableau is known to work out effectively for Enterprises.

Customer Support

Since Tableau is a tool that is easy to grasp for any one, it helps that it has a great customer support for its users. Not only does the Tableau support effectively answer your questions, the Tableau community is the strongest there is out there. Tableau users across the world are enthusiastic about the tool and you may find them answering every issue you may encounter during your relationship with Tableau. Qlik has a vast user community as well but comparatively, it’s only rated average.

Scalability and Security

Both, Tableau and QlikView, can handle more data than most organizations produce. They don’t have a centralized data level security in place. Tableau provides row level data security, but many argue that it could leave your data vulnerable. To set this security up, it is essential that the user has to have a database account set up. In QlikView, row-level security isn’t available and so the data-level security has to be implemented at an object level. This increases management costs and security risks.

Bottom Line

When it comes to Business Intelligence tool, every tool can’t be everything for everyone. You need to pick a tool that is ideal for your organization’s unique needs; your budget and what you aim to achieve as an end result.

While both vendors are considered visualization giants in today’s market, Tableau has an edge over QlikView by allowing users to create instant, real-time dashboards. “It’s intuitive, visually driven interactive data-exploration platform can easily transform the ordinary business user into a data superhero.” Its filter and drill down features help uncover deep insights in a matter of seconds. Seamless sharing through Tableau Server and Tableau Online provides transparency through the organization and helps monitor business health through alerts on data points. Custom parameters are where its strength lies. Tableau is the only tool that allows users to input information that does not lie in the data through parameters in order to update visualizations.

On the other hand, QlikView is well integrated with social media platforms and mobile. It integrates and consolidates data prior to data discovery. It makes handling data from multiple sources easily and provides interaction between views.

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