Tableau vs Qlikview
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. Someone recently commented to me that these aren’t comparable products so how would 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
Edit: I’ve now spent some time using Qlikview and I do think it’s a nice product. I’m far from experienced with the product but my impression is that the reporting capabilities of it are very strong. The filtering and Excel integration is better than with Tableau, although not as visually appealing. It’s also not as easy to use as Tableau – where it’s possible to load data and produce a visualisation in a few minutes using Tableau with QV more time and planning is required.
Tableau links to multiple data sources, Excel, text files, databases, etc. at the click of a button. If the back end data is structured in a flat file it’s very easy to get started – although this is a big IF as often then data you’re working with isn’t ideally laid out without some tweaking. In fairness this applies to all software – for example to even use a pivot table within Excel the data needs to be laid out correctly – an if the data is laid out correctly for a pivot table it’ll also work nicely with Tableau. Without some basic technical skills and a simple understanding of databases I think Qlikview would be a struggle to begin with as there’s definitely a need for reasonable technical knowledge to use the product. It’s not so simple to load the data into it, this is a semi programmatic step and isn’t super fast, which is one of the major differences to Tableau.
With Tableau it’s easily possible to produce good visualisations without really knowing what you want to see at the beginning of development as it’s so easy to move components, alter the chart type and build filters. With QV I think you need a fairly good idea of what you want to produce before starting to build the report as it takes far longer to build the different components of the report than Tableau.
From an analysis tool perspective Tableau is far more powerful than QV, that’s not really a contest. For reporting it’s close – QV can produce better reports but it takes more skill and time to develop than with Tableau.
The Excel integration is a definite positive for QV as users are generally very comfortable with Excel, regardless of whether that’s a positive or negative thing.
Personally I use Tableau over Qlikview but due to the nature of my work I need to produce dashboards/reports very quickly and never know the data source I’m dealing with until I meet my clients. This would be unworkable with QV as it would take too long to get the data into the software to meet deadlines.
If you’re working in a more structured environment with relatively generous deadlines, supported by a good technical team then QV could be the correct product for you as it’s slightly stronger for reporting.
To summarise as an all round product I would choose Tableau over QV but if you want to have a software for reporting only then QV could be the better choice.