Your Guide to Software Selection

Tableau vs QlikView vs Microsoft Power BI

If you’re evaluating Tableau vs QlikView vs Microsoft Power BI, read on. We highlight the key pros and cons of each and include a comprehensive business intelligence software leaderboard showing how each stacks up across 20 key business and functional requirements.

Tableau SoftwareTableau vs QlikView vs Power BI SelectHub Leaderboard

Tableau Software leads the industry in data visualization software, and in Version 10, the company is investing heavily in advanced data federated, clustering, segmentation and more powerful analytics functions. The user-friendly interface allows non-technical users to quickly and easily create customized dashboards to provide insight to a broad spectrum of business information. Tableau can connect to nearly any data repository, ranging from MS Excel to Hadoop clusters.

The drag-and-drop capabilities of the solution, paired with its extensive data source connections, make Tableau a front-runner in the realm of data visualizations. And in the latest release, the company’s commitment to providing a roadmap to enterprises that reflect their urgent analytics requirements is evident in the enhancements to data federation, streamlined interfaces to advanced analytics routines, and improvements to mobile exploration and authoring.

Tableau Version 10 first introduced in August 2016 with the latest release (10.1.3) on December 28th, 2016 reflects the requirements of large-scale enterprises who have requested advanced features found on Microsoft Power BI and other enterprise-grade analytics platforms. Tableau has added in data federation that scales across their platform, enhanced mobility support including enhancements for responsive mobile app design and development, and streamlined workflows for advanced analytics.

Tableau’s roadmap now reflects the needs of organizations that want to move beyond the data visualization aspects of their applications and get more advanced analytics work done. Support for more complex data federation workflows, making data mashups more reusable and making improvements to mobile app development to support all mobile screen sizes is now available in Version 10.

Tableau has also provided a streamlined user interface that makes advanced analytics for segmentation and data clustering possible. Tableau’s roadmap reflects the company’s efforts to move beyond data visualization to more advanced analytics.  Included as part of this focus on broader analytics support are improvements to self-service data preparation, more control over data governance and metadata management, additions to embedded advanced analytics.  Tableau has also included support for publishing analytic content on a variety of publishing platforms.

Get Pricing for Tableau Desktop and Tableau Server

Additional improvements in Tableau 10 include improved support for REST APIs and JavaScript, making integration across analytics platforms more efficient and less requiring of customized programming. Tableau is also adding new features to its interactive visual exploration functions, in addition to opening up data source integration to a broad range of relational databases, Hadoop distributions, NoSQL and support for IBM SPSS, SAS and open source R data files is also now included in the standard product.  There is also a Web Connector in Version 10 that supports integration to Marketo, SQL, and other enterprise systems.

Often, potential users wonder what the difference is between Tableau Desktop, Tableau Online, and Tableau Server. Simply put, Desktop is used for creating and formatting reports/charts and publishing them into a dashboard. Server shares the dashboards. Tableau Online is their cloud-based BI solution.

Comparing Tableau vs QlikView

Qlik’s reputation for developing enterprise-level products that deliver excellent customer experiences is accelerating as QlikView continues to attract new customers to the company and extend Qlik’s market growth. Qlik Sense continues to be the company’s lead product, further strengthening their market position in the data discovery, stand-alone and embedded analytics markets. Over the year, Qlik has also grown its global partner network, which is also accelerating Qlik’s overall market adoption.

Qlik’s product strengths include an in-memory engine capable of visualizing patterns and producing associative analytics that isn’t achievable using SQL alone. The in-memory engine is scalable enough to integrate with many different types of data sources, creating a unified dashboard show analytics, metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) of interest. Many of Qlik’s enterprise customers say QlikView and Qlik Sense are easy to use and their dashboards and intuitive and easy to understand. A few are using NPrinting for reporting and have had good results.

Tableau and Qlik are comparable and share many of the same strengths and weaknesses. The following is an analysis of how each compares:

Analysis and Content Creation – Tableau excels at advanced embedded analytics, and is a solid leader in the analytics and BI market on this feature. Qlik lags behind Tableau on this aspect of embedded analytics. Both Qlik and Tableau are evenly matched on their support for SmartData Discovery as well. Overall, however, Tableau dominates the analysis and content creation feature set comparison of these two companies.

Tableau’s depth of expertise and feature richness are evident in how advanced their interactive visual exploration, analytics dashboards and support for mobile-based exploration and authoring are. Analytics supported across visual exploration, dashboards and supporting with mobile authoring all reside in the cloud, providing enterprises with flexibility in reporting and analysis.

Enterprise Data Management Components – Qlik’s architecture has been designed to support self-contained ETL and data storage, making this series of features a strength versus Tableau. Both Qlik and Tableau are evenly matched on self-service data preparation, an area both companies have publicly stated they are investing a significant amount of their R&D budgets in this year. Both Qlik and Tableau are also evenly matched on metadata management, an area both have designed into the core components of their applications and data platforms.

Features That Support Publishing Findings – Qlik is more advanced than Tableau at embedding analytic content, while Tableau has the edge when it comes to embedding advanced analytics content across all platforms. Qlik has a more streamlined approach to publishing, sharing and collaborating with data than Tableau. Qlik’s emphasis on delivering an excellent user experience is what makes them a stronger contender in this area.

Support For Infrastructure Components – regarding administrative tasks, security, and architecture, Qlik has the lead over Tableau. Qlik’s infrastructure is designed to scale in enterprises more efficiently by providing IT with the needed support, tools and if needed, partner support, to get up and running fast. On infrastructure integration, Tableau has a slight edge given the popularity, stability and overall maturity of its APIs. Qlik also has extensive integration options and expertise, yet Tableau has been able to capitalize on their market momentum and gain more integration partners and support. Cloud BI is also a component of infrastructure, and both Tableau and Qlik are comparable on this feature.

Bottom line: Qlik and Tableau are well-matched on all aspects of analytics and BI, with Tableau having the edge on platform work integration and ease of use and visual appeal.For enterprises that rely on a wide variety of data integration points, Qlik has the edge given the depth and breadth of its options in this area.

Comparing Power BI vs Tableau

When comparing Power BI vs. Tableau, Microsoft continues to emphasize ease of use and price when competing against Tableau. Conversations with enterprise buyers indicate Microsoft is pricing Power BI at nearly one-third the license cost of a typical three-year BI license and is also offering one of the lowest subscription pricing programs in the market today.  The Power BI Suite is delivered on the Microsoft Azure Cloud platform, with the Power BI Desktop provided on-premise as a stand-alone option.

Microsoft Power BI Desktop is also popular with power users who are creating complex data analyses that include premise-based data sources and integration points. Data Prep, data discovery, and interactive dashboards are all included in the Power BI Suite and Power BI Desktop.

Tableau and Microsoft Power BI are both considered superior at intuitive design and ease of use, with Microsoft having an edge on infrastructure support and components, and Tableau being the leader on ease of use. The following is an analysis of how each compares:

Analysis and Content Creation – Tableau’s expertise in these areas of analytics and BI application development are evident in how advanced their embedded advanced analytics are relative to Power BI. Tableau is a generation ahead of many competitors in the fields of advanced embedded analytics.

Also, Tableau is superior to Microsoft Power BI when it comes to creating and keeping real-time dashboards current with real-time data integration. Microsoft Power BI and Tableau are comparable on interactive visual exploration and mobile exploration and authoring.

Enterprise Data Management Components – Tableau and Microsoft Power BI are comparable on the three core areas of enterprise data management. Both provide above-average self-contained ETL and data storage, and both provide self-service data preparation. Microsoft Power BI’s strength in self-service data preparation is evident in how the user experience is designed to guide novice users yet provide power users with the tools they need to complete data presentation tasks quickly. Both Tableau and Microsoft Power BI are evenly matched in the area of metadata management as well.

Features That Support Publishing Findings – Microsoft Power BI’s ability to embed analytics content is superior to Tableau and is used pervasively in business analytics and BI reporting workflows across enterprises. Tableau has more effective features for publishing, sharing and collaborating with visualizations and data analysis completed.

Support For Infrastructure Components – Microsoft Power BI is superior to Tableau when it comes to data source connectivity given Microsoft’s API and Web Service expertise on Azure Cloud and on-premises integration options. Based on conversations with enterprise users, Microsoft’s Power BI Azure instance support is exceptionally fast and also considered better than Tableau’s cloud BI support.

Microsoft’s extensive administration, security and infrastructure support is also exceptional.  Only Oracle, SAP, SAS and Domo meet or exceed the depth of support Microsoft has on these infrastructure components.  Overall, Microsoft Power BI has a more dominant infrastructure platform than Tableau.

Bottom line: Tableau excels at providing a highly interactive, intuitive series of visualization tools and dashboard options that capitalize on the strong base of data connectors the company has created over the last two years. Microsoft’s leadership position on infrastructure components including administration, security, and architecture is understandable given Microsoft Power BI being offered on the Azure Cloud Platform and on-premise.


Qlik relies on sophisticated analytics that enables data discovery using an in-memory engine to analyze data for patterns not visible via SQL data structures or queries.  The company’s two most popular apps are QlikView and Qlik Sense.  Both of these apps are often used in core business areas including sales, marketing, operations, service and the most common areas of analytics use in organizations, accounting, and finance.

Qlik has one of the most advanced Application Programming Interface (API) command sets in the analytics industry and has continually been improving its functionality over the last several years. With many enterprises requesting API support, Qlik has also provided APIs to control functions previously accessible only through the user interface. The result has been rapid adoption of the Qlik Analytics Platform (QAP), which is being used today by developers to embed analytics queries into reporting and analytics apps.

Qlik is looking to create a scalable, API-driven platform that gives content developers and line-of-business analysts a more rapid approach to defining, executing and saving queries.

QlikView, QlikSense, and QAP have improved implementation processes which streamline onboarding.  Because of this, customers can get greater use out of the in-memory engine that is capable of handling complex data sources and applications. In many respects, Qlik’s platform is starting to evolve into a viable option for data mart and data warehouse integration. Add to this their extensive partner network of more than 1,700 software companies across multiple geographies, and it’s clear Qlik is a viable enterprise analytics platform.

Get Qlikview Pricing

In addition to the above strengths, the speed at which QlikView can provide data insights using it’s powerful in-memory analytics capabilities is gaining new enterprise accounts for the company. QlikView also offers a powerful reporting engine, which offers data analysis beyond visual dashboards. One additional benefit is that QlikView can plug into almost any data source, making it the most versatile of the modern intelligence tool offerings.

QlikView has a reputation for having a somewhat steep learning curve the company has worked hard to address in the current release. The vast range of QlikView’s BI tools can be learned quickly using their online tutorials and learning systems. The product comes bundled with numerous tutorials, how-to guides, and other self-help resources. If you want to compare Qlikview vs Tableau, don’t forget our side-by-side comparison report. If you want to compare Qlikview to other solutions, try reading Compare Qlikview to BusinessObjects and Spotfire.

Comparing QlikView vs Power BI

Qlik continues to invest heavily in intuitive, easy-to-use product features and workflows, which is a significant competitive advantage versus Microsoft Power BI. Qlik’s embedded analytics capability is superior to Microsoft Power BI as well.  QlikView and Microsoft Power BI are comparable and share many of the same strengths and weaknesses. The following is an analysis of how each compares:

Analysis and Content Creation – Microsoft dominates this area of the comparison with their greatest strengths being interactive visual exploration and mobile exploration and authoring.  Microsoft has a commanding lead from a feature perspective in each of these two years. Both Qlik and Microsoft Power BI also support embedded advanced analytics, with Microsoft having delivered proven results to enterprises with this feature in use by business analysts globally.

Microsoft Power BI also is more effective at SmartData Recovery when compared with Qlik’s products.  Qlik and Microsoft Power BI are evenly matched on support for advanced analytics dashboards.

Enterprise Data Management Components – Qlik dominates the market with its self-contained ETL and data storage capabilities, outdistancing Microsoft on this aspect of data management.  Qlik is one of the best vendors providing analytics and BI solutions today with SiSense being the only other vendor at this level of performance.

Qlik and Microsoft are evenly matched on self-service data preparation and embedded advanced analytics. Microsoft has more expertise delivering embedded advanced analytics, but Qlik is gaining momentum in this area due to its focus on usability and delivering greater customer experiences in their products.

Features That Support Publishing Findings – With the goals of providing the best usability possible and excelling at delivering intuitive, easy to use applications, Qlik dominates this area of features. Qlik guides users through how to embed analytic content and according to enterprise users are more intuitive to use compared to Microsoft.

Qlik is also the superior solutions for publishing, sharing and collaborating using content as well. Based on personal experiences using each and from conversations with business analysts at enterprises who have adopted each, it’s clear that Qlik has a commanding lead in this area.

Support For Infrastructure Components – With Microsoft generating a significant amount of revenue from infrastructure and platform platforms, it’s a reasonable assumption that Microsoft Power BI would dominate this highly competitive area of analytics and BI applications. In reality, many competitors have just as good if not better infrastructure applications and tools compared to Microsoft.

Qlik is at a competitive parity with Microsoft in the areas of administration, security, and architecture.  Microsoft has a slight lead over Qlik in the area of data source connectivity, and Microsoft leads on the Cloud BI feature set due to its depth of expertise on Microsoft Azure to Power BI support to the platform level.

Bottom line: Microsoft Power BI has greater platform workflow integrations, more advanced platform support for Cloud BI due to its depth of expertise on Azxure, and has an easy to use interface. Due to these three factors, Microsoft Power BI is superior to Qlik. With a core competitive strength in usability and application design, Qlik needs to build out its platform strategy while strengthening its SmartData Discovery and Embedded Advanced Analytics feature sets.

For more information, see our more comprehensive comparison between Power BI vs QlikView if that’s where you’re at in your evaluation.

Microsoft Power BI

Microsoft Power BI offers one of the lowest per-user pricing options to companies looking for cloud-based analytics and business intelligence (BI) apps.  Companies selecting Microsoft Power BI do so because of the low Total Cost Of Ownership (TCO), ease of use, and availability of skilled resources.

In addition to these advantages, the Microsoft Power BI roadmap has made good on the promises to enterprise customers to deliver data preparation, data discovery and data dashboards in the most recent release. Microsoft also continues to support the first Excel-based add-ons that were initially shipped in Power Query, Power Pivot, Power View and Power Map. Microsoft has said these Excel add-ons will stay in the product for the foreseeable future as they become native3 in Officer 2016. One of the more innovative features of Microsoft Power BI is the ability to use browser- and desktop-based authoring with apps and platforms that are both on-premise and in the cloud.  This hybrid integration strategy is based on Microsoft Azure Cloud APIs.

Microsoft is very focused on being the leader in analytics and BI from a TCO standpoint. Companies interested in licensing and using Microsoft Power BI can access the platform for as little as $9.95 per user per month.

Request Microsoft Power BI Pricing

As of January 2017, Microsoft is offering a feature-limited version of Power BI to individuals for free that includes 1GB per user of data storage, daily scheduled data refresh and 10K rows per hour streaming data.  As of today, Microsoft claims to have over 100,000 organizations running Power BI today globally. If you want to know how older components like Power View, PowerPivot compared to Power BI, here’s a useful comparison.

Compare Microsoft Power BI against SAS or SAP.

In conjunction with other Microsoft offerings, including Azure, SQL Server Analysis, real-time data streaming, and R-analytics, Power BI provides a broad analytic landscape. As of early 2016 Power BI does not provide extensive analytics or visualizations, but the platform is rapidly being enhanced. So if you are in it for the long-haul, Power BI may prove to be a good investment.

Here’s more info on Tableau competitors, too.


Tableau, QlikView, and Power BI are all solid business intelligence tools. Which one is the best fit for your company depends on your analysis needs. If you’re connecting to existing internal databases, data warehouses and other data sources are critical to your operations; you must individually analyze these solutions against those requirements and configurations.

If visualizations are your core focus, Tableau is far and away the best answer. There is a reason the company & product consistently rank as #1 in intelligence visualizations.

QlikView is highly adaptable and provides wide-ranging deep analytics. It also provides integration with Deltek products, so if you use Deltek for time & expense or earned value management (EVM) reporting, QlikView is a natural choice. Overall, QlikView also continues to have one of the industry’s highest customer satisfaction ratings.

Microsoft’s Power BI is inexpensive and plugs-in seamlessly with MS Office. It is a solid option if you need quick access to specific analytics or intensive reporting (and have personnel who are skilled in MS-based data queries). In the long run, it may challenge QlikView or Tableau in their respective specialties.  Microsoft Power BI is the only one of these three data visualization and analytics apps that have extensive R and big data-related integrations, ensuring this specific apps’ scalability for larger projects.

If you’re considering other solutions like Cognos vs Crystal, we have that comparison report for you here. If you’re looking to evaluate these BI solutions and more, view the full BI software leaderboard report.

Louis ColumbusTableau vs QlikView vs Microsoft Power BI


Join the conversation
  • Dylan - July 29, 2016 reply

    Tableau equals expensive glitter.

  • pokemongo - August 16, 2016 reply

    Much thanks! This a astounding web site!.

  • sivabonu - November 15, 2016 reply

    Currently Iam working as Congnos BI developer. I wanna change my career . Can any one suggest me Which one is best in the market now Tableau/Qlikview/MSBI/IBM Cognos BI.

    Lukas - November 17, 2016 reply

    I would suggest you to go with QlikView, because it is becoming very popular nowadays, but Tableau is also good choice considering complexity and versatility of this tool. Hope it helps a little bit.

    dshi - December 20, 2016 reply

    Try MicroStrategy.

    Tim Jevon - March 12, 2017 reply

    Hi Sivabonu,

    Though I cannot confirm a definitive answer as to “which is best” I have a friend who was a very senior Cognos consultant that recently moved to Tableau and my impression is that he’s very happy to have made the move!

    I firmly believe that the future will be dominated by Tableau, Qlikview or PowerBI; Tableau has the market share and ease of use, PowerBI has the advantage of the native Microsoft integration….

    Best of luck with your career

    Chandru - September 27, 2017 reply

    Currently I am working as Business analyst . I want to change my career . Can any one suggest me Which one is best in the market now Tableau/Qlikview/Powe BI.

    Gungadin - December 3, 2017 reply

    Given your background in Cognos BI, you can easily learn any of the 3-4 tools you have asked about especially Qlikview and MS Power BI. But do know that learning new BI tools does not maketh a “new career” for a BI developer, it’s called “keeping up”.

  • Nelly - May 10, 2017 reply

    There is a lot of business out there for Tableau and it’s relatively easy to learn

  • Chris - January 26, 2018 reply

    None. Sorry to be blunt. The idea of pure visualization and analytics tools without feedback loops into processes (So called Insight only tools) is just not enough. Most application based analytics are now embedded anyway (especially in the cloud). So process improvement (insight to action), corporate steering, value driver trees, rules engine, machine learning, big data learn,business partner integration, learn and burn scenarios all find very little value in a stand alone analytics tool. Time to move into ML, Advanced Statistics and most importantly Data streaming and data quality (all 5 dimensions). The above vendors all have little to add until they can integrate into the “action part” of insight to action. Most are being ripped out anyway due to lack of Governance and high cost. Expect more from your data asset than some pretty story boards and graphs. Think what you need to move from Insight to Action: Alignment, Context, Relevance, Specificity, Change, Monitoring/Clarity of impact. None is available in the tools mentioned here as far as i can tell. All they do is break the key paradigm for digital: Do not replicate data if at all possible, and never break the link to live data.

    Michael Shearer - January 26, 2018 reply

    Chris, thank you for the insightful reply. Are there tools you’d recommended that meet the criteria you’ve outline?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *