There is no lack of Business Intelligence or analytics tools in the market. The choice of selecting the right tool becomes overwhelming at time when you have tools like Tableau, Qlik Sense, Power BI, Salesforce, and others.

Among these tools, Tableau and Qlik Sense has always standout for me and for the Data Analytics industry as well. Although they are a gold standard, however they have advantages and disadvantages which makes them stand out from each other at times.

I love the way these platforms have done away with static spreadsheet charts – we can now build interactive and beautiful visualizations and dashboards and share them within our organization in seconds!

In the ever-confusing debates over Tableau vs Qlik Sense, which one would you choose? If you are a newcomer in transition to this wonderful world of Data Analytics, you must start from somewhere and hopefully this article would help you in making this decision according to the requirements of the organization you will be working for.

Garter’s Magic Quadrant Analysis Over Different Data Analytic Tools

Garter’s Magic Quadrant analyses the tools on various aspects which are regarded as the standard for data analytical companies around the world. These four aspects are:

  • Leaders
  • Challengers
  • Visionaries
  • Niche Players

This is the Quadrant’s scatter plot for the year of 2020, and it shows the dominance of Tableau and Microsoft on the Data Analytical industry. However, Qlik is lagging far behind what Microsoft and Tableau has contributed to easing the lives of Data professionals.

Analyzing the Key Features of Tableau and Qlik Sense

Basic features of Tableau and Qlik Sense are similar with each other. However, there are some distinct ones that they offer.

Qlik Sense Key Features

Qlik Sense is known for its enterprise capabilities such as data access, management, repeatable reports, and scalability (due to the QIX data engine). Its key features include:

  • Smart Search
  • Data storytelling functionality
  • Enterprise-level security
  • Managed data connections
  • Progressive creation
  • Efficient Data Modeling methods

Tableau Key Features

Tableau has always been known as the go-to standard as far as visualizations are concerned. Some of its highlights include.

  • Patented technology from Stanford University
  • Share dashboards.
  • Dashboard commenting
  • String insights into guided stories
  • Automatic updates
  • Metadata management

Tableau vs Qlik Sense – Comparison Metrics

For the understanding of difference between both tools, let’s analyze them on the basis of some metrics.

Ease of Use

Based on own experience and several reviews from renowned Data Analysts around the world, Tableau is a very beginner-friendly tool. It has one of the most marvelous data visualizations. It has a great community for helping and guiding each other. It can import data from all the data sources within the organization and with the inclusion of Data Prep, it has covered its ground when it comes to having an ETL tool to accompany with its main Data Analysis software, Tableau Desktop. Additionally, Tableau has also invested heavily on NLP (Natural Language Capabilities) in Business Intelligence.

Qlik Sense excels at creating sophisticated workflows from multiple data sources in enormous quantities. It leverages Artificial Intelligence and an associative engine developed by Qlik to make it easier to combine data from multiple sources. As far as learning the tool is concerned, it has a steeper learning curve when you compare with Tableau.

Data Modelling and its Transformation

In Qlik Sense, you can create a data model in 2 ways – either by using a simple drag and drop method (Data Manager) or by scripting (Qlik Sense Data Architecture). Qlik Sense is made for you if you are searching for a tool that will help you in complex data transformations and cleaning.

On the other hand, Tableau works best when it is fed with wrangled data. Although they have released Tableau Prep for this regard and updates it quite often, still it holds no match when it comes to excellent Data Modelling support which Qlik Sense provides.

Dashboarding Capabilities

Dashboards summarize the data in one sheet and its interactive interface makes visualization even more compelling. Modern-day technology showed its wonder when it made real-time dashboarding possible.

Tableau has faster, interactive and appealing Dashboarding capabilities within its software which is not only beneficial for the Data Analysts but also for the targeted audience in getting the answers to their business problems more quickly and efficiently.

Advanced Analytics

Recently, Tableau has included one of the finest advanced analytics methods (Clustering, forecasting) in its feature set. Though forecasting can be done in Qlik Sense too, it requires the user to have scripting knowledge. Hence, the point of being less beginner-friendly comes up again.

The Cost Difference between Tools

Tableau Desktop costs $70/month for individuals while ranges from $12-$70/month for teams and organizations based on their requirements. On the other hand, Qlik Sense Analytics comes in two flavors: $30 per month for Businesses and $70 per month for Enterprises.

As you have correctly analyzed, Qlik Sense doesn’t have a free version for its users. This is where Tableau excels – the organization has also developed Tableau Public which is FREE and has almost feature set which you get in the paid version but has one drawback. You have to save your work on Tableau Public and not on your local machine.

Supported Operating Systems

Both Qlik Sense and Tableau supports all major Operating systems like Mac, Android, iOS, and Windows machines.

Mobile Applications of Both Tools

Both Tableau and Qlik Sense has developed it’s mobile applications which are regarded as the best when it comes to analyzing data on the go.

Both platforms provide the feature to download the dashboards and use it offline, but the offline feature is not provided by Qlik Sense Mobile for Android devices.

Similarly, Tableau requires you to have a Tableau Server, or an online account and Qlik Sense Mobile requires you to have an enterprise account. They do not work on unpaid accounts.

Large Corporations Using Either of the Platforms

Before you start searching on which large and renowned corporations are currently using either Tableau or Qlik Sense, let me tell you few of them for saving your time:

  • Major companies using Tableau include Wells Fargo, Apple, UnitedHealth Group, Capital One, and U.S. Bank

  • The Qlik Sense client base consists of Accenture, Canon, Delloite, BMW, and Fila

Security Features

Since Data Security is as important as the Data itself, companies are often on the lookout for these security features before implementing these tools in their Data Analytics department.

The Qlik platform excels in providing excellent Data Security features in row, column, and Table level.

Tableau, on the other hand, can only secure data at the row level and secure access at the workbook level only. For distribution of these workbooks to different stakeholders, data analyst has to create different workbooks with different security checks.


In this article, I elaborated the differences between two of the most used platforms when it comes to Data Prep, analyzation, and storyboarding. As we have noticed, both tools have different pros and cons with it. So, it comes down to one’s own preference and requirements of the organization for which they are starting to work for.

Have you ever used any of these platforms? Do you have any other metrics based on which you compare these two tools?

Let me know in the comments below.



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