Qlik vs. Tableau Comparison Guide

Published: June 7, 2024 - 11 min read

Julian Alvarado

Are you deciding between Qlik and Tableau for your business intelligence needs? In this post, we’ll compare these popular BI platforms across key features, analysis and reporting capabilities, deployment options, AI/ML functionality, and pricing. By the end, you’ll have a clearer picture of which tool is the best fit for your organization.

Core Features Of Qlik And Tableau

Both Qlik and Tableau can integrate data from various sources, but they have different approaches to data analysis. Qlik uses associative analytics, allowing users to explore data relationships freely. Tableau relies on query-based searches, which can be faster for specific questions.

In terms of user interface, Qlik has a clean, intuitive design while Tableau shines with its advanced data visualization options. Both offer strong security features like role-based permissions and single sign-on.

Data Integration And Transformation

Qlik and Tableau provide robust data integration tools that simplify the process of aggregating data from multiple sources. They ensure data is clean, consistent, and comprehensive.

Associative Analytics Vs. Query-Based Searches

Qlik uses associative analytics that allow users to probe all possible connections between data points in their entire dataset. Tableau operates on a query-based model that retrieves data in response to user queries, which can be limiting compared to associative models.

User Interface And Accessibility

Both Qlik and Tableau boast user-friendly interfaces with drag-and-drop features that make them accessible even to non-technical users. However, Qlik provides a slightly more flexible environment for exploring data relationships.

Data Visualization Capabilities

While both tools offer excellent visualization capabilities, Tableau is particularly renowned for its advanced visual analytics, allowing more dynamic storytelling through data.

Security Features

Both platforms provide comprehensive security features, including role-based permissions, multi-factor authentication, and single sign-on capabilities, ensuring data integrity and security compliance.

Analysis And Reporting

Data Analysis And Exploration

Qlik and Tableau enable deep data exploration capabilities, allowing users to drill down into the specifics of their data.

Reporting And Embedded Analytics Capabilities

Both platforms offer robust reporting and analytics features, with Tableau leading slightly in terms of embedded analytics.

Mobile BI For Access Anytime, Anywhere

Qlik and Tableau support mobile BI solutions, ensuring stakeholders can access insights on-the-go.

Deployment and Scalability

Cloud Strategy and Data Residency Flexibility


Qlik offers a versatile range of deployment options to accommodate different organizational needs and preferences. Businesses can choose from cloud-based, on-premises, or hybrid deployments based on their specific data residency, security, and compliance requirements.

Qlik’s cloud strategy includes support for various cloud environments, including Qlik Cloud, AWS, and Microsoft Azure, providing flexibility in where and how data is stored and managed. This flexibility ensures that organizations can comply with regional data residency regulations and industry-specific requirements, making Qlik a suitable choice for businesses with stringent data governance policies.


Tableau also provides flexible deployment options, catering to diverse organizational needs and regulatory environments. Companies can deploy Tableau on-premises, in the cloud, or in a hybrid setup, depending on their data residency and security considerations.

Tableau supports multiple cloud platforms, including Tableau Online, AWS, Google Cloud, and Azure, allowing organizations to select the most appropriate environment for their data storage and processing needs. This flexibility helps organizations ensure compliance with various regional and industry-specific data residency regulations.

Ability to Scale


Qlik is designed to scale effectively, handling increased data loads and user growth without compromising performance. Its robust in-memory processing capabilities enable fast data retrieval and analysis, even as data volumes expand.

Qlik’s associative data engine allows users to explore and interact with large datasets seamlessly, providing a smooth user experience regardless of the scale of the deployment. This scalability ensures that businesses can continue to derive valuable insights from their data as they grow and their data needs become more complex.


Tableau’s architecture is built to scale efficiently, accommodating growing data volumes and an increasing number of users while maintaining high performance.

Tableau’s advanced data engine and in-memory analytics capabilities ensure rapid data processing and visualization, allowing users to interact with large datasets without experiencing significant latency. Tableau’s ability to scale horizontally by adding more nodes to its server environment helps maintain performance levels as user demand increases.

Deployment Options for Both Qlik and Tableau


Qlik supports a variety of deployment strategies to suit different IT infrastructures and business needs. Organizations can deploy Qlik’s analytics solutions on-premises, in the cloud, or in a hybrid environment, depending on their specific requirements.

On-premises deployments provide greater control over data and infrastructure, while cloud deployments offer flexibility and scalability. Hybrid deployments combine the best of both worlds, allowing organizations to leverage cloud resources while maintaining on-premises data control. Qlik’s deployment options are designed to integrate seamlessly with existing IT ecosystems, ensuring smooth implementation and operation.


Tableau offers multiple deployment options to meet diverse organizational needs and IT infrastructure setups. Businesses can deploy Tableau on-premises for greater control over their data and infrastructure or opt for cloud deployments to take advantage of the flexibility and scalability of cloud services.

Tableau’s hybrid deployment options allow organizations to maintain a mix of on-premises and cloud-based resources, providing the benefits of both environments. Tableau’s deployment flexibility ensures that businesses can choose the best approach for their specific requirements, whether they prioritize data control, scalability, or a combination of both.

AI And Machine Learning Capabilities

Here’s a comparative table showcasing their AI features:

FeatureQlik SenseTableau
Augmented IntelligenceAI-driven featuresPredictive analytics capabilities
Predictive AnalyticsUncover hidden insightsIdentify trends and patterns
Natural Language ProcessingAutomates data-driven processesLeverages machine learning algorithms
Ease of UseIntuitive AI toolsUser-friendly predictive analytics
IntegrationSeamless with data sourcesIntegrates ML into data analysis

Qlik Sense Integrated AI And ML Features

Qlik integrates advanced AI and ML capabilities to enhance data literacy and assist users in uncovering deeper insights.

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Tableau Einstein Discovery For Predictive Analytics

Tableau incorporates Einstein Discovery to provide powerful predictive analytics and machine learning solutions, enabling businesses to foresee future trends and make proactive decisions.

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Comparison Of Automated Insights And Predictive Analytics Performance

While both platforms offer strong AI and ML features, Qlik tends to be more user-driven, whereas Tableau provides more automated insights.

Platform Architecture And Data Management

Data Literacy Support

Both Qlik and Tableau offer extensive resources and community support to improve data literacy among users.

Combining Data Sources At Scale Without SQL-Joins Limitations

Qlik and Tableau allow seamless data integration from various sources, eliminating traditional SQL-join limitations.

Governed Self-Service

These tools provide a governed self-service model that balances flexibility for users with control needed by IT to ensure data integrity and compliance.

Pricing And Costs

The total cost of ownership for both tools includes not only the initial licensing fees but also ongoing costs for maintenance, training, and upgrades. Organizations need to consider these aspects to budget effectively.

QlikSense PlansTableau Pricing Tiers
Qlik offers various pricing tiers:
  • Business: Starting at $825 per month
  • Enterprise SaaS: Custom pricing
  • Client-Managed: Custom pricing
Tableau’s pricing structure includes:
  • Viewer: $15 per user per month
  • Explorer: $42 per user per month
  • Creator: $75 per user per month

Consideration Of Hidden Costs

Both platforms may involve hidden costs related to deployment, customization, and additional training needs, which should be considered when making a decision.

Pros And Cons

Qlik Sense

  • Pros: User-friendly interface, robust data security, efficient data replication.
  • Cons: Steeper learning curve for advanced features, performance can lag with very large datasets.


  • Pros: Superior data visualization, extensive community support, excellent mobile performance.
  • Cons: Initial learning curve, performance optimization required for large datasets.

Ease of Use for Non-Technical Users: Qlik vs. Tableau


Ease of Use:

Qlik has made significant strides in making its platform accessible to non-technical users, but it still leans towards a more technical audience due to its powerful and complex features.

User Interface:

  • Intuitive Dashboards: Qlik’s interface provides intuitive dashboards that allow users to create and interact with visualizations. The drag-and-drop functionality simplifies the process of building reports and dashboards, making it easier for non-technical users to get started.
  • Associative Data Model: Qlik’s associative data model enables users to explore data freely without the constraints of predefined hierarchies, which can be particularly useful for non-technical users who need to explore data in an ad-hoc manner.
  • Guided Analytics: Qlik offers guided analytics experiences through Qlik Sense, which includes built-in suggestions and automated insights to help users understand their data without needing deep technical knowledge.

Training and Support:

  • Extensive Documentation: Qlik provides extensive documentation, tutorials, and a robust community forum that can help non-technical users learn and troubleshoot as they use the platform.
  • User Training: Qlik offers various training programs and certifications to help users, including non-technical ones, become proficient in using the platform.

Automation and Templates:

  • Pre-built Templates: Qlik includes a range of pre-built templates and extensions that can be used to quickly create standard reports and dashboards, reducing the learning curve for new users.


Ease of Use:

Tableau is widely recognized for its user-friendly interface and ease of use, making it a preferred choice for non-technical users.

User Interface:

  • Drag-and-Drop Functionality: Tableau’s intuitive drag-and-drop interface allows users to easily create complex visualizations without any coding knowledge. This feature is especially beneficial for non-technical users who can quickly build interactive dashboards.
  • Visual Analytics: Tableau emphasizes visual analytics, allowing users to directly interact with data through visual elements. This approach makes data analysis more accessible to users with limited technical skills.
  • Smart Recommendations: Tableau’s AI-driven features provide smart recommendations for visualizations and insights, helping non-technical users make sense of their data more efficiently.

Training and Support:

  • Comprehensive Resources: Tableau offers a wealth of learning resources, including online tutorials, webinars, and an active community forum. These resources are designed to help users of all skill levels, including beginners, get the most out of the platform.
  • In-Person and Online Training: Tableau provides both in-person and online training options, including courses tailored for non-technical users to help them become proficient in using the tool.

Automation and Templates:

  • Pre-built Dashboards: Tableau includes a variety of pre-built dashboards and templates that users can customize to meet their specific needs. This feature helps non-technical users quickly create professional-looking reports without starting from scratch.
  • Automated Insights: Tableau’s automated insights feature provides instant recommendations and visualizations based on the data, enabling non-technical users to derive actionable insights with minimal effort.

Both Qlik and Tableau strive to make their platforms accessible to non-technical users, but Tableau is generally considered more user-friendly due to its intuitive interface and strong emphasis on visual analytics. Qlik offers powerful features and flexibility, which can be beneficial for users with some technical background, but it might present a steeper learning curve for beginners. Tableau’s extensive training resources, drag-and-drop functionality, and smart recommendation

Decision Guide: Choosing Between Qlik And Tableau

  1. Ease of Use: Qlik is known for its intuitive user interface and associative model, which allows users to explore data dynamically. Tableau, on the other hand, offers a drag-and-drop interface that is user-friendly and suitable for both beginners and advanced users. Consider the skill level of your team members and their comfort with the respective interfaces.
  2. Data Integration Capabilities: Qlik has strong data integration capabilities, supporting various data sources and offering data modeling features. Tableau also integrates well with different data sources and has connectors for popular databases. Evaluate your organization’s data sources and the complexity of data integration required for your BI projects.
  3. Visualization Strengths: Both Qlik and Tableau excel in data visualization. Qlik’s associative engine enables dynamic visualizations and allows for exploring data relationships. Tableau is known for its robust visualization options, interactive dashboards, and storytelling features. Assess your visualization needs, including interactivity, dashboard complexity, and storytelling capabilities.
  4. Scalability: Consider the scalability requirements of your BI projects. Qlik offers scalability options with its cloud and on-premise deployments, suitable for growing data volumes and user bases. Tableau also provides scalability features, including cloud deployment and server scalability for large-scale BI implementations. Evaluate the scalability potential based on your organization’s growth projections.
  5. Cost: Compare the pricing models of Qlik and Tableau, including licensing fees, support costs, and additional features. Consider your budget constraints and the value proposition offered by each BI solution. Factor in long-term costs, scalability costs, and any hidden expenses related to customization or data integration.
  6. Fit with Strategic Goals: Align your BI tool selection with your organization’s strategic goals. Evaluate how Qlik or Tableau aligns with your data-driven decision-making objectives, business analytics priorities, and IT infrastructure requirements. Consider compatibility with existing systems, ease of deployment, and support for future BI initiatives.

Qlik vs Tableau: Which is Right for You?

The choice between Qlik and Tableau should be based on a comprehensive assessment of these key factors, considering your organization’s unique data priorities, scalability needs, budget constraints, and strategic objectives. Both tools offer strong capabilities in BI and data visualization, so the decision should be driven by which tool best meets your specific requirements and long-term business goals. Whichever you choose, the potential to leverage data-driven decision-making is significant.

While weighing the pros and cons of these BI tools based on your specific business needs, don’t overlook how you’ll manage the live data these tools analyze. A platform like Coefficient.io can complement your BI tool choice by integrating live data directly into Excel and Google Sheets, enhancing your team’s ability to make data-driven decisions swiftly.

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Julian Alvarado Content Marketing
Julian is a dynamic B2B marketer with 8+ years of experience creating full-funnel marketing journeys, leveraging an analytical background in biological sciences to examine customer needs.
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