Straight Talk: Review of QlikView, the Pros and Cons

Straight Talk BI ReviewsWe believe we make a solid business intelligence (BI) solution, but we realize Yurbi isn’t the best fit for every potential client. The good news is, we’re a customer service organization at heart and dedicated to keeping up with developments in the business intelligence industry. So when it’s clear Yurbi’s not the ideal fit, we’re prepared to recommend another good product, such as QlikView.

We’re not here to sell you on Yurbi or bash Qlik. Our goal is to provide you with straight talk that helps you gain a better understanding of QlikView’s pros and cons, so you can make an informed decision when it comes to selecting the best BI solution for your needs.

Let’s get started with our review of QlikView.

Qlik Pros

  • Successful, growing company

    Qlik, formerly known as QlikTech, was founded in 1993 and went public in 2010. Over the last half decade, Qlik has experienced impressive growth and brought novel features and technologies to market. In fact, just recently, Qlik released Qlik Sense, its flagship self-service data visualization tool designed for the end user. Qlik is positioned in the Leaders Quadrant of Gartner’s latest Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms, and it’s our bet you can count on Qlik being around for the foreseeable future.

  • Offers associative search capabilities

    Qlik is credited with bringing in-memory analytics mainstream. Its powerful associative dashboard and search capabilities mean you can pull data in-memory- so there’s no need to set up a data warehouse.

  • Click here to download “Business Intelligence Buyers Guide (Part 1)”

  • Large partner and consultant base

    Qlik has an extensive partner and consultant base, and they do a good job of supporting the Qlik community. When you need a question answered, you have plenty of resources to turn to, including groups, discussion forums and videos.

  • Robust mobile apps

    Qlik Sense was designed with a mobile-first attitude. Its full-featured mobile interface makes it easy for the user to move seamlessly from desktop to smartphone to tablet. But even prior to Qlik Sense, Gartner’s Magic Quadrant, reveals that Qlik users have a high degree of satisfaction with its mobile functionality.

  • Sound dashboard technologies

    Qlik’s comprehensive dashboard technologies and interactive visualizations make data discovery easy.

  • Easier development cycle than traditional and legacy BI platforms

    For large businesses moving away from a traditional or legacy BI platform, Qlik offers incremental change. Its development cycle is easier, but not so unfamiliar that it’s difficult for businesses using traditional or legacy BI platforms to adjust to.

  • Solid integration

    Qlik connects directly to a number of business applications and data sources, including, SAP NetWeaver®, Hadoop and Google BigQuery.

Qlik Cons

  • Requires trained developer

    End users can’t build dashboard applications with Qlik; these tasks require the skill of a trained developer. In fact, because Qlik leverages a proprietary SQL query language to build database queries, an organization using Qlik will either have to employ a developer who is already trained in Qlik, hire a partner, or send one of their developers through extensive training.

  • Prohibitive cost

    Initially, Qlik was very transparent with their pricing, but currently, there is no reference to price on the Qlik website. Previously published pricing included $15,500 per concurrent user, $1395 per named, which also required one or more server license between $8675 to $72,000 each depending on the specific features you needed to purchase.

Qlik offers a number of perks, but they come with a big price tag. And although QlikView may cost less and deliver a better ROI and total cost of ownership than the Big Boys of traditional BI, like Business Objects and Cognos, it’s still cost prohibitive for most small to medium-sized organizations. Not only is the investment into Qlik software cost prohibitive, its development and labor costs are significant. When Qlik customers contact us about switching to Yurbi, it is usually because they need a more affordable BI solution.

  • No centralized security

    In QlikView, data-level security has to be built at the document or report level; it’s not centralized. So while you can restrict a specific user from not seeing data on a dashboard if they do not have permission, you cannot configure “need to know” security without creating a dashboard for each user. The result is an “all or nothing” approach to data-level security.

  • Challenging to embed analytics

    Qlik’s very unique style and look present challenges when it comes to embedding into existing software applications or agency portals. From a cost and an appearance perspective, it’s difficult to embed Qlik seamlessly into your product.

  • Aggressive salesforce

    Like other publically traded companies, Qlik has shareholders to answer to- and shareholders want profitability and strong returns. Pressured to get more sales and close bigger deals, Qlik’s salesforce has a reputation for aggressive sales tactics. In Gartner’s most recent Magic Quadrant, Qlik earned a below average ranking in sales experience.

  • Low customer support ratings

    Gartner’s Magic Quadrant gives Qlik high marks in a handful of areas, including product quality and ease of use for developers- but not for customer support. In fact, Qlik scored slightly below the survey average in customer support. We think Qlik is experiencing some growing pains as a result of rapid expansion- a significant portion of its support team is probably still getting to know Qlik.

  • Outdated interface

    Qlik’s outdated interface is mostly tab based and property based, and lacks intuitive drag and drop features. In our opinion, Qlik’s interface is also cluttered with visualization tools the average user won’t leverage, and tools that don’t add value to data interpretation. It’s worth noting that Qlik’s new Qlik Sense offers a significant improvement in interface usability by including more drag and drop features and modern styles.

The Pros and Cons of QlikView: Our Bottom Line

Qlik is an incredibly successful and growing company with many happy customers. But before you can thoroughly evaluate whether Qlik or any other BI solution is right for your needs, you must define your objective for using a BI tool and determine your budget.

If you’re looking for static dashboard presentation and associative features, Qlik may be a good fit. If your budget can handle the cost of Qlik software plus associated development and labor expenses- and still realize value from leveraging Qlik, you can’t go wrong with Qlik.

On the other hand, if you’re a growing small to medium size business that needs an affordable solution, Qlik isn’t it. Likewise, if you’re looking for a tool that boasts user-driven BI and ad-hoc report building capabilities, Qlik probably isn’t the right solution for you.

We hope you found this review of QlikView’s pros and cons helpful. As you continue to evaluate various BI solutions, you may want to read more straight talk reviews.

Do you have any experience with Qlik? If so, are there any pros or cons we’ve missed, or any you disagree with? Leave your comments and let’s get some dialogue going about the pros and cons of Qlik.

Click here to download “Business Intelligence Buyers Guide (Part 1)”

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