Google Looker

Google Looker vs QlikView: A Comparative Analysis

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    In the realm of business intelligence, Google Looker and QlikView emerge as prominent tools offering advanced data analytics and reporting capabilities. Both platforms offer unique features tailored to different business needs, with Looker providing a robust data modeling layer and QlikView offering flexible data visualization options.

    However, businesses seeking a more intuitive and spreadsheet-like experience may consider Sourcetable. This article will delve into how Sourcetable offers a modernized interface that syncs with your data, serving as an alternative to the traditional BI tools like Google Looker or QlikView.

    Google Looker

    What is Google Looker?

    Google Looker is a business intelligence platform that enables users to access, analyze, and act on data. As a product of Google Cloud, it provides cloud-based data experiences, facilitating the use of analytics and custom application development.

    • Key Features

    • Enables data analysis and action-taking for business insights.
    • Supports data experience delivery for end-users.
    • Offers conversational analytics through chat with business data.
    • Integrates generative AI for building data-driven applications.
    • Allows building of custom applications using trusted metrics.
    • Platform Capabilities

    • Cloud-based accessibility, providing scalability and convenience.
    • Self-service and governed BI for balance between autonomy and control.
    • Compatibility with existing BI environments through Looker modeling.

    What is QlikView?

    QlikView is a guided analytics solution designed for the rapid development and delivery of analytics applications and dashboards. It features an associative engine that generates new data views on the fly, providing a dynamic analytical experience. By compressing data and storing it in memory, QlikView enables multiple users to concurrently explore data with speed and efficiency. Direct connectivity to data sources ensures that users can work with the most current data available. QlikView's flexible approach offers an associative experience across all data used for analysis, without confining users to predefined drill paths or static dashboards.

    • Key Features

    • Associative engine for dynamic data views
    • In-memory data compression for fast data exploration
    • Multi-user data exploration capabilities
    • Direct connection to data sources
    • Non-restrictive analytical exploration without predefined paths
    Google Looker

    Google Looker Key Features

    Business Intelligence

    Looker is a robust BI tool designed to provide enterprise-class business intelligence. It offers a real-time view of data that is fresh, consistent, and governed.

    Data Management and Integration

    Looker allows analysts to define and manage business rules with LookML, a SQL-based modeling language. It integrates with multiple clouds and the existing Google Cloud console.

    Collaboration and Visualization

    Users can connect to Looker's semantic model to analyze and visualize data with Looker Studio. It simplifies the creation of reports and dashboards, enhancing collaborative data exploration.

    Infrastructure and Availability

    Built on Google Cloud infrastructure, Looker is available as a core product and service within the Google Cloud portfolio, ensuring seamless integration and robust APIs for extended functionality.


    QlikView Key Features

    Associative Engine: The associative engine is central to QlikView's uniqueness, enabling users to intuitively explore data connections across multiple sources.

    Intuitive Visual Discovery

    QlikView provides intuitive visual discovery capabilities that allow for easy interpretation and understanding of complex data sets.

    Augmented Intelligence

    Qlik Cloud Analytics and Qlik Sense enhance QlikView by offering AI-powered insights, which support augmented human intuition in the analytical process.

    Analytics Evolution

    QlikView, through Qlik Cloud Analytics and Qlik Sense, facilitates the transition from passive to active analytics, empowering users to take informed actions based on insights.

    Deployment Options

  • Qlik Cloud Analytics: A cloud-based SaaS deployment option for QlikView, enabling scalable and accessible analytics.
  • Qlik Sense: An on-premises deployment option that provides a robust environment for analytics within an organization's own IT infrastructure.
  • Google Looker

    Advantages of Google Looker for Business Intelligence

    Data Exploration and Visualization

    Google Looker Studio Pro enables efficient data exploration and the building of visualizations, facilitating comprehensive business analysis.

    Collaboration and Sharing

    The tool enhances team collaboration with management features and simplifies sharing insights through dashboards, suitable for medium and large enterprises.

    Enterprise Capabilities

    Looker Studio Pro is equipped with enterprise capabilities, providing robust support for complex, large-scale data environments.

    Enterprise Support and Content Management

    Users benefit from enterprise-level support and content management options, ensuring high-quality assistance and organized data governance.

    Google Looker

    Disadvantages of Using Google Looker for Business Intelligence

    Learning Curve and Usability

    Google Looker users often encounter a steep learning curve, indicating that mastering the platform requires a significant investment of time and effort. Its interface is not very intuitive, which can lead to difficulties in navigating and utilizing the platform efficiently for reporting and data analytics.

    Performance Issues

    Performance drawbacks are noticeable, with the platform being slow and laggy, especially when handling many graphs on a single page. These issues can hinder real-time data analysis and decision-making processes.

    Integration and Migration Challenges

    Looker's lack of connectivity options and a complicated sharing mechanism pose challenges in integrating with other systems and workflows. Furthermore, migrating data from AWS to BigQuery has been described as painful, potentially disrupting business continuity.

    Onboarding and Training

    The onboarding process for Google Looker is expensive, potentially affecting the return on investment for smaller businesses. Additionally, the availability of training materials and documentation is limited, making it harder for new users to become proficient with the platform.

    Access and Security

    Tight access controls imposed by security teams can complicate the process of gaining entry to necessary data within Looker, potentially leading to delays in data analysis and reporting.

    Google Looker

    Frequently Asked Questions About Google Looker

    What are the hours for Looker Support in Japanese?

    Support in Japanese is available from 9:00 AM JST – 5:00 PM JST, Monday – Friday, and from 5:00 PM JST – 9:00 AM JST, Monday – Saturday, including weekends and holidays.

    Is Looker Support available for all versions of Looker?

    No, Looker Support is only available for instances running an officially supported Looker version.

    Do Looker instances hosted by Looker update automatically?

    Yes, instances hosted by Looker automatically update to supported releases.

    What do I need to do to receive Looker Support for my Looker (original) instance?

    For Looker (original) instances, you need to fill in the Google Cloud Project number on the Admin General Settings page to get Looker Support.

    Who is eligible for Looker Support?

    Looker Support is available to administrators and developers on instances using Legacy Support and to users with the Tech Support Editor IAM role.

    Use Cases for Google Looker

    • Google Looker

      Reducing client report time

    • Google Looker

      Modernizing business intelligence

    • Google Looker

      Embedding analytics into platforms


    Advantages of Qlikview for Business Intelligence

    Efficient Data Analysis

    Qlikview's dynamic dashboards facilitate quick data interpretation, enhancing efficient data analysis.

    Collaborative Decision-Making

    The tool fosters teamwork by enabling collaborative, data-driven decision-making processes.

    Implementation and Usability

    Its simplicity ensures easy implementation, making Qlikview a user-friendly BI solution.

    Data Security and Performance

    Qlikview provides robust data security and good speed, thanks to its effective in-memory technology.

    Data Management

    With superior data compression techniques, Qlikview optimizes data storage and management.

    Visualization and Analysis Engine

    Advanced data visualization capabilities and the powerful QIX Engine support insightful analytics.


    Qlikview is a cost-effective choice for business intelligence, offering a high return on investment.


    Disadvantages of Using Qlikview for Business Intelligence

    Inefficiency in Real-Time Data Analysis

    Qlikview may not be the optimal tool for real-time data analysis, which can hinder the ability to make instant data-driven decisions.

    Technical Expertise Requirement

    Developing applications in Qlikview necessitates a level of technical know-how, potentially limiting its use to users with advanced skills.

    Integration Challenges

    Embedding Qlikview with other software might present difficulties, potentially affecting seamless workflow integration.

    Limited RAM Optimization

    Despite having less RAM limitations, Qlikview might still encounter performance issues with large data sets.

    Customer Support Issues

    Qlikview's customer support has been reported as subpar, which could affect resolution of issues and user satisfaction.

    Outdated Tools and Interfaces

    The platform may feature tools and interfaces that are not up-to-date, possibly leading to a less intuitive user experience.

    Cost Prohibitive for SMEs

    The cost of Qlikview might be prohibitive for small or medium-sized enterprises, making it less accessible to businesses with limited budgets.

    Poor User Feedback

    In surveys, Qlikview has received poor ratings, indicating a general user dissatisfaction that could reflect on its overall acceptance in the market.


    Frequently Asked Questions About Qlikview

    How does QlikView handle memory usage when running a script compared to working in the layout?

    QlikView uses 3-4 times as much memory when running a script as when working in the layout.

    Can QlikView join fields with different names?

    Yes, QlikView can join fields with different names using an alias or AS statement.

    Is it possible for QlikView to automatically join fields?

    QlikView can automatically join fields with the same name.

    How can QlikView be shared with others?

    QlikView can be shared with others using QlikView Server or QlikView Publisher.

    Can QlikView restrict access to certain users?

    Yes, QlikView can limit who can use a document using section access.

    Use Cases for Qlikview

    • Qlikview

      Improving efficiency, customer service, and sales

    • Qlikview

      Simplifying analytics with a company-wide portal

    • Qlikview

      Boosting operational success

    • Qlikview

      Lowering costs and reducing effort to convert loan prospects


    Comparing Sourcetable with Google Looker and Qlikview for Business Intelligence

    • Ease of Use

      Sourcetable offers a spreadsheet-like interface for business intelligence tasks, which can be more intuitive for users familiar with traditional spreadsheets. This simplicity in design may make it a more user-friendly alternative compared to the more complex platforms of Google Looker and Qlikview.

    • Unified Data Management

      With the capability to sync data across various services, Sourcetable streamlines reporting and analytics by centralizing data management. This contrasts with Google Looker and Qlikview, where the data management approach may be less straightforward for users looking for a unified interface.

    • Self-Service Business Intelligence

      While Google Looker provides self-service BI, Sourcetable's spreadsheet-like environment could be more accessible to users without advanced BI knowledge, thus enhancing the self-service experience.

    • Integration and Workflow

      Sourcetable's ability to integrate and sync data seamlessly across services simplifies the creation of workflows. This can be more efficient compared to Google Looker's more complex data modeling and workflow building process.

    Google Looker

    Comparing Google Looker and QlikView

    Business Intelligence Capabilities

    Both Google Looker and QlikView serve as business intelligence platforms. They provide organizational business intelligence and self-service business intelligence, enabling users to access, analyze, and act on data through various analytics and reporting tools.

    Self-Service and Governed BI

    Google Looker and QlikView offer self-service and governed BI solutions. This feature allows for a balance between user autonomy in data analysis and centralized control over data governance and security.

    Embedded Analytics and Data Modeling

    Both platforms can be used for embedded analytics applications and data modeling. They integrate analytics within other applications, providing users with the ability to visualize and interact with data in the context of their work.

    Data-Powered Applications

    Google Looker and QlikView allow the building of data-powered applications, enabling organizations to create custom applications driven by business intelligence and analytics.

    Google Looker

    Google Looker vs QlikView

    Business Intelligence Capabilities

    Google Looker is a platform that supports self-service and governed BI, enabling users to access, analyze, and act on data. It offers organizational and self-service business intelligence, allowing for both oversight and individual exploration. Looker can deliver trusted data experiences and can be used to build data-powered applications and workflows. In contrast, QlikView primarily focuses on guided analytics applications and dashboard development, with an emphasis on interactive data discovery and user-driven business intelligence.

    Data Modeling and Applications

    Looker can be used for embedded data modeling, which integrates the BI process within databases to create a single source of truth. It also supports the creation of embedded analytics applications, providing the tools to infuse analytics into existing applications or workflows. QlikView, on the other hand, uses an in-memory data processing feature, which might not be as tightly integrated with live data as Looker's embedded data modeling approach.

    Generative AI and Chat Features

    Google Looker offers a generative AI feature, which enhances data exploration and insights generation. Additionally, Looker can be used to chat with business data, facilitating a conversational interface for data interaction. QlikView does not natively provide generative AI or chat capabilities, focusing instead on its associative data indexing and user interface for data analysis.


    Comparison of Google Looker, QlikView, and Sourcetable

    Google Looker

    Google Looker is a business intelligence platform that provides both self-service and governed BI, enabling users to access, analyze, and act on data. It supports the creation of data-powered applications and offers a generative AI feature. Looker is capable of delivering trusted data experiences and is suitable for embedded analytics applications and data modeling. It facilitates organizational and self-service business intelligence, allows for the construction of workflows and applications, and even provides an interface to chat with business data.


    QlikView is a business discovery platform which offers guided analytics and interactive dashboard capabilities. Unlike Looker, it does not inherently provide a generative AI feature but emphasizes on in-memory data processing and associative data modeling for quick insights. QlikView excels in visualizations and is commonly used for on-premise solutions, though it also supports cloud-based deployments.


    Sourcetable is a spreadsheet-like BI tool that targets ease of use with a familiar interface for data analysis. It is designed for cross-database querying and provides a simplified method for combining and visualizing data. While not as feature-rich as Looker or QlikView, Sourcetable focuses on user-friendly data manipulation and collaboration, aiming to reduce the complexity often associated with traditional BI tools.

    Contrasts and Unique Features

  • Looker provides a robust platform for both self-service and governed BI, while QlikView focuses on guided analytics.
  • Looker offers data chat capabilities, which is not a common feature in QlikView or Sourcetable.
  • QlikView specializes in in-memory data processing for fast insights, differentiating it from Looker and Sourcetable.
  • Sourcetable provides a more approachable interface for users familiar with spreadsheets, unlike the more complex interfaces of Looker and QlikView.
  • Generative AI is a feature unique to Google Looker within this comparison, potentially enhancing data analysis and insight generation.
  • sourcetable

    Frequently Asked Questions About Sourcetable

    What is Sourcetable and who typically uses it?

    Sourcetable is a spreadsheet application that allows users to access data from most 3rd party applications, query data, and build live models. It is typically used by growth teams and business operations teams.

    How does Sourcetable simplify data workflows?

    Sourcetable replaces workflows that are typically done in Excel, Google Sheets, and Business Intelligence tools. It is designed for centralizing, analyzing, and modeling data that updates over time without the need for coding.

    How much does Sourcetable cost and is there a free trial?

    Sourcetable costs $50 per month for the starter plan and $250 per month for the pro plan. All plans have a 14-day free trial period.

    How often does Sourcetable update data integrations?

    Data integrations update every 15 minutes on the regular plan and every 5 minutes on the pro plan.

    Can I use Sourcetable immediately after signing up and how quickly can I generate reports?

    Yes, users can start creating reports with Sourcetable within minutes after signing up.

    Google Looker

    Google Looker Cost Overview

    • Platform Pricing

      Platform pricing is the foundational cost for running a Looker instance. It covers platform administration, integrations, and semantic modeling. Each Looker instance incurs platform costs, which are essential for the basic operation and maintenance of the service.

    • User Pricing

      User pricing pertains to individual licenses required for user access to the Looker platform. The cost varies depending on user type and their permissions, with different licenses for Developer Users, Standard Users, and Viewer Users.

    • Billing and Subscription Terms

      Looker billing is managed through a billing account linked to each instance. Charges apply upon instance creation and when adding users. Subscriptions are offered in one, two, or three-year terms, providing flexibility in commitment length.

    • Platform Editions

    • Standard Edition: Offers a baseline of features suitable for many businesses.
    • Enterprise Edition: Includes advanced features for larger or more complex deployments.
    • Embed Edition: Tailored for integrating Looker into other applications.

    Qlikview Pricing Overview

    Qlikview offers tiered pricing plans tailored to meet various data analysis needs. The standard plan is the entry-level option, which mandates a minimum of 20 full users. Premium and enterprise plans expand on the standard offering, catering to more advanced data analysis and business intelligence requirements.

    • Standard Plan

    • Minimum requirement of 20 full users.
    • Includes 25 GB/year of data for analysis.
    • Provides features such as data source connection, interactive visualizations, dashboards, AI-augmented analytics, team collaboration, and 24x7 customer support.
    • Premium Plan

    • Offers 50 GB/year of data for analysis.
    • Encompasses all standard plan features plus additional functionalities like automated report delivery, extra data sources, predictive analytics with machine learning, automation triggers, and data governance.
    • Enterprise Plan

    • Includes a substantial 500 GB/year of data for analysis.
    • Incorporates all premium plan benefits and a personalized customer success plan.
    • User notifications for capacity limits are a standard feature across all Qlikview plans to manage data usage effectively.

    Google Looker

    User Reviews of Google Looker

    • General Sentiment

      Google Looker, a business intelligence (BI) and analytics platform, has received mixed feedback from its users. While it serves as a tool for data analysis, it has been criticized in user reviews.

    • Performance Issues

      Users have reported performance drawbacks with Looker. Common complaints include slow processing speeds, software bugs, and a lack of intuitiveness in the user interface, which can hinder efficient workflow.

    • Comparative Analysis

      In comparison to other BI tools, some users have expressed a preference for alternative solutions. Free and paid products such as Data Studio and Tableau have been recommended over Looker for their superior performance and user experience.

    • Source of Reviews

      The critiques of Looker are sourced from user reviews across various platforms where professionals share their experiences with reporting tools.


    User Reviews of QlikView

    QlikView is recognized as a powerful business intelligence (BI) tool, with an overall rating of 4.3. Its functionality is highly regarded, with a 4.5 rating, while ease-of-use, customer support, and value for money each have a solid 4 rating. Users appreciate QlikView for its data visualization versatility and the ability to combine multiple data sources into complex reports.

    • Functionality and Usability

      Users note that QlikView is particularly helpful for creating sales and inventory dashboards, though its data visualization options are not considered best in class. It is characterized as less user-friendly with certain data sources like BW and Big Data, and its user interface (UI) is described as clunky. Despite these limitations, QlikView is easy to implement and fast, especially with in-memory processing and scheduled batch jobs for ETL, contributing to its efficiency in automating reports distribution and creation.

    • Customer Support and Community

      QlikView has a support forum, which, alongside its wide user group over the internet, offers a community for users to engage with. This network adds value for users, including students writing their thesis, as they can access a variety of perspectives and assistance.

    • Limitations and Comparisons

    • QlikView has been reported to have a slow response with heavy data volume and a slight delay in real-time data sync.
    • It does not allow exporting of a list of all currently licensed users, and its R integration is not possible, limiting its use in detailed reporting.
    • When compared with other BI tools, users feel that QlikView is not as good as Qlik Sense, Tableau, or PowerBI, particularly in terms of visualization capabilities.
    • Value and Implementation

      Despite its drawbacks, users find QlikView to be a valuable tool that provides a ton of value and is fast at processing data. It's versatile, allowing customization of reports and processes using VBA or other programmatic languages, and is considered great for students and professionals alike.

    • Cost Considerations

      While QlikView offers a free version, it is also perceived as expensive, which may affect its accessibility and adoption for some potential users.


    In comparing Google Looker and QlikView, it is clear that each platform has its unique strengths in business intelligence. Looker offers deep integration with Google's suite of tools, while QlikView provides flexible data visualization options.

    However, businesses looking for a more streamlined approach may find Sourcetable's real-time data syncing into a spreadsheet interface to be a simpler and more intuitive solution for their BI needs.

    Sourcetable's offering can be particularly beneficial for those accustomed to spreadsheet environments and seeking to avoid the complexity that traditional BI tools may present.

    Simplify Your BI Tooling

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