Qlik Sense

Qlik Sense vs Kibana: A Comparative Analysis

Jump to


    Choosing the right business intelligence tool is crucial for data-driven decision-making. Qlik Sense and Kibana are both popular options, each with distinct features and capabilities. This comparison will delve into their functionalities and use cases.

    Qlik Sense offers an intuitive, user-friendly interface for data visualization and exploration, while Kibana excels in analyzing and visualizing log and time-series data, particularly for Elastic Stack users. Understanding their strengths and limitations is key to selecting the best tool for your organization's needs.

    Further, we'll explore how Sourcetable presents a contemporary, spreadsheet-like interface that effortlessly synchronizes with your data, presenting an alternative to Qlik Sense or Kibana for accomplishing business intelligence tasks such as reporting and data analytics.

    Qlik Sense

    What is Qlik Sense?

    Qlik Sense is a data analytics tool that utilizes artificial intelligence to deliver insights. It stands out for its speed and capability to handle advanced and predictive analytics. The platform is designed with self-service visualization features, enabling users to create interactive dashboards and reports.

    • Key Features

    • Associative analytics to reveal data connections
    • Self-service visualization tools for easy data exploration
    • Natural language interaction for intuitive search
    • Automated insight generation and data preparation
    • Integration with a wide range of data sources
    • Accessibility from any location and on any device
    • Embedding capabilities in other applications
    • Comprehensive APIs for extended functionality
    • Adoption and Trust

      Qlik Sense is trusted globally, with over 40,000 customers relying on its robust data analytics and visualization capabilities.


    What is Kibana?

    Kibana is a data analytics platform designed for visualizing and querying large datasets. It enables users to create and share dynamic dashboards that display changes in real time. With its extensive data visualization capabilities, users can transform raw data into intuitive charts, maps, and tables.

    • Data Visualization Tool

      As a visualization tool, Kibana provides an array of options to represent data graphically. This facilitates the comprehension of complex datasets and helps in identifying trends and outliers.

    • Log Monitoring Tool

      Kibana serves as a log monitoring tool, allowing for the aggregation, analysis, and visualization of log data. It is instrumental in troubleshooting and insights into system performance.

    • Application Monitoring Tool

      With Kibana, monitoring applications becomes streamlined, providing visibility into application health and performance metrics, which is crucial for maintaining optimal operation.

    • Search Analytics Tool

      As a search analytics tool, Kibana enables investigation and analysis of search data, helping to refine search operations and enhance user experience.

    • Observability

      Kibana is utilized for observability, offering a comprehensive view across various layers of infrastructure. This is key in operational intelligence and proactive issue resolution.

    • Security

      In terms of security, Kibana offers features that aid in monitoring, detecting, and responding to potential security threats, thereby safeguarding data integrity.

    • Search

      Kibana supports advanced search capabilities, facilitating quick and efficient data retrieval, which is essential for data-driven decision-making.

    Qlik Sense

    Key Features of Qlik Sense

    Associative Analytics Engine

    Qlik Sense's associative analytics engine enables comprehensive data exploration. Users can make selections and uncover insights through instant calculations and free-form data discovery.

    Augmented Analytics

    Embedded AI and ML provide augmented analytics, including AI-powered insights, predictions, and automated insight generation.

    Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

    AI and ML are foundational to Qlik Sense, supporting intelligent action, AutoML, and predictive analytics.

    Visualization and Dashboards

    Interactive visualizations and dashboards allow users to create and share insights effectively.

    Self-Service Analytics

    Self-service analytics capabilities offer users the ability to perform data prep and generate custom visualizations independently.

    Data Integration and Preparation

    Qlik Sense facilitates data integration and preparation, supporting a real-time data pipeline and fast data connectivity.

    Automation and Alerting

    Data-driven alerting and automation enable event-driven actions, enhancing proactive decision-making.

    Collaboration Tools

    Collaboration is supported through shared notes, discussion threads, and collaborative analytics.

    Customization and Extensibility

    Qlik Sense provides full customization with open APIs, allowing for the creation of custom apps, visualizations, and extensions.

    Scalability and Connectivity

    With high-performance scalability, Qlik Sense connects with numerous data sources, including databases, apps, and cloud services.

    Mobile and Cloud Analytics

    Mobile capabilities and cloud analytics ensure accessibility and flexibility for on-premises and cloud-based analytics.

    Advanced Analytics

    Advanced and predictive analytics are made accessible through Qlik AutoML and integration with data science platforms.


    Key Features of Kibana

    Visualization and Exploration

    Kibana enables visualization of Elasticsearch data through various tools such as Lens, Time Series Visual Builder, and Vega visualizations. It allows for the creation of interactive dashboards that can be shared, exported in PDF or PNG formats, or embedded in webpages. A runtime fields editor is available for custom field creation.

    Data Navigation and Management

    Users can navigate the Elastic Stack and manage data with Kibana's management tools, UIs, and APIs. It identifies Elasticsearch indices with index patterns and provides a role management API along with user and role management capabilities. Moreover, Kibana offers a saved objects UI and API for object management.

    Access Control and Security

    Kibana supports role-based and anonymous access control, field- and document-level security, and encrypted communications. Integration with SAML for single sign-on is available, as well as the option to log in with external identity providers.

    Organizational Tools

    Spaces in Kibana facilitate dashboard organization, while role-based access control ensures secure and appropriate access to data. The platform also supports dark theme settings at both the global and space levels.

    Geospatial Analysis

    With the Maps app, Kibana parses geographical data, plots multiple layers and indices, and enables dynamic styling. It can handle vector tiles, region maps, and custom location data coloring. Users can zoom up to 18x using the Elastic Maps Service and upload shapefiles for boundary visualization. Geo alerting is also available for location-based notifications.

    Deployment and Scaling

    Kibana can be deployed on various infrastructures, including physical hardware, virtual environments, and public or private clouds. Elastic Cloud Enterprise and Elastic Cloud on Kubernetes simplify scaling, high availability, and security. Official Docker containers and Helm Charts are provided for streamlined deployment processes.

    Qlik Sense

    Benefits of Qlik Sense for Business Intelligence

    Enhanced Data Literacy

    Qlik Sense is engineered to boost data literacy, enabling users to understand and work with data more effectively for informed decision-making.


    With a cost of $30 per user per month, Qlik Sense presents a cost-effective solution for business intelligence and data analytics.

    Device Compatibility and Mobility

    Qlik Sense's compatibility with a broad range of devices coupled with its mobility feature facilitates access to analytics on-the-go, ensuring that insights are available anywhere, anytime.

    Responsive Design

    The responsive design of Qlik Sense ensures an optimal viewing experience across different screen sizes, enhancing usability.

    Security and Collaboration

    Qlik Sense offers robust security features that are both flexible and comprehensive, safeguarding data integrity. Its centralized hub simplifies collaboration and information sharing among users.

    Customization and Extensibility

    Open APIs allow for extensive customization, enabling users to tailor analytics solutions to their needs. Qlik Sense also supports the development of custom apps and new visualizations.

    User-Friendly and Powerful Analytics

    As a user-friendly and powerful tool, Qlik Sense empowers users with self-service visualization solutions and AI-powered analytics, making it an effective choice for businesses striving to harness their data.

    Qlik Sense

    Disadvantages of Using Qlik Sense for Business Intelligence

    Performance Issues with Large Data Sets

    Qlik Sense may experience performance degradation when tasked with processing large volumes of data, potentially impeding smooth analytics operations.

    Cost Considerations

    The cost of Qlik Sense can be prohibitive for larger teams or some businesses, necessitating a careful evaluation of budget constraints.

    Limited Excel Integration

    Users may encounter limitations when downloading information to Excel from Qlik Sense, which can disrupt data portability and reporting efficiency.

    Additional Expenses for Extensions

    Costs can escalate with the need for add-ons and plugins, as these are not included in the base price of Qlik Sense and represent additional investments.

    Qlik Sense

    Frequently Asked Questions About Qlik Sense

    What payment methods are accepted for Qlik Sense training?

    You can pay for training with a credit card, Training Card, or invoice.

    How can I find out which Qlik Sense courses to take for my role?

    You can take training recommendations to find which courses to take for your role.

    How do I check my registration status for Qlik Sense training?

    You can check your registration status on the My Training page.

    Can I use a Training Card to pay for any Qlik training product?

    You can use a Training Card to pay for most Qlik training products, but it cannot be used to pay for certifications.

    Do I need to schedule my Qlik Sense training before purchasing a Training Card?

    You do not need to schedule training before purchasing a Training Card.

    Use Cases for Qlik Sense

    • Qlik Sense

      Improving efficiency, customer service, and sales in the food service industry

    • Qlik Sense

      Creating a company-wide portal for analytics in the financial sector

    • Qlik Sense

      Enhancing operational success in retail

    • Qlik Sense

      Reducing cost and effort in converting loan prospects in the finance industry


    Advantages of Using Kibana for Business Intelligence

    Intuitive Data Visualization

    Kibana excels at visualizing Elasticsearch data, enabling businesses to create comprehensive reports and dashboards efficiently. Its user-friendly interface simplifies data analysis tasks.

    Elastic Stack Integration

    As part of the Elastic Stack, Kibana provides seamless navigation within the ecosystem, enhancing the user experience when performing data analytics and reporting.

    Monitoring and Debugging

    Kibana's capabilities for monitoring production environments and debugging processes aid in maintaining operational efficiency and identifying issues in real time.

    Log Management

    The tool's automatic parsing and aggregation of logs streamline the analysis of large datasets, crucial for informed decision-making in business intelligence.

    Advanced Search and Filtering

    Kibana's advanced filtering capabilities and suitability for real-time searches allow for quick data retrieval, essential for timely business insights.

    Documentation and Support

    With extensive documentation, Kibana ensures that users can leverage all its features effectively for business intelligence activities.


    Disadvantages of Using Kibana for Business Intelligence

    Documentation Gaps

    One major drawback of employing Kibana for business intelligence tasks is the sparse plugin documentation. This lack of detailed guidance can lead to challenges in plugin development and integration, hindering effective use of the platform for complex BI requirements.

    Plugin Limitations

    Without a comprehensive write-up on Kibana plugin limitations, businesses may encounter unexpected barriers when leveraging plugins for reporting and data analytics, leading to potential delays and increased development costs.

    Extension Points Complexity

    Although Kibana offers many extension points to enhance its functionality, the absence of centralized documentation on these can complicate the process of extending Kibana for specific BI needs, making it less user-friendly for developers.

    Practical Examples

    While example plugins exist to demonstrate the use of extension points, the need to run these plugins with Kibana to understand their application can be time-consuming and may not align with the fast-paced demands of business intelligence workflows.


    Frequently Asked Questions About Kibana

    What is Kibana used for?

    Kibana is used for visualizing Elasticsearch data, creating charts and dashboards, mapping geographic data, designing presentations, graphing patterns and relationships, modeling and predicting behavior, generating and sharing reports, alerting and taking actions, and managing data and indices.

    Can Kibana be used for monitoring?

    Yes, Kibana can be used to monitor the Elastic Stack.

    How does Kibana handle security?

    Kibana can be used to configure access and security for the Elastic Stack.

    Can Kibana be used to manage data?

    Yes, Kibana can be used to manage data and indices.

    Is it possible to generate reports with Kibana?

    Yes, Kibana can be used to generate and share reports.

    Use Cases for Kibana

    • Kibana

      Visualizing and reporting on business metrics such as clickstream data, website traffic, revenue, and sales data

    • Kibana

      Tracking and reporting on KPIs for internal analysis at Elastic

    • Kibana

      Providing tips and tricks for business analytics during educational webinars

    • Kibana

      Creating specialized visualizations for various data analysis needs

    • Kibana

      Presenting real-time business data to senior management using Canvas


    Why Sourcetable is the Superior Choice for Business Intelligence

    • Streamlined Data Integration

      Sourcetable offers a seamless solution for syncing data across various services into a user-friendly spreadsheet interface. This integration simplifies the process of data consolidation, which can be more complex and less intuitive in platforms like Qlik Sense and Kibana.

    • Intuitive Reporting

      The spreadsheet-like interface of Sourcetable makes reporting accessible to users of all skill levels. Unlike the more specialized tools required by Qlik Sense and Kibana, Sourcetable's approachable environment streamlines the creation and sharing of reports, enhancing productivity.

    • Enhanced Usability

      Sourcetable's platform is designed to be immediately familiar to anyone with basic spreadsheet knowledge, reducing the learning curve associated with more advanced BI tools like Qlik Sense and Kibana. This accessibility ensures that teams can quickly adapt and start analyzing data without extensive training.

    • Cost-Effective Solution

      By offering a straightforward, spreadsheet-like interface, Sourcetable eliminates the need for expensive training or specialized personnel required by more complex systems such as Qlik Sense and Kibana. This makes Sourcetable a cost-effective alternative for businesses looking to maximize their BI investments.

    • Agile Data Analytics

      Sourcetable enables businesses to perform agile data analytics, fostering real-time decision-making. In contrast, the comprehensive features of Qlik Sense and the IT-centric design of Kibana may introduce unnecessary delays for users seeking quick insights.

    Qlik Sense

    Similarities Between Qlik Sense and Kibana

    Data Visualization and Dashboard Capabilities

    Both Qlik Sense and Kibana offer robust data visualization tools, enabling the creation of interactive dashboards. They allow users to visually represent and analyze data, facilitating easier data interpretation.

    AI and Machine Learning Features

    Qlik Sense and Kibana incorporate AI and ML technologies to enhance data analysis. These features support advanced analytics and help in uncovering insights within large datasets.

    Integration with Data Sources

    Both platforms can integrate with multiple data sources, allowing users to consolidate and analyze data from various origins, ensuring a comprehensive data analysis experience.

    Interactivity and Exploration

    Qlik Sense and Kibana are designed to be highly interactive, providing users with tools for data exploration. This interactivity helps in discovering patterns and insights through user engagement with the visualizations.

    Augmented Analytics

    Augmented analytics is a feature of both Qlik Sense and Kibana, utilizing AI to automate insight generation and assist users in data analysis without the need for extensive data science expertise.

    Deployment Options

    Qlik Sense and Kibana offer flexibility in deployment, including cloud-based solutions. They cater to different business needs, whether on-premises or through a SaaS model.


    Both platforms are scalable, capable of handling growing data and user demands. This scalability ensures that they can support both small and large enterprise analytics needs.

    Customization and Extensibility

    Qlik Sense and Kibana provide a set of APIs that enable customization and extensibility. Users can develop custom applications, visualizations, and integrate analytics into existing systems.

    Collaboration Tools

    Collaboration is a key feature in both Qlik Sense and Kibana, allowing teams to work together on data analysis, share insights, and make informed decisions collectively.

    Support for Mobile Devices

    Mobile support is a commonality, with both Qlik Sense and Kibana offering capabilities that allow users to access and interact with their data analytics on mobile devices.

    Qlik Sense

    Qlik Sense vs Kibana

    Functionality and Analytics Engine

    Qlik Sense is an AI-powered data analytics platform with an associative analytics engine, enabling interactive data exploration and visualization. Kibana, on the other hand, primarily serves as a visualization layer for Elasticsearch data, focusing on search and log data visualization.

    AI and Machine Learning

    Qlik Sense utilizes AI and ML for automated insight generation, predictive analytics, and AutoML, catering to all skill levels. Kibana offers machine learning features within the Elastic Stack for anomaly detection but has more limited AI capabilities compared to Qlik Sense.

    Data Interaction and Augmented Analytics

    Qlik Sense allows users to interactively explore data from any direction using its associative engine. Augmented analytics in Qlik Sense enhance user potential with automated insights and AI-assisted creation. Kibana focuses on direct data querying and offers less interactivity and augmented analytics compared to Qlik Sense.

    Deployment and Integration

    Qlik Sense is available as both a SaaS and on-premises solution and integrates with hundreds of data sources. Kibana is part of the Elastic Stack, which is typically self-hosted or available on Elastic Cloud, and is designed to work seamlessly with Elasticsearch.

    Customization and Extensibility

    Qlik Sense has a complete set of open APIs allowing for custom app development and embedded analytics. Kibana provides extensibility through Elasticsearch Query DSL for custom visualizations and dashboards, but with a focus on Elasticsearch data.

    Use Cases and Target Audience

    Qlik Sense serves a broader range of analytics use cases with capabilities like self-service visualization, associative exploration, and embedded analytics. Kibana is more specialized, targeting use cases involving search and log data analysis within the Elastic ecosystem.

    Market Presence

    Qlik Sense is trusted by over 40,000 customers worldwide, indicating a strong market presence in various industries. Kibana, as part of the Elastic Stack, also has a significant user base, particularly in the IT operations and search engine sectors.


    Comparing Qlik Sense, Kibana, and Sourcetable

    Qlik Sense vs. Kibana

    Analytics and Insights: Qlik Sense offers AI-powered insights and predictions, augmented analytics, and automated insight generation. In contrast, Kibana primarily focuses on data visualization and exploration, lacking advanced AI-powered analytics.

    Data Integration: Qlik Sense integrates data from hundreds of sources and provides data preparation and integration. Kibana, as part of the Elastic Stack, is optimized for data within Elasticsearch and may require additional tools for broader data integration.

    User Experience: Qlik Sense supports AI-assisted creation and data prep, enhancing user experience. Kibana offers a user-friendly interface but relies more on user expertise for data exploration and visualization.

    Qlik Sense vs. Sourcetable

    Scalability: Qlik Sense serves over 40,000 customers globally, indicating a platform designed for scalability. Sourcetable, depending on its user base and infrastructure, might not cater to as large a scale.

    Customization: Qlik Sense provides customizable analytics solutions and a complete set of open APIs for custom app development. Sourcetable's customization capabilities would be measured against this, including the extent of its API offerings and custom development options.

    Data Collaboration: Qlik Sense features robust data collaboration functionalities. Sourcetable would need to offer similar or better collaboration tools to compete effectively in this area.

    Features Unique to Qlik Sense

  • Associative analytics enabling data discovery
  • AutoML for automating machine learning processes
  • Predictive analytics capabilities
  • Well-governed data catalog for data management
  • Application automation for streamlining workflows
  • Search and conversational analytics for natural interaction
  • Common Considerations for Tool Selection

    When selecting between Qlik Sense, Kibana, and Sourcetable, considerations may include the level of AI integration, data source compatibility, customization needs, user base scalability, and the specific analytical requirements of the organization.


    Frequently Asked Questions About Sourcetable

    What is Sourcetable and who is it for?

    Sourcetable is a spreadsheet application that centralizes, analyzes, and models data for growth teams and business operations professionals without requiring coding.

    How does Sourcetable integrate with other applications?

    Sourcetable syncs data from over 100 applications and most databases, with data integrations updating every 15 minutes on the regular plan and every 5 minutes on the pro plan.

    What are the pricing plans for Sourcetable?

    Sourcetable costs $50 per month for the starter plan and $250 per month for the pro plan. Each additional seat costs $20 per month, and all plans come with a 14-day free trial.

    Do I need to know how to code to use Sourcetable?

    No, Sourcetable does not require coding to use. Users can query data and build live models that automatically update as the data does.

    How quickly can I start creating reports with Sourcetable?

    Users can start creating reports with Sourcetable within minutes of setup.

    Qlik Sense

    Qlik Sense Pricing Structure

    • Qlik Cloud Analytics Plans

      Qlik Cloud Analytics Plans require an annual billing cycle.

    • Premium Plan Costs

      The Premium plan is priced from $2,700 monthly.

    • Enterprise Plan Data Allocation

      Enterprise plans offer a starting data capacity of 500GB per year for analysis.

    • Inclusive Features in Enterprise Plans

      Enterprise plans encompass all the features available in the Premium plan.


    Kibana Pricing Structure

    Kibana pricing commences at a monthly rate of $95. Costs escalate in accordance with data usage and the quantity of operational zones. A free trial of Kibana is available, permitting users to evaluate the platform without incurring initial costs.

    • Kibana Cost Factors

    • Base price set at $95/month
    • Incremental cost scaling with data usage
    • Additional costs based on the number of zones utilized
    • Kibana Free Trial

      Users can access Kibana at no cost through a trial period, providing an opportunity to explore features before committing financially.


    User Reviews of Kibana

    • General Feedback

      Users have highlighted Kibana as a robust data visualization tool. Its integration with Elasticsearch and capabilities in navigating the Elastic Stack are well-regarded. The tool is frequently used for monitoring query load, understanding how requests flow through applications, visualizing automated error reports, and monitoring production environments. Enterprises form a significant user base for Kibana.

    • Positive Aspects

    • Customizability is highly praised, allowing users to tailor their dashboard experiences.
    • The report formatting templates offer structured and presentable data insights.
    • Its data discovery and visualization features are seen as powerful.
    • Challenges and Complexity

    • Some users find search and filter capabilities to be complex.
    • A need for more out-of-the-box dashboards and reports has been expressed.
    • The initial installation process involves a learning curve.
    • Users mention a heavy operational workload associated with using Kibana.
    • Ratings

      Ratings indicate that Kibana excels in customizability, ad-hoc reporting, drill-down analysis, formatting capabilities, and report sharing and collaboration, with perfect scores in these areas. The ratings and reviews are not attributed to a specific source.


    In summary, Qlik Sense offers a comprehensive, user-friendly business intelligence platform with robust data visualization and exploration capabilities, while Kibana excels in data analysis and visualization, particularly for log data processed by Elasticsearch.

    For businesses seeking an alternative, Sourcetable provides a simplified business intelligence solution by seamlessly syncing data in real-time across various services into a spreadsheet interface, streamlining data management and analysis.

    Simplify Your BI Tooling

    Sourcetable is the AI spreadsheet that lets you analyze your data in one place. Get unlimited access free for 14 days.