Qlik Sense
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Qlik Sense vs Pentaho: An In-Depth Comparison

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    Choosing the right business intelligence tool is crucial for effective data analysis and reporting. Qlik Sense and Pentaho are both prominent players in the BI space, each offering unique features and capabilities.

    This comparative guide will delve into the specifics of Qlik Sense and Pentaho, examining their strengths and weaknesses in various scenarios. Our objective is to provide a clear understanding of what each platform can offer to your organization.

    Additionally, we'll explore how Sourcetable presents a streamlined alternative, boasting a modernized, spreadsheet-like interface that syncs seamlessly with your data, potentially bypassing the complexities of traditional BI tools like Qlik Sense or Pentaho for your business intelligence tasks.

    Qlik Sense

    What is Qlik Sense?

    Qlik Sense is a data analytics platform that enhances data exploration and discovery through associative analytics. It is designed to deliver quick and interactive data visualizations, allowing users to create self-service data visualizations and dashboards.

    • Key Features

    • Artificial intelligence for enhanced insights.
    • Self-service visualization capabilities for personalized dashboard creation.
    • Associative analytics for comprehensive data exploration.
    • Search functionality and natural language interaction for ease of use.
    • Advanced and predictive analytics for forward-looking analysis.
    • Automated insight generation to streamline discovery.
    • Automated data preparation for efficient data management.
    • Integration and Accessibility

      Qlik Sense supports integration with a wide array of data sources and can be accessed from any location on various devices. Its embeddable nature and extensive API set facilitate its incorporation into other applications.

    • Adoption and Trust

      Adopted by over 40,000 customers worldwide, Qlik Sense is recognized for its robust data prep, connectivity options, and trusted analytics capabilities.

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    What is Pentaho?

    Pentaho is a comprehensive data management platform that provides a suite of tools for optimizing, cataloging, integrating, and analyzing data. Its products are embedded with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies, enabling advanced data management capabilities.

    • Core Products

    • Data Optimizer
    • Data Catalog
    • Data Integration
    • Business Analytics
    • The platform is tailored to assist businesses in enhancing their decision-making processes, fostering innovation, and improving overall outcomes.

    Qlik Sense

    Qlik Sense Key Features

    Associative Analytics Engine

    Qlik Sense features a unique associative analytics engine that facilitates deep data exploration and insight discovery, allowing for instant calculations and data-driven selections in any direction.

    Augmented Analytics

    Built-in AI and ML capabilities provide AI-powered insights and predictions. Augmented analytics in Qlik Sense includes automated insight generation, natural language interaction, and the creation of machine learning models through Qlik AutoML, a code-free experience.

    Visualization and Dashboards

    Qlik Sense's advanced visualization tools enable highly interactive and self-service data visualizations. Users can create custom dashboards and apps with interactive elements for dynamic data storytelling.

    Data Integration and Preparation

    Data prep and integration capabilities ensure fast data connectivity and management, with a self-service data catalog and comprehensive data preparation features.

    Alerting and Automation

    Qlik Sense provides data-driven alerting technology and supports event-driven actions, enabling immediate responses to data insights with application automation and advanced analytics.

    Collaboration and Reporting

  • Powerful collaboration tools include notes, narrative context, and discussion threads to facilitate teamwork.
  • Reporting capabilities ensure that insights and decisions are effectively communicated and shared.
  • Accessibility and Integration

    Qlik Sense is accessible on mobile devices and can be used on-premises or in the cloud. Its open and standard APIs allow for flexible integration with a wide range of data sources, apps, databases, and cloud services.

    Scalability and Performance

    The platform offers high performance scalability and powerful data connectivity, ensuring a complete data analytics solution suitable for a diverse and vast user base.

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    Pentaho Features Overview

    Codeless Data Management

    Pentaho streamlines the process of preparing, building, deploying, and analyzing enterprise data without requiring coding, enhancing productivity and accessibility for users with varying technical skills.

    Deployment Flexibility

    The platform is versatile, offering both on-premises and cloud-hosted options, with the cloud version supporting major providers such as AWS, Google Cloud, and Azure.

    Data Integration and Analytics

    Pentaho provides a comprehensive suite of tools for data integration and analytics, enabling users to create complex data solutions.

    Community Edition

    The open-source Pentaho Community Edition includes core platform engines and enables users to explore its capabilities, albeit with reduced functionality and limited ETL features.

    Trial Availability

    Users can evaluate Pentaho's full capabilities with a free 30-day trial, offering a risk-free opportunity to test its features before committing.

    Qlik Sense

    Advantages of Qlik Sense for Business Intelligence

    Self-Service Visualization and Data Literacy

    Qlik Sense enhances data literacy by empowering users with self-service visualization solutions, allowing for intuitive reporting and analytics without extensive technical know-how.


    With a pricing model of $30 per user per month, Qlik Sense offers an affordable business intelligence tool that balances functionality with budget considerations.

    Device Compatibility and Mobility

    The software's responsive design and mobility features ensure that users can access and analyze data across a wide range of devices, fostering productivity in various work environments.

    Security and Collaboration

    Qlik Sense's comprehensive security features protect sensitive data while its centralized hub facilitates easy collaboration and information sharing among team members.

    Customization and Flexibility

    Users have the flexibility to customize analytics solutions, develop custom apps, and design new visualizations, tailoring the tool to meet specific business requirements.

    Usability and Performance

    Qlik Sense is recognized for its user-friendly interface and powerful AI-powered analytics capabilities, making complex data analysis tasks more accessible and effective.

    Qlik Sense

    Disadvantages of Qlik Sense for Business Intelligence

    Performance Issues with Large Data

    Qlik Sense performance may degrade when handling large data sets, affecting efficiency in data analytics.

    Cost Concerns for Teams

    For larger teams, the investment in Qlik Sense can be substantial, potentially limiting its accessibility.

    Limited Data Export Functionality

    Exporting data to Excel from Qlik Sense does not always include all information, which can hinder comprehensive data analysis.

    Additional Costs for Extensions

    Users must account for extra expenses when incorporating add-ons and plugins, as these are not included in the base price of Qlik Sense.

    Qlik Sense

    Frequently Asked Questions About Qlik Sense

    What payment methods are available for Qlik Sense training?

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

    How can I determine which Qlik Sense courses are right for me?

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

    Where can 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 they cannot be used to pay for certifications.

    Is there an expiration date on the Qlik Sense Training Card?

    You have 12 months from the purchase date to use the Training Card.

    Use Cases for Qlik Sense

    • Qlik Sense

      Improving efficiency, customer service, and sales for retail businesses

    • Qlik Sense

      Creating company-wide portals for analytics

    • Qlik Sense

      Enhancing operational success in the retail sector

    • Qlik Sense

      Reducing cost and effort in converting loan prospects for financial services

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    Advantages of Pentaho for Business Intelligence

    Comprehensive Toolset

    Pentaho offers a wide array of tools and features, making it a versatile solution for business intelligence tasks. Its great reporting, data integration, and dashboard development modules facilitate diverse BI processes.

    Customization and Flexibility

    The platform's high customizability and flexibility ensure it can adapt to both small and large organizations, handling complex data sets and various analytic use cases efficiently.


    With its reputation for being easy to learn, Pentaho enables users to quickly create simple jobs and transformations. Interactive analysis reports are user-friendly, enhancing the overall user experience.

    Data Integration and ETL

  • Pentaho's mature data integration module streamlines ETL processes and is particularly adept at handling XML and JSON-based data.
  • The built-in ETL tools are known for their stability, robustness, and reliability, essential for scheduled ETL tasks.
  • Quick data import and transformation capabilities expedite BI tasks.
  • Integration and Future Proofing

    Integrating Pentaho with other systems is relatively simple, making it future friendly. It can consume data from multiple sources, ensuring longevity and adaptability in changing technological environments.

    Visualization and Reporting

    Pentaho's reporting module excels in creating detailed reports, while its visualizations are particularly effective for sales and marketing presentations.

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    Disadvantages of Using Pentaho for Business Intelligence

    Limited Visualization and Reporting Features

    Pentaho's capabilities in data visualization are not comprehensive, offering a restricted variety of graphs and layouts that are considered outdated. This limitation hinders the creation of modern, visually appealing reports. Additionally, the tools available for designing new report templates are not user-friendly and could benefit from enhancement.

    Scalability and Performance Issues

    The platform struggles with scaling the Mondrian-based ROLAP for large datasets, particularly with numerous subscribers and varying time periods. Pentaho also exhibits performance concerns with many of its steps during ETL processing, which can impede efficient data handling and analysis.

    Integration and Scheduling Challenges

    Integrating the ETL tool with the Windows Task Scheduler for automating ETL packages proves difficult. This can pose challenges for businesses that rely on regular data updates. Furthermore, database connections in Pentaho are subject to timeouts, which can disrupt ongoing tasks and data flows.

    Machine Learning and Advanced Analytics Support

    Pentaho's WEKA machine learning platform is seldom employed in production scenarios, indicating a gap in its applicability for advanced analytics. Additionally, the lack of support and guidance for WEKA stands as a barrier for users looking to integrate machine learning into their BI processes.

    User Experience and Learning Curve

    New users of Pentaho may face a steep learning curve, which can prolong the time to proficiency and potentially delay the realization of BI initiatives. The absence of clear error codes within the ETL tool exacerbates this issue, making troubleshooting more challenging.

    Reputation and Market Presence

    Compared to other BI tools in the market, Pentaho is not as well-known, which may affect the perception of its reliability and robustness. Additionally, data limitations within Pentaho can hinder its effectiveness in environments with extensive data requirements.

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    Frequently Asked Questions About Pentaho

    What is Pentaho used for?

    Pentaho is a software designed for data-driven processes and mission-critical tasks, including work related to COVID-19.

    Is Pentaho suitable for handling sensitive and critical data?

    Yes, Pentaho is designed for mission-critical tasks, implying it can manage sensitive and important data securely.

    Can Pentaho be used for pandemic-related analysis?

    Yes, Pentaho is suitable for COVID-19 related work, which includes pandemic-related data analysis and reporting.

    Use Cases for Pentaho

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      Building a data warehouse to consolidate various data sources

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      Analyzing sales data to improve business decision-making

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      Examining customer data to enhance customer relationship management

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      Creating dashboards and reports for real-time business analytics


    Why Sourcetable Is a Superior Alternative for Business Intelligence

    • Simplified Reporting and Analytics

      Sourcetable streamlines business intelligence by consolidating data analytics and reporting into an intuitive spreadsheet-like interface. This integration eliminates the need for complex software training, making it accessible to users of all skill levels.

    • Real-time Data Synchronization

      With Sourcetable, users benefit from real-time data synchronization across various services. This feature ensures that all data is up-to-date, providing accurate insights for informed decision-making.

    • User-Friendly Interface

      The platform's spreadsheet-like interface is familiar to most users, reducing the learning curve associated with more complex tools like Qlik Sense and Pentaho.

    • Efficient Data Management

      Sourcetable's efficient data management capabilities allow businesses to maintain all their data in one centralized location, enhancing productivity and collaboration.

    • Optimized for Collaboration

      Collaboration is made easy with Sourcetable, as it provides a shared environment for teams to work together on data analysis and reporting tasks without the need for specialized software.

    • Cost-Effective Solution

      By offering a streamlined approach to business intelligence, Sourcetable can be a cost-effective solution for organizations looking to reduce expenses on training and software acquisition.

    Qlik Sense
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    Qlik Sense vs. Pentaho: Similarities

    Data Analytics Capabilities

    Both Qlik Sense and Pentaho are tools that offer data analytics capabilities, enabling businesses to analyze and visualize their data.

    AI and Machine Learning

    Qlik Sense and Pentaho utilize AI and machine learning to enhance data analytics, providing insights and predictive analytics.

    Self-Service Analytics

    They support self-service analytics, allowing users of varying skill levels to work with data without extensive technical expertise.

    Integration with Multiple Data Sources

    Both platforms can integrate with a wide range of data sources, ensuring flexibility in accessing and analyzing data from various origins.

    Dashboard and Visualization Tools

    Qlik Sense and Pentaho offer robust visualization and dashboard tools that help in creating interactive and informative data representations.

    Advanced and Predictive Analytics

    Advanced and predictive analytics features are present in both, aiding users in forecasting and making data-driven decisions.

    Deployment Options

    They provide multiple deployment options, including cloud-based and on-premises, to cater to different organizational needs and preferences.

    Customization and Extensibility

    Both platforms are customizable and extensible, offering APIs for building custom applications and integrating analytics into existing systems.

    Collaboration Features

    Collaboration tools are available in both Qlik Sense and Pentaho, facilitating teamwork and shared insights among users.

    Mobile Accessibility

    Qlik Sense and Pentaho are built for mobile use, ensuring that analytics can be accessed and utilized on various devices.

    Qlik Sense
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    Qlik Sense vs. Pentaho

    Core Functionality

    Qlik Sense is primarily an AI-powered data analytics and visualization tool with a strong focus on interactive dashboards, associative analytics, and augmented analytics. It integrates with a wide range of data sources and provides advanced and predictive analytics capabilities.

    Pentaho, on the other hand, is more focused on data integration and business intelligence. It offers ETL (extract, transform, load) capabilities, reporting, and data mining functions.

    User Experience

    Qlik Sense emphasizes a highly interactive user experience with self-service visualization and active analytics suitable for all skill levels, facilitated by its associative engine and augmented analytics.

    Pentaho provides a user-friendly interface but is often considered to have a steeper learning curve, especially in the areas of ETL and data integration.

    Deployment Options

    Qlik Sense is available as both a SaaS and on-premises solution, with Qlik Cloud Analytics offering a cloud-based deployment for customers who prefer it, including those in highly regulated industries.

    Pentaho offers on-premises deployment with a focus on integration with other IT infrastructure and systems.

    Analytics and Insights

    Qlik Sense uses AI and ML to provide augmented analytics, predictive analytics, and automated insight generation.

    Pentaho offers analytics and reporting but with less emphasis on AI-driven features and more on traditional data processing and reporting.

    Customization and Extensibility

    Qlik Sense features a complete set of open APIs allowing for the creation of custom apps, new visualizations, and embedded analytics.

    Pentaho also supports customization but typically requires more technical expertise, particularly in Java, to extend its functionality.

    Community and Support

    Qlik Sense has a large user base with more than 40,000 customers worldwide, offering a strong support network and community.

    Pentaho has a strong community as well, especially in the open-source domain, with support available through Hitachi Vantara and the user community.

    Price and Licensing

    For Qlik Sense pricing, interested parties need to contact Qlik directly, as it offers tailored solutions based on individual customer needs.

    Pentaho provides different licensing models, including an open-source version and enterprise editions with commercial licensing.


    Qlik Sense vs. Pentaho vs. Sourcetable


    Qlik Sense is a comprehensive data analytics tool featuring AI and ML for augmented analytics, while Pentaho is a data integration and business analytics platform that offers data preparation and reporting features. Sourcetable is a spreadsheet-based tool designed for managing and visualizing data without the need for advanced technical skills.

    Analytics and Visualization

    Qlik Sense provides AI-powered analytics, associative analytics, and interactive dashboards, suitable for all skill levels. Pentaho also offers data visualization and reporting but with a focus on data integration. Sourcetable allows for data visualization similar to spreadsheet applications, catering to users familiar with such interfaces.

    Data Processing and Integration

    Both Qlik Sense and Pentaho excel in data integration; Qlik Sense with its extensive data prep capabilities, and Pentaho with its ETL functionality. Sourcetable simplifies data consolidation from various sources, aligning more with streamlined data manipulation within a spreadsheet format.

    Deployment and Accessibility

    Qlik Sense offers flexible deployment including cloud-based SaaS and on-premises solutions. Pentaho is known for its on-premises deployment, often preferred by highly regulated industries. Sourcetable, being a lighter tool, is typically cloud-based, making it easily accessible with less focus on deployment options.

    Machine Learning and Advanced Analytics

    Qlik Sense stands out with its AI and ML capabilities, including predictive analytics and AutoML, enabling users to create ML models and gain advanced insights. Pentaho's advanced analytics are more reliant on integration with other tools. Sourcetable does not inherently focus on advanced analytics or ML.

    User Base and Skill Level

    Qlik Sense serves over 40,000 customers with tools suitable for a range of skill levels, from data professionals to business users. Pentaho caters to both technical users and analysts with its deep integration capabilities. Sourcetable targets users who require a more straightforward, spreadsheet-like experience for data tasks.

    Customization and Extensibility

    Qlik Sense offers a complete set of open APIs for custom app development and embedded analytics. Pentaho is known for its customizable ETL processes and business analytics solutions. Sourcetable is less focused on customization and more on ease of use and simplicity.

    Pricing and Trials

    Qlik Sense provides its pricing details upon contact and offers a free trial, while Pentaho's pricing is also acquired through direct inquiry, with a community version available. Sourcetable's pricing structure is generally simpler, often appealing to smaller businesses or individual users.


    Frequently Asked Questions About Sourcetable

    What is Sourcetable and who typically uses it?

    Sourcetable is a spreadsheet application that replaces workflows typically done in Excel, Google Sheets, and Business Intelligence tools. It is commonly used by growth teams and business operations professionals.

    How does Sourcetable integrate with third-party applications?

    Sourcetable allows users to access and sync 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.

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

    No, Sourcetable does not require any coding to use. Users can query data, build live models, and start creating reports within minutes.

    How much does Sourcetable cost?

    Sourcetable costs $50 per month for the starter plan and $250 per month for the pro plan, with each additional seat costing $20 per month after the first 5 users.

    Does Sourcetable offer a free trial?

    Yes, all plans of Sourcetable come with a 14-day free trial period.

    Qlik Sense

    Qlik Sense Pricing Overview

    • Annual Billing Structure

      Qlik Cloud Analytics Plans are structured with an annual billing cycle, requiring a yearly commitment from users.

    • Premium Plan Pricing

      The starting price of the Premium plan is set at $2,700 per month.

    • Enterprise Plan Data Allocation

      Enterprise plans offer a baseline data allowance of 500GB per year for analytics.

    • Enterprise Plan Inclusions

      Subscribers to Enterprise plans receive access to all features included in the Premium plan.

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    Pentaho Cost

    • Vendor Pricing Information

      Pentaho's cost details are not disclosed by the vendor.

    • Trial and Open Source Details

      Pentaho offers a free trial for users to evaluate the software.

      Being open source, Pentaho is available for free, allowing modifications and distribution.

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    User Reviews and Ratings of Pentaho

    • Overview of Pentaho

      Pentaho is an open-source business intelligence suite that has been widely recognized for its capabilities in data migration, analytics, and data warehousing. Acquired by Hitachi Data Systems in 2015, Pentaho has stood out for its flexibility and wide range of tools that cater to various organizational needs, including ETL processes, data ingestion, and reporting.

    • Functionality and Use

      Users have noted Pentaho as a valuable tool for ETL, data mining, and data science, making it suitable for IT teams and data professionals. Its intuitive visual interface and highly accessible Data Integration module are particularly appreciated for their ease of learning and early data analysis features. Pentaho's adaptability extends to diverse environments and industries, including human resources, hospitals, and financial companies.

    • Customization and Learning Curve

      While Pentaho is praised for its high customizability and ease of use, there is a consensus on the steep learning curve, especially with its visualization tools. Users have expressed the need for improvements in the user interface and have mentioned that the tool can be slow when handling JSON files.

    • Data Integration and Transformation

      The Pentaho Data Integration (DI) tool, also known as Kettle, is highlighted as the best tool within the suite. It is adept at handling various data transformations and has a graphical user interface for efficient planning. However, some users have experienced performance issues with specific steps like JSON input, and have noted that big data connections could be improved.

    • Support and Community

      A strong community is one of Pentaho's advantages, although the level of official support is not always rated highly. Users appreciate the software being free and an excellent choice for open-source shops despite the noted shortcomings.


    Qlik Sense offers a robust, self-service approach to business intelligence, while Pentaho provides comprehensive data integration and analytics capabilities.

    Both platforms facilitate data-driven decision-making but differ in their ease of use, with Qlik Sense being more user-friendly.

    Sourcetable offers a simplified alternative, syncing data in real-time across services into a spreadsheet interface, streamlining the BI process.

    Simplify Your BI Tooling

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