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QlikView vs Airflow: A Comparative Analysis

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    Choosing the right tool for business intelligence and data analytics can significantly impact an organization's ability to glean insights from data. Qlikview and Airflow offer distinct approaches to data integration, transformation, and visualization, each with its own set of features and use cases.

    Qlikview is a data visualization and business discovery tool, providing users with the means to create guided analytics applications and dashboards. Airflow, on the other hand, is an open-source workflow management system, designed to programmatically author, schedule, and monitor workflows.

    While both tools serve critical roles in data handling and analytics, businesses may seek alternatives that offer a more intuitive and adaptable interface. This page will explore how Sourcetable provides a modernized, spreadsheet-like interface that syncs with your data, presenting itself as an alternative to Qlikview or Airflow for streamlined business intelligence tasks like reporting and data analytics.


    What is QlikView?

    QlikView is a guided analytics solution designed to facilitate rapid development and delivery of analytics applications and dashboards. It is distinguished by its associative engine that dynamically generates new data views, enhancing the analytical experience.

    • Key Features:

    • Associative engine for on-the-fly data view generation
    • In-memory data compression and exploration
    • Direct data source connectivity
    • Unrestricted user exploration beyond pre-configured dashboards
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    What is Airflow?

    Airflow is an open-source platform developed by Apache for orchestrating complex computational workflows. It is a tool designed for scheduling, developing, and monitoring batch-oriented workflows, making it suitable for data engineering and scientific environments.

    • Workflow Definition and Management

      Workflows in Airflow are defined as Python code, which allows for dynamic pipeline generation and flexibility in managing processes. The platform supports the construction of large-scale workflows, ensuring they can be developed and maintained by multiple users within a version-controlled environment.

    • Deployment and Extensibility

      The platform's architecture enables deployment in various configurations, catering to different workload requirements. Airflow's design is extensible, allowing custom operators and plugins to be added to meet specific needs.

    • Scheduling and Monitoring

      Airflow provides a rich set of scheduling and execution semantics, enabling precise control over when and how tasks are initiated. The user interface offers detailed insights into pipeline states and task execution, aiding in monitoring and troubleshooting.

    • Limitations

      Despite its capabilities, Airflow is not designed for indefinitely running, event-based workflows, focusing instead on scenarios where tasks can be run on a schedule or triggered by batch job completion.


    Key Features of QlikView

    Associative Engine

    The associative engine is central to QlikView's uniqueness, enabling users to discover data relationships across multiple sources.

    Intuitive Visual Discovery

    QlikView offers intuitive visual discovery features, facilitating easy understanding and manipulation of complex data.

    Augmented Intelligence

    Qlik Cloud Analytics and Qlik Sense enhance human intuition with AI-driven insights, promoting an active analytics approach.

    Deployment Options

  • Qlik Cloud Analytics provides a cloud-based SaaS deployment for accessibility and scalability.
  • Qlik Sense offers an on-premises solution for organizations with specific infrastructure needs.
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    Key Features of Airflow

    Scalable and Extensible Architecture

    Airflow boasts a modular architecture that supports scaling to meet high demand. The system uses a message queue to manage workers efficiently, allowing for infinite scalability. Its extensibility lets users tailor libraries to specific environments.

    Pipeline Definition and Dynamic Generation

    Pipelines in Airflow are defined using Python, enabling lean and explicit design. Dynamic pipeline generation is supported, allowing for the creation of pipelines that are instantiated programmatically.

    Templating and Customization

    With the integration of the Jinja templating engine, Airflow allows for parametrization within workflows. This feature enhances customization and reusability of tasks.

    User Interface and Monitoring

    Airflow's modern web application streamlines the monitoring, scheduling, and management of workflows, offering users a comprehensive view of their operations.

    Integration and Accessibility

    The platform includes numerous plug-and-play operators to facilitate interactions with third-party services. Additionally, the open-source nature of Airflow and its Python-based ecosystem make it accessible to anyone with Python knowledge.


    Advantages of Qlikview for Business Intelligence

    Self-Service BI Capabilities

    Qlikview empowers users with its self-service BI tool, promoting autonomy in data handling and analysis.

    Dynamic Data Dashboards

    Its dynamic dashboards enable quick interpretation and efficient data analysis, facilitating informed business decisions.

    Team Collaboration

    The platform fosters team collaboration, allowing multiple stakeholders to participate in data-driven decision-making processes.

    Implementation and Usability

    Qlikview is recognized for its simplicity and ease of implementation, reducing the time to value for businesses.

    Data Security

    It provides robust data security measures, ensuring that sensitive business data is protected.


    High-speed data processing capabilities are a cornerstone of Qlikview, enhancing productivity.

    In-Memory Technology

    The in-memory technology ensures that data analysis is both fast and reliable.

    Data Compression

    Efficient data compression techniques are employed, optimizing storage without compromising performance.


    Qlikview's strong data visualization tools help in presenting complex data in an accessible format.

    QIX Engine

    The sophisticated QIX Engine is at the core of Qlikview, driving powerful data handling and manipulation.

    Cost Efficiency

    Its cost-effective nature makes Qlikview a practical choice for businesses looking to leverage BI without excessive expenditure.


    Disadvantages of Using Qlikview for Business Intelligence

    Inefficiency in Real-time Data Analysis

    Qlikview may not perform optimally for real-time data analysis, potentially hindering timely decision-making.

    RAM Limitations

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

    Technical Expertise Requirement

    Technical expertise is required for application development in Qlikview, increasing the barrier to effective utilization.

    Integration Challenges

    Embedding Qlikview with other software can be problematic, leading to limited compatibility and integration options.

    Customer Support Issues

    Users may experience inadequate customer support, posing challenges in problem resolution and user guidance.

    Outdated Tools and Interfaces

    The presence of old tools and interfaces in Qlikview may lead to a less intuitive user experience.

    Cost Prohibitive for Some Businesses

    The expense associated with Qlikview may be prohibitive for small or medium-sized enterprises.

    Subpar User Ratings

    Poor ratings in surveys reflect user dissatisfaction and potential shortcomings in Qlikview’s offerings.


    Frequently Asked Questions About Qlikview

    How much memory does QlikView use when running a script compared to when working in the layout?

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

    Can QlikView automatically join fields with the same name?

    Yes, QlikView can automatically join fields with the same name.

    How can QlikView handle fields with different names?

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

    How can QlikView be shared with others?

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

    Can QlikView limit who can use a document?

    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

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    Advantages of Using Airflow for Business Intelligence Tasks

    Utilizing Airflow for business intelligence tasks extends beyond their primary focus on airflow solutions. While Airflow specializes in air and water balancing, and the testing, adjusting, and balancing of HVAC equipment, their expertise does not directly translate to reporting and data analytics for business intelligence. Therefore, a section about the advantages of using Airflow for business intelligence tasks is not applicable based on the provided facts.

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    Disadvantages of Airflow in Business Intelligence

    Programming Skills Requirement

    Using Airflow necessitates proficiency in programming, potentially limiting its accessibility to users without a technical background.

    Complex Setup

    Airflow's architecture demands the configuration of numerous components, which can be a barrier for businesses looking to quickly deploy data analytics solutions.

    Steep Learning Curve

    Due to its complexity, Airflow presents a challenging learning curve that can slow down the adoption process within an organization.

    Inadequate Documentation

    The lack of comprehensive documentation for Airflow can hinder effective implementation and troubleshooting, affecting productivity in business intelligence tasks.

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    Frequently Asked Questions About Airflow

    Why am I experiencing low DAG scheduling latency in Airflow 2.0?

    Airflow 2.0 has low DAG scheduling latency out of the box, which improves the efficiency of task scheduling.

    What should I do if I encounter a TemplateNotFound error in Airflow?

    A TemplateNotFound error is usually caused by not properly passing the path to an operator that triggers Jinja templating. Ensure files are resolved relative to the pipeline file's location, or add other directories to the template_searchpath of the DAG object.

    How can I increase throughput if I'm experiencing performance issues with Airflow?

    If you need more throughput, you can start multiple schedulers to handle a larger number of tasks concurrently.

    What can I do if my task fails with no logs in the Airflow UI?

    A task may fail with no logs in the UI because the task's worker was unable to write logs or due to the task getting stuck in queued. Investigate resource constraints or configuration issues that may prevent task execution.

    How can I trigger tasks based on the failure of another task in Airflow?

    You can use Trigger Rules to trigger tasks based on another task's failure. The ALL_FAILED trigger is used when all upstream tasks fail, and ONE_FAILED triggers when just one upstream task fails.

    Use Cases for Airflow

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      Orchestrating ETL/ELT data pipelines for business analytics

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      Scheduling and automating core business application workflows

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      Managing infrastructure for business intelligence tools

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      Customizing and extending workflows to meet specific BI needs


    Sourcetable as a Superior Alternative for Business Intelligence

    • Streamlined Data Integration

      Sourcetable offers a unified platform that simplifies data integration. Unlike Qlikview, which requires managing separate systems like Qlik Cloud Analytics and Qlik Sense, Sourcetable syncs data across various services directly into a spreadsheet interface. This approach eliminates the complexity of using different solutions for cloud-based or on-premises deployments.

    • Enhanced Accessibility and Usability

      With its spreadsheet-like interface, Sourcetable makes data analytics more accessible to business users. Qlikview, though revolutionary with its associative engine and visual discovery, may still present a learning curve. Sourcetable's intuitive design puts business intelligence in the hands of more people, without the need for specialized training.

    • Efficient Reporting and Analysis

      Sourcetable excels in simplifying reporting and data analytics. It bypasses the need for AI-powered insights and real-time collaboration features seen in Qlik Sense, focusing on providing a straightforward, effective reporting tool that caters to businesses seeking simplicity and efficiency in their BI processes.

    • Cost-Effectiveness

      Businesses looking to integrate BI into their operations without incurring significant expenses may find Sourcetable a more cost-effective solution. It reduces the need for multiple analytics tools and on-premises hardware, potentially offering a better ROI compared to using a combination of Qlikview, Qlik Cloud Analytics, and Qlik Sense.

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    Comparison Between QlikView and Airflow

    No facts were provided about Airflow, hence a comparison between QlikView and Airflow cannot be established based on the given instructions. To maintain accuracy and adherence to the provided facts, only information about QlikView can be discussed.

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    Differences Between QlikView and Airflow

    Primary Function

    QlikView is an analytics solution that provides data visualization and business intelligence capabilities. It uses an associative engine for intuitive visual discovery and AI-powered insights. In contrast, Airflow is a workflow automation tool designed to schedule, orchestrate, and manage complex data pipelines.

    Deployment Options

    QlikView offers flexible deployment options, including cloud-based SaaS with Qlik Cloud Analytics and on-premises solutions with Qlik Sense. Airflow is typically deployed on-premises or on cloud infrastructure managed by users, without a dedicated SaaS offering.

    Data Handling Capabilities

    QlikView's associative engine revolutionized how organizations interact with data, allowing for real-time collaboration and action. Airflow, however, focuses on programmatically authoring, scheduling, and monitoring workflows, and does not have built-in data visualization or exploration features.

    Target Users

    QlikView puts business intelligence in the hands of more people across an organization, promoting data-driven decision-making. Airflow is aimed at data engineers and operators who need to manage complex data workflows and task dependencies.

    AI Integration

    QlikView integrates AI to enhance human intuition and provide insights within its analytics platform. Airflow does not come with built-in AI capabilities but can be integrated with external AI tools as part of a workflow.

    Real-Time Collaboration

    QlikView facilitates real-time collaboration and action among users, while Airflow's primary focus is on workflow automation and does not inherently support real-time collaboration features.


    QlikView vs. Airflow vs. Sourcetable


    QlikView, as Qlik's first analytics solution, utilizes an associative engine for data processing, enabling intuitive visual discovery. It revolutionized business intelligence by making it more accessible. QlikView supports both cloud-based SaaS with Qlik Cloud Analytics and on-premises deployments through Qlik Sense. It enhances human intuition with AI-powered insights and promotes real-time collaboration and action.


    Apache Airflow is an open-source tool for orchestrating complex computational workflows and data processing pipelines. It allows for the scheduling and management of such workflows, ensuring sequential and conditional execution of tasks. Unlike QlikView, Airflow does not focus on data visualization or business intelligence but rather on the automation of scripts and tasks.


    Sourcetable is a spreadsheet interface designed for data analysis, reporting, and automation. It provides a familiar environment for those accustomed to spreadsheet software while offering integrations with various data sources. Sourcetable aims to simplify data manipulation and visualization, much like QlikView, but operates from a spreadsheet-centric approach rather than a dedicated BI tool with an associative engine.


  • QlikView and Sourcetable both offer data visualization and business intelligence capabilities, whereas Airflow focuses on task orchestration.
  • QlikView utilizes an associative engine for data discovery, which is not a feature of Sourcetable or Airflow.
  • All three tools offer solutions that support collaboration and data-driven decision-making but in different contexts.
  • QlikView and Sourcetable are directly used for data analysis, while Airflow is used to manage data workflows that could feed into analysis tools.
  • QlikView has AI-powered insights, a feature not stated in the context of Airflow or Sourcetable.
  • Contrast

  • QlikView is a comprehensive BI tool with cloud and on-premises options, Airflow is a workflow automation tool, and Sourcetable is a data analysis tool with a spreadsheet interface.
  • QlikView's associative engine offers a unique approach to data discovery, which is not available in Sourcetable or Airflow.
  • AI capabilities in QlikView support predictive analytics, unlike the other two tools where AI is not mentioned.
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    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 that automatically update. It is typically used by growth teams and business operations teams.

    How does Sourcetable compare to traditional spreadsheet and BI tools?

    Sourcetable replaces workflows that are typically done in Excel, Google Sheets, and Business Intelligence tools, centralizing, analyzing, and modeling data that updates over time without requiring any coding.

    How much does Sourcetable cost?

    Sourcetable costs $50 per month for the starter plan and $250 per month for the pro plan. Additional seats cost $20 per month per user.

    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.

    Is there a trial period for Sourcetable?

    Yes, all plans have a 14-day free trial period.


    Qlikview Pricing Plans

    • Standard Plan

      The Standard Plan of Qlikview is designed for a minimum of 20 full users. It offers core features such as the ability to connect and combine hundreds of data sources, interactive data visualizations, dashboards, and augmented analytics with AI. Additionally, it enables sharing and collaboration within teams and provides 24x7 customer support. Users are allocated 25 GB/year of data for analysis under this plan.

    • Premium Plan

      Qlikview's Premium Plan builds upon the Standard Plan's offerings by doubling the data analysis capacity to 50 GB/year. It includes advanced features like automated report compilation and delivery, connectivity to additional data sources, predictive analytics with automated machine learning, no-code automation builder triggers, and enterprise-grade data governance. A personalized customer success plan is also part of the package.

    • Enterprise Plan

      The Enterprise Plan is the most comprehensive, with a significant increase in data analysis capacity at 500 GB/year. This plan encompasses all the features of the Premium Plan, making it suitable for larger organizations that require extensive data analysis and governance capabilities.

    • Capacity Alerts

      Qlikview proactively alerts users when they are nearing their data capacity limit, ensuring seamless management of data resources.

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    Airflow Cost Overview

    Airflow is an open-source platform, which implies that it is freely available for use and modification. As a tool created by the community, it does not have a direct cost associated with software licensing.


    User Reviews of QlikView

    • Overall Impressions

      Rating: Users have rated QlikView with an overall score of 4.3. It receives high marks for functionality at 4.5, indicating strong performance in this area. However, it has garnered a more moderate rating for ease-of-use, customer support, and value for money, each scoring a 4.

    • Functionality and Use Cases

      Data Visualization: QlikView is versatile in data visualization and is particularly useful for creating sales and inventory dashboards. Nevertheless, its data visualization options are not considered best in class.

      Data Sources and Reporting: The tool has the capability to combine data from various sources to create complex reports, but it falls short in detailed reporting and does not allow exporting of a list of all currently licensed users.

    • Performance

      Speed: QlikView is praised for its speed in processing data due to in-memory processing. However, it experiences slow response times with heavy data volumes and slight delays in real-time data syncing.

    • User Experience

      Interface and Usability: While QlikView is described as having an intuitive interface and being easy to use, some users find the UI clunky and less user-friendly with certain data sources.

    • Integration and Customization

      Extensibility: It supports customization through the use of VBA or other programming languages, but it lacks R integration and does not allow write-back to the database.

    • Comparative Analysis

      Competitive Landscape: Users note that QlikView is not as good as its competitors, Qlik Sense, Tableau, and PowerBI, especially in terms of visualization capabilities. Despite this, it is recognized as a powerful BI tool and is highly regarded for its fast data processing.

    • Community and Support

      Support and Resources: There is a wide user group over the internet and a support forum available. QlikView is considered great for students writing a thesis and provides substantial value for users.

    • Cost Consideration

      Investment: Despite its benefits, users find QlikView to be expensive compared to other options in the market.

    • Additional Features

      Automation and Scheduling: QlikView can automate report distribution and creation, and it has capabilities for scheduled batch jobs for ETL.

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    User Reviews of Airflow

    • General Satisfaction

      Reviews indicate a significant number of users are dissatisfied with Airflow. Despite its widespread use, this dissatisfaction suggests areas where Airflow may need improvement.

    • Market Position

      Despite the dissatisfaction, Airflow remains prevalent in the market. Competitors like Astronomer and Dagster have not significantly disrupted Airflow's position.

    • Review Bias

      It's important to consider that the reviews may reflect a biased sample. This caveat should be taken into account when evaluating the overall user sentiment.


    In comparing Qlikview and Airflow for business intelligence, it's clear that each tool serves distinct purposes within the BI spectrum. Qlikview is primarily a data visualization platform, while Airflow is a workflow management system designed to schedule and run data processing tasks.

    For organizations seeking a more streamlined BI experience, Sourcetable offers a solution that simplifies the process. It achieves this by syncing data in real-time from various services into a spreadsheet interface that many users are already familiar with.

    This integration can potentially reduce the learning curve and increase the accessibility of business intelligence for a wider range of users within an organization.

    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.