QlikView vs Excel: A Comparative Analysis

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    Comparing QlikView and Excel is essential for businesses seeking the right tools for data analysis and reporting. While QlikView is a dedicated business intelligence platform, Excel is a versatile spreadsheet application known for its calculation and charting tools. Both have their unique strengths and use cases in the realm of data management.

    Understanding the distinctions between QlikView's associative model and Excel's cell-based structure is crucial for professionals aiming to optimize their data workflows. This comparison will delve into their core features, scalability, and ease of use. In the context of modern business intelligence needs, we'll also introduce how Sourcetable offers a contemporary spreadsheet-like interface that dynamically syncs with your data, presenting an alternative to the traditional Qlikview or Excel environments.


    What is QlikView?

    QlikView is a guided analytics solution designed for developing and delivering analytics applications and dashboards. It facilitates rapid development, allowing users to explore and interact with data in a dynamic manner. QlikView's associative engine is at the core of its functionality, enabling it to generate new data views on the fly without predefined drill paths, offering a flexible analysis experience.

    • Key Features of QlikView

    • Associative engine that creates dynamic data views.
    • In-memory data compression for efficient data handling.
    • Support for multiple users to concurrently explore in-memory data.
    • Capability to directly connect to various data sources.
    • Provides an associative analysis experience across all utilized data.
    • Unrestricted by pre-defined drill paths or pre-configured dashboards.

    What is Excel?

    Excel is a spreadsheet program developed by Microsoft. It is part of the Microsoft Office suite of applications. Excel is designed to help users format, organize, and calculate data efficiently. It is widely compatible with other applications within the Office product group.

    • Compatibility and Availability

      Excel is available on multiple operating systems, including Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS, ensuring broad accessibility for users across different devices.

    • Applications in Business

    • Business Analysis
    • Human Resource Management
    • Operations Management
    • Performance Reporting
    • Data Collection and Verification
    • Data Entry and Storage
    • Functions and Uses

    • Data Analysis
    • Strategic Analysis
    • Accounting and Budgeting
    • Administrative and Managerial Tasks
    • Account Management
    • Project Management
    • Office Administration

    Key Features of QlikView

    First Analytics Solution: QlikView pioneered the analytics market as the first solution of its kind.

    Associative Engine: The distinctive associative engine is central to QlikView's uniqueness, enabling complex data analysis.

    Visual Discovery: Intuitive visual discovery tools are integral to QlikView, facilitating user interaction with data.

    Qlik Cloud Analytics and Qlik Sense: These platforms amplify human intuition with AI-driven insights, transitioning users towards active analytics.

  • Qlik Cloud Analytics is a cloud-native SaaS offering.
  • Qlik Sense provides an on-premises analytics solution.
  • Excel

    Excel Functionality Overview

    Excel Functions and Categories

    Excel provides a robust library of over 10,000 functions, organized into seven primary categories. These include Cube, Database, Date and Time, Engineering, and Statistical functions, among others.

    Accessing Functions

    Functions can be browsed by category or quickly accessed with the shortcut Ctrl+F, which allows users to search by typing initial letters or descriptive words related to the function.

    Financial Functions

  • The ACCRINT and ACCRINTM functions calculate accrued interest for securities.
  • AMORDEGRC and AMORLINC functions are used for computing depreciation.
  • COUPDAYBS, COUPDAYS, and related functions provide calculations for coupon dates and periods for bonds.
  • CUMIPMT and CUMPRINC functions calculate cumulative interest and principal for loans.
  • Various functions like DB, DDB, and others offer methods for asset depreciation.
  • Functions such as DURATION, EFFECT, FV, and IRR help in evaluating the financial performance of investments.
  • Forecasting Functions

  • FORECAST.LINEAR, replacing the older FORECAST function, predicts future values using linear trends.
  • FORECAST.ETS applies the ETS algorithm for time series forecasting.
  • FORECAST.ETS.CONFINT and FORECAST.ETS.SEASONALITY aid in understanding the forecasted data's confidence intervals and seasonality.
  • Web and Text Functions

    While Excel offers web functions, they are not available in Excel for the web. Functions may yield different results across platforms.

  • ASC and DBCS functions alter the width of characters.
  • ARRAYTOTEXT, CHAR, CLEAN, and CODE functions perform various operations on text strings.
  • CONCAT and CONCATENATE functions merge text from different sources.
  • DOLLAR and BAHTTEXT functions convert numbers to text in currency formats.
  • EXACT checks text for exact matches, while FIND and FINDB locate strings.
  • FIXED formats numbers as text, and LEN functions count characters.
  • Qlikview

    Advantages of Qlikview for Business Intelligence

    Self-Service BI Tool

    Qlikview empowers users to perform data analysis without extensive technical knowledge, streamlining the BI process.

    Efficient Data Interpretation

    The dynamic dashboards of Qlikview facilitate rapid data interpretation, enhancing decision-making efficiency.

    Team Collaboration

    Qlikview's collaborative features enable teams to work together effectively on data-driven tasks.

    Implementation and Usability

    With its simplicity, Qlikview can be easily implemented into business workflows, reducing time and complexity.

    Data Security

    Qlikview provides robust data security, ensuring sensitive information is well-protected.


    High speed and advanced in-memory technology contribute to Qlikview's performance, enabling quick data processing.

    Data Management

    Effective data compression techniques in Qlikview lead to optimized storage and faster data handling.

    Data Visualization

    Qlikview's superior data visualization capabilities allow for clear and actionable insights from complex datasets.


    As a cost-effective solution, Qlikview delivers a high return on investment for businesses engaging in BI tasks.


    Disadvantages of Using Qlikview for Business Intelligence

    Inefficiency in Real-Time Analysis

    Qlikview may not be the most efficient tool for real-time data analysis, potentially hindering timely decision-making.

    RAM Limitations

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

    Technical Expertise Requirement

    Qlikview necessitates a considerable level of technical expertise for application development, leading to a steeper learning curve.

    Integration Challenges

    Embedding Qlikview with other software systems can be problematic and may not yield seamless integration.

    Customer Support Concerns

    There have been reports of poor customer support, which could impact problem resolution and user satisfaction.

    Outdated Elements

    The tool may feature old tools and interfaces, making it less appealing compared to more modern solutions.

    Cost Prohibitive for Smaller Enterprises

    The cost of Qlikview may be prohibitive for small to medium-sized businesses, making it a less viable option for these entities.

    User Feedback

    Poor ratings in surveys suggest that users may have negative experiences or unmet expectations with Qlikview.


    Frequently Asked Questions About Qlikview

    Can QlikView handle large datasets?

    Yes, QlikView can handle a few million rows of typical transaction data on a PC with 512MB of RAM and up to one billion rows of transaction data on large servers.

    How does QlikView manage memory usage?

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

    Can QlikView automatically join fields from different tables?

    Yes, QlikView can automatically join fields with the same name and can also join fields with different names using an alias or AS statement.

    Is it possible to share QlikView documents with others?

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

    Can QlikView restrict access to documents?

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

    Use Cases for Qlikview

    • Qlikview

      Improving efficiency, customer service, and sales for retail food chains

    • Qlikview

      Simplifying analytics through a company-wide portal for financial service providers

    • Qlikview

      Boosting operational success for retail clothing companies

    • Qlikview

      Lowering costs and reducing effort in loan prospect conversion for financial institutions


    Advantages of Using Excel for Business Intelligence

    Data Management and Analysis

    Excel's versatility and robust data management capabilities make it an excellent tool for business intelligence. It simplifies organizing, manipulating, and analyzing large datasets, which are critical for informed decision-making.

    Decision Making and Calculations

    With its advanced calculation features, Excel supports complex analytical tasks required for business intelligence. It aids in performing a wide range of calculations swiftly, which is essential for making timely business decisions.

    Automation and Efficiency

    Excel's ability to automate repetitive tasks not only saves time but also reduces the likelihood of human error. This automation ensures efficiency and consistency in reporting and data analytics processes.

    Visualization and Reporting

    Creating charts and graphs for data visualization is straightforward with Excel, enhancing the comprehensibility of reports. Visualizing data with Excel aids stakeholders in grasping intricate insights at a glance.

    Collaboration and Sharing

    Excel facilitates collaboration among team members, allowing for seamless sharing and editing of data. This collaborative feature is vital for maintaining up-to-date and accurate business intelligence reports.


    Disadvantages of Using Excel for Business Intelligence

    Limited Data Handling

    Excel's inability to manage large datasets efficiently poses a bottleneck for business intelligence tasks, which often require the analysis of substantial amounts of data.

    Collaboration Hurdles

    Excel falls short in offering robust collaboration features, making it difficult for teams to work simultaneously on reporting and data analytics projects.

    Inadequate Project Management

    The lack of integrated project management tools within Excel can lead to inefficiencies in tracking and managing business intelligence activities.

    Risk of Human Error

    Given its vulnerability to human error, Excel can compromise the accuracy of data analytics and reporting, leading to potentially costly business decisions.

    Insufficient Visualization

    Excel's limited visual project tracking capabilities hinder the ability to quickly and effectively communicate insights from business intelligence processes.

    Automation and Security Limitations

  • Excel does not offer significant automation features, slowing down repetitive data analysis tasks.
  • The security measures for protecting sensitive data in Excel are inadequate, posing risks to business intelligence integrity.
  • Integration and Scalability Issues

    Excel's limited integration with other tools and poor scalability can restrict the growth and adaptability of business intelligence systems as organizational needs evolve.


    Frequently Asked Questions About Excel

    Does Excel provide any assistance or coaching to help me learn how to use it?

    Yes, Excel offers live coaching to help you learn formulas, tips and more.

    Are there any pre-made templates in Excel to help me get started with my work?

    Excel has templates that you can use to streamline your work.

    Can I ask questions about my data in Excel without using formulas?

    Yes, Excel has a feature that allows you to ask questions about your data without writing formulas.

    Has support for Excel 2013 ended?

    Support for Excel 2013 has ended.

    What should I do now that support for Excel 2013 has ended?

    You should upgrade to Microsoft 365.

    Use Cases for Excel

    • Excel

      Analyzing sales data

    • Excel

      Forecasting financial performance

    • Excel

      Managing inventory

    • Excel

      Tracking customer analytics

    • Excel

      Visualizing market trends


    Why Sourcetable Outperforms Qlikview and Excel in Business Intelligence

    • Streamlined Data Integration

      Sourcetable offers a unified platform that seamlessly integrates multiple data sources. Unlike Qlikview's associative engine or Excel's manual data entry, Sourcetable syncs data in real-time, providing an efficient solution for data consolidation.

    • User-Friendly Interface

      With a spreadsheet-like interface, Sourcetable simplifies the user experience. It requires less specialized knowledge compared to Qlikview's visual discovery and bypasses the complexity of Excel formulas, making it accessible for a broader audience.

    • Enhanced Collaboration

      Sourcetable enhances collaborative efforts with real-time data sharing and editing capabilities, a step beyond the collaboration offered by Qlik Cloud Analytics and Qlik Sense, streamlining decision-making processes across organizations.

    • Optimized for Reporting and Analytics

      The platform is designed to optimize reporting and analytics tasks. It eliminates the steep learning curve associated with Qlikview and the limited analytics capabilities of Excel, making it a superior choice for businesses focused on agility and efficiency.


    Comparison of QlikView and Excel

    Functionality and Purpose

    Both QlikView and Excel are used for data analysis and business intelligence. They allow organizations to manage, analyze, and visualize data to inform decision-making processes.

    Data Analysis and Visualization

    QlikView and Excel provide visual discovery of data through various charting and graphing options, enabling intuitive data exploration and reporting.

    User Accessibility

    Each platform offers tools that put business intelligence in the hands of more people across different levels of technical expertise, facilitating a broader use within organizations.

    Real-Time Collaboration

    Both solutions can be utilized for collaborative efforts, allowing teams to work together on data analysis and share insights in real-time.

    Deployment Options

  • QlikView offers cloud-based SaaS and on-premises solutions.
  • Excel, traditionally an on-premises software, now also supports cloud-based collaboration through Office 365.
  • Customization and Flexibility

    QlikView and Excel provide a level of customization in data analysis, including the ability to create custom formulas, pivot tables, and interactive dashboards.


    QlikView vs. Excel

    Data Processing

    Associative Engine: QlikView uses an associative engine for data processing, enabling intuitive visual discovery and allowing users to uncover hidden trends and patterns.

    Traditional Spreadsheet: Excel functions as a traditional spreadsheet tool, lacking an associative engine, which can limit its capacity for complex data analysis.

    Data Analysis

    Advanced Analytics: QlikView revolutionized organizational data use with its game-changing analytics capabilities, providing AI-powered insights and real-time collaboration.

    Basic Analysis: Excel offers basic data analysis features suitable for individual tasks and simpler computational needs but lacks advanced analytics features.

    Deployment Options

    Flexible Deployment: QlikView is available in both cloud-based SaaS (Qlik Cloud Analytics) and on-premises (Qlik Sense) solutions, catering to diverse organizational needs and data regulations.

    Desktop and Cloud: Excel is primarily desktop-based but also available as part of Office 365 cloud services, though with potential limitations in collaborative real-time analytics.

    User Accessibility

    Intuitive Discovery: QlikView's intuitive visual discovery interface puts business intelligence in the hands of more users, regardless of their technical expertise.

    Technical Proficiency: Excel requires a certain level of technical proficiency, particularly for complex functions and data manipulation, which can limit accessibility.


    Real-Time Action: QlikView enhances collaboration with its real-time capabilities, allowing teams to take immediate action based on the latest insights.

    Static Data Sharing: Excel's collaboration is more static, relying on sharing spreadsheets and with less emphasis on real-time data interaction and decision-making.


    Comparison of Qlikview, Excel, and Sourcetable

    Qlikview vs Excel

    Qlikview is a specialized analytics solution known for its associative engine and intuitive visual discovery, which Excel, a spreadsheet application, lacks. Excel is versatile for various tasks but doesn't inherently provide the same level of analytics capabilities. Qlikview enables real-time collaboration and active analytics, which are not traditional features of Excel. Unlike Excel, Qlikview offers AI-powered insights and can be deployed as a cloud-based SaaS, emphasizing its strength in data analysis and collaboration.

    Qlikview vs Sourcetable

    Qlikview and Sourcetable are both analytics solutions, but Qlikview was the first analytics solution offered by Qlik and places a strong emphasis on its associative engine for data discovery. In contrast, Sourcetable aims to merge spreadsheet familiarity with database powers, offering an alternative approach to data manipulation and reporting. While Qlikview promotes its intuitive visual discovery and real-time collaboration, Sourcetable provides a user-friendly interface that leverages spreadsheet skills users already possess.

    Excel vs Sourcetable

    Excel is a traditional spreadsheet tool that is widely used for a range of tasks from simple calculations to complex data analysis. Sourcetable, on the other hand, focuses on simplifying data analytics by enhancing spreadsheet capabilities with database functions. While Excel requires manual effort for complex data tasks, Sourcetable streamlines these processes, offering a more efficient workflow for users with the need for enhanced data connectivity and manipulation.


    Frequently Asked Questions About Sourcetable

    What is Sourcetable and who is it for?

    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 replaces workflows typically done in Excel, Google Sheets, and Business Intelligence tools. It is used by growth teams and business operations teams and is suitable for anyone needing to centralize, analyze, and model data that updates over time.

    Does Sourcetable require coding skills?

    No, Sourcetable does not require any coding. Users can query data and build live models without the need for coding.

    How often does Sourcetable sync data?

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

    How much does Sourcetable cost?

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

    Is there a free trial available for Sourcetable?

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


    Qlikview Pricing Plans

    • Standard Plan

      The Qlikview Standard Plan mandates a minimum of 20 full users and offers 25 GB/year of data analysis capacity. Key features include the integration of hundreds of data sources, interactive data visualizations, dashboards, augmented analytics with AI, collaboration tools, and round-the-clock customer support.

    • Premium Plan

      Building upon the Standard Plan, the Premium Plan includes 50 GB/year for data analysis. Additional benefits comprise automated report generation and delivery, extended data source connections, predictive analytics with automated machine learning, no-code automation triggers, and enhanced data governance.

    • Enterprise Plan

      The Enterprise Plan is tailored for extensive data requirements, offering 500 GB/year for analysis. It encompasses all Premium Plan features with the addition of a personalized customer success plan to support organizational needs.

    • Capacity Alerts

      Qlikview proactively alerts users as they near their data capacity limit, facilitating efficient data management across all plans.


    Excel Cost Overview

    Excel's compatibility extends across Windows 11, Windows 10, and macOS, ensuring a wide user base. The ability to share and collaboratively edit spreadsheets in real time enhances productivity for users. However, sharing spreadsheets via Excel requires the use of OneDrive for online collaboration. Costs associated with Excel may vary depending on the version and licensing model chosen, including individual, business, or educational use. Understanding the prerequisites for optimal functionality, such as the necessity of OneDrive for sharing, is essential for potential users when considering the overall cost.


    User Reviews and Ratings of QlikView

    QlikView is a business intelligence tool with an overall rating of 4.3. Users find its functionality impressive, giving it a 4.5 rating, but they note that ease-of-use and customer support are slightly lower at a 4 rating each. In terms of value for money, it also stands at a 4 rating.

    • Functionality and Usability

      Users appreciate QlikView's versatility in data visualization and its ability to combine data sources for complex reports. However, they mention that it has a slow response when dealing with heavy data volumes and experiences delays in real-time data synchronization.

    • User Interface and Support

      Although QlikView is cited as having a clunky user interface and being less user-friendly with certain data sources, its intuitive interface and ease of implementation are highlighted. The support forum and a wide user group provide a platform for user interaction and support.

    • Performance and Integration

      QlikView's in-memory processing and fast data processing capabilities are acknowledged. Scheduled batch jobs for ETL and the potential for report automation and customization using VBA or other programming languages are notable features, although it lacks the ability for R integration and write-back to the database.

    • Value and Suitability

      Despite being considered expensive, QlikView is deemed to provide a ton of value, particularly for students writing their thesis and users interested in sales and inventory dashboards. It's easy to use and fast, but users believe it is not as good as its competitors like Qlik Sense, Tableau, and PowerBI, particularly in the area of visualization capabilities and detailed reporting.

    • Limitations

      QlikView does not support exporting a list of all currently licensed users, which is a limitation mentioned in user reviews. Additionally, its visualization options, while adequate, are not considered best in class.


    User Reviews of Microsoft Excel

    Microsoft Excel has garnered an impressive overall rating of 4.8 out of 5 from a substantial user base of 18.9K reviewers. When it comes to value for money, ease of use, features, and customer support, reviewers consistently rate Excel at 4.8 out of 5. This consistent scoring reflects the software's strong performance across critical aspects valued by users.

    • Practical Applications of Excel

    • Users appreciate Excel for its effectiveness in tracking progress.
    • Excel's capabilities in analyzing data effectively is highlighted in reviews.
    • It is also praised for its contributions to staying organized.
    • Its simplicity and user-friendly nature make it a tool that is easy to use.
    • The software is recognized as beneficial for students, supporting kids in school.
    • Considerations and Limitations

    • However, some users point out that Excel can face challenges with integration into other information systems.
    • There is also a mention of Excel's insensitivity to human errors, which could potentially lead to issues if not carefully managed.
    • The likelihood of users recommending Excel is high, with a score of 9.13 out of 10. These ratings and reviews are reflective of user experiences and opinions on the software's performance and utility in various applications.


    In summary, QlikView offers robust data visualization and business intelligence capabilities, whereas Excel is a versatile tool that is widely used for a variety of data manipulation tasks. QlikView's associative model provides dynamic data exploration, while Excel's strong suit is its familiar interface and spreadsheet functionalities.

    For businesses seeking to integrate and simplify their BI processes, Sourcetable presents a solution that merges real-time data synchronization across services with the ease of use of a spreadsheet interface. This approach can streamline business intelligence tasks without the need for complex software.

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