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QlikView vs Pentaho: A Detailed Comparison

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    When it comes to Business Intelligence (BI) tools, Qlikview and Pentaho stand out for their data integration and analytics capabilities. Both platforms offer different features and benefits, tailored to various business needs and technical environments.

    Qlikview is known for its powerful in-memory data processing and user-friendly interface, while Pentaho is celebrated for its comprehensive suite of open-source tools for data integration and business analytics.

    This comparison will highlight the key differences and strengths of each solution. Furthermore, we'll explore how Sourcetable provides a modernized, spreadsheet-like interface that syncs with your data as an alternative to using Qlikview or Pentaho for business intelligence tasks like reporting and data analytics.


    What is QlikView?

    QlikView is a guided analytics solution designed for rapid development and delivery of analytics applications and dashboards. It features an associative engine that allows for on-the-fly generation of new data views, providing an associative experience throughout all data used for analysis. QlikView compresses data and stores it in memory to enable swift data exploration by multiple users simultaneously.

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    What is Pentaho?

    Pentaho is a comprehensive data management platform that encompasses a suite of tools for effective data handling. It is engineered to assist businesses in enhancing decision-making processes, fostering innovation, and achieving superior outcomes through data-driven insights.

    • Pentaho Products

    • Data Optimizer
    • Data Catalog
    • Data Integration
    • Business Analytics
    • The platform leverages artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies to streamline the management of data. This integration allows for improved efficiency and accuracy in data-related tasks.


    Key Features of QlikView

    Associative Engine

    The associative engine is the cornerstone of QlikView's uniqueness. It enables users to explore data connections in-depth.

    Intuitive Visual Discovery

    Intuitive visual discovery in QlikView allows for easy data interpretation through visual representations.

    Augmented Intelligence

    Qlik Cloud Analytics and Qlik Sense enhance QlikView by providing AI-powered insights to support human intuition.

    Active Analytics

    Both Qlik Cloud Analytics and Qlik Sense focus on transitioning users from passive data consumption to active analytics.

    Deployment Options

  • Qlik Cloud Analytics offers a cloud-based SaaS deployment model.
  • Qlik Sense is tailored for on-premises solution deployment.
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    Pentaho Features

    Deployment Flexibility

    Pentaho supports both on-premises and cloud-based deployments, allowing flexibility for enterprise needs. It is compatible with major cloud providers including AWS, Google Cloud, and Azure.

    Data Integration and Analytics

    Pentaho provides a comprehensive suite of tools for data integration and business analytics, facilitating codeless data manipulation and analysis for enterprises.

    Community and Enterprise Editions

  • The Pentaho Community Edition is open-source, featuring core engines for data processing, with reduced features for users to experiment.
  • The Community Edition offers limited ETL capabilities, while the Enterprise Edition delivers a full-featured platform for data integration and analytics.
  • Free Trial Access

    Users can evaluate Pentaho's capabilities through a free 30-day trial, offering a risk-free opportunity to explore the software's functionalities.


    Advantages of Using Qlikview for Business Intelligence

    Self-Service BI Tool

    Qlikview empowers users to perform reporting and data analytics without extensive technical support.

    Dynamic Dashboards

    Its visual and dynamic dashboards facilitate quick data interpretation and efficient analysis.

    Collaboration Features

    Qlikview enhances teamwork by enabling collaborative, data-driven decision-making.

    Implementation and Usability

    The simplicity of Qlikview ensures easy implementation and a user-friendly experience.

    Data Security

    Qlikview provides robust data security, ensuring the protection of sensitive information.


  • Speed: Qlikview's performance is marked by its high speed in data processing.
  • In-Memory Technology: Superior in-memory technology underpins its fast response times.
  • Data Compression: Efficient data compression techniques optimize storage and speed.
  • Data Visualization

    Qlikview excels in data visualization, making complex data more accessible and understandable.

    QIX Engine

    The powerful QIX Engine is the core of Qlikview's responsive and intelligent data handling capabilities.

    Cost Effectiveness

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


    Disadvantages of Using Qlikview for Business Intelligence

    Inefficiency in Real-Time Data Analysis

    Qlikview may exhibit inefficiency in handling real-time data analysis, affecting timely decision-making.

    Technical Expertise Requirement

    Developing applications in Qlikview necessitates a high level of technical expertise, potentially limiting its accessibility to non-technical users.

    Integration Challenges

    Embedding Qlikview with other software systems can be problematic, compromising seamless operational workflow.

    Customer Support and Tools

    Poor customer support and outdated tools and interfaces may hinder user experience and productivity.

    Cost Concerns for SMEs

    Qlikview's pricing model may be prohibitive for small or medium-sized enterprises, limiting its adoption.

    User Feedback

    Negative user feedback and poor ratings in surveys could reflect a less favorable market perception.


    Frequently Asked Questions About Qlikview

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

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

    Can QlikView automatically join fields and how does it handle fields with different names?

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

    Is it possible to load data from text files or web pages into QlikView?

    Yes, QlikView can use SQL-like syntax on text files and can read tables from web pages using the table file wizard.

    How can QlikView documents be shared with others?

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

    Can access to a QlikView document be restricted?

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

    Use Cases for Qlikview

    • Qlikview

      Improving efficiency, customer service, and sales as demonstrated by Dominos Pizza

    • Qlikview

      Simplifying analytics with a company-wide portal as used by Intuit

    • Qlikview

      Boosting operational success like Urban Outfitters

    • Qlikview

      Lowering costs and reducing effort to convert loan prospects as seen with Integra Financial

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    Advantages of Using Pentaho for Business Intelligence

    Comprehensive Reporting and Data Analytics

    Pentaho's robust reporting module excels in generating detailed reports, essential for insightful business intelligence. Its capacity for handling large and complex data sets ensures comprehensive analytics.

    Customization and Flexibility

    The high degree of customization and flexibility that Pentaho offers makes it suitable for both small and large organizations with varying BI needs.

    User-Friendly Learning Curve

    Pentaho's ease of use and simple learning curve allow for quick mastery, enabling users to create simple jobs and transformations efficiently.

    Data Integration and ETL Processes

  • Pentaho's mature data integration module streamlines the ETL process, accommodating large volumes and complex data structures.
  • The built-in ETL tools are stable, reliable, and adept at quickly importing and transforming data, facilitating scheduled ETL tasks.
  • Interactivity and Visualization

    Interactive analysis reports and visualizations are effective for sales and marketing, offering easy-to-use tools for data-driven decision-making.

    Extensive Compatibility

    With its capability to consume data from various sources and simplicity in integrating with other systems, Pentaho is a future-friendly platform suitable for complex analytic use cases.

    Machine Learning and Advanced Analytics

    Pentaho serves as a machine learning platform, providing an edge for businesses looking to employ advanced analytics.

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    Disadvantages of Pentaho for Business Intelligence

    Limited Data Visualization and Scalability

    Pentaho's data visualization capabilities are limited, offering a range of graphs and layouts that are considered outdated. Additionally, its ROLAP solution based on Mondrian struggles to scale with an increasing number of subscribers and extended time periods, presenting challenges for growing businesses.

    Machine Learning and ETL Tool Limitations

    Integration with WEKA for machine learning is not widely adopted in production environments, and the platform suffers from a lack of support and guidance. Furthermore, the ETL tool within Pentaho lacks clear error codes, making troubleshooting a tedious process. Users also face difficulties when trying to schedule ETL packages using the Windows Task Scheduler.

    Connectivity and Usability Issues

    Database connections in Pentaho are prone to timeouts after certain periods, which can disrupt data processing tasks. The software also presents a steep learning curve, posing entry barriers for new users. Report template creation tools require enhancements for a smoother design experience.

    Performance and Reputation Concerns

    Some BI tools are more reputable than Pentaho, which may influence the decision-making process for potential users. Pentaho's performance is affected by issues with data limitations and multiple steps that can lead to bottlenecks in data processing workflows.

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    Frequently Asked Questions About Pentaho

    What is Pentaho used for?

    Pentaho is a software used for data-driven tasks, mission-critical operations, and COVID-19 related work.

    Is Pentaho suitable for handling critical projects?

    Yes, Pentaho is designed for mission-critical tasks.

    Can Pentaho be used for pandemic-related analysis?

    Yes, Pentaho can be employed for COVID-19 related work.

    Use Cases for Pentaho

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      Building a data warehouse

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      Analyzing sales data

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      Analyzing customer data

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      Creating dashboards and reports


    Why Sourcetable is an Optimal Solution for Business Intelligence

    • Simplification of Data Management

      Sourcetable offers a streamlined approach to data management by integrating data from various services into a single, spreadsheet-like interface. This simplification allows for more efficient data analytics and reporting compared to the more complex interfaces of Qlikview and Pentaho.

    • Enhanced Accessibility and Collaboration

      With its intuitive design, Sourcetable puts business intelligence in the hands of more users, facilitating collaboration and decision-making. Unlike the associative engines of Qlikview and the varied functionalities of Pentaho, Sourcetable's interface is designed for immediate productivity.

    • Real-Time Data Syncing

      Unlike Qlikview and Pentaho, which may require additional configuration for real-time data analysis, Sourcetable automatically syncs data across all services. This ensures that teams have access to the latest information for timely insights and actions.

    • Cost-Effectiveness and Ease of Use

      Sourcetable reduces the need for extensive training or specialized knowledge, making it a cost-effective solution for businesses. Its ease of use contrasts with the potential complexity of deploying and utilizing Qlikview's on-premises solutions or Pentaho's diverse toolset.

    • Adaptability to Various Business Sizes

      Designed to scale with business growth, Sourcetable is suitable for organizations of all sizes. It provides a flexible and adaptable platform for business intelligence without the infrastructure overhead associated with Qlikview's Qlik Sense or Pentaho's broad suite of tools.

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    Comparing QlikView and Pentaho

    Analytics Solutions

    Both QlikView and Pentaho are analytics solutions designed to handle business intelligence tasks. They provide platforms for data analysis, helping organizations make informed decisions.

    Deployment Options

    QlikView and Pentaho offer flexibility in deployment. They can be deployed on-premises or in the cloud, catering to different business needs and compliance requirements.

    Data Visualization

    Intuitive visual discovery is a common feature in QlikView and Pentaho, enabling users to create and interact with visual representations of data for easier comprehension and insight extraction.

    Business Intelligence for Broader Use

    Both platforms aim to democratize business intelligence by making it accessible to a larger audience within organizations, not just data professionals.

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    QlikView vs. Pentaho

    Deployment Options

    QlikView offers both cloud-based SaaS with Qlik Cloud Analytics and on-premises solutions with Qlik Sense. Pentaho provides flexibility in deployment but is commonly recognized for its on-premises capabilities.

    Associative Engine

    QlikView uses an associative engine for data processing, which revolutionized the way organizations use data by enabling intuitive visual discovery. Pentaho does not have an associative engine, relying on traditional data integration methods.

    Visual Discovery

    QlikView's intuitive visual discovery interface puts business intelligence in the hands of more people, promoting self-service analytics. Pentaho offers visualizations but with a different approach, focusing on comprehensive reporting and OLAP services.

    AI Capabilities

    Qlik Sense, as part of the QlikView suite, enhances analytics with AI-powered insights. Pentaho's use of AI is not as prominently featured in its core offerings.

    Real-time Collaboration

    Both QlikView's cloud and on-premises solutions enable real-time collaboration and action. Pentaho also supports collaboration but may require additional integration for real-time capabilities.

    Business Intelligence Accessibility

    QlikView democratizes business intelligence with its user-friendly interface, while Pentaho caters to both business users and IT professionals through its suite of tools for data integration and analysis.


    Comparison of QlikView, Pentaho, and Sourcetable


    QlikView is an established analytics solution known for its pioneering associative engine, which allows for intuitive visual discovery of data and has revolutionized business intelligence. It facilitates real-time collaboration and action and is available in cloud-based SaaS deployments with Qlik Cloud Analytics, as well as on-premises solutions with Qlik Sense. QlikView and its associated products use AI to enhance insights and help organizations provide live performance views to teams and customers.


    Pentaho, now part of Hitachi Vantara, offers a suite of open-source business intelligence tools that provide data integration, OLAP services, reporting, information dashboards, data mining, and ETL capabilities. It supports a broad spectrum of data sources and is known for its flexibility in integrating with other IT systems. Pentaho's open-source nature allows for customization and extension, appealing to organizations that require a tailored BI solution.


    Sourcetable is a spreadsheet-based tool designed to integrate with various data sources, providing real-time data analytics and business intelligence capabilities. It aims to simplify data analysis and visualization, making it accessible to users who are familiar with spreadsheet interfaces. Sourcetable's focus is on user-friendliness and quick setup, catering to businesses that need straightforward data analytics without the complexity of traditional BI tools.


  • QlikView's associative engine and AI integration offer advanced analytics and insights, while Pentaho focuses on comprehensive BI tools with strong data integration features. Sourcetable offers a simpler, spreadsheet-like experience for data analysis.
  • QlikView provides a robust solution for both cloud and on-premises deployments, catering to diverse business needs. Pentaho's open-source platform allows for customization, whereas Sourcetable simplifies the data analytics process through a familiar interface.
  • While QlikView and Pentaho have been established for a longer period and serve a wide range of analytics needs, Sourcetable is a newer entrant focused on ease of use and integration with existing spreadsheet workflows.
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    Frequently Asked Questions About Sourcetable

    What is Sourcetable and who typically uses it?

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

    How does Sourcetable handle data from external sources?

    Sourcetable allows users to access and sync 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.

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

    No, Sourcetable does not require any coding to use. Users can query data and build live models that automatically update without 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.

    Is there a trial period for Sourcetable?

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


    Qlikview Cost Structure

    • Standard Plan

      The standard plan is the entry-level offering from Qlikview, requiring a minimum of 20 full users. It provides an annual data analysis capacity of 25 GB. Core features include the ability to connect and combine 100s of data sources, interactive data visualizations, dashboards, augmented analytics with AI, and team collaboration tools. Additionally, 24x7 customer support is part of this plan.

    • Premium and Enterprise Plans

      Qlikview's premium and enterprise plans encompass all features of the standard plan with increased data capacities of 50 GB/year and 500 GB/year respectively. They extend functionality with automated report compilation, additional data source connections, predictive analytics powered by automated machine learning, no-code automation builder triggers, and enterprise-grade data governance. A personalized customer success plan is also included.

    • Capacity Alerts

      Regardless of the chosen plan, Qlikview provides capacity alerts to inform users when they are nearing their data limit.

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    Pentaho Cost

    Pentaho is an open-source software solution which allows users to access its services for free. This cost-effective nature is due to its open-source licensing, eliminating the need for purchase or subscription fees. Additionally, Pentaho offers a free trial, facilitating the evaluation of its features without initial investment. However, the vendor does not publicly disclose any premium service costs, if available. Users interested in potential premium options or enterprise services should directly contact the vendor for detailed pricing information.


    User Reviews of QlikView

    • Overall Rating and Specific Features

      QlikView holds an overall rating of 4.3. Users commend its functionality, giving it a 4.5 rating, while ease-of-use, customer support, and value for money each earned a 4 rating.

    • Usability and Performance

      Users find QlikView versatile for data visualization and capable of combining multiple data sources for complex reports. However, they note a slow response with heavy data volume and a slight delay in real-time data sync. Exporting a list of all currently licensed users is not possible with QlikView.

    • Comparisons and Limitations

      While recognized as a powerful BI tool, QlikView's data visualization options are not considered best in class. It lacks the detailed reporting capabilities of competitors like Qlik Sense, Tableau, and PowerBI, and does not support R integration.

    • User Interface and Learning Curve

      The user interface of QlikView is described as clunky and less user-friendly when dealing with certain data sources. Despite this, QlikView is deemed easy to implement and fast, particularly in processing data with its in-memory capabilities.

    • Functionality and Support

      QlikView excels in creating sales and inventory dashboards and allows customization using VBA or other programming languages. Users appreciate the in-memory processing and the scheduled batch jobs for ETL, but note that write-back to the database is not an option.

    • Community and Value

      With a wide user group and an active support forum, QlikView is deemed great for students and provides significant value overall. The software is noted to be expensive but offers a free version and is helpful in automating report distribution and creation.

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    User Reviews and Ratings of Pentaho

    • Overview

      Pentaho, an open-source business intelligence suite, has garnered a diverse range of user feedback since its acquisition by Hitachi Data Systems in June 2015. Users praise its flexibility as a data warehousing tool and its capabilities in data migration and analytics.

    • Functionality

      Recognized for its wide array of tools and features, Pentaho is seen as a valuable asset for scheduled ETL processes, data ingestion, and the development of reports and dashboards. Its Data Integration module is particularly noted for its accessibility and the ability to preview data in a pivot view format.

    • Usability

      Users frequently mention Pentaho's intuitive visual interface and ease of learning, making it a highly customizable solution. However, some users have reported a steep learning curve, particularly with the visualization tools which can be difficult to use.

    • Performance

      While Pentaho is lauded for its ETL capabilities and support for various data operations, including data mining and machine learning integrations, it has also been criticized for slow performance when handling JSON files and some performance issues in Pentaho Kettle's steps.

    • Support and Community

      The Pentaho community is generally viewed as positive and beneficial for users. Nonetheless, the lack of great support is a point of contention for some users, which may influence those considering the suite.

    • Applicability

      Pentaho's agility and flexibility make it suitable for various industries and scenarios, including IT, human resources, healthcare, and financial sectors. Its ability to manage data across on-premise, hybrid, and cloud environments is particularly appreciated.

    • Integration and Data Handling

      The suite's strength lies in its integration capabilities, being able to connect to nearly any data source, which is beneficial for organizations dealing with diverse information and database scenarios.

    • Specific Tools

      The Pentaho Data Integration tool is highlighted as the best in the suite for transforming and integrating data. However, there are acknowledged imperfections in the big data connections and performance issues with certain steps.


    In summary, Qlikview and Pentaho both serve as robust business intelligence tools, each with distinct functionalities and user experiences tailored to different business needs.

    While Qlikview excels in data visualization, Pentaho offers comprehensive data integration features.

    Sourcetable offers an alternative by providing a simplified business intelligence tool that integrates real-time data syncing across various services into an easy-to-use spreadsheet interface.

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