Qlik vs Power BI: Comparison of Business Analytics Tools

Posted by Errin O'Connor on Sep, 18, 2023 10:09

Qlik vs Power BI: Comparison of Business Analytics Tools

According to 70% of companies, data visualization is critical to simplify the identification of trends, patterns, and similar information for making informed decisions. While many business intelligence tools offer this capability, Power BI and Qlik have emerged as two prominent players in the industry. 

Since both tools offer exceptional capabilities, it can get a bit challenging to choose the best one for your needs. That said, let’s dig deeper into their features, strengths, and weaknesses, along with a comprehensive comparison of Qlik vs Power BI.

What is Power BI?

The first public version of Power BI, a Microsoft product, was released in 2015. Basically, it’s an analytical service that is capable of visualizing data and converting it to generate business intelligence reports. 

Key Features of Power BI

Power BI is a feature-packed platform that holds the potential to streamline business reporting with its remarkable capabilities. Here is a brief insight into what this tool offers: 

Data Connectors: First and foremost, Power BI integrates a huge list of data source connections, including SQL, Azure, Excel, CSV, PDF, Cloud, etc. Therefore, no matter where the data is stored, you can easily view its detailed version without any limitations.

Data Modeling: In case the data spreads across different tables having various columns, Power BI lets you establish a connection between them. Through data modeling, you can identify at least one common column from either table and proceed with the follow-up action.

Custom Visuals: Power BI facilitates building custom dashboards and reports with its built-in visuals. A few examples include maps, charts, graphs, KPIs, etc. In addition to this, you can even obtain custom visuals from a marketplace based on your specific needs.

Pros of Power BI

Budget-Friendly: Power BI lets you visualize data and create reports on the desktop version without paying a single penny. But you’d need to subscribe to its paid plan to access advanced features. The good news is that it’s available at highly reasonable costs starting from $10  per month. 

Interactive Visual Presentation: This Microsoft intelligence tool allows the inclusion of multiple visuals into a single report. Even better, you can interact with them by applying filters and making selections. 

Constant Updates: Power BI receives constant updates, with each one introducing new features. Typically, the upgraded ones are those that were suggested by users and received the most ratings to be included within the Power BI framework.

Excel Integration: This tool allows uploading and visualizing data in Excel format. That said, you can easily export information from a Power BI report or dashboard to access the raw data in a spreadsheet.

Cons of Power BI

Crowded User Interface: The interface of Power BI is packed with multiple symbols and icons, which might make it difficult for users to view dashboards and reports clearly.  

Limitations with Large Data Volumes: When it comes to handling information in bulk, Power BI’s capabilities are limited to 1 GB. In order to import more data, you’d need to upgrade to the tool’s paid version. Additionally, it takes a little longer when processing tables with large data volumes.

What is Qlik?

Qlik is a non-code cloud service and a business analytics platform that came into existence in 1993. Its capabilities to get value out of data allows businesses to streamline their workflow and make more informed decisions for a better future. 

Key Features of Qlik

Here are some key features of this business tool that make it a popular entity among many enterprises worldwide:

Associative Model: Qlik employs an associative model that seamlessly connects data, irrespective of its origin. Moreover, it can even help you link similar data points by making selections or utilizing the smart search feature. The best part is that these connections are color-coded, making the overall visualization a breeze, especially for beginners. 

Self-Service Creation: It’s another Qlik feature that facilitates non-tech users by allowing straightforward creation of files. Everything from app creation to data preparation and loading can be done via its intuitive capabilities. That said, it eliminates the need to work with complex scripts and queries. 

Seamless Report Sharing: Moving forward, Qlik allows centralized sharing of reports and apps with both individuals and groups of employees. It includes the creations from QlikView, Npringing, access, and other establishments of this tool.

Pros of Qlik

Versatile Compatibility: You can utilize Qlik Sense on various devices, including smartphones, tablets, and computers.

Advanced-Data Analytics: This software includes several features, like sharing the report in various formats, which have made data analysis easier. Beyond that, you can also better understand the reports through a data storytelling feature.

Data-Scaling Capability: You can extract valuable data from huge sources through Qlik, thanks to the tool’s efficient scalability.

Cons of Qlik

Occasional Hangs: While executing the edit mode of scripts, the tool reports issues such as an unresponsive screen.

QMC Storage Issues: When you’re executing large files (more than 10 GB) in the Qlik Management Console, the status of progress can get frozen. In such a case, you must delete old files and import them again.

Qlik vs Power BI: Features and Capabilities Comparison

Let’s dig deeper into Qlik vs Power BI: 

Data Management 

When it comes to data management, Power BI integrates with various Microsoft technologies. Outside this suite, it even connects with other platforms like MySQL, Oracle, Facebook, etc. 

In comparison, Qlik has more inclination toward cloud services like Azure, MS Office, SAP, Twitter, etc. And since it facilitates in-memory storage, the data processing is slightly quicker within Qlik than Power BI. 

Data Visualization and Dashboards

For visualization, Power BI allows the representation of data in a variety of meaningful forms including charts, graphs, tables, etc. Qlik also features these capabilities, but its focus on associative data modeling allows better visualization than Power BI. 

IOT Analytics

With Power BI, you can see real-time sensor data as received by the Azure IoT hub. At the same time, the integration of Microsoft’s Stream Analytics helps produce alerts and execute computations on IoT data. 

Qlik, on the other hand, allows visualization of relationships between AI-generated IoT data and other data sets, including CRM, ERP, etc. Moreover, it employs a centralized analytics hub empowering users to share ideas and discover fresh insights. Meanwhile, it also ensures that only authorized people can access IoT data. 


Power BI offers a number of analytical features, like the capability to add dynamic reference lines to visuals, automated data recovery, and collaboration with Azure analytics service. Contrarily, Qlik employs modern cloud analytics that supports programmed insight generation, AI-assisted preparation of data, and data-driven predictions. 

While both intelligence tools are exceptional in their capabilities, Power BI takes an edge with its smart data retrieval feature. 

Data Connectors 

Power BI can obtain data from various sources like SQL servers, Excel, Azure, PDF, etc. Moreover, Microsoft keeps adding new data connectors with regular updates. Meanwhile, this feature in Qlik is supported by sources like Google Ad Manager, Azure SQL, Amazon S3, etc. 


Both tools offer robust reporting features, but there’s a slight difference in their approach. While Power BI simplifies report creation with its drag-and-drop interface, Qlik empowers users to create precise reports by incorporating charts and graphs. 


Power BI integrates a number of CRM, data management, voice messaging, and accounting tools. A few examples include Office 365, Xero, Salesforce, ScreenCloud, REACH, etc. 

In comparison, the integrations of Qlik are mostly related to surveys, sales automation, supply chain management, etc. These include Key Survey, Inzata, Avercast, and CARTO. 

Key Differences Between Power BI And Qlik

For your ease, we have curated a chart briefly addressing key differences between Qlik vs Power BI. 

MetricPower BIQlik
VendorMicrosoftQlikView and Qlik Sense
Cost Starting from $10$30/month per user
Installation Simple processComplex and time-consuming
Storage capacity 1 GB to 10 GB, depending on subscription plan500 GB of cloud storage
Cloud capabilitiesMicrosoft Azure ServesSaas-based Cloud Data
User-friendlinessIntuitive with drag-and-dropAssociative design, a bit tough to get started

Conclusion / EPC Group’s Expertise in Power BI Services

To wrap it all up, both Power BI and Qlik are great business intelligence tools for companies that need to streamline their data analytics processes. However, with regard to the best one, Power BI stands as a winner due to its innovative features and ease of navigation.

If you’re in need of Power BI services, you should consider EPC Group. Basically, we offer end-to-end solutions for Power BI services. With an experience of more than 25 years, our firm reflects the expertise in providing Microsoft services and IT support.

So get in touch with us today and take your business’ data analytics and visualization operation to the next level.

Errin O'Connor
About the Author

Errin O'Connor

With over 25 years of experience in Information Technology and Management Consulting, Errin O’Connor has led hundreds of large-scale enterprise implementations from Business Intelligence, Power BI, Office 365, SharePoint, Exchange, IT Security, Azure and Hybrid Cloud efforts for over 165 Fortune 500 companies.

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