They say that “information is power”, and with the right business intelligence (BI) tool, that can become a reality. By making connections between data, conclusions, and actions, BI tools let businesses operate at their fullest potential. Ideally, a business should be able to view, process, and analyze data from multiple sources, all on a single platform.
Which business intelligence tool is right for your organization, though? Here are some key capabilities to consider when going over your evaluation checklist, and how the top 3 BI tools measure up.
1. Ease Of Use
Does The Platform Support Broad Use Cases? When employees can use a data analytics interface without needing to switch between devices or products, they can get the answer they need without unnecessary steps in between. Whether they’re performing data exploration, BI reporting, augmented analytics, data visualization, or other tasks, they should be able to do it without interrupting the workflow.
Qlik Sense – The same interface is provided for every use case; users don’t have to sacrifice workflow in order to get in-depth insights for any situation. The tools they need, like traditional data analytics reporting tools, interactive dashboards, and embedded analytics, are already at their fingertips.
Tableau – Users are limited to data visualization; other use cases aren’t available. Also, there’s a considerable amount of skill that’s necessary to create the visualizations, so the average user would have a hard time implementing this feature.
Power BI – There are more use cases offered by Power BI than from Tableau, but you’d have to use multiple Microsoft products in order to take advantage of them. This makes the process a lot less efficient than it should be.
Does the BI platform offer robust embedded analytics? By the time a business is ready for a BI platform, there will already be established workflows. Employees need their BI tool to work within the portals, applications, and processes that they’re already using, because with embedded analytics, users can make informed decisions faster.
Qlik Sense – Dashboards can easily be embedded, as well as individual values, metrics, and numbers in your edge devices, workflows, portals, and products. This platform puts APIs first, and takes advantage of the latest and greatest technologies available.
Tableau – Embedding is possible, but only for entire dashboards. If you wanted to get more specific, you won’t be able to.
Power BI – They offer more options for embedding than Tableau, but they aren’t API-first; their software development kits lack many capabilities that are offered by other platforms.
2. Data Analysis – Going Beyond Data Visualization
What approach is used by the data engine? Yes, graphics can be useful for grasping the big picture, but you could be getting so much more. The data analysis software should offer a data engine that explores unlimited sources, and gives creative solutions to every user.
Qlik Sense – With their “associative” data engine, all data is available for users to freely explore from multiple angles; there’s always the potential to discover solutions that wouldn’t have turned up in a query-based search.
Tableau – Because they work on an SQL database, their approach is linear. The data that’s being analyzed for each search is limited, which means that key connections and patterns are left undiscovered.
Power BI – They also operate on an SQL database, and their offerings are similarly limited by the linear query paths.
3. Data Management – Your Data On Your Terms
Where is the data stored? Having control over your own data is important, so you want a BI tool that gives you plenty of options at every step. You shouldn’t have to expand infrastructure, or deal with limited functionality because of the storage option you chose; rather, it should support the workflow that’s already been established. From where the data is stored, to how it gets shared, a BI tool should give your business the best possible data management capabilities.
Qlik Sense – There are plenty of choices here, with the option to use either private or public clouds, store everything on location, or even a combination of all three. And since Qlik is independently owned, you’ll be able to control your own data.
Tableau – They’re now owned by Salesforce, which raises questions about who will end up controlling the data. It’s not clear where your data could end up; it might even get locked in.
Power BI – Their cloud storage solution is quite limited. If you can’t store everything on-premise, you’ll have to use Microsoft’s Azure cloud solution. Plus, both storage options give you different functionalities, making the choice even more complicated.
How is the data administered? You’ll want to avoid the data dictatorship that comes with only granting access to a few users, but you also don’t want data pollution to become an issue; too much content creation without IT oversight can result in unreliable data.
Qlik Sense – Your data is centralized and unified. Since content creation takes place on a single server, it’s easy for IT to manage and validate it. Everyone’s using the same source, so they all stay on the same page.
Tableau – Since it’s desktop software, the users do their work on hard drives. It’s up to each user to share their work with a central server, so if (or when) that doesn’t happen, other users end up with old or polluted data.
Power BI – Data is spread across the cloud and user desktops, which makes it challenging to validate and manage.
What’s The Verdict?
On these key capabilities, Qlik Sense consistently comes out ahead. See how these 3 tools stack up in a deeper BI tools comparison.
Even if your business won’t need to use every feature from the start – like the need to embed analytics on other applications, for example – choosing Qlik Sense means you’ll have a BI platform you can grow with. The sophisticated AI and next-generation data analytics technology deliver the most comprehensive insights you could ask for, time after time.
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