People often ask about the difference between the two main tools in the Qlik portfolio – QlikView and Qlik Sense. Both tools have a lot in common, and both can be used for developing insightful Business Intelligence and Data Discovery applications. So, what is the difference, and which tool should one select?
QlikView has been the flagship product of the Qlik family since 1994. In the 1990s and early 2000s, QlikView offered a “magical” solution that was targeted to disrupt the traditional BI market, heavy BI stacks, and OLAP tools. In comparison with traditional tools, QlikView offered faster time-to-insight, time-to-value, and a much smaller Total Cost of Ownership, due to its revolutionary “in-memory” processing and Associative Logic. QlikView was developed for advanced business analysts – data professionals who understand data structures and databases, analytics and data visualization, and are capable of developing insightful, professionally crafted dashboards.
As time went on, newer BI tools emerged in the market and newer development technologies become available. The pressures from the new competing tools and the new capabilities resulted in the development of Qlik Sense. This time, Qlik disrupted its own tool, by offering a new tool built from scratch and based on new technologies. This tool is developed as a self-service tool for power users – it shares the same robust back end with QlikView, however the front end is a lot more simplified, easier to use, and requires a lot less technical knowledge.
The first versions of Qlik Sense used to be quite limited in the available features. However, after a few years of non-stop development, Qlik managed to close the gap between the two tools. Today, the vast majority of the most important features are comparable between the two tools.
The question “Which tool is better” is not a valid question today. The two tools are quite similar under the hood and vastly different visually, yet both allow users to develop insightful BI applications. QlikView allows more particular control over the dashboard design, while Qlik Sense offers a more modern look and feel, greater ease of use, and enables self-service BI for non-technical users.
The more relevant question is what users should do about the two tools, depending on their particular situation:

If you are new to Qlik, and you are considering purchasing a BI tool, you should evaluate Qlik Sense. Looking into the future, this will be the tool that Qlik will continue to develop and promote.

If you already use QlikView, you need to think about a transition to Qlik Sense – now or in the future. QlikView will be supported for years to come, however the ultimate tool of the future will be Qlik Sense. So, the question is not “Should I upgrade?” but rather “When should I upgrade – now or later?”

If you are a QlikView professional and you are wondering if your skills are transferable to Qlik Sense, then we have good news for you. The majority of your QlikView knowledge will remain applicable in Qlik Sense. You will simply need to learn how to navigate the Qlik Sense toolset and how to do things in a new way. However, most of the development techniques remain the same – Data Modeling, Scripting, Set Analysis, Advanced Aggregation. As a matter of fact, we offer an advanced developers class that covers all these disciplines (link), and the students can use either QlikView or Qlik Sense as their platform, in the same classroom – that’s how similar the two platforms are for BI developers!

If you are a BI professional looking for a new job, and you are considering which tool to learn first, we’d recommend starting from QlikView and then transfering your skills to Qlik Sense. Today, there are still more Qlik customers that use QlikView, hence the current job market still requires QlikView skills more than those of Qlik Sense. This will change eventually, when the number of Qlik Sense installations exceeds the number of QlikView clients.

If you have a question about QlikView, Qlik Sense, or the difference between different tools, call us for a free consultation!

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