Qlik vs Business Objects Comparison

Qlik and SAP BO has its own capabilities and features. I have listed some of features and functions.

SAP Business Objects XI:
• SAP BO is capable of handling hundreds or even thousands of users at once
• Allows users to generate their own “Ad-hoc reports” or “analytics” (e.g. OLAP views) without IT / analyst assistance
• SAP BO very strong metadata (Universe Semantic Layer) management capabilities
• Provides an array of different tools that can be used in different ways to achieve different goals or meet requirements from different user types, from speedy simple analysis (Polestar) to complex dimensional analysis (Voyager) to dashboards to reporting.
• Tends to provide poor performance, particularly in Dashboard (Xcelsius) and Voyager (OLAP), and particularly when users are working remotely over a smaller pipe (e.g. home DSL or cellular modem)
• Required a data warehouse and a full-scale, long-term project to achieve the 100% user needs
• Has no pack-and-go solutions and very partial Smartphone support (only for WEBI, the reporting tool)
• Uses a web browser as its only client application

QlikView :-
1. Self-service and In-memory performance
2. A lot of the components that you can place on a dashboard, i.e. filters, sliders etc. are handy.
3. Export to Excel, PDF.
4. Extremely fast data visualization. We can go from a high level view to the most granular detail in seconds.
5. Qlikview implemented only in small/medium market, but does not have nearly as many large-company implementations as BO
6. Requires IT/Analyst support to create new report / dashbord of displaying data
7. Provides a single tool for all users, meaning less training and implementation time and a more intuitive interface, but can’t adapt to specific user needs
8. Tends to provide excellent performance both over LAN and remotely (even over smaller pipes)
9. Has strong community support, and generally has strong vendor support
10. Does not require a data warehouse, time to go-live tends to be much shorter than BO (QV claims 1/4 of the time)
11. Has a pack-and-go solution for offline work, and supports Smartphones, iPhones, and iPads.
12. Has both a web-only (AJAX) and Client application, the latter tending to provide significantly better performance.
13. Associative search — there are no pre-defined drill paths. You can visually explore the data and go anywhere you want. You do not have to drill down.and then back up. It makes the data exploration much easier.
14. Very strong data loading capabilities.
15. QlikView is really a platform that you can extend. You can incorporate it into web pages, integrate it with the R open source engine, build custom extensions, etc.
16. QlikView has a “green, white, grey” color scheme. Green is what I selected, white is what is included in that data set, and grey is what is excluded. It is a powerful visualization tool that can show you what is included as well as what is excluded. For data junkies, it is an excellent tool.
17. Very suitable if users have both development and analytical capacity. Great sharing functionalities among small group of users.
18. Good for inter-connectivity among different data sources and tools such as Postgres DB, Excel, etc. Ability to query database directly is a huge advantage.
19. Dynamic reporting functionality with automated scheduled jobs works well across departments, especially where there are end-users that are not Qlikview developers.
20. Very nice and thoughtful UI. Most business end-users love it because it’s intuitive.
21. With “in-memory”, everything that gets consumed from a dashboard is loaded in memory so it is incredibly fast. Although Qlik touts its mobile distribution capabilities. Microsoft and BO do have in-memory capabilities now
22. The associative model is patented by QlikView. Basically it starts to understand the associations in your data, e.g. if A=B and B=C, then A=C. It means you can build a Qlikview model very quickly. In traditional data warehousing, you work with users and understand their requirements, refine the data model, start to physicality it, tune it, build ETLs. It’s a 3 month at best delivery cycle.
23. It link things up. If it doesn’t work, you can change things very quickly. You don’t have to write data definition language.

Few Drawbacks of QlikView:-
1. Where you get into trouble, is if you load very large data sets into QlikView, memory not as abundant. They are releasing a tool called data explorer which allows you to do a hybrid approach – load some in memory and some in database. If data is going into frequently used dashboards it goes into memory.
2. If infrequent access is required and the data set is very large, it makes sense to leave it in the database.
3. Not good for sharing across a medium-to-large organizations and among mixed user groups, some of whom may not have developer’s licence to access apps directly. Even if an app is shared as a web-based version, users have little power to make changes and must always rely on developers on the smallest revisions.
4. As a developer, quite unpredictable and erratic in the way it handles data. For example, Qlikview will always try to connect fields among different tables without being told that they are the same, so its associative model is sometimes is erratic. Qlikview is trying to be helpful here but that’s not how it should work.
5. Another development issue with Qlikview is with the chart/object property box. It is not intuitive the way they’ve grouped the various functionalities in different tabs. This makes simple tasks confusing and frustrating. Things that should be found under “Axes”, for example, are found in “Numbers” or “Presentation”. It took me a year to learn where things are. I think Qlikview should learn from Excel on this.
6. Can be quite buggy if one tries to do a few things at the same times such as running SQL, reading from external data tables, running incremental loads, and creating variables in load script, not to mention using complex functions and set analyses for the front end. This means it doesn’t help with business continuity when people leave their job and an app changes hands.
7. Problem with Qlikview can increase with the data size grow rapidly. Qlikview has certain limitation to store 2 billion rows of data .but they are overcoming to this problem with putting off the data to hard drive only data required for visual would be in RAM.
8. Performance tuning explain plans don’t exist.
9. Documentation is not so good.
10. The governance and meta data management is not great while compared to SAP BO
11. Alternate Hierarchies- No concept of Alternate Hierarchies.
12. Qlikview lack in security features too. Basically it’s not having group and roles kind of security structure that Business Objects strongly support.

Here comes the SAP Business Objects vs Qlikview comparison / difference / feature mappings for your project and you can leverage your BI tools based on this inputs. The main difference between Qlikview and Business Objects is, Qlikview faster development process, In memory capabilities but its lacks in a proper enterprise reporting solution which SAP BO can do better.

For more details on each and every part of the Qlik and BO comparison, Please click here.


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