Microsoft BI Review

Microsoft BI vs. QlikView

Disclosure: My company is a Microsoft Partner.

The use of databases has long been an art of managing information and creating informed practices in the computing world. But in recent times, with the advent of Data Warehouses, new methods of intelligence have been possible to embed into these erstwhile databases and make them extremely productive meeting a host of Business intelligence purposes both in the Government and Corporate Information worlds.

However, here it is important to go a little into the history of Database Management and how Databases have said to be have been evolving over the years. The first known databases, existed as i) File systems then came the ii) The Network Models then the iii) Hierarchical models and then the iv) The Relational Models and so on v) Object oriented Databases and finally vi) Object Relational Database Systems.

Database gurus, in the United States, now believe that Object Relational Systems are here to stay especially with modern data-sets that are very huge and or that which, are growing very fast! Can only or usually be best comprehended alone using Data Visualization (DV).

Again, having an ability to interact with data through visual drill-down capabilities and dashboards make it absolutely necessary for the latest Data Visualization systems to make ample use of Object Relational Database Systems as their back bends.

When it comes to assuming intelligence from a business warehouse, there are a multitude of interests that these Systems will have to cater to the business owner and or designated authorities in companies as the business world increasingly moves into a transparent and hectic horizon of new age realities, where always intelligence is key.

Some of the options that managers would want the BI systems to cater include new ways of drilling down on keywords, Key Performance Indicators (KPI), metrics leading to better searches, be able to easily comprehend data, preference on visual drill down capabilities, able to monitor Business transactions and being a highly interactive platform with all the right Data Visualization protocols set to make them enabled for use over the Internet.

However, in this document we are attempting a comparison between two of the very famous Data Visualization tools namely, QlikView and Microsoft BI mainly focusing on their salient features with brief comments.

There is a wide spread confusion amongst people in the DV markets in confidently answering as to which tool is the best Data Visualization product?

The below are 2 key factors for tool selection that are immediately obvious:

- Which makes it easy to comprehend the data

- Price-performance

Here it is important to remind ourselves that products only vary in their reasons for importance in comparison to other products, for e.g.

a) A product may have the best web client and analytical functionality.

b) The other may have the best ability to interact with the back end i.e. the data sets or the OLAP cubes etc.

So, facts about the product comparison between QlikView and Microsoft BI tool go about highlighting the features of both the products one after another as described below:

To being with, QilkView is seen by many as the best visualization product for interactive drill-down capabilities. But, QlikView is increasingly seen as expensive with a third of its customers according to a survey feeling this as a hindrance to its wide spread use.

There are serious flaws in the pricing model as also a larger deployment necessary to more users that are not rendering it possible for the investment of RAM required to support the increasing numbers of concurrent users.

Also, users find QlikView’s strengths lie in its user-driven approach to BI and say that, its ease of use lies in its intuitive interface. However, critics feel that QlikView has no expansive product strategy beyond its current offering.

Though it has a roadmap for incremental improvements to the current product, many feel that QlikView has not laid out a clear vision elucidating how it will maintain a sustainable competitive advantage.

Despite all this, analysts believe that QlikView still delivers one among the best performance in the market.

On the other hand, Microsoft BI platform provides better price-performance ratio and works good as a backend for DV (with release of SQL Server) or for people who wish to build own frontend DV. It also performs excellently on Enterprise readiness and long-term viability.

Since the Partners are key to SMB market it is always safe when it comes to Long-term viability with Microsoft as they are 35+ years into the Global market which is a direct advantage over other tools.

Microsoft is also the pioneer of the Visualization business in the IT industry, being the original inventor of Windows and so when it comes to business Interactive Visualization, they have an edge.

Again, most users value Visualization over Modeling Development – therefore, the Visual environment of consulting excels in interest over their competitors, i.e. their UI & set of Visual Controls that integrate Data Visualization components in toto.

It also scores a point when it comes to interactive visualization to match standards and metrics set as necessary by global delivery model along the above lines.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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1 Comment

author avatarit_user4401 (Developer at a transportation company with 1,001-5,000 employees)

I totally agree with the comparison. In my opinion, QlikView needs fewer tech people than the same solution created with the Microsoft platform. QlikView's scripting and importing capabilities are a little clunky, but once the user gets past that, things aren't very difficult.