What's the difference between Qlik Sense and Qlik View?

Jack Prichard
January 18, 2016
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At OptimalBI we have been exploring what you can do with Qlik for a while now. Intrigued by what all the fuss was about I decided to investigate. The first thing I learned was there is QlikView and Qlik Sense. So, my first question was: What’s the difference between them?

This is the quick version of what I found.

QlikView vs Qlik Sense (in list form)

  1. QlikView is for Guided Analytics; Qlik Sense is for Self-Service Data Discovery
  2. Both use the same analysis engine
  3. You should run QlikView and Qlik Sense on different servers, according to this post.
  4. QlikView will appeal to people who want to play with data, Qlik Sense will appeal to people who have a specific question to answer with data.
  5. There isn’t a ‘best one’, they are different tools and do different jobs.

This is the journey I went through to find that answer.

The Qlik Community

The first step was, of course, to Google ‘qlik sense vs qlikview’ which took me to the Qlik Community and a post called What is the difference between Qlik Sense & QV Desktop Client? This starts with a rather long post by Michael Tarallo a Qlik product manager who says his 14-year-old daughter found Qlik Sense more intuitive to use than Qlik View and that they are different products aimed at different audiences both of which Qlik is committed to. I scrolled down the thread and found this really great quote from Josh Good: “QlikView is for guided analytics; Qlik Sense is for self-service visualizations.”. This then elaborated on by Scott Beeson who gives a good explanation of the difference between ‘guided analytics’ and ‘self-service data discovery’ which seems to come from this blog by Henric Cronström who also makes the point that both use the same analysis engine.
This is a very good thread to understand the differences between these two products. It also contains this gem; ‘Perhaps the best thing to do is for you to use both product [sic] and decide for your self [sic].’, in response to someone who seems to want Qlik to explain their business strategy or something.

The longer version, with Lego.

As many people will know Shane Gibson is currently very into Lego. Having found this blog QlikView, Qlik Sense, and Lego I think I might know why.
The gist of this blog is that QlikView is Lego Freestyle. It’s a collection of blocks you can use to build anything, which may work great (or not at all) depending on the complexity of what you are building and your level of skill. Qlik Sense is like a Lego Themes where instructions are included so you can create something perfect straight out of the box, but you might be limited in your ability to build something completely ‘custom’.

What or who?

What QlikView does differs from what Qlik Sense does and which you want depends largely on whom you are. If you are someone who likes to get in and play with the data you are probably going to want to use QlikView. If you want to answer a business question now in a visually appealing way you probably want Qlik Sense. However, there will be some crossover and you may well end up using both.

The best one?

There isn’t a best one. It’s a case of the best tool for the job. As they say, it may well be a case of downloading both and deciding for yourself where the differences are.
Success is preparation meets opportunity – Jack

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