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Qlik Sense vs Microsoft Power BI Comparison 2021

by Arthur Zuckerman

Both Qlik Sense and Microsoft Power BI are well-known in the field of business intelligence. That’s why it’s very likely that you’re considering them both as top contenders for your BI needs. To help you with that, we’ve created this Qlik Sense vs Microsoft Power BI comparison guide. This way, you’ll know how each product fares if you have to compare them side-by-side.

For the best result, we’ve selected the most essential criteria that a business intelligence software tool must meet. We hope that by the end of this article, you’ll have a better idea of which of the two solutions is better suited to your business. But before we pit them against each other feature by feature, let’s get to know each product first.

Qlik Sense Overview

Qlik Sense is one of the most powerful self-service analytics systems on the market. Its user-friendly features and interactive tools let users create dynamic dashboards and reports by themselves. The system also leverages different sources when importing data, which add to the insights it generates. Furthermore, it offers more freedom for users when it comes to creating various data analytics objects.

Qlik Sense Dashboard

Qlik Sense is a robust BI platform built for self-service analytics.


Microsoft Power BI Overview

Microsoft Power BI is a series of business intelligence solutions that are built for reporting and data analytics. If you compare data analysis software reviews on various sites, it won’t be surprising to find it there. It’s good with data integration and ad-hoc reporting as well. It’s not as good as Qlik Sense when it comes to developing reporting objects and dashboarding. However, it works great with other products from Microsoft, a tech giant with numerous well-known applications.

Check out our Microsoft Power BI vs Oracle BI comparison to learn how Power BI compares with a different product from another industry behemoth.

Microsoft Power BI dashboard

Microsoft Power BI is a powerful suite of tools for data analytics, visualization, and reporting.

Qlik Sense vs Microsoft Power BI Comparison

Data Integration

Qlik Sense integrates with a vast number of data sources, including DataTap, Como, Limelight, and Carto. Microsoft Power BI, on the other hand, integrates with data source apps, such as MS Dynamics, Adobe Analytics, Azure, Acumatica, comScore, GitHub, MS Excel, Google Analytics, and many more. With a broader range of integration partners, we’ll give this round to Power BI. However, the effectivity of data integration greatly relies on the data sources you use.


When it comes to reporting, Microsoft Power BI lags behind Qlik Sense. This is true for different types of reports like report scheduling, BI standard reporting, outputting, and Ad-hoc reporting. It uses a drag-and-drop interface that simplifies and accelerates the creation of reports. Moreover, it supports a wide variety of formats, such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

Data Discovery and Visualization

For data discovery and visualization, the two products seem on par. There’s nothing major that sets one from the other. However, if we have to select which one has an edge in this aspect, we’ll choose Power BI. That’s because this tool from Microsoft offers a richer set of graphics and data visuals that you can interact with to explore and analyze different sets of data. It also provides engaging dashboards that can display reports across the entire organization.

Mobile Capabilities

While Microsoft Power BI supports Windows Mobile, Qlik Sense still reigns supreme in this category. There are several reasons for this. First, it offers better support for different mobile devices. Its mobile apps are also powerful enough that you can easily work on your data anytime and anywhere. Furthermore, it features a responsive design, which means that the data visualizations it displays adapt to the screen and orientation it’s viewed in.

Application Program Interface (APIs) and Embedding

Qlik Sense offers better embedding capabilities in general than its competitor. It features an open-source API that makes it capable of integrating with practically any data source you work with.

Meanwhile, Microsoft Power BI integrates with a set of business applications. These include Microsoft products (Excel, Dynamics, etc.), Adobe Analytics, Google Analytics, Salesforce, Azure Mobile Management, ComScore, and more.

Technical Customer Support

Qlik Sense offers technical support and help to its customers 24/7 through phone, live chat, tickets, email, and training. Meanwhile, Microsoft Power BI provides customer support via live chat and e-mail. Therefore, Qlik Sense brings more variety to the table when it comes to customer support offerings.


Qlik Sense wraps its features in a very simple, easy-to-use interface. Functions and controls are simplified as well. That’s why even users without prior knowledge or experience with data handling can easily use it effectively.

Whereas, Microsoft Power Bi is a tool that’s not hard to use either. However, it helps a lot if you are familiar with other Microsoft tools, such as Power Pivot and MS Excel. Also, to use it to the full extent, knowledge about the DAX language is necessary.

This doesn’t mean that Microsoft Power BI is a complex business intelligence tool. Qlik Sense is just far simpler and easier to use.

Return on Investment

If you look at customer reviews of Qlik Sense and Microsoft Power BI, you’ll see that both of them are good investments. Qlik Sense is well-known for being a good self-service BI solution. Microsoft Power BI, on the other hand, is a good starting business intelligence tool with its customizable dashboards.


There’s no contest between the two products when it comes to deployment. That’s because they’re both flexible enough to support on-premise and cloud-based deployment. However, in terms of ease of deployment, Qlik Sense is more user-friendly.

Devices Supported

Both of these BI tools can run on different devices. Qlik Sense works well with Windows and Mac computers. It’s also compatible with both Android and iOS mobile devices like the iPhone and iPad.

It’s almost the same case with Microsoft Power BI. The main difference is that it also supports web-based and Windows devices, including mobile. However, it doesn’t offer Mac support.

Language Support

The next criterion for our Qlik Sense vs Microsoft Power BI comparison is the language support. This is especially important for companies with teams or clients that reside abroad. With this, it is easier for them to discuss their findings and ensure that nothing gets lost in translation.

Unfortunately, both products fail in this point of comparison as both are only available in English.


Qlik Sense has a free version and free trial for its users. Its pricing follows a quote-based model where customers have to avail of a license to use it. The subscription starts at $30/month. However, that may vary depending on your needs. You can contact the vendor for more pricing details.

Microsoft Power BI has a free trial and free version as well. The pricing of its Pro Edition starts at $9.99 per user/month. With this, we can see that Power BI seems to be the cheaper contender. However, bear in mind that this is only their upfront pricing. You might have to dig deeper to know which one is the more cost-efficient solution in the long run.

Company Size

Qlik Sense is useful to businesses of any scale—SMBs to large-scale enterprises. Aside from these, it’s also good for freelancing companies. Whereas, Microsoft Power BI is ideal for mid-sized companies and large organizations. This means that Qlik Sense has more market audience compared to Power BI.

Which is the Ideal BI Software for You?

Our Qlik Sense vs Microsoft Power BI comparison ends in the conclusion that Qlik Sense is the better business intelligence tool. While Power BI outperforms it in several aspects like data visualization, it’s still the overall winner of the head-to-head comparison. However, we don’t discount Power BI’s capabilities, especially when it’s integrated with a stack of Microsoft products.

For additional information, we urge you to read our data analysis software guide to learn how you can gain insights from complex business data. This way, you will be able to maximally leverage the capability of the business intelligence software you invest in.

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