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SAP BusinessObjects v QlikView

In some contexts, SAP BusinessObjects and QlikView could be viewed as quite similar. They both, for example, sit towards the higher-input-higher-reward scale of Business Intelligence (BI) products. They also both need a higher level of expertise to get the most out of them when compared to other offerings like Microsoft’s Power BI.

They have their differences though. Primarily, BusinessObjects is a full-service data discovery and exploration platform. QlikView is a guided analytics tool. This will affect not only how the two are set up within your business, but also how your people will use them.

The Full Package

The big difference between the two offerings, and it is hard to ignore, is the gap in purposes. Although QlikView is an incredibly powerful analytics tool it doesn’t stack up that well when compared with the armoury of tools BusinessObjects boasts.

BusinessObjects arms your business with several tools that can take your data from its raw state, process it, store it, analyse it and then visualise it. It’s a full service, end-to-end analytics platform. Of course, this has pro’s:

  • Everything is in one platform. One stop shop.
  • A Semantic Layer ensures all users work from the same data sets.

And cons:

  • Some organisations have no use for lots of the tools included.
  • Full setup will be a large project and may require some data warehousing.
Analytics Specialists

QlikView is a reasonably specialist bit of software. Although it is a guided-analytics tool and will usually require IT involvement, it is relatively simple to use. It is powerful too, it allows you to dive into the code to adjust exactly how you’d like your analysis done, as well as how it looks. With some knowledge of coding, you can create an entirely custom interface for your data analysis.

QlikView’s in-memory architecture is one of its most favoured attributes. It means the analysis is run on data held in an in-memory database, cutting out the need for relational database management and potentially time-consuming data queries. To make the most of this your datasets will need to be on the smaller side. Qlik has also recently boosted QlikView to run off the same engine as their newer software, QlikSense, again increasing the functionality of the software.

Self Service

Perhaps the biggest drawback of QlikView is that it hasn’t been designed with self-service in mind. For many organisations, that is one of the primary motivations behind embarking on a BI project – to put data insights into the hands of their people, whenever and wherever they want.

Unlike Lumira, part of the BusinessObjects architecture, QlikView doesn’t allow end users to investigate datasets and run their own queries. It depends almost entirely on some level of IT, developer or data scientist involvement to create reports and dashboards which are then accessed remotely. This can quickly get frustrating in larger organisations requiring regular updates.

If The Hat Fits

Neither BusinessObjects or QlikView should be viewed as a plug-and-play solution. Both will require significant set-up projects and you’ll probably need the services of a consultant or specialist to help with that.

For larger, enterprise organisations especially – those with masses of data and a need to make business-critical decisions daily – the extra set up and capability offered is more than worth it.

There are two relatively simple questions that should help you pick between BusinessObjects and QlikView: Do you need self-service BI? And how ready is your data for use?

If you want to talk to one of our BI experts in detail about those questions, about BusinessObjects or about QlikView, then get in touch today.

Posted by Adriane Gillies-Read, Marketing Manager, 19th December 2019

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