Comparison


I stopped comparing DV (Data Visualization) products in 2012, when Qliktech stopped updating Qlikview. Since popularity of this blog started with that comparison, visitors kept asking me, especially when Gartner releases its Magic Quadrant (see generic MQ description here:

http://www.gartner.com/technology/research/methodologies/research_mq.jsp

GenericMQ

for BI every February of every year). MQ idea is obviously damn, because you cannot fit multi-dimensional relationship into 2-dimensional space.

However 2016 Gardner Report here:

https://www.gartner.com/doc/reprints?id=1-2XXET8P&ct=160204&st=sb

contains a lot of ”useful” info, like list of competitors and factors defining their positions on market. Gartner finally removed Spotfire, IBM, SAS, SAP and Microstrategy for the list of Leaders, leaving among leaders only 3 – obvious one (Tableau, especially Tableau 10), buzzword-rich Microsoft (PowerBI) and losing QLIK (Qlik Sense will not save it). To express my opinion, I simply reshuffle all competitors and placed them in order obvious to me (X – functionality, Y – “ability to execute”, color – the ease to use, size is popularity; I also included D3 but I am not comparing it!):

Data Visualization Leaders, Visionaries, Challengers and Niche Players

I found more useful for me the Gartner’s Analysis of Ownership cost of BI Platform:

https://www.gartner.com/doc/reprints?id=1-312NMXM&ct=160315&st=sb

Also if you interested to review historical changes in “MQ”, see this:

https://public.tableau.com/profile/kasper7429#!/vizhome/GartnerBIAnalyticsQuadrant2016/MagicQuadrant

and here:

http://blog.atscale.com/gartner-magic-quadrant-for-business-intelligence-bi-2016-the-good-the-bad-the-ugly

Update for April 2016: vendor’s inclusion into Gartner’s MQ may decrease vendor’s market capitalization.

For last 6 years every and each February my inbox was bombarded by messages from colleagues, friends and visitors to this blog, containing references, quotes and PDFs to Gartner’s Magic Quadrant (MQ) for Business Intelligence (BI) and Analytics Platforms, latest can be found here: http://www.gartner.com/technology/reprints.do?id=1-1QLGACN&ct=140210&st=sb .

Last year I was able to ignore these noises (funny enough I was busy by migrating thousands of users from Business Objects and Microstrategy to Tableau-based Visual Reports for very large company), but in February 2014 I got so many questions about it, that I am basically forced to share my opinion about it.

  • 1st of all, as I said on this blog many times that BI is dead and it replaced by Data Visualization and Visual Analytics. That was finally acknowledged by Gartner itself, by placing Tableau, QLIK and Spotfire in “Leaders Quarter” of MQ for 2nd year in a row.

  • 2ndly last 6 MQs (2009-2014) are suspicious for me because in all of them Gartner (with complete disregard of reality) placed all 6 “Misleading” vendors (IBM, SAP, Oracle, SAS, Microstrategy and Microsoft) of wasteful BI platforms in Leaders Quarter! Those 6 vendors convinced customers to buy (over period of last 6 years) their BI software for over $60B plus much more than that was spent on maintenance, support, development, consulting, upgrades and other IT expenses.

There is nothing magic about these MQs: they are results of Gartner’s 2-dimensional understanding of BI, Analytics and Data Visualization (DV) Platforms, features and usage. 1st Measure (X axis) according to Gartner is the “Completeness of Vision” and 2nd Measure (Y axis) is the “Ability to Execute”, which allows to distribute DV and BI Vendors among 4 “Quarters”: RightTop – “Leaders”, LeftTop -“Challengers”, RightBottom – “Visionaires” and LeftBottom – “Niche Players” (or you can say LeftOvers).

mq2014

I decided to compare my opinions (expressed on this blog many times) vs. Gartner’s (they wrote 78 pages about it!) by taking TOP 3 Leaders from Gartner, than taking 3 TOP Visionaries from Gartner (Projecting on Axis X all Vendors except TOP 3 Leaders) than taking 3 TOP Challengers from Gartner (Projecting on Axis Y all Vendors except TOP 3 Leaders and TOP 3 Visionaries ) than TOP 3 “Niche Players” from the Rest of Gartner’s List (above) and taking “similar” choices by myself (my list is wider then Gartner’s, because Gartner missed important to me DV Vendors like Visokio and vendors like Datawatch and Advizor Solutions are not included into MQ in order to please Gartner’s favorites), see the comparison of opinions below:

12DVendorsIf you noticed, in order to be able to compare my opinion, I had to use Gartner’s terms like Leader, Challenger etc., which is not exactly how I see it. Basically my opinion overlapping with Gartner’s only in 25% of cases in 2014, which is slightly higher then in previous years – I guess success of Tableau and QLIK is a reason for that.

BI Market in 2013 reached $14B and at least $1B of it spent on Data Visualization tools. Here is the short Summary of the state of each Vendor, mentioned above in “DV Blog” column:

  1. Tableau: $232M in Sales, $6B MarketCap, YoY 82% (fastest in DV market), Leader in DV Mindshare, declared goal is “Data to the People” and the ease of use.

  2. QLIK: $470M in Sales, $2.5B MarketCap, Leader in DV Marketshare, attempts to improve BI, but will remove Qlikview Desktop from Qlik.Next.

  3. Spotfire: sales under $200M, has the most mature Platform for Visual Analytics, the best DV Cloud Services. Spotfire is limited by corporate Parent (TIBCO).

  4. Visokio: private DV Vendor with limited marketing and sales but has one of the richest and mature DV functionality.

  5. SAS: has the most advanced Analytics functionality (not easy to learn and use), targets Data Scientists and Power Users who can afford it instead of free R.

  6. Revolution Analytics: as the provider of commercial version and commercial support of R library is a “cheap” alternative to SAS.

  7. Microsoft: has the most advanced BI and DV technological stack for software developers but has no real DV Product and has no plan to have it in the future.

  8. Datawatch: $33M in sales, $281M MarketCap, has mature DV, BI and real-time visualization functionality, experienced management and sales force.

  9. Microstrategy: $576M in sales, 1.4B MarketCap; BI veteran with complete BI functionality; recently realized that BI Market is not growing and made the desperate attempt to get into DV market.

  10. Panorama: BI Veteran with excellent easy to use front-end to Microsoft BI stack, has good DV functionality, social and collaborative BI features.

  11. Advizor Solutions: private DV Veteran with almost complete set of DV features and ability to do Predictive Analytics interactively, visually and without coding.

  12. RapidMiner: Commercial Provider of open-source-based and easy to use Advanced Analytical Platform, integrated with R.

Similar MQ for “Advanced Analytics Platforms” can be found here: http://www.gartner.com/technology/reprints.do?id=1-1QXWEQQ&ct=140219&st=sg – have fun:

mq2014aap

In addition to differences mentioned in table above, I need to say that I do not see that Big Data is defined well enough to be mentioned 30 times in review of “BI and Analytical Platforms” and I do not see that Vendors mentioned by Gartner are ready for that, but may be it is a topic for different blogpost…

Update: 

My previous blogpost, comparing footprints of DV Leaders (Tableau 8.1, Qlikview 11.2, Spotfire 6) on disk (in terms of size of application file with embedded dataset with 1 million rows) and in Memory (calculated as RAM-difference between freshly-loaded (without data) application and  the same application when it will load appropriate application file (XLSX or DXP or QVW or TWBX) got a lot of feedback from DV Blog visitors. It even got mentioning/reference/quote from Tableau Weekly #9 here:

http://us7.campaign-archive1.com/?u=f3dd94f15b41de877be6b0d4b&id=26fd537d2d&e=5943cb836b and the full list of Tableau Weekly issues is here: http://us7.campaign-archive1.com/home/?u=f3dd94f15b41de877be6b0d4b&id=d23712a896

The majority of feedback asked to do a similar Benchmark – the footprint comparison for larger dataset, say with 10 millions of rows. I did that but it required more time and work,  because the footprint in memory for all 3 DV Leaders depends on the number of visualized Datapoints (Spotfire for years used the term Marks for Visible Datapoints and Tableau adopted these terminology too, so I used it from time to time as well, but I think that the correct term here will be “Visible Datapoints“).

3Footprints

Basically I used the same dataset as in previous blogpost with main difference that I took subset with 10 millions of rows as a opposed to 1 Million rows in previous Benchmarks. The Diversity of used Dataset with 10 Million rows is here (each row has 15 fields as in previous benchmark):

I removed from benchmarks for 10 million rows the usage of Excel 2013 (Excel cannot handle more the 1,048,576 rows per worksheet) and PowerPivot 2013 (it is less relevant for given Benchmark). Here are the DV Footprints on disk and in Memory for Dataset with 10 Million rows and different number of Datapoints (or Marks: <16, 1000, around 10000, around 100000, around 800000):

Main observations and notes from benchmarking of footprints with 10 millions of rows as following:

  • Tableau 8.1 requires less (almost twice less) disk space for its application file .TWBX then Qlikview 11.2 (.QVW) for its application file (.QVW) or/and Spotfire 6 for its application file (.DXP).

  • Tableau 8.1 is much smarter when it uses RAM then Qlikview 11.2 and Spofire 6, because it takes advantage of number of Marks. For example for 10000 Visible Datapoints Tableau uses 13 times less RAM than Qlikview and Spotfire and for 100000 Visible Datapoints Tableau uses 8 times less RAM than Qlikview and Spotfire!

  • THe Usage of more than say 5000 Visible Datapoints (even say more than a few hundreds Marks) in particular Chart or Dashboard often the sign of bad design or poor understanding of the task at hand; the human eye (of end user) cannot comprehend too many Marks anyway, so what Tableau does (in terms of reducing the footprint in Memory when less Marks are used) is a good design.

  • For Tableau in results above I reported the total RAM used by 2 Tableau processes in memory TABLEAU.EXE itself and supplemental process TDSERVER64.EXE (this 2nd 64-bit process almost always uses about 21MB of RAM). Note: Russell Christopher also suggested to monitor TABPROTOSRV.EXE but I cannot find its traces and its usage of RAM during benchmarks.

  • Qlikview 11.2 and Spotfire 6 have similar footprints in Memory and on Disk.

More than 2 years ago I estimated the footprints for the sample dataset (428999 rows and 135 columns) when it encapsulated in text file, in compressed ZIP format, in Excel 2010, in PowerPivot 2010, Qlikview 10, Spofire 3.3 and Tableau 6. Since then everything upgraded to the “latest versions” and everything 64-bit now, including Tableau 8.1, Spotfire 5.5 (and 6), Qlikview 11.2, Excel 2013 and PowerPivot 2013.

I decided to use the new dataset with exactly 1000000 rows (1 million rows) and 15 columns with the following diversity of values (Distinct Counts for every Column below):

Then I put this dataset in every application and format mentioned above – both on disk and in memory. All results presented below for review of DV blog visitors:

Some comments about application specifics:

  • Excel and PowerPivot XLSX files are ZIP-compressed archives of bunch of XML files

  • Spotfire DXP is a ZIP archive of proprietary Spotfire text format

  • QVW  is Qlikview’s proprietary Datastore-RAM-optimized format

  • TWBX is Tableau-specific ZIP archive containing its TDE (Tableau Data Extract) and TWB (XML format) data-less workbook

  • Footprint in memory I calculated as RAM-difference between freshly-loaded (without data) application and  the same application when it will load appropriate application file (XLSX or DXP or QVW or TWBX)

Since we approaching (in USA that is) a Thanksgiving Day for 2013 and shopping is not a sin for few days, multiple blog visitors asked me what hardware advise I can share for their Data Science and Visualization Lab(s). First of all I wish you will get a good Turkey for Thanksgiving (below is what I got last year):

Turkey2012

I cannot answer DV Lab questions individually – everybody has own needs, specifics and budget, but I can share my shopping thoughts about needs for Data Visualization Lab (DV Lab). I think DV Lab needs many different types of devices: smartphones, tablets, projector (at least 1), may be a couple of Large Touchscreen Monitors (or LED TVs connectable to PCs), multiple mobile workstations (depends on size of DV Lab team), at least one or two super-workstation/server(S) residing within DV Lab etc.

Smartphones and Tablets

I use Samsung Galaxy S4 as of now, but for DV Lab needs I will consider either Sony Xperia Z Ultra or Nokia 1520 with hope that Samsung Galaxy S5 will be released soon (and may be it will be the most appropriate for DV Lab):

sonyVSnokia

My preference for Tablet will be upcoming Google Nexus 10 (2013 or 2014 edition – it is not clear, because Google is very secritive about it) and in certain cases Google Nexus 7 (2013 edition). Until Nexus 10 ( next generation) will be released, I guess that two leading choices will be ASUS Transformer Pad TF701T

t701

and Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 edition (below is a relative comparison of the size of these 2 excellent tablets):

AsusVsNote10

Projectors, Monitors and may be Cameras.

Next piece of hardware in my mind is a projector with support for full HD resolution and large screens. I think there are many good choices here, but my preference will be BENQ W1080ST for $920 (please advise if you have a better projector in mind in the same price range):

benq_W1080ST

So far you cannot find too many Touchscreen Monitors for reasonable price, so may be these two 27″ touchscreen monitors (DELL P2714T for $620 or Acer T272HL bmidz for $560) are good choices for now:

dell-p2714t-overview1

I also think that a good digital camera can help to Data Visualization Lab and considering something like this (can be bought for $300): Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ72 with 60X optical zoom and ability to do a Motion Picture Recording as HD Video in 1,920 x 1,080 pixels – for myself:

panasonic_lumix_dmc_fz72_08

Mobile and Stationary Workstations and Servers.

If you need to choose CPU, I suggest to start with Intel’s Processor Feature Filter here: http://ark.intel.com/search/advanced . In terms of mobile workstations you can get quad-core notebook (like Dell 4700 for $2400 or Dell Precison 4800 or HP ZBook 15 for $3500) with 32 GB RAM and decent configuration with multiple ports, see sample here:

m4700

If you are OK with 16GB of RAM for your workstation, you may prefer Dell M3800 with excellent touchscreen monitor (3200×1800 resolution) and only 2 kg of weight. For a stationary workstation (or rather server) good choices are Dell Precision T7600 or T7610 or HP Z820 workstation. Either of these workstations (it will cost you!) can support up to 256GB RAM, up to 16 or even 24 cores in case of HP Z820), multiple high-capacity hard disks and SSD, excellent Video Controllers and multiple monitors (4 or even 6!) Here is an example of backplane for HP Z820 workstation:

HP-z820

I wish to visitors of this blog a Happy Holidays and good luck with their DV Lab Shopping!

After announcement of Tableau 8.1 ( and completion of TCC13) this week people asked me to refresh my comparison of leading Data Visualization tools and I felt it is the good time to do it, because finally Tableau can claim it has 64-bit platform and it is able now to do more advanced Analytics, thanks to Integration with R (both new features needs to be benchmarked and tested, but until my benchmarks are completed I tend to believe to Tableau’s claims).  I actually felt that Tableau may be leapfrogged the competition and now Qlikview and Spotfire have to do something about it (of course if they care).

I enjoyed this week Tableau’s pun/wordplay/slogan “Data to the People” it reminds, of course, other slogan “Power to the People” but also indirectly refers to NYSE Symbol “DATA” which is the SYMBOL of Tableau Software Inc. and it means (indirectly): “Tableau to the People”:

DataToThePeople2

In fact the “keynote propaganda” from Christian Chabot and Chris Stolte was so close to what I am saying for years on this blog, that I used their slogan FEBA4A (“Fast, Easy, Beautiful, Anywhere for Anyone”) as the filter to include or remove from comparison any runner-ups, traditional, me-too and losing tools and vendors.

For example despite the huge recent progress Microsoft did with its BI Stack (updates in Office 2013, 365 and SQL 2012/14 of Power Pivot/View/Map/Query, SSAS, Data Explorer, Polybase, Azure Services, StreamInsight, in-Memory OLTP, Columnstore Indexing etc.) did not prevent me from removal of Microsoft’s BI Stack from comparison (MSFT still trying to sell Data Visualization as a set of add-ins to Excel and SQL Server as oppose to separate product), because it it is not FEBA4A.

For similar reasons I did not include runner-ups like Omniscope, Advizor, Panopticon (it is part of Datawatch now), Panorama, traditional BI vendors, like IBM, Oracle, SAP, SAS, Microstrategy and many me-too vendors like Actuate, Pentaho, Information Builders, Jaspersoft, Jedox, Yellowfin, Bime and dozens of others. I even was able finally to rule out wonderful toolkits like D3 (because they are not for “anyone” and they require brilliant people like Mike Bostock to shine).

I was glad to see similar thinking from Tableau’s CEO in his yesterday’s interview here: http://news.investors.com/091213-670803-tableau-takes-on-big-rivals-oracle-sap-ibm-microsoft.htm?p=full and I quote:

“The current generation of technology that companies and governments use to try to see and understand the data they store in their databases and spreadsheets is without exception complicated, development-intensive, staff-intensive, inflexible, slow-moving and expensive. And every one of those adjectives is true for each of the market-share leaders in our industry.”

Here is my brief and extremely personal (yes, opinionated but not bias) comparison of 3 leading Data Visualization (DV Comparison) platforms (if you cannot see in your browser, see screenshot below of Google Doc:

I did not add pricing to comparison, because I cannot find enough public info about it. This is all I have:

  • https://tableau.secure.force.com/webstore

  • http://www.qlikview.com/us/explore/pricing

  • https://silverspotfire.tibco.com/us/get-spotfire/silver-spotfire-feature-matrix

  • additional pricing info for Tableau Server Core Licensing: “8 core server (enough to support 1,000 users, or 100 concurrent) for Tableau is $180k first year, about $34k every year after year 1 for maintenance”. With 8 core licensing I actually witnessed support for more then 1000 users: 1300+ active interactors, 250+ Publishers, 3000+ Viewers. I also witnessed (2+ years ago, since then price grew!) more than once that negotiation with Tableau Sales can get you down to $160K for 8 Core license with 20% every year after year 1 for maintenance (so in 2010-2011 total price was about $192K with 1 year maintenance)

  • Also one of visitors indicated to me that current pricing for 8 core Tableau 8.0 license for 1st year is $240K  now plus (mandatory?) 20-25% maintenance for 1st year… However negotiations are very possible and can save you up to 20-25% of “discount”. I am aware of recent cases where 8-core license was sold (after discount) for around $195K with maintenance for 1st year for about $45K so total sale was $240K with 1st year maintenance (25% growth in price for last 3 years).

Below is a screenshot of above comparison, because some browsers (e.g. Safari or Firefox before version 24) cannot see either Google Doc embedded into WordPress or Google Doc itself:

DVComparisonSeptember2013

Please note that I did not quantify above which of 3 tools are better, it is not possible until I will repeat all benchmarks and tests (I did many of those in the past; if I will have time in the future, I can do it again) when actual Tableau 8.1 will be released (see latest here: https://licensing.tableausoftware.com/esdalt/ ). However I used above the green color for good and red color for bad (light-colored backgrounds in 3 middle columns indicated good/bad). Also keep in mind that Qliktech and TIBCO may release something new soon enough (say Qlikview 12 or they called it now Qlikview.Next and Spotfire 6), so leapfrogging game may continue.

Update 10/11/13: interesting article about Tableau (in context with Qlikview and Spotfire) by Akram Annous from SeekeingAlpha: http://seekingalpha.com/article/1738252-tableau-a-perfect-short-with-a-catalyst-to-boot . Akram is very active visitor to my blog, especially to this article above. This article only 1 month old but already needs updates due recent pre-announcements about Qlikview.Next (Qlikview 12) and Spotfire 6, which as I predicted showing that leapfrogging game continue at full speed. Akram is brave enough by “targeting” pricing for DATA shares as $55 IN 30 DAYS, $35 IN 6 MONTHS. I am not convinced yet.

frogleap4if you will see the AD below, it is not me, it is wordpress.com…

If you visited my blog before, you know that my classification of Data Visualization and BI vendors are different from researchers like Gartner. In addition to 3 DV Leaders – Qlikview, Tableau, Spotfire – I rarely have time to talk about other “me too” vendors.

However, sometimes products like Omniscope, Microstrategy’s Visual Insight, Microsoft BI Stack (Power View, PowerPivot, Excel 2013, SQL Server 2012, SSAS etc.), Advizor, SpreadshetWEB etc. deserve attention too. However, it takes so much time, so I am trying to find guest bloggers to cover topics like that. 7 months ago I invited volunteers to do some guest blogging about Advizor Visual Discovery Products:

https://apandre.wordpress.com/2012/06/22/advizor-analyst-vs-tableau-or-qlikview/

So far nobody in  USA or Europe committed to do so, but recently Mr. Srini Bezwada, Certified Tableau Consultant and Advizor-trained expert from Australia contacted me and submitted the article about it.  He also provided me with info about how Advizor can be compared with Tableau, so I will do it briefly, using his data and opinions. Mr. Bezwada can be reached at

sbezwada@smartanalytics.com.au , where he is a director at

http://www.smartanalytics.com.au/

Below is quick comparison of Advizor with Tableau. Opinions below belong to Mr. Srini Bezwada. Next blog post will be a continuation of this article about Advizor Solutions Products, see also Advizor’s website here:

http://www.advizorsolutions.com/products/

Criteria Tableau ADVIZOR Comment
Time to implement Very Fast Fast, ADVIZOR can be implemented within Days Tableau Leads
Scalability Very Good Very Good Tableau: virtual RAM
Desktop License $1,999 $ 1,999 $3,999 for AnalystX with Predictive modeling
Server License/user $1K, min 10 users, 299 K for Enterprise Deployment license for up to 10 named users $8 K ADVIZOR is a lot cheaper for Enterprise Deployment $75 K for 500 Users
Support fees / year

20%

20%

1st year included
SaaS Platform Core or Digital Offers Managed Hosting ADVIZOR Leads
Overall Cost Above Average Competitive ADVIZOR Costs Less
Enterprise Ready Good for SMB Cheaper cost model for SMB Tableau is expensive for Enterprise Deployment
Long-term viability Fastest growth Private company since 2003. Tableau is going IPO in 2013
Mindshare Tableau Public Growing Fast Tableau stands out
Big Data Support Good Good Tableau is 32-bit
Partner Network Good Limited Partnerships Tableau Leads
Data Interactivity Excellent Excellent
Visual Drilldown Very Good Very Good
Offline Viewer Free Reader None Tableau stands out
Analyst’s Desktop Tableau Professional Advizor has Predictive Modeling ADVIZOR is a Value for Money
Dashboard Support Excellent Very Good Tableau Leads
Web Client Very Good Good Tableau Leads
64-bit Desktop None Very Good Tableau still a 32-bit app
Mobile Clients Very Good Very Good
Visual Controls Very Good Very Good
Data Integration Excellent Very Good Tableau Leads
Development Tableau Pro ADVIZOR Analyst
64-bit in-RAM DB Good Excellent Advizor Leads
Mapping support Excellent Average Tableau stands out
Modeling, Analytics Below Average Advanced Predictive Modelling ADVIZOR stands out
Predictive Modeling None Advanced Predictive Modeling Capability with Built in KXEN algorithms ADVIZOR stands out
Flight Recorder None Flight recorder lets you track, replay, save your analysis steps for reuse by yourself or others. ADVIZOR stands out
Visualization 22 Chart types All common charts like  bar charts, scatter plots, line charts, Pie charts are supported Advizor has Advanced Visualizations like Parabox, Network Constellation
Third party integration Many Data Connectors, see Tableau’s drivers page ADVIZOR integrates well with CRM software: Salesforce.com, Ellucian, Blackbaud and others. ADVIZOR leads in CRM area
Training Free Online and paid Classroom Free Online and paid via company trainers & Partners Tableau Leads

I feel guilty for many months now: I literally do not have time for project I wish to do for a while: to compare Advizor Analyst and other Visual Discovery products from Advizor Solutions, Inc. with leading Data Visualization products like Tableau or Qlikview. I am asking visitors of my blog to volunteer and be a guest blogger here; the only pre-condition here is: a guest blogger must be the Expert in Advizor Solutions products and equally so in on of these 3: Tableau, Qlikview or Spotfire.

ADVIZOR’s Visual Discovery™ software is built upon strong data visualization technology spun out of a research heritage at Bell Labs that spans nearly two decades and produced over 20 patents. Formed in 2003, ADVIZOR has succeeded in combining its world-leading data visualization and in-memory-data-management expertise with predictive analytics to produce an easy to use, point and click product suite for business analysis.

Advizor has many Samples, Demos and Videos on its site: http://www.advizorsolutions.com/gallery/ and some web Demos, like this one

http://webnav.advizorsolutions.net/adv/Projects/demo/MutualFunds.aspx but you will need the Silverlight plugin for your web browser installed.

If you think that Advizor can compete with Data Visualization leaders and you have interesting comparison of it, please send it to me as MS-Word article and I will publish it here as a guest blog post. Thank you in advance…

Some people pushing me to answer on recent Donald Farmer’s comments on my previous post, but I need more time to think about it.

Meanwhile today Ted Cuzzillo published an interesting comparison of Qlikview vs. Tableau here:

http://datadoodle.com/2012/04/24/tableau-qlikview/

named “The future of BI in two words” which made me feel warm and fuzzy about both products and unclear about what Ted’s judgement is?

Fortunately I had a more “digitized” comparison of these 2 Data Visualization Leaders, which I did a while ago for a different reason. So I modified it a little to bring it up-to-date and you can see it for yourself below. Funny thing is that even I used 30+ criterias to measure and compare those two brilliant products, final score is almost identical for both of them, so it is still warm and fuzzy.

Basically conclusion is simple: each product is better for certain customers and for certain projects, there is no universal answer (yet?):

Qliktech made its price list public on its website. In a move that calls for “other enterprise software and business intelligence vendors to follow suit, QlikTech is taking the mystery out of purchasing software“.

I expanded this post with comments and comparison of pricing from Qlikview and Tableau.

I have to mention that Tableau has pricing on its website for years. I wish Tableau will publish on its website the pricing for Core License (for Tableau Server) and more detail for Tableau Digital and Server pricing, but other than that, Tableau is a few years ahead of Qliktech in terms of “pricing transparency”… Also talking with Qliktech sales people until today was more time consuming then needed and I hope that public pricing will make it more easy.

One note about Qlikview pricing: Qliktech has a very weird requirement to buy a Document License ($350 per named user, per 1 (ONE) document) for each document is a potential time-bomb for Qlikview. But they are very good at sales  (Total Q4 2011 revenue of $108.1 million increases 33% compared to fourth quarter of 2010, see http://investor.qlikview.com/secfiling.cfm?filingID=1193125-12-65355&CIK=1305294) and not me, so I will be glad if Qliktech will prove me wrong!

 Again, for now, just review this:

http://www.qlikview.com/us/explore/pricing

I tried to compare the cost of average Deployment  for Qlikview-based and Tableau-based Data Visualization Systems using currently Published prices of Qlikview and Tableau (I actually have an estimation for Spotfire-based deployment too, but TIBCO did not published its pricing yet). See prices in table below, and comparison of average deploymnet after/below this table:

I took as average the deployment with 46 users (it is my estimate of average Qlikview Deployment), 3 desktop clients, 10 documents/visualizations available to 10 (potentially different) named users each, 1 Application Server and maintenance for 3 years.

.

My estimate of total cost for 3 years came up as about $118K for Qlikview Deployment and $83K for Tableau Deployment (both before discounts and taxes and both do not include any development, training, consulting and IT cost).

Note 3/8/12: you may wish to review this blog post too:

http://i3community.com/blogs/entry/qlikview-user-license-named-client-access-license-cal

Since Gartner keeps doing its “Magic Quadrant” (MQ; see MQ at the very bottom of this post) for Business Intelligence Platforms every year, it forces me to do my

“Yellow Square for DV, 2012”

for Data Visualization (DV) Platforms too. I did it last year and I have to do it again because I disagreed with Gartner in 2011 and I disagree with it again in 2012. I have a few different (from Gartner) views, but I will mention 3.

1. There is no such thing as Business Intelligence as a software platform. It is a marketing term, used as an umbrella for multiple technologies and market segments. Gartner released its MQ for BI at the same time it had “BI Summit 2012” in London on which it practically acknowledged that BI is not a correct term and suggested to use the term “Business Analytics” instead, see for example this article: http://timoelliott.com/blog/2012/02/what-i-found-interesting-about-gartner-bi-summit-2012-london.html

2. I personally is using – for many years – the term Data Visualization as a replacement for BI, as much more specific. Because of that, I removed from consideration a few vendors present in Gartner’s MQ for BI and added a few important DV vendors.

3. I used for my assessment 3 groups of criterias, which I already used on this blog before, for example here:

https://apandre.wordpress.com/2011/12/18/dv-comparison-2011/

and here:

https://apandre.wordpress.com/tools/comparison/

As a result, I got a very different from Gartner the placement of “Data Visualization Platforms and their vendors”:

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For reference purposes please see below the Magic Quadrant for BI, published by Gartner this month. As you can see our lists of Vendors are overlapping by 11 companies, but in my opinion their relative positioning is very different:

One of the most popular posts on this blog was a comparison of Data Visualization Tools, which originally was posted more then a year ago where I compared those best tools only qualitatively. However since then I got a lot of requests to compare those tools “quantitatively”. Justification for such update were recent releases of Spotfire 4.0, Qlikview 11, Tableau 7.0 and Microsoft’s Business Intelligence Stack (mostly SQL Server 2012 and PowerPivot V.2.)

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However I quickly realized that such “quantitative” comparison cannot be objective. So here it is – the updated and very subjective comparison of best Data Visualization tools, as I see them at the end of 2011. I know that many people will disagree with my assessment, so if you do not like my personal opinion – please disregard it at “your own peril”. I am not going to prove “numbers” below – they are just my personal assessments of those 4 technologies – I love all 4 of them. Feel free to make your own comparison and if you can share it with me – I will appreciate it very much.

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Please keep in mind that I reserve the right to modify this comparison overtime if/when I will learn more about all those technologies, their vendors and usage. Criterias used in comparison below listed in 1st column and they are grouped in 3 groups: business, visualization and technical. Columns 2-5 used for my assessments of 4 technologies, last column used for my subjective weights for each criteria and last row of this worksheet has Total for each Data Visualization technology I evaluated.

Some of visitors to this blog after reading of my recent post about $300K/employee/year as a KPI (Key Performance Indicator) suggested to me another Indicator of the health of Data Visualization vendors: a number of job openings and specifically a number and percentage of software development openings (I include software testers and software managers into this category) and use it also as a predictor of the future. Fortunately it is a public data and below is what I got today from respective websites:

  • 56(!) positions at Tableau, 14 them of are developers;

  • 46 openings at Qliktech, 4 of them are developers;

  • 21 positions at Spotfire, 3 of them are developers;

  • 3 positions at Visokio, 2 of them are developers.

Considering that Tableau is 4 times less in terms of sales then Qlikview and 3-4 times less (then Qliktech) in terms of workforce, this is an amazing indicator. If Tableau can sustain this speed of growth, we can witness soon the change of Data Visualization landscape, unless Qliktech can find the way to defend its dominant position (50% of DV market).

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For comparison, you can use Microstrategy’s number of openings. While Microstrategy is not a Data Visualization vendor, it is close enough (as BI vendor) for benchmarking purposes: it has 281 openings, 38 of them are developers and current Microstrategy’s workforce is about 3069, basically 3 times more then Qliktech’s workforce…

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In light of recent releases of Qlikview 11 and Spotfire 4.0 it makes (soon to be released) Tableau 7.0 is very interesting to compare… Stay tuned!

I expected Qlikview 11 to be released on 11/11/11 but it was released today to Qliktech partners and customers. Since Qliktech is the public company, it releases regularly a lot of information which is not available (for now) from other DV leaders like Tableau and Visokio and more fuzzy from Spotfire, because Spotfire is just a part of larger successful public corporation TIBCO, which has many other products to worry about.

However I guessed a little and estimated for DV Leaders their 2011 sales and number of employees and got an interesting observation, which is true for a few last years: size of sales per employee (of DV leading vendor) is $300k/Year or less. I included for comparison purposes similar numbers for Apple, Microsoft and Google as well as for Microstrategy, which is a public company, established (22+ years) player in BI market, dedicated to BI and recently to Data Visualization (that is DV, thanks to it Visual Insight product).

Table below included 2 records related to Spotfire: 1 based on 2010 annual report from TIBCO (for TIBCO as whole; I know TIBCO sales for 2011 grew from $754M to $920M but do not know the exact number of TIBCO’s employees for 2011) and other record is my estimates (of a number of employees and sale) for Spotfire division of TIBCO. Update from 1/11/12: For Tableau’s 2011 I used the numbers from John Cook’s article here: http://www.geekwire.com/2012/tableau-software-doubles-sales-2011-hires-160-workers ) :

To me this is an interesting phenomena, because Qliktech thanks to its fast growing sales and recent IPO was able to double it’s sales in last 2 years while … doubling it’s number of employees so it still has its sales hovering around $300K/employee/year, while Software giants Apple, Microsoft and Google are way above this barrier and Microstrategy is 50% below it. I will also guess that Qliktech will try to break this $300K barrier and be closer to Apple/Microsoft/Google in terms of sales per employee.

Thanks to the public nature of Qliktech we know details of its annual Revenue growth and YoY (Year-over-Year) indicators:

and with estimate of 2011 Revenue about $315M, YoY growth (2011 over 2010) will be around 39.4% which is an excellent result, making it difficult (but still possible) for other DV competitors to catch-up with Qliktech. Best chance for this belongs to Tableau Software, who probably will reach the same size of sales in 2011 as Spotfire (my estimate is around $70M-$75M for both), but for last 2 years Tableau has 100% (or more) YoY revenue growth… Qliktech also published the interesting info about major factors for its sales: Europe (56%), Existing Customers (58%), Licenses (61%), Partners(52%):

which means that the increase of sales in Americas, improving New sales (as oppose to sales to existing customer by using “Land and Expand” approach) and improving revenue from Services and Maintenance may help Qliktech to keep the pace. Qliktech has the tremendous advantage over its DV competitors because it has 1200+ partners, who contributed 52% to Qliktech sales (about $136K per partner and I can guess that Qliktech wish to see at least $200K/year contribution from each partner).

Observing the strengths of other DV competitors, I personally think that Qliktech will benefit from the “imitation” of some of their most popular and successful features in order to keep its dominance in Data Visualization market, including:

  • free public Qlikview service (with obvious limitations) like free SaaS from Tableau Public and free Spotfire Silver personal edition,

  • ability to distribute Data Visualization to desktops without Server by making  available a free desktop Qlikview Reader (similar to free desktop readers from Tableau and Omniscope/Visokio),

  • integration with R library (Spotfire and recently Omniscope) to improve analytical power of Qlikview users,

  • ability to read multidimensional OLAP Cubes (currently only Tableau can do that), especially Cubes from Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services and

  • scalability toward Big Data (currently Spotfire’s and Tableau’s data engines can use the disk space as Virtual Memory but Qlikview limited by size of RAM)

This is not a never ending “feature war” but rather a potential ability to say to customers: “why go to competitors, if we have all their features and much more”? Time will tell how DV competition will play out, I expect a very interesting 2012 for Data Visualization market and users and I hope that somebody will able to break $300K/employee/year barrier unless the major M&A will change the composition of DV market. I hope that the DV revolution will continue in new year…

Comparison of DV Tools is the most popular page (and post) of this site, visited by many thousands of people. Some of them keep asking to append this comparison with different additional features, one of them is a comparison of requirements of leading DV tools for file and memory footprint and also for reading and saving time.

I took mid-sized dataset (428999 rows and 135 columns), exported it into CSV and compressed it to ZIP format, because all native DV formats (QVW by Qlikview, DXP by Spotfire, TWBX by Tableau and XLSX by Excel and PowerPivot) are compressed one way or another. My starting filesize (of ZIPped dataset) was 56 MB. Here is what I got, see for yourself:

One comment is that numbers above are all relative to configuration of hardware used for tests and also depend on other software I ran during tests, because that software also requires RAM, CPU cycles, disk I/O and even on speed of repainting applications windows on screen, especially for Excel. I probably will add more comments to this post/page, but my first impression from this comparison is that new Tableau’s Data Engine (released in version 6.0 and soon will be updated in 6.1) made Tableau more competitive. Please keep in mind, that comparison of in-memory footprint was much less significant in above test, because Qlikview, Excel and PowerPivot putting all dataset into RAM, while Tableau and Spotfire can leave some (unneeded for visualization) data on disk, treating it as “virtual memory”. Also Tableau using 2 executables (not just one EXE as others): tableau.exe (or tabreader.exe) and tdserver64.exe

Since Tableau is the only DV Leading software, capable to read from SSAS Cubes and from PowerPivot (local SSAS) Cubes, I also took large SSAS Cube and for testing purposes I selected SSAS Sub-Cube with 3 Dimensions, 2 Measures and 156439 “rows”, measured the Time and Footprint, needed for Tableau to read Sub-Cube, Refresh it in Memory, Save to local application file, and also measurted “Cubical” Footprint of it in Memory and on Disk and then compared all results with the same tests while running Excel 2010 alone and Excel 2010 with PowerPivot:

While Tableau’s ability to read and visualize Cubes is cool, performance-wise Tableau is far behind of Excel and PowerPivot, especially in Reading department and memory footprint. In Saving department and File footprint Tableau is doing nothing because it is not saving cube locally in its local application TWBX file (and it keeps data in SSAS cube outside of Tableau) so Tableau’s file footprint for SSAS Cubes is not an indicator but for PowerPivot-based local Cubes Tableau does better job (saving data into local application file) then both Excel and PowerPivot!

For many years, Gartner keeps annoying me every January by publishing so called “Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence Platforms” (MQ4BI for short) and most vendors (mentioned in it; this is funny, even Donald Farmer quotes MQ4BI) almost immediately re-published it either on so-called reprint (e.g. here – for a few months) area of Gartner website or on own website; some of them also making this “report” available to web visitors in exchange for contact info – for free. To channel my feeling toward Gartner  to a  something constructive, I decided to produce my own “Quadrant” for Data Visualization Platforms (DV “Quadrant” or Q4DV for short) – it is below and is a work in-progress and will be modified and republished overtime:

3 DV Leaders (green dots in upper right corner of Q4DV above) compared with each other and with Microsoft BI stack on this blog, as well as voted in DV Poll on LinkedIn. MQ4BI report actually contains a lot of useful info and it deserved to be used as a one of possible data sources for my new post, which has more specific target – Data Visualization Platforms. As I said above, I will call it Quadrant too: Q4DV. But before I will do that, I have to comment on Gartner’s annual MQ4BI.

MQ4BI customer survey included vendor-provided references, as well as survey responses from BI users in Gartner’s BI summit and inquiry lists. There were 1,225 survey responses (funny enough, almost the same number of responces as on my DV Poll on LinkedIn), with 247 (20%) from non-vendor-supplied reference lists. Magic Quadrant Customer Survey’s results the Gartner promised to publish in 1Q11. The Gartner has a somewhat reasonable “Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria” (for Data Visualization Q4DV I excluded some vendors from Gartner List and included a few too), almost tolerable but a fuzzy BI Market Definition (based on 13 loosely pre-defined capabilities organized into 3 categories of functionality: integration, information delivery and analysis).

I also partially agree with the definition and the usage of “Ability to Execute” as one  (Y axis) of 2 dimensions for bubble Chart above (called the same way as entire report “Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence Platforms”). However I disagree with Gartner’s order of vendors in their ability to execute and for DV purposes I had to completely change order of DV Vendors on X axis (“Completeness of Vision”).

For Q4DV purposes I am reusing Gartner’s MQ as a template, I also excluded almost all vendors, classified by Gartner as niche players with lower ability to execute (bottom-left quarter of MQ4BI), except Panorama Software (Gartner put Panorama to a last place, which is unfair) and will add the following vendors: Panopticon, Visokio, Pagos and may be some others after further testing.

I am going to update this DV “Quadrant”, using the method suggested by Jon Peltier: http://peltiertech.com/WordPress/excel-chart-with-colored-quadrant-background/ – Thank you Jon! I hope I will have time before end of 2011 for it…

Permalink: https://apandre.wordpress.com/2011/02/13/q4dv/

Published the comparison of 4 leading DV Products, see http://wp.me/PCJUg-1T

I did not included into comparison the 5th leading product – Visokio’s Omniscope, because it has very limited scalability due the specifics of it’s implementation: Java does not allow to visualize too much data. Among factors to considered when comparing DV tools:

  • – memory optimization [Qlikview is the leader in in-memory columnar database technology];
  • – load time [I tested all products above and PowerPivot is the fastest];
  • – memory swapping [Spotfire is only who can use a disk as a virtual memory, while Qlikview limited by RAM only];
  • – incremental updates [Qlikview probably the best in this area];
  • – thin clients [Spotfire has the the best THIN/Web/ZFC (zero-footprint) client, especially with their recent release of Spotfire 3.2 and Spotfire Silver];
  • – thick clients [Qlikview has the best THICK client] ,
  • – access by 3rd party tools [PowerPivot’s integration with Excel 2010, SQL Server 2008 R2 Analysis Services and SharePoint 2010 is a big attraction];
  • – interface with SSAS cubes [PowerPivot has it, Tableau has it, Omniscope will have it very soon, Qlikview and Spotfire do not have it],
  • – GUI [3-way tie, it is heavily depends on personal preferences, but in my opinion Qlikview is more easy to use than others];
  • – advanced analytics [Spotfire 3.2 is the leader here with its integration with S-PLUS and support for IronPython and other add-ons]
  • – the productivity of developers involved with tools mentioned above. In my experience Qlikview is much more productive tool in this regard.

p003: http://wp.me/pCJUg-3R