Pricing on Tableau, Qlik, Spotfire… and Microsoft
This is not a biased comparison towards Microsoft… as although we’re a Partner providing solutions based on their software, we don’t benefit from licence sales – it’s just a necessary evil. Further, we too get frustrated with their sometimes unfinished software (think SharePoint, OneDrive, Yammer etc) – but one thing we do count on is SQL Server working over the decades, and it does – or we would definitely be out of here.
So, there will definitely be times where it’s better to use 3rd party BI tools, so a heads up on cost:
|TIBCO Spotfire||£170 per month (250GB)||Contact sales...|
|Tableau||£425 per annum||Server:
£8.5K for 10 Users + 25% pa upgrades and support.
Personal: £850 pa
Professional: £1.7K pa (compatible with Server and Online)
|Qlik Sense / View||Free: Cloud|
£17 pm: Cloud Plus (Individuals)
£22 pm: Cloud Business (Teams)
Enterprise: Contact sales...
Publisher: Per Server (reload and distribute)
Extranet: Server & CAL
Information Access: Server & CAL
|Microsoft SQL Server & PowerPivot||£40 pa: Office 365 (Excel with PowerPivot, Office and SharePoint Online)|
£Various for Azure Cloud Virtual SQL Server (contact us!).
|Various Licencing Programmes (contact us for best), but Open Value with Software Assurance including upgrades example:
£425 pa x 3 years then £170 pa for SQL Server
£85 pa x 3 years then £40 pa for SQL CAL.
Costs are converted and rounded to £GBP, correct at time of press only (no guarantees of course – check out their sites).
Interesting that Spotfire has the simplest model, whilst not cheap – although it apparently has more Machine Learning and predictive mining facilities than the other more simple analytic charting BI tools. Tableau is cheaper, although needs a $2K licence to author and deploy – it is good for drag and drop charts including dashboards. Dashboarding may not be the strongest point of Qlik yet, although it seems to have deeper analysis and modelling (including the R language, which is now also built into SQL Server) even though some say it is fiddly to configure JOINS across multiple tables and sources.
Ultimately, we would recommend using SQL Server (ok, maybe we’re slightly biased…) to prepare the data, joins and most of the calculations in standard SQL, then you can load them into it’s Analysis Services (likely Tabular Model to begin with – a lot less maintenance than full blown Multidimensional MOLAP Model). And/or bring that data straight into Excel PowerPivot, where Pivot Tables and Charts can be used for insights – they’re not as user friendly as Tableau or Qlik but it is a standard and useful skill, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find charts and visualisations that can’t be simply done in latest versions of Excel.
If you use SharePoint Online, you can publish each regular version of processed PowerPivot workbooks with version control (useful archiving) so users can access without needing the Azure SQL Server up and running wasting money. That keeps the cost right down. You can also use trials or short-term subscriptions of the other tools to analyse the SQL data, to determine if they really give you further insights or just additional fiddling.
Drop us a line if you want a quote for setting up any of this – or let us know your thoughts on any of these or other BI tools!