Updated Comparison of Data Visualization tools

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.)

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.

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.

Job openings as a KPI for DV vendors?

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).


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…


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!