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Qlik vs. Excel

Many companies have so far been able to manage budget monitoring, management reporting, and general financial management using Excel. However, growth, new market challenges, or the need to optimize workflows can lead to a range of functions, processes, and business operations that the standard Excel sheets cannot provide insight into - or control over.

This prompts the need for a business intelligence solution.

Below, we present how a Qlik-based business intelligence solution performs better on 10 different key points compared to an Excel solution.

10 points where Qlik outperforms Excel

1. Automatic updating

When creating controlling models in Excel, they usually need to be double-checked every time they are used. With Qlik, it is set up once and functions automatically, saving time and minimizing the risk of errors.

2. Differentiated access to data

In Excel, if sales and finance need to see different figures, for example, with finance seeing everything and sales only seeing sales, one needs to copy an Excel sheet. In Qlik, this can be managed automatically within the same solution: each employee gets a customized dashboard with precisely the information they need.

3. No coherence between tab selections

Excel does not allow inheritance of selections - settings and selections must be made for each individual tab. In Qlik, it is a fundamental feature that the selections made are inherited across views, and it is easy to change selections and make new queries.

4. Scalability

There is a limit on the number of transactions in Excel. This is not the case with Qlik, which is scalable and capable of handling, for example, several million daily data transactions for telecommunications companies.

5. Calculations take time 

The more calculations and transactions, the heavier - and therefore slower - Excel becomes. Qlik is designed to scale and handle large amounts of data, calculations, queries, and transactions without problems.

6. Relations

In Excel, the relationships between data are in the formulas, so no data models are built. This means that several queries, sheets, and lookup sheets must be used to obtain information, such as Order-Customer-Product-Inventory-Date.

Qlik is based on table relationships, just like an ERP system. This means that it is easy and fast to link information about Customer-Product-Inventory-Order, etc., and change the period format or single date for the query with just a few clicks.

7. Space usage


Excel data takes up ten times more space than Qlik data, making it heavier, slower to work with, and taking up much server space.

8. Drill down

Excel does not provide the ability to drill down (i.e., detailed and flexible exploration of the data behind the numbers) - it is a standard function in Qlik.

9. Data quality

It is effortless to change numbers and formulas in Excel, but this also poses a significant risk of errors and hence variability in the quality of data, knowledge, and decision-making. In Qlik, everything is fixedly defined, and we control and optimize the quality of our customers' data sources by default when we begin a collaboration on developing a BI solution.

10. Cross-data searching

It is challenging to make cross-data searches and analyses in Excel. This is a standard function in Qlik, where one can easily change search criteria and dimensions for analyses and results with just a few clicks.

Contact BI-specialist Anders Frost

Tlf: +45 5151 2271


"It's an extremely flexible system – you can pretty much do anything you dream of. It is enormously easy to search across data and find exactly the knowledge you need"

- Kim Karlov Nielsen, CFO 


QLIK SENSE vs. Excel

Read Capanas' take on why Qlik Sense beats Excel.

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