Comparison of Qlikview and Xcelsius

In this article I would like to write about my experiences with both Qlikview and Xcelsius which I hope will give you a better understanding of which product you may want to go with.

Visual Appeal
In this category, Xcelsius in my opinion wins hands down.  The charts, gauges, dropdowns, etc have much more of a 3D bubbly feel compared to Qlikview.  At the end of the day this may be what executives would prefer since people in general are more interested in things that are more pretty.

Here are some examples of a dashboard from Xcelsius and a dashboard from Qlikview.

Xcelsius Dashboard

Xcelsius Dashboard

Qlikview Dashboard

Qlikview Dashboard


Ease of use
Both products are quite easy to use as you drag and drop charts, dropdowns, gauges on the sandbox and then easily bind your data values.  If you are competant at using Excel, you will probably like how easy it is to bind the data values to the charts and objects.

Retreival of Data
This is where Qlikview wins.  In Qlikview, you can easily connect to your data source and run whatever queries you want to extract data onto the tables displayed on the sandbox.  The retreival of data on Xcelsius however involves either creating webservices to connect to your database to grab data, XML mapping which is not as powerful as webservices, or Live Office where you will need to create webis in BOBJ enterprise and connect them to your Excel file.  The extra step can prove to be time consuming as you will need someone to either develop webservices or webi objects.

From my experience, Qlikview had better performance in terms of retreiving and populating data on the dashboards. The reason probably comes from the fact that Qlikview goes directly to the database whereas Xcelsius has to grab data, inject it into Excel, then display the data on the dashboard objects.  When using Live Office, the performance even takes a larger hit as we need to build the webi objects and then go through the live office bridge to populate the excel file.

If you are planning to use Xcelsius with BOBJ Enterprise, then Qlikview’s costs will definitely be a fraction of what you are paying for in BOBJ Enterprise.  However, with Qlikview you will have to somewhat be knowledgable with SQL and their little scripts whereas BOBJ Enterprise, Business Users can create dashboards on Xcelsius.

If you are going the webservices route for Xcelsius, then you will need to have someone on the team who is knowledgable in creating webservices and has decent SQL knowledge, however from there, performance will be much better than using Live Office.

Both products have their advantages of disadvantages.  With Xcelsius, if you have great developers, you can create a dashboard that can WOW the audience and potentially sell a deal.  However if you are not concerned with looks, then Qlikview may be the solution for you since you’ll experience better performance and lower maintainance in the long run.