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Qlik finally set to leapfrog Tableau?

Who’s your rival? I carelessly asked a Qlik person at the company’s annual analyst reception Monday night in Miami if she hadn’t once worked for Tableau. Her revulsion was immediate. “No! Never!,” she said.

We smiled. There was so much more to talk about. For one thing, how will private equity change things? Qlik wasn’t doing so well at the public-equity thing, you may recall, and over the last few months they went private.

Knowledgeable Qlikkers assure me with apparent sincerity that “good things” will ensue. I can think of no reason to doubt them. It must be nice to have the riffraff off your back, which one experienced business person described to me as “having ants in your pants.”

Tableau’s still public, though not quite as shiny as it was. It has that well worn feel of a recently plush restaurant. No one notices in the mood lighting and boozy good vibes, but the cleaning crew sees it plainly enough when the bright lights go on after closing.

To be rid of ants might just set Qlik on the way to leapfrogging Tableau. Old-timers will recall that Tableau was once the upshot that caught Qlik by surprise. Now Qlik might show off what it’s learned.

We’ll see on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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