Power BI and Tableau are ruling the world of Business Intelligence over the last decade. Ever since its inception, Tableau has tasted humungous success and popularity to register itself as the market leader for the BI tools and data analytics. Although Microsoft Power Bi is much younger, it has developed a lot to become the closest competitor of Tableau.
These positions haven’t been earned overnight as the whole landscape of data analytics, and visualization is highly dynamic with new players entering the arena almost daily. Thus, to reach and remain in the top position, one must have a powerful mix of ease of use, brand recognition, and a competitive price. Power BI and Tableau are both blessed with the deadly combo which has made a comparison between these more compelling and the talk of the business world.
It is no hidden fact that Power BI has a better price than Tableau. It offers a free version and even a premium version which comes at a higher price or even a monthly subscription plan. Power BI is a Microsoft product, but its users can get access to the Office 365 tool’s interface for admin center without any direct payment for the same. There are only charges for subscriptions and users. This makes Power BI highly affordable for those businesses which have made deep investments in the Microsoft software.
In comparison to this, the pricing of Tableau is a little more confusing as they have shifted to a subscription model from bulk purchase. The model of pricing is a layered system which differentiates between different connections versus the third-party apps. If your business has a huge amount of data on spreadsheets and has time to export the same from third-party apps before actually shifting it to Tableau, the pricing seems to be reasonable. Latter also is still higher than Power BI. In case if you still are looking to strike connections with third-party apps like Google Analytics, Marketo, Hadoop, etc. then you might consider buying the Professional Edition.
There are three forms of Power BI, namely desktop, service, and mobile. Your use of these services for building and publishing the visualizations will actually depend on your role and needs. Azure tenant comprises the fundamental setup which is instrumental in connecting the Power BI via an Office 365 Admin interface. Almost all the businesses which prefer Power BI have a framework in place. Power BI is thus relatively easy to use and can connect the current spreadsheets, apps, and data sources via APIs and other in-built connections.
On the other hand, Tableau allows users an initial free trial which gives complete access to various parts of the tool.
It is from the dashboard that you can view all the available connections in the form of a list. You may then connect your data sources and then build a worksheet where all your visualizations will be placed. You can also share your visualizations with your team via a Tableau Server or Tableau Online if you had built them using Tableau Desktop.
There are many pre-built dashboards and APIs for quick insights for the frequently used technology like Google Analytics, Email marketing, Salesforce, or other Microsoft products in Power BI. It also allows you to connect various services in your business or even conduct file downloads for building visualizations. For connecting any data to Power BI, one can use the “Get Data” button. For complete connection, you will have to walk through a quick process of authorization.
Tableau, on the other hand, has made huge investments in connections and integrations for both big tools and also commonly employed connections. All the connections which are a part of your account can be viewed just after the login to Tableau. The connection in case of Tableau is much more involved as you will have to pick which data you need to drag into it and when is the best time to make that connection. This will require you to understand what data you have to search for and why you have to do it before you begin to make those connections.
Power BI provides access to real-time data along with drag-and-drop abilities for enhancing the speed of the visualizations. It also gives access to robust data analytics and discovery the first-time users who do not even have much prior knowledge or experience. Real-time implies that your team can instantly react to various changes which are entered into the Power BI from either CRM, project management, financial tools, and even sales.
It is this access to real-time data which gives the Power BI an edge over Tableau. Features of the latter are also as powerful with some of its features hidden. It allows forecasting, which is generally rested on the previous behavior and also various calculations for transforming the current data as per your requirements. Its features allow for live extracts and query capabilities, which is very useful for data analytics. If you are familiar with your data-sets and are even willing to spend some time to study about it, Tableau does offer the much-needed ease-of-use.
In the case of Power BI, you can access your data from anywhere through the use of its native apps. The publish-to-web feature also allows you to add your visualizations into your website directly. It also comes with good online support and documentation with a dedicated YouTube channel. The most interesting feature is the natural language query tool, which is like your Data Google as it has answers to almost all questions about your data. Likewise, Tableau is also endowed with a broad support system which provides you support for all the basics ranging from a software setting to the data analysis.
Data can be both accessed and even manipulated even via its mobile app as the entire team can come together around shared dashboards. There is no natural query language for Tableau. Latter did introduce Hyper with the release of Tableau 10.5, which it claims to be better than other tools for the query.
|Year Of Establishment||2013||2003|
|Scalability (Large Data-Sets)||Good||Very Good|
|Overall functionality||Good||Very Good|
|Infrastructure||Software as a Service||Flexible|
The whole comparison is actually based on the user perspective. Power BI is said to be a common stakeholder and not a professional data analyst. The whole interface is dependent on the drag-and-drop and intuitive features, which are highly instrumental in helping the teams build their visualizations. It thus serves as an excellent tool for any team to enter into the realm of data analytics without having a formal degree in the same. Tableau, although is much powerful but lacks the intuitive interface which adds to the difficulty of its usage and learning. Only the professionals who have prior experience in data analysis are met with much fewer problems to transform data into visualizations.
Thus, there is no clear winner, and the comparison lands in a draw. Power BI has an edge due to its ease of use while Tableau has no parallel in terms of speed and other features. Power BI thus becomes the preferred choice for small businesses which generally have limited resources and made previous investments in Microsoft products. On the contrary, the businesses which do not have any financial or human capital strains and in fact have a focus on data analytics are much better served by Tableau. There are many other tools also available in the market, but these two have definitely left the others much behind in the race.