Power BI vs Tableau: Comparison Between Top Two BI Tools

The worldwide market size for business intelligence and analytics software applications is forecast to reach 16.5 billion in 2023 [Source: Statista]

The business intelligence software segment is expected to show a revenue growth of 15.3% in 2021. [Source: Statista]

Reporting, dashboards, data integration, data warehousing, and data preparation are top technologies and initiatives strategic to BI in 2020.

The greater the uncertainty in an industry, the more likely their executive and C-suite leaders are using BI to search for greater stability.

BI tools are more commonly used by R&D, Business Intelligence Competency Centers (BICC), Marketing & Sales, and IT in 2020.

[Source: Dresner Advisory Associates’ 11th edition of popular Business Intelligence Market Study]

Business Intelligence tools are must-have tools for businesses regardless of size or industry they operate in. Data holds huge value for today’s businesses to design new strategies, uncover potential insights, and streamlines the decision-making process.

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Tableau vs Power BI — Most Discussed Comparison Of Top Business Intelligence Tools

Both of these tools possess a huge user base and a wide community of consultants, developers, and analysts. Both tools are enjoying dominant positions in business analytics and data science space. But chalking out important differences help in the selection of suitable tool according to your business needs.

What Makes Tableau Popular BI Tool? Here’s An Overview Of Tableau:

Ease of use and powerful analytics — yes, these two features of Tableau make it one of the widely-used BI tools. Tableau is very user-friendly and offers self-service BI capabilities that enable users to extract insights from data through quick and interactive visualizations.

Image Source: public.tableau.com
  • End-to-end analytics platform
  • Easy-to-use, self-service BI tool
  • Quick, interactive, and intuitive tool
  • A fastest-growing data visualization tool
  • Capable to handle a vast amount of data
  • Hassle-free enterprise-level scalability
  • Supports various data sources
  • Real-time analytics and results
  • Mobile-friendly dashboards and responsive design
  • Can be integrated with scripting languages
  • Apple
  • Lenovo
  • Cisco Systems
  • LinkedIn
  • Box
  • GoDaddy
  • Seagate
  • Wells Fargo
  • JP Morgan Chase
  • Verizon
  • Honeywell
  • Lufthansa
  • Walmart
  • Deloitte
  • Nissan

A Quick Overview Of PowerBI: A Suite Of Business Intelligence And Data Visualization Services

Microsoft’s Power BI is a set of BI, reporting, and data visualization products and services. It is equipped with modern features and real-time analytics capabilities to help convert raw data into interactive and visually-appealing dashboards.

Image Source: microsoft.com
  • Easy set-up, easy-to-use
  • Rich, customizable, interactive dashboards
  • Real-time analytics and visuals
  • Easy collaboration and sharing of reports
  • Self-service and enterprise data analytics
  • 360-degree view of data, natural-language query
  • Efficient, accurate, And cost-effective BI tool
  • Metro Bank
  • Conde Nast
  • Aston Martin
  • Rolls Royce
  • Heathrow
  • Hewlett Packard
  • Adobe
  • Kraft Heinz
  • GE Healthcare
  • Rockwell Automation

Power BI vs Tableau: Here Are Major Differences Between Two Tools

We will be evaluating differences based on several factors. These factors are important while choosing a BI tool.

Data Visualization:

Both these tools have their own strengths when it comes to data representation. Tableau provides more depth of data, allowing users to drill down data with just drag-and-drop functionality. Tableau Reporting aims to simplify visualizations so that data analysts can find the answers by adjusting, comparing, and analyzing the data. It is more like a visualization tool rather than a manipulation of data, unlike Power BI. You can switch between visualizations easily in Tableau and it is more like query-based.

Image Source: microsoft.com


Both these platforms have launched various products for the data analytics and business intelligence market. Here is the list of each platform’s services and products:

  • Power BI Desktop: free visualization and reporting tool
  • Power BI Pro and Power BI Premium: Cloud-based business analytics and data visualization service (paid)
  • Power BI Mobile: Monitor and access Power BI dashboards anytime, anywhere
  • Power BI Report Server: On-premise enterprise reporting server, available in two licenses — Power BI Premium and SQL Server Enterprise Edition
  • Tableau Server: Enterprise-level online platform to manage data and data sources
  • Tableau Online: Cloud-based analytics platform makes sharing and collaboration easy
  • Tableau Desktop: Self-service business analytics and data visualization tool
  • Tableau Prep: A visual and direct interface to make data preparing easy and advanced
  • Tableau Reader: A free desktop application to view and interact with data visualizations
  • Tableau Mobile: Access data wherever, whenever with Tableau Mobile Apps

Power BI vs Tableau Cost Comparison :

If we compare these tools in terms of cost, Power BI is cost-effective than Tableau. It is affordable, effective for business users, especially those who are already using Microsoft products. Even if we select a monthly subscription or scalable premium service, Power BI is a low-cost BI tool compared to Tableau. However, the pricing is subjective and based on users, scalability, and maintenance.

Power BI And Tableau Performance Comparison:

Both tools use different approaches to data visualization. Tableau is a great choice for data discovery and ad-hoc analysis. It is a fully integrated platform and works great with larger datasets.

Tableau vs Power BI Data Visualization

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Through the “Get Data” button in Power BI, you can connect to a wide number of data sources, for example:

  • Azure Analysis Service
  • CSV
  • Salesforce
  • Oracle
  • Excel
  • MySQL
  • SharePoint Lists
  • Azure Analysis Services
  • Cloud Services
  • Real-time data streaming
Image Source: microsoft.com

Power BI vs Tableau: A Quick Comparison Summary

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Power BI vs Tableau FAQS

  • Which one is better — Power BI vs Tableau?
  • What Are The Advantages of Power BI Over Tableau?
  • What Are The Advantages Of Tableau Over Power BI?
  • Is Power BI difficult to learn?
  • Is Tableau hard to learn?
  • Does Tableau use Python?
  • What are the disadvantages of using Tableau?

Which Is Better Power BI vs Tableau? What To Choose And When?

It depends on the user. Yes, while choosing these tools, along with the above-mentioned parameters, you have to think who will be using these tools. Power BI can be used by even a non-experienced person and offers insights and data analytics using drag-and-drop features. Tableau does provide the same but some prior knowledge of data visualization and big data helps analysts to better leverage it.



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