Microsoft Power BI vs Tableau – Features, Pros & Cons, Verdict

Microsoft Power BI vs Tableau – planning to implement BI in your organization, and haven’t heard about the long-standing debate between the two BI leaders, is impossible. 

In this article, we have highlighted the vital differences between Microsoft Power BI and Tableau. And it’ll surely help you make an informed decision in selecting the most suitable BI tool for your organization.

A quick overview of Microsoft Power BI

Released by Microsoft in 2014, Power BI has outwitted all its competitors and has secured its number one position in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Analytics and BI platform. In features and pricing, it’s the ideal Business Intelligence tool for small and medium enterprises. 

A quick overview of Tableau

Now a part of Salesforce, Tableau has been a leader for quite some time. Though it’s pretty behind Power BI in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Analytics and BI platform, it’s still in the Leader’s quadrant. Like Power BI, it also comes with drag and drop features, but it’s more suitable for large-scale organizations because of pricing.

Microsoft Power BI vs Tableau

 Let’s now dig into the debate from different perspectives.

User-friendly

A BI tool’s capability depends on how user-friendly it is and how conveniently even a non-tech professional can derive meaningful insights from it. 

Microsoft Power BI

You can collate data from different sources and use intuitive graphs to present it to your stakeholders. It comes with industry-specific charts, making the lives of analysts easier.  Even the reports compiled of more than one visual can be shared. 

Tableau

While Tableau can also pull data from multiple data sources, presenting its reports to end-users is a lengthier process. Visuals prepared on different pages need to be compiled correctly before you deliver them to the stakeholders.

Pricing

A major deciding factor when a start-up plans its investment.  

Microsoft Power BI

You can access Power BI Pro for $9.99 monthly/per user. And its desktop version, which is equipped with all the visualization capabilities, comes for free.

Tableau

Tableau’s basic plan starts at $35per user per month. While Tableau Public is free and has all visualization capabilities, it doesn’t come with data security.

Skill-sets requirement

Microsoft Power BI

If you have worked on Excel, it’ll be convenient for you to learn power BI. DAX (Data Analysis Expression), used for custom calculations in Power BI, is loaded with analytical capabilities. But, it also uses some of the Excel formulas. As a result, power BI has a steep learning curve and the ability to augment and adjust with your organizational growth. 

Tableau

Developing dashboards in Tableau requires more data analytics skills. So, if you have a data analytics team, Tableau is a great option.

Verdict

There’s no distinct winner in Microsoft Power BI vs Tableau war, but for – 

  • SMEs –Power BI is the best option, as long as your data size is within the 10GB limit; it gives you all the data analysis features at the most competitive pricing and no data security issues.
  • Large businesses – Large organizations with extensive databases and a data analytics team can choose Tableau. It helps with complicated analysis but comes at a price.
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