Difference Between Power BI and Tableau

Key Difference Between Power BI vs Tableau

  • Power BI, with its versatile DAX, is adept at calculating and measuring columns, while Tableau relies on MDX for measures and dimensions.
  • Power BI offers numerous data points for data visualization, whereas the Tableau platform is known for its functionality.
  • Power BI, while capable, is more suited for a limited volume of data, whereas Tableau, with its robust performance, can handle a huge volume of data.
  • Power BI doesn’t work better with massive data, but Tableau works best when vast data is in the cloud.
  • Power BI is used by both naive and experienced users, and Tableau is used by analysts and experienced users. Users mostly use Tableau for their analytics purposes.
  • Power BI Interface is easy to learn, whereas Tableau is difficult.

Power BI vs Tableau

Here, I have analyzed the differences between Power BI and Tableau and will comprehensively evaluate their pros and cons. ​​

What is Power BI?

Power BI is a Business Intelligence and Data Visualization tool that helps you to convert data from various data sources into interactive dashboards and BI reports. It also provides multiple software connectors and services.

Microsoft Power BI is a business intelligence tool that helps you to handle data from different sources and provides visualization after the cleaning and integration process. It also offers a feature of Adhoc report generation, which helps in the analysis of the data.

What is Tableau?

Tableau is a powerful and fastest-growing data visualization tool used in the business intelligence industry. It allows you to simplify raw data into a very easily understandable format.

Data analysis is very fast with Tableau, and the visualizations created are in the form of dashboards and worksheets. This helps professionals to understand the data that is created using Tableau at any level in an organization.

Difference Between Power BI and Tableau
Difference Between Power BI and Tableau

Features of Power BI

In my extensive use of Power BI, I have identified the following essential features:

  • Customizable dashboards
  • Datasets
  • Reports
  • Navigation pane
  • Q&A question box
  • Help & feedback buttons
  • Ad Hoc reporting and analysis
  • Online Analytical Processing (OLAP)
  • Trend indicators
  • Interactive reports authoring
  • Complete reporting & data visualization tools
  • Real-time dashboards that help business owners solve problems as they occur
  • Offers Power BI embedded Azure service that allows applications to interact with Power BI
  • The Q&A feature of Power BI allows users to ask questions using natural language to get answers in a specific graphical form.
  • Content Packs: for sharing dashboards with team

Features of Tableau

Here are some important features of Tableau that I’ve extensively utilized:

  • Data blending
  • No need of technical knowledge
  • Real-time analysis
  • Data collaboration and data notifications
  • DAX analysis function
  • Patented technology from Stanford university
  • Toggle view and drag-and-drop
  • List of native data connectors
  • Highlight and filter data
  • Share dashboards
  • Embed dashboards within
  • Mobile-ready dashboards
  • Tableau reader for data viewing
  • Dashboard commenting
  • Create “no-code” data queries
  • Translate queries to visualizations
  • Import all ranges and sizes of data

What is the Difference between Power BI and Tableau

In my analysis, here are the major differences between Tableau and PowerBI.

Difference Between Tableau vs. Power BI
Difference Between Tableau vs Power BI
Power BI Tableau
Power BI can handle a limited volume of data. Tableau can handle a huge volume of data with better performance.
Power BI offers numerous data points to offer data visualization. it is offering more than 3500 data points for drilling down the dataset. Tableau platform is known for its data visualization functionality. The users can use 24 different types of visualizations in Tableau.
Power BI provides limited customer support to its users with a free Power BI account. However, the paid version users will get faster support compared with the free version. Tableau has excellent customer support. It has a large community forum for discussions.
Power BI doesn’t work better with a massive amount of data Tableau works best when there is vast data in the cloud.
It is used by both naive and experienced users. Analysts and experienced- users mostly use it for their analytics purposes.
Power BI Interface is very easy to learn. Tableau is a little difficult.
Power BI concentrates more on reporting and analytical modeling but not on storing the data. Information can be stored by using the Tableau server.
Suitable for Small, medium & large type of organization. Suitable for medium & Large type of Organization.
Power BI uses DAX for calculating and measuring columns. Tableau deploys MDX for measures and dimensions.
Power BI connects limited data sources while increasing its data source connectors in monthly updates. This connects to numerous data sources.
Embedding report is easy with Power BI. Embedding report is a real-time challenge in Tableau

Which Companies Use Tableau?

From my observations, the following is the list of companies using Tableau:

  1. Red Hat
  2. Nissan
  3. Henkel
  4. PayPal
  5. Walmart
  6. Cisco
  7. Amazon

Which Companies Use Power BI?

Here is a list of companies we’ve seen successfully using Power BI:

  1. Nestle
  2. NielsenIQ
  3. L’Oréal
  4. Pepsico
  5. Unicef
  6. YMCA
  7. Hershey

Tableau Products

Based on my extensive use, here are the various types of Tableau products:

  • Tableau Desktop: Tableau Desktop offers a rich feature set and allows you to code and customize reports. Begin by creating the charts and reports to blend them all together to form a dashboard for all the necessary work created in Tableau Desktop. The workbooks and the dashboards created here can be either shared locally or publicly.
  • Tableau Desktop Personal: The development features are similar to Tableau Desktop. The personal version keeps the workbook private and offers limited access. This cannot be published online. Therefore, it should be distributed either offline or in Tableau Public.
  • Tableau Desktop Professional: It is pretty much similar to Tableau Desktop. The difference is that the work created in the Tableau Desktop can be published online or in the Tableau Server. Also, in the Professional version, there is full access to all sorts of data types.
  • Tableau Public: It is the Tableau version specially built for cost-effective users. Filed saved in Tableau’s public cloud, which can be viewed and accessed by anyone.
    There is no privacy to the files saved to the cloud as anyone can download and access the same. This version is the best for the individuals who want to learn Tableau BI.
  • Tableau Server: Tableau server is used to share the workbooks and visualizations that are created in the Tableau Desktop application across the organization. To share dashboards in the Tableau Server, you must first publish your work in the Tableau Desktop.
    Once the work has been uploaded to the server, it will be accessible only to the licensed users. However, It’s not necessary that the licensed users need to have the Tableau Server installed on their machine.
  • Tableau Online: As its name suggests, it is an online sharing tool of Tableau. Its functionalities are similar to Tableau Server, but the data is stored on servers hosted in the cloud, which are maintained by the Tableau group. There is no storage limit on the data that can be published in the Tableau Online.
  • Tableau Reader: Tableau Reader is a free-to-use tool that allows you to view the workbooks and visualizations created using Tableau Desktop or Tableau Public. However, the security level is zero in Tableau Reader as anyone who gets the workbook can view it using Tableau Reader.

Power BI Products

From my professional toolkit, here are some important Power BI tools:

  • Power BI Desktop: Power BI Desktop is the primary authoring and publishing tool for Power BI. Developers use the Power BI tool to create brand-new models and reports from scratch.
  • Power BI Service: Power BI service is an online Software as a Service (SaaS) where Power BI data models, reports, and dashboards are hosted. Administration, sharing, and collaboration happen in the cloud.
  • Power BI Data Gateway: Power BI Data Gateway works as the bridge between the Power BI Service and on-premise data sources like Direct Query, Import, and Live Query. It is Installed by BI Admin.
  • Power BI Report Server: It can host paginated reports, mobile reports, & Power BI Desktop reports. The users can modify Power BI reports and other reports created by the development team.
  • Power BI Mobile Apps: Power BI mobile app is available for iOS, Android, and Windows. It can be managed using Microsoft Intune. This lets you view reports and dashboards on the Power BI Service Report Server.

Advantages of Tableau

Here, I’d like to share the pros and benefits that we’ve realized by using Tableau BI.

  • Less cost of training
  • Very fast and easy to create visualizations
  • Good customer support
  • Data Interpreter Story-telling ability
  • Tableau offers a feature of visualization
  • It helps you to combine shape & clean the data for analysis.
  • It helps you to handle a large amount of data.
  • Uses scripting languages like R & Python to avoid performance for complex table calculations.
  • Allows users to create reports, dashboards, and stories using Tableau Desktop.

Advantages of Power BI

From what we’ve seen, these are the primary benefits of Power BI.

  • Offers pre-built dashboards and reports for SaaS Solutions
  • Provide real-time dashboard updates.
  • Secure and reliable connection to your data sources in the cloud or on-premises
  • Power BI offers quick deployment, hybrid configuration, and a secure environment.
  • Data exploration using natural language query.
  • Feature for dashboard visualization
  • New features frequently added that are great for Excel users.
  • Extensive database connectivity capabilities Q&A feature publish to the web.
  • integration with both Python and R coding to use visualizations.
  • Power Query provides many options related to wrangling and cleaning the data.
  • Post publishing the data into Power BI web service can schedule refresh without manual intervention.
  • Power BI backed by the superpower of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Disadvantages of Power BI

From our perspective, there are noticeable cons or drawbacks associated with the use of Power BI.

  • Dashboards and reports are only shared with users having the same email domains.
  • Power BI will never mix imported data, which is accessed from real-time connections.
  • Power BI can’t accept file sizes larger than 1 GB.
  • Dashboard never accepts or passes user, account, or other entity parameters.

Disadvantages of Tableau

From what I’ve seen, these are the cons and drawbacks of Tableau.

  • Relatively high cost
  • No change management or versioning
  • It is expensive, BI, when compared to other tools.
  • Importing custom visualization is a bit difficult.
  • Tableau does not offer easy methods for embedding reports into other applications.
  • Tableau is suitable only for a large organization that can pay for licensing costs.
  • The Tableau does not offer support for artificial intelligence and machine learning.
  • There is integration with other Microsoft products like Power Apps, Dynamics 365, Office 365, and Microsoft Flow, which uses Single Sign-On (SSO).

How to Choose Between a Power BI vs Tableau

Having worked extensively with both tools, I find that Tableau offers superior depth in data exploration, while Power BI is more accessible for beginners and integrates better with the Microsoft ecosystem.