Top 5 Open Source and Proprietary Tableau Alternatives

September 14th, 2021 15 min read

Tableau is one of the most popular business intelligence solutions on the market, and for good reason.  Users can leverage Tableau to create robust and interactive visualizations based on an analysis of big data sources.  Tableau visualizations are available on all screen sizes and most devices, making it a powerful and versatile data visualization tool.

For some, you may have heard of its capabilities, but are still confused about what exactly the software does. At its heart, business intelligence solutions offer ways to gain insights from vast amounts of data, often in real-time. Though the types of software vary in capabilities, all are based around data analytics and creating actionable insights.

Despite these strengths, Tableau can be too pricey for a lot of businesses and requires savvy users to create visualizations that require complex querying.  Tableau also lags behind some business intelligence trends when performing tasks besides visualizations, such as large-scale reporting.  For these reasons, Tableau isn’t right for every business.

Fortunately, there are many business intelligence software alternatives.  The alternatives listed below are top-rated business intelligence tools on TrustRadius that are frequently compared to Tableau.

Qlik Sense 

Qlik Sense trScore

Qlik Sense offers an end-to-end solution that scales well. I would advise any organization whether small or large to give it a try. The delivery of output is browser-based and so is the development. This makes its platform independent as far as users are concerned, and the result is a seamless and scalable solution. Also advantageous is the ability to develop, control, and maintain from the stage of data ingestion up to the front end. To those companies where one is expected to build their own dashboards on the go, Qlik Sense can have a steep learning curve.

Sanad Mukadam | Data Analyst | ADSS (Financial Services, 201-500 employees)

Qlik Sense enables users to create complex visualizations easily.  Visualizations built using Qlik Sense can use data from multiple sources, making Qlik usable as a data warehouse for organizations that need to create visualizations with data from numerous applications.

Users that need robust analytics features may struggle with Qlik Sense’s limited analytics tools.  Additionally, Linux systems have to use a virtual environment to run Qlik Sense as there is no Linux version of the application.

Qlik Sense is ideal for organizations that want to create data visualizations but don’t require robust analytics tools.  Additionally, Qlik Sense is a competitive choice for organizations with few technical users as it is straightforward to create detailed and complex visualizations.

Domo

Domo trScore

“Domo has amazing functionality and can tie in information from just about any system. It’s not quite as intuitive as Tableau, and the visualizations aren’t as beautiful, but the back end data manipulation is leaps and bounds better.“

Luke F. |Director of Analytics | Internet (1001-5000 employees)

Domo helps users create dashboards with minimal effort based on pre-built pages that automatically assemble based on the data sources used.  The use of pre-built pages allows users to develop simple visualizations without significant training, but custom visualizations may require technical users.

Domo users also enjoy simplified extraction, transformation, and loading processes, which allows users to query and report on data without SQL knowledge.  Simplified extraction and transformation features help Domo users pull in and manipulate data from many different sources. Businesses can also use Domo to automate alerts based on changes in data, allowing analysts to keep the organization abreast of changes in essential data.

Businesses that need simple visualizations that can be created quickly can benefit from Domo’s pre-built pages and automated alerts.  Similarly, organizations that need to manipulate data on the backend benefit from Domo’s easy extraction and transformation processes.  Businesses without technical staff may not be able to benefit fully from Domo’s querying and data manipulation features.

An area where Domo can fall short is in educating new users on its capabilities. While there is the Domo University system for learning, many reviewers found it less helpful than expected. Ultimately, this tool offers some strong self-service business intelligence features.

Domo can be more expensive than some options. Since a common issue with Tableau is cost, this may be prohibitive for some. Their pricing model is very use-case specific, and therefore difficult to discuss generally. Those with large data needs and complex data sets may find the costs rising quickly, up to the point where Tableau would provide a better up-front ROI.

TIBCO Spotfire

“TIBCO Spotfire is one of the best suited products available in the market. It is being used in all the functional areas addressing all the queries. It will help you find the hidden information in your data.”

Verified User | Program Manager | Information Technology and Services Company (1001-5000 employees)

TIBCO Spotfire allows any business to create visualizations without training or understanding of SQL.  Users of TIBCO Spotfire enjoy dashboard creation features very similar to Tableau’s except TIBCO Spotfire also provides a recommendation wizard that suggests best practices based on the data used.  TIBCO Spotfire’s recommendation wizard and intuitive interface rival Tableau’s drag and drop dashboard creation.

TIBCO Spotfire also provides cloud integrations and relational database connections for the collection of data.  These connections and integrations feed data for TIBCO Spotfire users to use for data visualization and predictive analytics.

Tableau and TIBCO Spotfire are comparable very closely on features.  Both are easy to use to create simple to intermediate complexity visualizations. TIBCO Spotfire may be a great choice for organizations that can benefit from the recommendation wizard, or who prefer TIBCO Spotfire’s suite of integrations over Tableau’s.

This software is also a Top-Rated award winner in the category, showing its popularity and feature strength. The vendor has received the 2021 True recognition as well, for its commitment to review transparency. 

Tibco offers some mobile functionality, a strong differentiator in business intelligence software. They offer an app for android devices, as well as providing support for those looking to work in developing mobile apps with the tool. A dedicated iOS app allows for string web access and dashboard/report features. 

Users praise the software for its ability to handle data integration with large sets. For a business intelligence platform, this software exceeds in this capacity, at the expense of a slightly less intuitive interface. In other areas, the software has fantastic quality of life features. Drag and Drop import features, including with Excel, make life simpler at the start of the data process. These features are not as intuitive as some, but for an experienced, skilled user, will be extremely helpful.

Looker

8.2/10 tr score

“Looker is the best BI tool for an enterprise-level company. It allows everyone to work on their space and create reports and dashboards. They have done a great job with their own simpler version of SQL like language to set up tables, called lookml, which is very easy to write, and the documentation on it is excellent! Their customer support is phenomenal! What could be better are their filtering options and visualization options.”

Jameet B. |Data Analyst, Snap Inc. | Information Technology & Services (1001-5000 employees)

Looker allows non-technical users to perform data analysis via pre-built analytics code blocks.  These code blocks can also be customized and saved, so advanced users have a jumping-off point and can save time on repeated reports.  Looker’s analytics features, combined with built-in integrations and flexible data collection features, make it an excellent analytics tool.

Looker also provides visualization and dashboard creation features, but they are not as robust as Tableau’s offering, which allows for the simple creation of compelling dashboards.  Similarly, Looker has big data analysis integrations but doesn’t have OLAP support, which can make web-based analytics challenging.

Looker is an ideal choice for organizations that need a powerful analytics tool, with limited visualization features.  Businesses will be able to get more out of Looker if they have technical staff that can customize and create analytics code blocks.

Microsoft Power BI

8.4/10 tr score

“Power BI is categorically the most advanced yet beginner-friendly business intelligence tool that I have come across. Because of its beautiful, user-friendly interface, automated onboarding, and a dedicated website for tutorials, the learning curve is flattened as much as possible, which gets the user going in no time. Even if something gets overwhelming for you, you can hop to their friendly and helpful user community forum, which is invariably ready to help you with alacrity.”

Tanish Pruthi | Marketing Associate  | Mercer-MettlInformation Technology and Services, 501-1000 employees

Microsoft Power BI has several pros, such as powerful automation tools that allow users to save time by automating regular reports.  Additionally, Microsoft Power BI provides drag and drop dashboard creation and a ribbon-based interface that will be familiar to any Microsoft software user.  Microsoft Power BI also offers a free version and integrates seamlessly with other Microsoft software.

Users of Microsoft Power BI may have some issues handling data with relationships that are more complicated than one-to-one.  Additionally, non-technical staff will be able to use Microsoft Power BI’s basic features but may struggle with its more advanced features.

Businesses may choose Microsoft Power BI if they are Microsoft shops that benefit from the integrations Microsoft Power BI has with other Microsoft software. It’s a Microsoft product, and for many, the brand can carry a lot of weight. The support system will be strong, and for a Tableau alternative, there is no bigger vendor name. Additionally, smaller businesses with basic data needs may choose Microsoft Power BI for its free version.

What’s Right For You?

Tableau is a great tool for businesses that want to create interactive data visualizations and have the technical resources to manage it.  For businesses seeking a more affordable option, one with more robust analytics tools, or software that can be used by non-technical staff, one of the alternatives listed above may be a better choice.

There are many more business intelligence tools if none of these is a perfect fit for you. Check out reviews, and explore more business intelligence options below:

If you’re still confused about tableau specifically, check out the video below:

Check out all Business Intelligence Software. Learn more, read reviews, and find the right choice for you.

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