What users are saying about
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696 Ratings
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Top Rated
650 Ratings

Microsoft BI

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Score 8 out of 101

Tableau Server

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Score 8.2 out of 101

Likelihood to Recommend

Microsoft BI

Most suitable scenarios:
-Large scale report automation and distribution.
-Self service BI for internal and external users.
-Relational databases and multidimensional models.
-Comprehensive security & access control.

Less appropriate scenarios:
-Non-relational databases
-Low budget
-Tight timeframe

I'd invite anyone reading this far to think hard on his/her goals with BI. Are you trying to build a solid and endurable BI service for your clients or your own organisation? Or do you just need to have some quick visualisation of the data you have to make strategic or operational decisions in a few weeks time?

Implementing a MicrosoftS BI stack takes time, knowledge, and skills, none of these comes cheaply these days. If your answer to my first question is "yes", go ahead and study Microsoft BI a bit more then make your decision on your own. If you see my second question is most relevant to you, go and grab a web-based BI tool such as SiSense, Tableau, Splunk, and so on. Take the free trial option and see if you can test your ideas fast and at a lower cost. Good luck!
Haibo Yang profile photo

Tableau Server

Tableau Server should be considered in organizations where you have several consumers of data and fewer creators. The licensing of the server will make you save and allow you to have some governance over your dashboards.In an environment where you have a lot of creators, the use of a server might not bring a lot of benefits, because creators using the desktop version can open and modify other people's dashboards.
Mathieu Gaouette profile photo

Feature Rating Comparison

BI Standard Reporting

Microsoft BI
7.9
Tableau Server
8.1
Pixel Perfect reports
Microsoft BI
7.7
Tableau Server
8.3
Customizable dashboards
Microsoft BI
7.9
Tableau Server
8.6
Report Formatting Templates
Microsoft BI
8.2
Tableau Server
7.5

Ad-hoc Reporting

Microsoft BI
8.4
Tableau Server
8.0
Drill-down analysis
Microsoft BI
8.1
Tableau Server
8.0
Formatting capabilities
Microsoft BI
8.4
Tableau Server
8.1
Integration with R or other statistical packages
Microsoft BI
8.2
Tableau Server
7.5
Report sharing and collaboration
Microsoft BI
8.8
Tableau Server
8.3

Report Output and Scheduling

Microsoft BI
8.0
Tableau Server
7.7
Publish to Web
Microsoft BI
8.2
Tableau Server
8.8
Publish to PDF
Microsoft BI
8.5
Tableau Server
7.8
Report Versioning
Microsoft BI
7.9
Tableau Server
7.7
Report Delivery Scheduling
Microsoft BI
7.4
Tableau Server
8.4
Delivery to Remote Servers
Microsoft BI
8.2
Tableau Server
6.0

Data Discovery and Visualization

Microsoft BI
8.0
Tableau Server
7.7
Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.)
Microsoft BI
8.4
Tableau Server
8.2
Location Analytics / Geographic Visualization
Microsoft BI
7.9
Tableau Server
8.2
Predictive Analytics
Microsoft BI
7.9
Tableau Server
6.5

Access Control and Security

Microsoft BI
8.3
Tableau Server
8.1
Multi-User Support (named login)
Microsoft BI
8.3
Tableau Server
8.1
Role-Based Security Model
Microsoft BI
8.0
Tableau Server
8.0
Multiple Access Permission Levels (Create, Read, Delete)
Microsoft BI
8.4
Tableau Server
8.3
Single Sign-On (SSO)
Microsoft BI
8.3
Tableau Server
8.1

Mobile Capabilities

Microsoft BI
8.2
Tableau Server
7.7
Responsive Design for Web Access
Microsoft BI
8.2
Tableau Server
7.5
Dedicated iOS Application
Microsoft BI
8.4
Tableau Server
7.8
Dedicated Android Application
Microsoft BI
8.1
Tableau Server
7.7
Dashboard / Report / Visualization Interactivity on Mobile
Microsoft BI
8.2
Tableau Server
7.8

Application Program Interfaces (APIs) / Embedding

Microsoft BI
7.8
Tableau Server
6.8
REST API
Microsoft BI
7.8
Tableau Server
7.9
Javascript API
Microsoft BI
8.3
Tableau Server
7.7
iFrames
Microsoft BI
7.6
Tableau Server
7.2
Java API
Microsoft BI
7.6
Tableau Server
6.3
Themeable User Interface (UI)
Microsoft BI
7.8
Tableau Server
6.4
Customizable Platform (Open Source)
Microsoft BI
7.5
Tableau Server
5.5

Pros

Microsoft BI

  • Connecting andJoining Multiple Data Sources Together - Multi-Dimensional SSAS
  • Usability in Report Creation for Business Analysts (Excel via Analysis Services specifically), Executives (Performance Point and Power BI) and Power Users (Report Builder)
  • Collaboration (via SharePoint only, before the release of Power BI Designer)
  • Speed of Analysis - Specifically when leveraging SSAS on databases up to 5 TB
  • Speed of ETL processing - Multiple Parallel Sequential Jobs with SSIS/DTS
Lee Cullom profile photo

Tableau Server

  • Tableau server's portal and general look is really convenient and pretty. Users feel comfortable using it.
  • The learning curve of Tableau Server from an end-user perspective is really short. For the creator of content, it is a little more complex but easy to learn. Tableau has really succeeded in creating a user-friendly software.
  • From an administration point of view, Tableau is great. Installation and housekeeping are really easy and quick.
  • Visuals are really appealing and will help "sell" your presentations.
  • Tableau allows connectivity to a huge selection of data sources and data formats.
  • Online training for software is free and of very good quality.
Mathieu Gaouette profile photo

Cons

Microsoft BI

  • Parallel Sequential job Processing within the SSIS GUI, not using DTS
  • More Options for non-SharePoint portal Integration
  • Reporting Services performance browser rendering time for reports
Lee Cullom profile photo

Tableau Server

  • Tableau Server is sometimes referred to as simply Microsoft Excel with a power boost. I understand the reason analysts say this. It is because the software is almost exclusively a visualization software. If you're looking for truly advanced analytics combined with cutting-edge visualization, Tableau Server isn't it.
  • Tableau Server limits the type of graphs a user can create. There are numerous workarounds for different graph types, but they are not easy to implement.
  • Tableau Server can sometimes be slow to render graphics with lots of data and calculated fields.
Thomas Young profile photo

Likelihood to Renew

Microsoft BI

Microsoft BI 8.0
Based on 25 answers
Microsoft BI is fundamental to our suite of BI applications. That being said, Northcraft Analytics is focused on delighting our customers, so if the underlying factors of our decision change, we would choose to re-write our BI applications on a different stack. Luckily, mathematics are the fundamental IP of our technology... and is portable across all BI platforms for the foreseeable future.
Lee Cullom profile photo

Tableau Server

Tableau Server 10.0
Based on 20 answers
It simply is used all the time by more and more people.Migrating to something else would involve lots of work and lots of training.The renewal fee being fair, it simply isn't worth migrating to a different tool for now.
Mathieu Gaouette profile photo

Usability

Microsoft BI

Microsoft BI 7.0
Based on 5 answers
Easy to use. Good User Interface and visualizations
No photo available

Tableau Server

Tableau Server 9.0
Based on 11 answers
Tableau Server is unbeatable at creating easy to use, interactive dashboards for busy executives. The software also saves time for the busy analyst that is tired of always using Excel. Tableau Server is a head and shoulders improvement over Excel.
Thomas Young profile photo

Reliability and Availability

Microsoft BI

Microsoft BI 9.5
Based on 2 answers
The product has been reliable.
Robert Goodman profile photo

Tableau Server

Tableau Server 9.0
Based on 9 answers
Desktop has always worked perfectly. Server sees occasional issues, most of which will be solved by the IT department learning more about the best way to administrate and maintain it.
Torry Johnson profile photo

Performance

Microsoft BI

Microsoft BI 7.0
Based on 2 answers
SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) can drag at times. We created two report servers and placed them under an F5 load balancer. This configuration has worked well. We have seen sluggish performance at times due to the Windows Firewall.
Robert Goodman profile photo

Tableau Server

Tableau Server 8.1
Based on 8 answers
While there are definitely cases where a user can do things that will make a particular worksheet or dashboard run slowly, overall the performance is extremely fast. The user experience of exploratory analysis particularly shines, there's nothing out there with the polish of Tableau.
Jonathan Drummey profile photo

Support

Microsoft BI

Microsoft BI 7.1
Based on 6 answers
I am basing this rating not on Microsoft's paid premium support, but rather on the resources available (both from Microsoft and 3rd parties) to BI consumers. There is such a huge community working with and building solutions with the Microsoft BI stack (SQL Server) that I have always been able to find a solution (or at least a workaround) to any problems that have come up.
Sean Brady profile photo

Tableau Server

Tableau Server 9.1
Based on 12 answers
We've only reached out to Tableau once for support. It wasn't related to the operation of the software but some complex Data Visualization we wanted to develop. The same day Tableau engaged us and provided outstanding support and follow-up resources.
Dwight Taylor profile photo

In-Person Training

Microsoft BI

Microsoft BI 6.9
Based on 3 answers
This training was more directed toward what the product was capable of rather than actual programming.
Stephanie Grice profile photo

Tableau Server

Tableau Server 8.0
Based on 4 answers
In our case, they hired a private third party consultant to train our dept. It was extremely boring and felt like it dragged on. Everything I learned was self taught so I was not really paying attention. But I do think that you can easily spend a week on the tool and go over every nook and cranny. We only had the consultant in for a day or two.
Mashhood Syed profile photo

Online Training

Microsoft BI

Microsoft BI 8.5
Based on 2 answers
I have used on-line training from Microsoft and from Pragmatic Works. I would recommend Pragmatic Works as the best way to get up to speed quickly, and then use the Microsoft on-line training to deep dive into specific features that you need to get depth with.
Sean Brady profile photo

Tableau Server

Tableau Server 9.0
Based on 9 answers
Tableau has excellent on-demand training material - web based and free....
Charles Hooper profile photo

Implementation

Microsoft BI

Microsoft BI 9.6
Based on 7 answers
Thorough project planning and requirements gathering ensured project's success.
Boris Skylar profile photo

Tableau Server

Tableau Server 9.1
Based on 13 answers
My department was largely Excel and paper-based when I started, so there's been a tremendous amount of work to get the data into shape, so when I look at the overall implementation of our visualization and reporting infrastructure, I'm less satisfied. Tableau has been wonderful, the one place that would get me to a 10 is if it was easier to tune workbook performance on Tableau Server, there are a huge number of variables to deal with across the workbook/application/hardware stack. In a small environment like ours that takes more effort than I'd like.
Jonathan Drummey profile photo

Alternatives Considered

Microsoft BI

We chose Microsoft BI due to performance, functionality, TCO and openness (yes, I know, this sounds strange for Microsoft).
  • SAP Business Objects has a less attractive GUI for end users, inferior Excel integration, inferior SharePoint integration, requires more labor to enhance performance and has higher licensing costs than Microsoft BI.
  • Tableau Server has no real ETL capabilities... and thus requires an underlying BI stack. So, while Tableau rules the visualization world with Tableau Desktop, Tableau Server doesn't give us all of the capability we need for a full BI solution for our clients. Tableau Desktop makes an excellent complementary product to Microsoft BI. We typically recommend using both to customers in certain situations.
  • Microstrategy - Comprehensive Multidimensional/HOLAP platform, expensive, visualizations are better than SAP BO, but not as strong as Microsoft, especially Microsoft SSAS + Tableau (which can be acquired at a lower price point). Excel integration isn't as seamless as SSAS to Excel either.
  • Oracle - Expensive, patchwork of acquired BI tools rather than a platform, inferior visualizations. This platform is meant for customers who are already trapped in Oracle licensing.
Lee Cullom profile photo

Tableau Server

There were a lot of reasons why we chose Tableau and the least is the cost but also the way Tableau stores data in the columnar fashion instead of in Cubes. We went through a painstaking selection process and at the end, came down to a couple of vendors and we ended up with the product that was least to pair up with Amazon Web Services to create a decent and cost-effective proof of concept and we landed with the solution we have today.
Siggy Tetteh, CSSGB, MBA, MCP profile photo

Return on Investment

Microsoft BI

  • At the moment, the lack of use of Power BI has indered our market progression IMO
  • A large majority of customers keeps the solution once implemented, very few have switched platform
  • Once organizations implement Office 365, the potential for added business with Microsoft BI will really manifest. At this time, the slow adoption of Office 2013 or more recent is limiting the analysis and visualizations capabilities of our average client.
Charles Saulnier profile photo

Tableau Server

  • Tableau Server has replaced Excel spreadsheets in much of what I do. The software really did save a ton of time and improved the overall work product. I think the ROI has been heavily in the positive.
  • For analysts trying to get others to improve their reporting processes, Tableau Server may at first represent a negative ROI because others are unwilling to change. If you're unable to get others to change their habits, Tableau Server may not be for you.
  • Tableau Server was easy to set up. The required headcount was as little as 1 for report creation. It's very easy to get up and going with Tableau Server.
Thomas Young profile photo

Pricing Details

Microsoft BI

General

Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Yes
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No

Microsoft BI Editions & Modules

Edition
Power BI$0
Power BI Pro$102
  1. per user per month
Additional Pricing Details

Tableau Server

General

Free Trial
Yes
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Yes
Entry-level set up fee?
No

Tableau Server Editions & Modules

Additional Pricing Details

Add comparison