What users are saying about
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Top Rated
1343 Ratings
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Top Rated
2070 Ratings

Microsoft Power BI

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1343 Ratings
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Score 8.4 out of 100

Tableau Desktop

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2070 Ratings
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Score 8.4 out of 100

Highlights

Microsoft Power BI and Tableau are both business intelligence (BI) tools designed to allow users to query data and create visualizations. Microsoft Power BI is more popular with smaller businesses, while larger enterprises are more likely to use Tableau.

Microsoft Power BI offers ease of use and affordability, making it a useful tool for smaller teams with less technical staff. Tableau offers robust data cleaning and transformation features that allow for the creation of quick and detailed visualizations by a technical user.

Features

Microsoft Power BI and Tableau both offer standard business intelligence software features, but they also both have a few features that set them apart from each other.

Microsoft Power BI can easily integrate with other Microsoft technologies, such as Azure and Excel. Businesses already using Microsoft’s suite of technology will find Microsoft Power BI easy to integrate with existing systems. Additionally, Microsoft Power BI is easy to use for non-technical staff. Querying with Microsoft Power BI uses natural language rather than a query language like SQL. Additionally, visualizations can easily be created using Microsoft Power BI’s drag and drop interface.

Tableau provides advanced data transformation tools that can be leveraged by more experienced data analysts. A technical user can create visualizations and perform actions very quickly on Tableau. Additionally, Tableau provides thorough documentation and support that not only explains how to use the software, but also teaches fundamental data analysis.

Limitations

Though Microsoft Power BI and Tableau offer robust business intelligence features, there are a few areas where they have limitations as well.

Microsoft Power BI lacks some of the advanced querying and visualization features provided by Tableau. Additionally, Microsoft Power BI has limitations regarding deployment. The more affordable price point for Microsoft Power BI requires cloud deployment, while the premium offering includes on-premises deployment. Even the premium version of Microsoft Power BI requires other technologies such as SQL Server and Power BI Reporting Server to deploy on-premises.

Tableau can be challenging to use without technical knowledge as it does not offer natural language querying, and it assumes the user has some experience with data analysis. Additionally, tableau doesn’t integrate as seamlessly with Microsoft technologies, which would make implementation more difficult for some businesses compared to Microsoft Power BI.

Pricing

Microsoft Power BI offers two pricing tiers for businesses. The Pro tier costs $9.99 per month per user, requires a cloud-based deployment and includes basic data visualization features. The Premium package starts at $4995.00 per month and includes on-premises deployment.

Tableau provides three tiers of pricing. Tableau Viewer costs $12.00 per user per month and allows for viewing data and visualizations. The Tableau Explorer Tier costs $35.00 per user per month and allows users to manipulate data and create visualizations. Lastly, the Tableau Creator tier includes Tableau software such as Tableau Desktop and Tableau Prep Builder. Businesses can also purchase add-ons to append additional features to their plan.

Feature Set Ratings

  • Microsoft Power BI ranks higher in 6 feature sets: BI Standard Reporting, Ad-hoc Reporting, Report Output and Scheduling, Access Control and Security, Mobile Capabilities, Application Program Interfaces (APIs) / Embedding
  • Tableau Desktop ranks higher in 1 feature set: Data Discovery and Visualization

BI Standard Reporting

8.4

Microsoft Power BI

84%
8.1

Tableau Desktop

81%
Microsoft Power BI ranks higher in 3/3 features

Pixel Perfect reports

8.1
81%
120 Ratings
7.9
79%
137 Ratings

Customizable dashboards

9.0
90%
139 Ratings
8.4
84%
163 Ratings

Report Formatting Templates

8.2
82%
127 Ratings
7.8
78%
142 Ratings

Ad-hoc Reporting

8.4

Microsoft Power BI

84%
8.1

Tableau Desktop

81%
Microsoft Power BI ranks higher in 4/4 features

Drill-down analysis

8.7
87%
139 Ratings
8.1
81%
156 Ratings

Formatting capabilities

8.0
80%
138 Ratings
8.0
80%
159 Ratings

Integration with R or other statistical packages

8.1
81%
104 Ratings
7.6
76%
120 Ratings

Report sharing and collaboration

8.6
86%
135 Ratings
8.5
85%
155 Ratings

Report Output and Scheduling

8.4

Microsoft Power BI

84%
8.2

Tableau Desktop

82%
Microsoft Power BI ranks higher in 4/5 features

Publish to Web

9.0
90%
129 Ratings
8.6
86%
146 Ratings

Publish to PDF

8.9
89%
121 Ratings
8.4
84%
146 Ratings

Report Versioning

7.9
79%
101 Ratings
7.9
79%
112 Ratings

Report Delivery Scheduling

8.5
85%
104 Ratings
8.2
82%
119 Ratings

Delivery to Remote Servers

7.5
75%
76 Ratings
7.8
78%
70 Ratings

Data Discovery and Visualization

8.3

Microsoft Power BI

83%
8.4

Tableau Desktop

84%
Tableau Desktop ranks higher in 3/3 features

Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.)

8.5
85%
131 Ratings
8.7
87%
151 Ratings

Location Analytics / Geographic Visualization

8.5
85%
122 Ratings
8.7
87%
146 Ratings

Predictive Analytics

8.0
80%
103 Ratings
8.0
80%
123 Ratings

Access Control and Security

8.8

Microsoft Power BI

88%
8.4

Tableau Desktop

84%
Microsoft Power BI ranks higher in 4/4 features

Multi-User Support (named login)

8.8
88%
121 Ratings
8.4
84%
136 Ratings

Role-Based Security Model

8.8
88%
104 Ratings
8.3
83%
115 Ratings

Multiple Access Permission Levels (Create, Read, Delete)

8.6
86%
112 Ratings
8.6
86%
126 Ratings

Single Sign-On (SSO)

9.0
90%
95 Ratings
8.5
85%
74 Ratings

Mobile Capabilities

8.4

Microsoft Power BI

84%
7.9

Tableau Desktop

79%
Microsoft Power BI ranks higher in 3/3 features

Responsive Design for Web Access

8.6
86%
113 Ratings
7.9
79%
121 Ratings

Mobile Application

8.3
83%
100 Ratings
7.8
78%
179 Ratings

Dashboard / Report / Visualization Interactivity on Mobile

8.3
83%
114 Ratings
8.0
80%
113 Ratings

Application Program Interfaces (APIs) / Embedding

8.0

Microsoft Power BI

80%
7.7

Tableau Desktop

77%
Microsoft Power BI ranks higher in 5/6 features

REST API

8.3
83%
73 Ratings
7.7
77%
55 Ratings

Javascript API

8.2
82%
57 Ratings
7.8
78%
49 Ratings

iFrames

8.0
80%
56 Ratings
7.6
76%
47 Ratings

Java API

7.7
77%
47 Ratings
7.3
73%
44 Ratings

Themeable User Interface (UI)

7.9
79%
63 Ratings
7.7
77%
50 Ratings

Customizable Platform (Open Source)

7.9
79%
46 Ratings
8.1
81%
44 Ratings

Attribute Ratings

  • Microsoft Power BI is rated higher in 2 areas: Likelihood to Renew, Support Rating
  • Tableau Desktop is rated higher in 1 area: Usability
  • Microsoft Power BI and Tableau Desktop are tied in 1 area: Likelihood to Recommend

Likelihood to Recommend

8.6

Microsoft Power BI

86%
141 Ratings
8.6

Tableau Desktop

86%
191 Ratings

Likelihood to Renew

10.0

Microsoft Power BI

100%
1 Rating
8.9

Tableau Desktop

89%
39 Ratings

Usability

8.6

Microsoft Power BI

86%
57 Ratings
8.8

Tableau Desktop

88%
66 Ratings

Availability

Microsoft Power BI

N/A
0 Ratings
8.0

Tableau Desktop

80%
20 Ratings

Performance

Microsoft Power BI

N/A
0 Ratings
6.1

Tableau Desktop

61%
18 Ratings

Support Rating

8.5

Microsoft Power BI

85%
53 Ratings
7.9

Tableau Desktop

79%
74 Ratings

In-Person Training

Microsoft Power BI

N/A
0 Ratings
9.4

Tableau Desktop

94%
4 Ratings

Online Training

Microsoft Power BI

N/A
0 Ratings
8.0

Tableau Desktop

80%
4 Ratings

Implementation Rating

Microsoft Power BI

N/A
0 Ratings
8.0

Tableau Desktop

80%
68 Ratings

Product Scalability

Microsoft Power BI

N/A
0 Ratings
7.0

Tableau Desktop

70%
3 Ratings

Likelihood to Recommend

Microsoft Power BI

In operations we use the tool for many different topics, from factory quality systems to high level reviews.We have created kind of an internal "App Store" based on Power BI where you have a lot of different dashboards for different solutions (cost, cash, health and safety, sales, factories, distribution centers...) and you as an user just need to get in that "App Store" and enter in whatever tool can be useful for you. It is open to all the operations employees and can use on demand.Also it has raised the imagination of our colleagues, as they are not only working by themselves creating new reports, but also raising fantastic ideas that can be extended for the usage of all the community.
Jose-Angel Mangas | TrustRadius Reviewer

Tableau Desktop

Tableau Desktop is better for data analysis and visualization. Its advanced visualization features helped us better understand our business and customer demographics. We use Tableau Desktop to track our team’s progress. Real-time analyses and interactive dashboards are helpful for monitoring data. We can now create and share insights in ways we couldn’t before. It’s easy to put faith in and use these insights. Tableau Desktop can compare data from previous years with weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual comparisons. It assists businesses in identifying the best and least-sold products. However, this requires expensive licenses and skilled personnel, which small businesses cannot afford.
Al Mubassir Muin | TrustRadius Reviewer

Pros

Microsoft Power BI

  • Quickly filter and view granular data sets with easily configurable reporting figures.
  • The ability to quickly switch between tabs allows for historical data comparisons and progress tracking.
  • It's helpful to dive into the data and break it down from high levels to small.
  • Achieve actionable insights faster by using real-time data. It's incredible to have online access to reports.
Afia Tamanna | TrustRadius Reviewer

Tableau Desktop

  • An excellent tool for data visualization, it presents information in an appealing visual format—an exceptional platform for storing and analyzing data in any size organization.
  • Through interactive parameters, it enables real-time interaction with the user and is easy to learn and get support from the community.
Afia Tamanna | TrustRadius Reviewer

Cons

Microsoft Power BI

  • The desktop app is great but needs a lot of performance improvements
  • No MacOS Version for the Desktop app, this is a big limitation for business since executives prefer Macs
  • Premium Cloud Version of Power BI is awfully expensive
  • On-Premise Version of the Power BI Reports Server is bundled only with SQL Server Enterprise License and cannot be purchased separately and requires Software Assurance Subscription
  • On-Premise Power BI Report Server doesn't support ADFS, AzureAD or any Claims-Based authentication platform, a sad disadvantage for enterprises
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Tableau Desktop

  • Formatting the data to work correctly in graphical presentations can be time consuming
  • Daily data extracts can run slowly depending on how much data is required and the source of the data
  • The desktop version is required for advanced functionality, editing on [the] Tableau server allows only limited features
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Pricing Details

Microsoft Power BI

General

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

Starting Price

$9.99 per month

Microsoft Power BI Editions & Modules

Edition
Power BI Pro$9.991
Power BI Premium$20.001
Power BI Premium$4,995.002
  1. Per User/Per Month
  2. Per Capacity/Per Month
Additional Pricing Details

Tableau Desktop

General

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

Starting Price

$70 per month

Tableau Desktop Editions & Modules

Edition
Tableau Creator$70.001
  1. Per User / Per Month
Additional Pricing Details
All pricing plans are billed annually.

Likelihood to Renew

Microsoft Power BI

Microsoft Power BI 10.0
Based on 1 answer
I find it helpful and easy to use
jim paroly | TrustRadius Reviewer

Tableau Desktop

Tableau Desktop 8.9
Based on 39 answers
Our use of Tableau Desktop is still fairly low, and will continue over time. The only real concern is around cost of the licenses, and I have mentioned this to Tableau and fully expect the development of more sensible models for our industry. This will remove any impediment to expansion of our use.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Usability

Microsoft Power BI

Microsoft Power BI 8.6
Based on 57 answers
At this point, I think we all know who has taken the lead in the business intelligence and analytics market worldwide. With fresh new updates every other day on top of an already robustly built product with all features that one can dream of is a no brainer, I feel. Microsoft will invariably be synonymous with quality and professionalism.
Tanish Pruthi | TrustRadius Reviewer

Tableau Desktop

Tableau Desktop 8.8
Based on 66 answers
It is a good tool for creating beautiful visualizations and sharing dashboards. It does offer a variety of features and also making interactive dashboards. It is easy to learn and create custom visualizations really fast. It does offer good API connectivity to gather data. But it lacks the structure for data cleaning and processing.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Reliability and Availability

Microsoft Power BI

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Tableau Desktop

Tableau Desktop 8.0
Based on 20 answers
When used as a stand-alone tool, Tableau Desktop has unlimited uptime, which is always nice. When used in conjunction with Tableau Server, this tool has as much uptime as your server admins are willing to give it. All in all, I've never had an issue with Tableau's availability.
Brad Llewellyn | TrustRadius Reviewer

Performance

Microsoft Power BI

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Tableau Desktop

Tableau Desktop 6.1
Based on 18 answers
Tableau Desktop's performance is solid. You can really dig into a large dataset in the form of a spreadsheet, and it exhibits similarly good performance when accessing a moderately sized Oracle database. I noticed that with Tableau Desktop 9.3, the performance using a spreadsheet started to slow around 75K rows by about 60 columns. This was easily remedied by creating an extract and pushing it to Tableau Server, where performance went to lightning fast
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Support Rating

Microsoft Power BI

Microsoft Power BI 8.5
Based on 53 answers
I can't really speak to the support overall, [but] I will say that in the almost three years I have used the system, I have only needed to contact their support team once. I think the team was helpful, but it did take some time for us to resolve the issues/ request that they had. I guess the good news is that the system is pretty stable, and I personally have rarely needed to contact their technical support team.
Greg Watkins | TrustRadius Reviewer

Tableau Desktop

Tableau Desktop 7.9
Based on 74 answers
The Tableau Desktop's support team has been very helpful and tend to response very quickly. After all you have paid very premium price for the product and it goes to the services. This makes using the tool much easier for these who doesn't have such experience to get help quickly.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

In-Person Training

Microsoft Power BI

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Tableau Desktop

Tableau Desktop 9.4
Based on 4 answers
It is admittedly hard to train a group of people with disparate levels of ability coming in, but the software is so easy to use that this is not a huge problem; anyone who can follow simple instructions can catch up pretty quickly.
Jon Boeckenstedt | TrustRadius Reviewer

Online Training

Microsoft Power BI

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Tableau Desktop

Tableau Desktop 8.0
Based on 4 answers
The training for new users are quite good because it covers topic wise training and the best part was that it also had video tutorials which are very helpful
Chandra Bhanu Pratap Singh | TrustRadius Reviewer

Implementation Rating

Microsoft Power BI

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Tableau Desktop

Tableau Desktop 8.0
Based on 68 answers
Again, training is the key and the company provides a lot of example videos that will help users discover use cases that will greatly assist their creation of original visualizations. As with any new software tool, productivity will decline for a period. In the case of Tableau, the decline period is short and the later gains are well worth it.
David Fickes | TrustRadius Reviewer

Alternatives Considered

Microsoft Power BI

[Microsoft] Power BI is practical and effective, like a hammer for a nail, it is easy to use and produces very quickly the results that in most cases are urgently required by clients (nice reports to share on the web). To start using [Microsoft] Power BI you need a business email address, with that you create an account in Power BI Service and in less than 1 hour you will have installed Power BI Desktop, a report will have been created and it will have been published on the web .
Dustin Ghia | TrustRadius Reviewer

Tableau Desktop

Tableau hands-down wins based upon functionality, interoperability with a wide variety of enterprise-class data connections, end-user support, and quality of visualizations. Tableau Desktop offers a substantially more robust, refined, and mature product. It became quickly apparent that there was no real comparison. For applications that need fast, accurate analytics using a wide portfolio of underlying data sources, Tableau Desktop is the clear winner.
Jason Guinn | TrustRadius Reviewer

Scalability

Microsoft Power BI

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Tableau Desktop

Tableau Desktop 7.0
Based on 3 answers
Tableau Desktop's scaleability is really limited to the scale of your back-end data systems. If you want to pull down an extract and work quickly in-memory, in my application it scaled to a few tens of millions of rows using the in-memory engine. But it's really only limited by your back-end data store if you have or are willing to invest in an optimized SQL store or purpose-built query engine like Veritca or Netezza or something similar.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Return on Investment

Microsoft Power BI

  • It helps us track and achieve company goals.
  • It shows us [our] performance in areas we could not previously track and allows us to see and work on how to improve their performance.
  • Quick easy access for executives to use in helping teams and addressing issues.
christian Maxwell | TrustRadius Reviewer

Tableau Desktop

  • Tableau was acquired years ago, and has provided good value with the content created.
  • Ongoing maintenance costs for the platform, both to maintain desktop and server licensing has made the continuing value questionable when compared to other offerings in the marketplace.
  • Users have largely been satisfied with the content, but not with the overall performance. This is due to a combination of factors including the performance of the Tableau engines as well as development deficiencies.
John Stuchly | TrustRadius Reviewer

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