What users are saying about
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Top Rated
642 Ratings
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Top Rated
1557 Ratings

Microsoft Power BI

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Score 8.2 out of 100

Tableau Desktop

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1557 Ratings
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Score 8.2 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.

Likelihood to Recommend

Microsoft Power BI

Power BI is great for reporting of any type. The dashboards I create for my executive team are crisp and easy to understand. I often get complements on it, and suggestions on what other reports or data could benefit from Power BI. Power BI is still dependent on data sources, so if my data source connections break, then the report is no good. This isn't something that you can create and forget. It needs eyes on it to ensure the data is correct
Richard Crane | TrustRadius Reviewer

Tableau Desktop

It helps us to visualize and understand data. Helps in business analysis, predict market trends. Caters to the needs of an organization. Can be integrated with different kinds of data sources like Excel, CSV, different kinds of databases like Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, Oracle. On the other hand, need some understanding of statistics to use this software, cannot retrieve previous versions of the same file created. So, version management is a problem. Left joins cannot be created during data loading. These need to be created separately using blends.
Ron Rothstain | TrustRadius Reviewer

Feature Rating Comparison

BI Standard Reporting

Microsoft Power BI
8.4
Tableau Desktop
8.5
Pixel Perfect reports
Microsoft Power BI
8.1
Tableau Desktop
8.3
Customizable dashboards
Microsoft Power BI
8.6
Tableau Desktop
9.2
Report Formatting Templates
Microsoft Power BI
8.4
Tableau Desktop
7.9

Ad-hoc Reporting

Microsoft Power BI
8.5
Tableau Desktop
8.2
Drill-down analysis
Microsoft Power BI
8.6
Tableau Desktop
8.6
Formatting capabilities
Microsoft Power BI
8.4
Tableau Desktop
8.4
Integration with R or other statistical packages
Microsoft Power BI
8.4
Tableau Desktop
7.8
Report sharing and collaboration
Microsoft Power BI
8.7
Tableau Desktop
8.2

Report Output and Scheduling

Microsoft Power BI
8.5
Tableau Desktop
8.6
Publish to Web
Microsoft Power BI
9.0
Tableau Desktop
8.7
Publish to PDF
Microsoft Power BI
8.5
Tableau Desktop
8.9
Report Versioning
Microsoft Power BI
8.5
Tableau Desktop
8.4
Report Delivery Scheduling
Microsoft Power BI
8.6
Tableau Desktop
8.7
Delivery to Remote Servers
Microsoft Power BI
8.2
Tableau Desktop
8.4

Data Discovery and Visualization

Microsoft Power BI
8.4
Tableau Desktop
8.3
Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.)
Microsoft Power BI
8.6
Tableau Desktop
8.3
Location Analytics / Geographic Visualization
Microsoft Power BI
8.5
Tableau Desktop
8.6
Predictive Analytics
Microsoft Power BI
8.0
Tableau Desktop
8.0

Access Control and Security

Microsoft Power BI
8.6
Tableau Desktop
8.4
Multi-User Support (named login)
Microsoft Power BI
8.6
Tableau Desktop
8.6
Role-Based Security Model
Microsoft Power BI
8.4
Tableau Desktop
8.4
Multiple Access Permission Levels (Create, Read, Delete)
Microsoft Power BI
8.6
Tableau Desktop
8.3
Single Sign-On (SSO)
Microsoft Power BI
8.9
Tableau Desktop
8.4

Mobile Capabilities

Microsoft Power BI
8.3
Tableau Desktop
8.2
Responsive Design for Web Access
Microsoft Power BI
8.4
Tableau Desktop
8.4
Dedicated iOS Application
Microsoft Power BI
8.2
Tableau Desktop
8.0
Dedicated Android Application
Microsoft Power BI
8.3
Tableau Desktop
7.9
Dashboard / Report / Visualization Interactivity on Mobile
Microsoft Power BI
8.3
Tableau Desktop
8.4

Application Program Interfaces (APIs) / Embedding

Microsoft Power BI
8.2
Tableau Desktop
7.9
REST API
Microsoft Power BI
8.3
Tableau Desktop
8.1
Javascript API
Microsoft Power BI
8.4
Tableau Desktop
8.1
iFrames
Microsoft Power BI
8.1
Tableau Desktop
7.4
Java API
Microsoft Power BI
7.9
Tableau Desktop
7.8
Themeable User Interface (UI)
Microsoft Power BI
8.4
Tableau Desktop
8.2
Customizable Platform (Open Source)
Microsoft Power BI
8.3
Tableau Desktop
7.6

Pros

Microsoft Power BI

  • Engaging dashboard displays with drag and drop modules to convey data in a meaningful ways.
  • Familiar Microsoft "Ribbon" type interface that creates an integral feel with the rest of the Microsoft suite of products.
  • Built-in mobile optimization window and associated Mobile applications that allow viewing from any location connected to the server.
Rick Botha | TrustRadius Reviewer

Tableau Desktop

  • With Tableau you do not need to have technical knowledge to do the data integration and you get a quick response of what you are looking for, being your visualization of high quality.
  • We can say that it is free software and it is not a limited version
Yusmelys Lopez | TrustRadius Reviewer

Cons

Microsoft Power BI

  • It is such a powerful system that it can come across as intimidating for some without some Excel knowledge
  • I'm not a database analyst or administrator, so calling the data in can be difficult (not necessary the fault of the software, but something that could be difficult for teams without someone with database knowledge)
  • It can come across as confusing, when there is both a local Power BI and online Power BI components. They don't necessarily do the same functions. You'll definitely want to know how to use the online version as this is how you'll publish and share the results of your findings, but the local one has a lot of capabilities that don't appear to be directly available in the online version (and if so, it's not immediately apparent).
Steffany Winkelmann | TrustRadius Reviewer

Tableau Desktop

  • Tableau is ill-suited to work with SSAS cubes, at least when you are used to analysis within Microsoft tools
  • Data preparation is not up-to-par with other leading vendor tools (although can be improved through Alteryx if you have access to it)
  • The ease-of-use is true for basic analysis, but rapidly gives way to a steep learning curve with more complex queries or when the business context is more mathematics oriented
Charles Saulnier | TrustRadius Reviewer

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
Because right now its the best option out there (disclosure: I haven't used Qlikview or some of the other direct competitors of Tableau). The big investment is in Tableau Server not desktop. For the cost of the license of Tableau desktop, its a pretty good deal. You can hook it up to pretty much any data source easily. You can easily share the visualizations with your team/colleagues easily. Tableau Desktop is generally easy to use for business users. But the more advanced stuff is better suited for a analyst or someone with a IT/CS background.
Mashhood Syed | TrustRadius Reviewer

Usability

Microsoft Power BI

Microsoft Power BI 9.0
Based on 3 answers
PBI is very easy to use because of its similarity with power pivot and excel. DAX is the basic foundation language to be mastered to quickly build reports. Custom measures have been introduce to write instant DAX functions (But doesnt work all the time and need a understanding of DAX to debug). Easy to chart multiple charts and also third party charts
Rohit Acharya | TrustRadius Reviewer

Tableau Desktop

Tableau Desktop 8.9
Based on 23 answers
I am really a fan of tableau for its quick setup, data connection, dashboard creation time and very easy to use UI.As i have used multiple Bi tools like QlikView and SAP BO, i can say all other tools take really long time in performing above functionalities except QlikView which is really fast in term of performing analysis.
Chandra Bhanu Pratap Singh | 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 10 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 9 answers
Tableau's connections to third-party sources can be somewhat slow due to the time required to speak to a source over a network. However, if you properly utilize Tableau's Data Source Extracts, then the speed is incredible. On the other hand, Tableau makes it very easy for the user to put too much data into one dashboard, which can impact performance. All in all, if you use the tool properly, speed should not be a concern.
Brad Llewellyn | TrustRadius Reviewer

Support Rating

Microsoft Power BI

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Tableau Desktop

Tableau Desktop 9.0
Based on 16 answers
I still haven't found something that stumped me for long. The company materials are first-rate and their seems to be a natural affinity among the professionals using the product. It seems there are many who want to help those that are following them onto the platform. I've never noticed any condescension to new users or obvious questions in the forums or my personal exchanges.
David Fickes | 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 34 answers
Time needs to be spent ahead of implementation to make sure data sources are set up and ready. Consultants need to understand the data sources and the goals before setting foot on-site. Installation is easy, learning to use it takes time. The training resources available are great.
Phillip Smith | TrustRadius Reviewer

Alternatives Considered

Microsoft Power BI

Microsoft Power BI as I said earlier is unfortunate in relation to the panels but compared to Tableau.Although Microsoft Power BI has a general interface easier to understand in my company because we already have a signature with the package Office 365 that the integration of the same is excellent.
Gabriel Oliveira | TrustRadius Reviewer

Tableau Desktop

When we first looked at getting a visualization software for analytics we looked into two options Microsoft Power BI and Tableau Desktop, and even though Power BI is more cost-effective we decided to go with Tableau Desktop as it had more options that we are looking for such as free reader and Tableau Server and offers a very comprehensive and simple interface that is easier to learn for new staff.
Clinton Shields | 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
Although tableau is highly interactive and fast but with very large dataset its performance degrades heavily. So up to certain extent its really good but after that we have to take care of its performance issues.
Chandra Bhanu Pratap Singh | TrustRadius Reviewer

Return on Investment

Microsoft Power BI

  • I'm using the free version, so the only investment was the time spent to learn how to use the product (which as an Excel user, was very short).
  • I use Excel to store every single bit of information about all the projects I do, and being able to see them visualized helped me see some redundant steps I was taking.
  • No negative impact at all for me.
jim paroly | TrustRadius Reviewer

Tableau Desktop

  • Tableau has provided my clients with the information necessary to allocate multi-million dollar research budgets effectively, ensuring the company is getting the most bang for its buck.
  • Tableau has given my office the ability to present data quickly and easily in a professional format that customers can understand, and has them returning frequently for additional analysis and projects.
Tim McClelland | TrustRadius Reviewer

Pricing Details

Microsoft Power BI

General

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

Tableau Desktop

General

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

Rating Summary

Likelihood to Recommend

Microsoft Power BI
8.6
Tableau Desktop
8.5

Likelihood to Renew

Microsoft Power BI
10.0
Tableau Desktop
8.9

Usability

Microsoft Power BI
9.0
Tableau Desktop
8.9

Reliability and Availability

Microsoft Power BI
Tableau Desktop
8.0

Performance

Microsoft Power BI
Tableau Desktop
6.1

Support Rating

Microsoft Power BI
Tableau Desktop
9.0

In-Person Training

Microsoft Power BI
Tableau Desktop
9.4

Online Training

Microsoft Power BI
Tableau Desktop
8.0

Implementation Rating

Microsoft Power BI
Tableau Desktop
8.0

Scalability

Microsoft Power BI
Tableau Desktop
7.0

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