What users are saying about

Tableau Server

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Top Rated
592 Ratings

Microsoft BI

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617 Ratings

Tableau Server

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Top Rated
592 Ratings
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Score 8.1 out of 101

Microsoft BI

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617 Ratings
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Score 7.9 out of 101

Add comparison

Likelihood to Recommend

Tableau Server

Tableau Server doesn't come cheap, so it is better suited for organizations with a large enough budget to get a return on the investment. It is also better suited for teams that are large enough where analysis-by-email can quickly become unmanageable.
Dan Colbert profile photo

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

Feature Rating Comparison

BI Standard Reporting

Tableau Server
8.2
Microsoft BI
8.0
Pixel Perfect reports
Tableau Server
8.0
Microsoft BI
7.9
Customizable dashboards
Tableau Server
8.7
Microsoft BI
7.9
Report Formatting Templates
Tableau Server
7.9
Microsoft BI
8.2

Ad-hoc Reporting

Tableau Server
8.1
Microsoft BI
8.4
Drill-down analysis
Tableau Server
8.1
Microsoft BI
8.2
Formatting capabilities
Tableau Server
8.1
Microsoft BI
8.4
Integration with R or other statistical packages
Tableau Server
8.0
Microsoft BI
8.1
Report sharing and collaboration
Tableau Server
8.3
Microsoft BI
8.9

Report Output and Scheduling

Tableau Server
8.1
Microsoft BI
8.2
Publish to Web
Tableau Server
9.1
Microsoft BI
8.3
Publish to PDF
Tableau Server
8.1
Microsoft BI
8.8
Report Versioning
Tableau Server
7.8
Microsoft BI
8.1
Report Delivery Scheduling
Tableau Server
8.5
Microsoft BI
7.6
Delivery to Remote Servers
Tableau Server
7.0
Microsoft BI
8.1

Data Discovery and Visualization

Tableau Server
8.1
Microsoft BI
8.1
Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.)
Tableau Server
8.6
Microsoft BI
8.4
Location Analytics / Geographic Visualization
Tableau Server
8.5
Microsoft BI
7.9
Predictive Analytics
Tableau Server
7.2
Microsoft BI
8.0

Access Control and Security

Tableau Server
8.2
Microsoft BI
8.4
Multi-User Support (named login)
Tableau Server
8.1
Microsoft BI
8.4
Role-Based Security Model
Tableau Server
7.9
Microsoft BI
8.1
Multiple Access Permission Levels (Create, Read, Delete)
Tableau Server
8.3
Microsoft BI
8.6
Single Sign-On (SSO)
Tableau Server
8.4
Microsoft BI
8.5

Mobile Capabilities

Tableau Server
7.8
Microsoft BI
8.2
Responsive Design for Web Access
Tableau Server
7.8
Microsoft BI
8.2
Dedicated iOS Application
Tableau Server
7.8
Microsoft BI
8.4
Dedicated Android Application
Tableau Server
7.6
Microsoft BI
8.1
Dashboard / Report / Visualization Interactivity on Mobile
Tableau Server
7.9
Microsoft BI
8.3

Application Program Interfaces (APIs) / Embedding

Tableau Server
7.5
Microsoft BI
7.8
REST API
Tableau Server
8.3
Microsoft BI
7.9
Javascript API
Tableau Server
8.1
Microsoft BI
8.3
iFrames
Tableau Server
7.8
Microsoft BI
7.7
Java API
Tableau Server
7.2
Microsoft BI
7.5
Themeable User Interface (UI)
Tableau Server
6.9
Microsoft BI
7.8
Customizable Platform (Open Source)
Tableau Server
6.6
Microsoft BI
7.4

Pros

  • Flexible deployment
  • Ease of administration
  • Security controls
Charles Bryan profile photo
  • EASY visualization of business data. Excel is the killer app so anybody remotely good at basic office tools knows how to make PivotTables and PivotCharts. If you don't, it's really easy to learn; give it a try... People think big data visualization is hard but it's not for most business use cases.
  • FAST visualization of business data. There are BI/Analytics tools out there, some of them beginning with the letter S, that are slooow. I do my taxes waiting for them to run basic queries/filters/charts. Microsoft BI (and Tableau, etc.) create compact data models to allow for pretty fast data loading and slicery.
  • FREE or at least REALLY CHEAP visualization of business data. Who has MS Office on their business computer? Oh, everybody. If you don't have Office Pro, pony up for that or get the monthly license. The bigness of data you can run on your own machine is fairly big; don't use cloud if you don't need it. By comparison, who enjoys throwing thousands of dollars away on bloated legacy BI software? Well, too many companies, apparently.
Alexander Lubyansky profile photo

Cons

  • They are already moving toward not requiring any special desktop software to create dashboards from scratch. It will be nice when they finally get there. The biggest hassle we have with getting new Tableau users installed is that Tableau Desktop requires Admin rights on the PC to install. We don't generally allow that, so end users have to get PC support staff involved to do that installation. All of that goes away when Web UI users of Tableau Server can do everything folks with Tableau Desktop can do in terms of creating new projects from scratch.
  • Tableau Server could be "Dockerized" allowing easier installation. Containerization is the wave of the future as opposed to "Full Stack" installations.
Don Babcock profile photo
  • More than two dimensions. Yes, I know that 2D is the core of Excel's DNA. However, we're starting to deal with higher-dimensional arrays here in analytics land so better visualization support would be cool.
  • UI weirdness. By default, you are flipping back between regular Excel tabs and super-top-secret BI tabs. You create charts in one place, but look at them in the other. That kind of stuff. I know there are a couple of other ways to interact with Microsoft BI, but please figure out the main way.
  • Better hookups to other analytics tools including Microsoft's. Microsoft BI has a good variety of data connections, and I don't expect it to bloom into a full-fledged analytics tool, but it may be a good idea to keep hammering at connectivity with "hardcore" analytics. In my case, Python stuff.
Alexander Lubyansky profile photo

Likelihood to Renew

Tableau Server9.1
Based on 19 answers
We will continue our use of Tableau server due to the following factors:- Cost effectiveness. This persists from year-to-year. Tableau consistently gives us the best value for the cost- Reliability. Tableau server has been rock-solid for our users, particularly during emergencies.- Innovation. You can bet that Tableau will release stable new versions on a regular basis.We have often experienced the need for a function in Tableau that will be included in a future release.
Henry Yennie profile photo
Microsoft BI8.0
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

Usability

Tableau Server9.0
Based on 11 answers
When it works, it works great. The drag and drop functionality is seamless. Creating calculated fields is also simple
Mashhood Syed profile photo
Microsoft BI7.0
Based on 5 answers
Usability is great. This product will make most feel right at home. I feel like this question should be asked from two points of view:1. Creator of reports, Data Models, Views etc: Most Advanced users will still rate the usability as very high. Its capabilities are still robust. However when compared to other Enterprise Class products it will not do many of the advanced application queries. 2. End user, Consumer: All end users will feel right at home. Many will be able to create connections to already created data models and other external publicly available sources like twitter, Facebook, World Health order etc... These connections are then in turn very very easily available to publish to SharePoint and Power BI. It took me a while to understand what I think is Microsoft's strategy. This will handle all but the most of robust needs. Much like many American made cars and my favorite Corvette, Microsoft is fast, has it own break downs from time to time but all of these are really to tolerate when the price is considered and the next one up that can out perform it is three to four times as much money makes this an easy one to still recommend
Sean Warren profile photo

Reliability and Availability

Tableau Server9.0
Based on 9 answers
Tableau Server is very stable. But Tableau desktop has crashed (or become unresponsive) on a few instances.
Mashhood Syed profile photo
Microsoft BI9.5
Based on 2 answers
The product has been reliable.
Robert Goodman profile photo

Performance

Tableau Server8.1
Based on 8 answers
Due to it's skillful use of in-memory processing and columnar data structures ensures optimal performance. However, with larger data sets, especially with LIVE connections to back-end DBMS platforms, performance degrades quickly. However, with minimal planning and Tableau data extracts, exceptional performance is achievable.
Dwight Taylor profile photo
Microsoft BI7.0
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

Support

Tableau Server9.1
Based on 12 answers
I think the folks that work in support are generally pretty good at what they do (when you get them on a WebEx). But the process of reporting issues to them and waiting for a response (via email only) is a hassle. I never understood why you can't just call them up and discuss the issues with them. It would take a handful of email exchanges before they would agree to a WebEx session. That was frustrating.
Mashhood Syed profile photo
Microsoft BI7.1
Based on 6 answers
Quick response. Lots of blogs and support forums are there to get the answer myself
No photo available

In-Person Training

Tableau Server8.0
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
Microsoft BI6.9
Based on 3 answers
This training was more directed toward what the product was capable of rather than actual programming.
Stephanie Grice profile photo

Online Training

Tableau Server9.0
Based on 9 answers
Tableau has excellent on-demand training material - web based and free....
Charles Hooper profile photo
Microsoft BI8.5
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

Implementation

Tableau Server9.1
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
Microsoft BI9.6
Based on 7 answers
Thorough project planning and requirements gathering ensured project's success.
Boris Skylar profile photo

Alternatives Considered

Cognos was outdated and much harder to use and implement.

Qlik was more expensive and a little harder to manage your data.
Bob Ladd profile photo
Looking at the visualization portion of BI, there are three types of tools.
  1. Programming packages. Free and powerful, they let you make any diagram, at the cost of difficulty of use.
  2. Specialist software like Tableau and Microsoft BI. This is the best choice in most cases due to ease of use and quality of output.
  3. More generic software offered by the big IT companies, often part of a BI suite. There's really a lot of variety here. Use this when it fits the workflow and you are already using the relevant software. But, personally, I'd still use the specialist software.
Alexander Lubyansky profile photo

Return on Investment

  • Without question it has helped us make information that was "invisible" or hard to fathom much more accessible to those that need it to run our business. To that end, it is helping us zero in on many cost avoidance issues which were not surfaced before the advent of Tableau Analytics.
Don Babcock profile photo
  • 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

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
Tableau Server
Additional Pricing Details

Tableau Server More Information

Microsoft BI

General
Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Yes
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No
Microsoft BI Editions & Modules
Microsoft BI
Edition
Power BI
$0
Power BI Pro
$102
2. per user per month
Additional Pricing Details

Microsoft BI More Information