Microsoft Power BI vs Tableau comparison

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33,848 views|28,652 comparisons
92% willing to recommend
Tableau Logo
26,131 views|22,454 comparisons
89% willing to recommend
Comparison Buyer's Guide
Executive Summary
Updated on Jul 30, 2023

We compared Microsoft BI and Tableau based on our users reviews in six parameters. After reading the collected data, you can find our conclusion below:

  • Ease of Deployment

    Users generally find the initial setup for Microsoft BI to be simple and effortless, requiring minimal time and effort. In comparison, Tableau's setup process can range from uncomplicated to more intricate, depending on specific circumstances and requirements.

  • Features

    Microsoft BI is highly regarded for its impressive capabilities and adaptability, as well as its capacity to retrieve data from diverse origins and create personalized visuals. On the other hand, Tableau is commended for its ease of use, intuitive design, and proficiency in managing substantial volumes of data.

  • Room for Improvement

    Both Microsoft BI and Tableau have areas where they can improve. Microsoft BI could enhance its user-friendliness, support, graphical and analytical features, cost, performance, integration, metadata management, visualization capabilities, stability, security, compatibility, data management process, support for product management and customer services, and documentation. On the other hand, Tableau could focus on improving its compatibility, performance, memory data concept, architecture, charting and calculations, modeling techniques, visualization options, integration, customization process, report creation, forecast instrument, GIS features, support for business insights and trend analysis, interface, licensing options, automation, write-back capabilities, drill-down functionality, security measures, workflow, and data modules.

  • Pricing

    Microsoft BI has a potentially high setup cost, particularly for enterprise-level usage. While some users find the pricing reasonable for desktop use, it becomes costly for larger-scale implementations. In contrast, Tableau's pricing is diverse, with opinions ranging from expensive to cheap. Some users perceive Tableau as expensive, especially for smaller firms, while other tools like Power BI are seen as more affordable. Generally, there is a consensus that Tableau's pricing could be enhanced to maintain competitiveness.

  • ROI

    Microsoft BI has been highly praised for its return on investment, with users giving it a perfect rating. It is projected to generate substantial revenue growth and achieve breakeven in a relatively short period of 2-3 years. In contrast, Tableau's specific ROI is uncertain, but it is presumed to be impressive based on existing data. Customers have observed a return on investment within a quicker timeframe of 5-6 months.

  • Service and Support

    The opinions on customer service for Microsoft BI are divided, with some users finding it satisfactory while others believe it needs improvement. On the other hand, Tableau's customer service has had a range of experiences, with some customers having positive ratings and others encountering limitations and difficulties in contacting the right people.

Comparison Results

Microsoft BI is praised for its ease of setup and powerful features, but users find it difficult to learn and use, with weaker graphical and analytical features compared to Tableau. The cost is considered high, and users desire better support, a more user-friendly interface, and improved performance. On the other hand, Tableau's setup can range from simple to complex, but it is highly valued for its user-friendliness and customization options. However, Tableau lacks compatibility with certain tools, has performance issues with large data, and needs improvement in visualization options and integration capabilities. Pricing is also a mixed opinion, with some finding it expensive. Customer support for both products has mixed reviews.

To learn more, read our detailed Microsoft Power BI vs. Tableau Report (Updated: May 2024).
771,212 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Q&A Highlights
Question: Business users moving from Tableau to MS Report builder
Answer: Rich- What is it that current leadership perceives as lacking in the current reporting tool set? Why change if the only benefit is features or a products capabilities? Can the products features and capabilities be exploited? By who and when? How does that make money for the company? Increased profit? Cost reduction? Increased resource utilization? Fewer days for order to cash? Reduced collections? Better on time shipping? Faster production? Increased gross margin? Reduced inventory? You get the picture. It's the people that make the difference. Not the tool! What is it that we need to know to grow our business constantly and continuously? Every tool mentioned can do really great "stuff". But what "stuff" does your company need? I wish you the best.
Featured Review
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
"I like how the Query Editor lets me manipulate the data, and the available visuals are good. You can do everything using the UI.""Previously we used Excel, which took a long time - two or three weeks - to bring the data into a uniform format, whereas BI can do the same job in a day.""The most valuable feature of the solution is that it is an easy-to-use tool.""You don't need much support with Microsoft Power BI because it has such a large base of users who can answer your questions on their forums. There are also many video tutorials and webinars available online that offer solutions to whatever problems you may have.""It's a great tool for visualization data, and it's free for engineers.""The visualization and reporting are the most valuable features of this solution.""The most valuable features in Microsoft BI are the analysis using the feature drag and drop function. It's very easy to load and use different data sources.""PowerBi is used to import our production data and generate dashboards, then integrates other Excel sheets to provide managers dashboards. This helps them get insights to make better OEE improvement decisions, mainly where to focus resources. We became able to see indicators from any time frame (day, week, month, or year), then could make better decisions."

More Microsoft Power BI Pros →

"The solution helps users create dashboards and analyze data without relying on IT or product teams.""The most valuable feature is the user experience.""Show Me is a feature to help with knowing which chart is an appropriate one for the selected variables, and it makes helps in creating appropriate visuals.""Tableau is a fantastic tool that provides impressive dashboards and customized reports.""Tableau is easy to use and it has great predictive features.""The solution is configurable and flexible. We can customize the dashboards and configure the interface the way that we want. The data can be manipulated and arranged in different ways, such as columns.""Any feature I am looking for usually is part of the next upgrade within a few months. They have a very good dynamic evolution.""Tableau's most valuable feature is its ability to connect with various data sources and display real-time data on three different dashboards."

More Tableau Pros →

Cons
"The licensing needs improvement. There needs to be a middle option between Pro and Premium versions.""The accounting data needs improvement.""We found out that you can't share a report with others unless you have an additional package. That caught us off guard. It came as a program that somebody could go in, build a report, and show it, but you can't share it without having additional licenses.""I'm looking for something that can make it much easier to incorporate Power BI visuals or dashboards into, let's say, Power Apps – custom Power Apps or anything like that. The most important thing would be to seamlessly embed reports in applications. For example, to have buttons that can be navigated through multiple solutions – from Power Apps to Power BI to SharePoint – via links or something like that.""I cannot comment on the stability as we haven't yet used it for a big project.""If you need data in real-time, it's not an ideal solution.""There is no column-level security in Microsoft BI, and this is a feature that most of our customers are looking for. That is something that should be implemented.""A lot of people work on Excel, so being able to export an Excel file as part of a subscription would be an improvement."

More Microsoft Power BI Cons →

"I would like them to include the Italian language, as I can see there are other foreign language in the product.""They need to improve the icons and the filters, because they look too old, resembling Excel from 1997.""It needs more ETL capabilities, to be able to address the end-to-end BI need.""There should be more widgets that would help less trained individuals create charts with less difficulty.""To be the best in the market, Tableau has to improve its user interface and also look into developing implementing the best machine learning algorithms.""There's no mature ETL tool in Tableau, which is quite a negative for them.""Its documentation can be improved so that a user can get a good hands-on experience. Tableau is well documented, and on their website, there are a lot of tutorials that are available for free. I started my learning process through those tutorials, but there are certain loopholes in those tutorials, which only got filled through a couple of good YouTube channels that talk about Tableau. YouTube helped me a lot. So, the documentation could be better, I understand that it is evolving day by day, and with more usage, there would be more such documentation.""The use of this service in the desktop version is annoying due to the constant updates which lead to reinstalling the application. If they could give support with updates on the same downloaded version, it would be great."

More Tableau Cons →

Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "There is room for at least 45% discount as compared to the initial price."
  • "MS BI comes with all the tools and it is, to the best of my knowledge, the most affordable solution."
  • "All in all, for the price, this is an excellent tool for helping your organization turn mounds of data into useful insights."
  • "I would advise that Microsoft BI products are rightly priced and the licensing is easy to follow and to fulfill."
  • "Remove the cost of a licence to show a dashboard within SharePoint. Why should readers of a dashboard have to pay to view? ​"
  • "Make it low in cost. It is a no-brainer!"
  • "Globally, we evaluated a number of products, including Salesforce's product, Microsoft won on the ground of simple functionally and cost."
  • "Paid for itself in the first month."
  • More Microsoft Power BI Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "For big business, Tableau could be expensive as having a lot of Tableau server users (entering with a browser to reports) could be a bit expensive."
  • "Best advice on pricing is to anticipate the desire for more licenses once the results of this product are acknowledged in other parts of your company."
  • "Paying for users you never setup or buying expensive desktop licenses for users who can solve their users with web editing on the server are the two biggest expenses."
  • "Buy 50 at a time. Project your use base every three months, and project your requirements forward."
  • "Tableau can be costly (but this can be indefinable, such as user experience vs. cheaper etc.)"
  • "I wish there was more of a subscription model with the pricing when it comes to Tableau, so you can get all the latest version upgrades/features if you pay monthly/annually."
  • "The cost is high."
  • "Deployment of dashboards to viewers and unit supervisors can be prohibitively expensive."
  • More Tableau Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Comparison Review
    Anonymous User
    Answers from the Community
    Anonymous User
    it_user89082 - PeerSpot reviewerit_user89082 (Manager of Data Analytics with 1,001-5,000 employees)
    Vendor

    Sorry to hear you have to move to Report Builder. Tableau is superior by a long shot! Find another gig. Don't go backwards. Move forward with Tableau !

    it_user5394 - PeerSpot reviewerit_user5394 (Consultant with 51-200 employees)
    Vendor

    Tableau is more suitable for somebody that is not developer and it's very easy to use and to create great visual presentation. For developers Report Builder would be more domestic.

    it_user82776 - PeerSpot reviewerit_user82776 (Chief Executive Officer at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees)
    Consultant

    It is really the outcome and target goals that are achieved with the right set of BI solutions,people using it to add more efficiency and productivity at all fronts is the kind of result you want to see. Tools include human and technology bonded together to produce results, After all it is the function of both parties to work together, collaborate and share resources together. In the human perspective we look at the training and how best we can create solutions . With the BI solution it is the way we distinguish between the existing solutions that will to the best of its capability serve our business interests and requirements.

    it_user79746 - PeerSpot reviewerit_user79746 (Consultant at a energy/utilities company)
    Vendor

    Current business leadership include the VP of Finance, so determining a business case was and is a problem for him and those directly under him.  So is a no my problem.
     
    Thanks,
    Rich

    it_user77358 - PeerSpot reviewerit_user77358 (Director of IT at a manufacturing company with 51-200 employees)
    Vendor

    Rich- What is it that current leadership perceives as lacking in the current reporting tool set?
    Why change if the only benefit is features or a products capabilities?
    Can the products features and capabilities be exploited?
    By who and when?
    How does that make money for the company?
    Increased profit?
    Cost reduction?
    Increased resource utilization?
    Fewer days for order to cash?
    Reduced collections?
    Better on time shipping?
    Faster production?
    Increased gross margin?
    Reduced inventory?

    You get the picture. It's the people that make the difference. Not the tool!
    What is it that we need to know to grow our business constantly and continuously?

    Every tool mentioned can do really great "stuff".
    But what "stuff" does your company need?

    To answer the initial question: Every change is difficult without buy-in from the stakeholders.
    People love change. What they don't like is change without benefit. Perceived or real.
    I hope this helps you a little to better meet the challenges you're facing.

    I wish you the best.

    it_user83559 - PeerSpot reviewerit_user83559 (Database Expert at a energy/utilities company with 10,001+ employees)
    Real User

    Reading through the responses from all you knowledgeable persons out there is so very enlightening. It's like sitting in a room and getting your experiences on these tools first hand. Thanks a lot for your inputs, which will help in putting pros and cons for the company to make a trade off and choose over the two.

    it_user77358 - PeerSpot reviewerit_user77358 (Director of IT at a manufacturing company with 51-200 employees)
    Vendor

    Rich- What is it that current leadership perceives as lacking in the current reporting tool set?
    Why change if the only benefit is features or a products capabilities?
    Can the products features and capabilities be exploited?
    By who and when?
    How does that make money for the company?
    Increased profit?
    Cost reduction?
    Increased resource utilization?
    Fewer days for order to cash?
    Reduced collections?
    Better on time shipping?
    Faster production?
    Increased gross margin?
    Reduced inventory?

    You get the picture. It's the people that make the difference. Not the tool!
    What is it that we need to know to grow our business constantly and continuously?

    Every tool mentioned can do really great "stuff".
    But what "stuff" does your company need?

    To answer the initial question: Every change is difficult without buy-in from the stakeholders.
    People love change. What they don't like is change without benefit. Perceived or real.
    I hope this helps you a little to better meet the challenges you're facing.

    I wish you the best.

    it_user79746 - PeerSpot reviewerit_user79746 (Consultant at a energy/utilities company)
    Vendor

    I wouldn't feel too sorry, it is a very good group to work with.  After a lot of years working in IT both in the US and Europe one of the things I find interesting is that Americans in business, especially with regard to software,  feel they must have the latest, greatest and most feature rich everything when very often being a little behind the bleeding edge gets the job done and costs less.  The real issue is to look at the problem being solved and find good enough while keeping an eye on where you are going. 

    Having said that took a brief look at the link you indicated and I like the fact that it runs on Linux.  Thumbs up on that aspect.

     
    Thanks,
    Rich

    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer:There are many...It would rather depend what System BI architecture or Enterprise legacy you have at your end...I would recommend as follows:  1) If you have legacies of SAP, Oracle  - look for SAP… more »
    Top Answer:Power BI is an advanced visualization tool oriented to big data with a very complete set of widgets to visualize information, control users accessing information, the configuration of governance… more »
    Top Answer:Oracle OBIEE is great in allowing design and creativity per the individual needs of the organization. Dashboards are fully customizable and very user-friendly. This solution is very stable. Oracle… more »
    Top Answer:It depends on the Data architecture and the complexity of your requirement Some great tools in the market are Qlik Sense, Power BI, OBIEE, Tableau, etc. I have recently started using Cognos… more »
    Top Answer:Both tools have their positives and negatives. First, I should mention that I am relatively new to Tableau. I have been working on and off Tableau for about a year, but getting to work on it… more »
    Top Answer:Tableau is easy to set up and maintain. In about a day it is possible for the entire platform to be deployed for use. This relatively short amount of time can make all the difference for companies… more »
    Ranking
    Views
    33,848
    Comparisons
    28,652
    Reviews
    27
    Average Words per Review
    619
    Rating
    7.9
    Views
    26,131
    Comparisons
    22,454
    Reviews
    13
    Average Words per Review
    537
    Rating
    8.7
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    SSRS, SSAS, MSBI, MS Reporting Services, Microsoft BI Tools, Microsoft Big Data, Power BI Pro, MS BI
    Tableau Desktop, Tableau Server, Tableau Online
    Learn More
    Overview

    Microsoft Power BI is a powerful tool for data analysis and visualization. This tool stands out for its ability to merge and analyze data from various sources. Widely adopted across different industries and departments, Power BI is instrumental in creating visually appealing dashboards and generating insightful business intelligence reports. Its intuitive interface, robust visualization capabilities, and seamless integration with other Microsoft applications empower users to easily create interactive reports and gain valuable insights.

    Tableau is a tool for data visualization and business intelligence that allows businesses to report insights through easy-to-use, customizable visualizations and dashboards. Tableau makes it exceedingly simple for its customers to organize, manage, visualize, and comprehend data. It enables users to dig deep into the data so that they can see patterns and gain meaningful insights. 

    Make data-driven decisions with confidence thanks to Tableau’s assistance in providing faster answers to queries, solving harder problems more easily, and offering new insights more frequently. Tableau integrates directly to hundreds of data sources, both in the cloud and on premises, making it simpler to begin research. People of various skill levels can quickly find actionable information using Tableau’s natural language queries, interactive dashboards, and drag-and-drop capabilities. By quickly creating strong calculations, adding trend lines to examine statistical summaries, or clustering data to identify relationships, users can ask more in-depth inquiries.

    Tableau has many valuable key features:

    • Tableau dashboards provide a complete view of your data through visualizations, visual objects, text, and more.
    • Tableau provides convenient, real-time options to collaborate with other users and instantly share data in the form of visualizations, sheets, and dashboards. 
    • Tableau ensures connectivity to both live data sources and data extraction from external data sources as in-memory data. This gives users the flexibility to use data from more than one source without any restrictions. 
    • Tableau gives many data source option, ranging from spreadsheets, big data, on-premise files, relational databases, non-relational databases, data warehouses, and big data, to on-cloud data. 
    • Tableau has a lot of pre-installed information on maps, such as cities, postal codes, and administrative boundaries. 
    • Tableau has a foolproof security system based on authentication and permission systems for data connections and user access. Tableau also gives you the freedom to integrate with other security protocols.

    Tableau stands out among its competitors for a number of reasons. Some of these include its fast data access, easy creation of visualizations, and its stability. PeerSpot users take note of the advantages of these features in their reviews:

    Romil S., Deputy General Manager of IT at Nayara Energy, notes, "Its visualizations are good, and its features make the development process a little less time-consuming. It has an in-memory extract feature that allows us to extract data and keep it on the server, and then our users can use it quickly.

    Ariful M., Consulting Practice Partner of Data, Analytics & AI at FH, writes, “Tableau is very flexible and easy to learn. It has drag-and-drop function analytics, and its design is very good.

    Sample Customers
    Accenture Adidas Aetna AIG Airbus Alibaba Allstate Amazon American Express Aon AT&T Audi Bank of America BASF Bayer Berkshire Hathaway Boeing Coca-Cola Comcast Cisco Coca-Cola Dell Disney Emirates Equinix FedEx Ford GE Google H&M Home Depot Honda IBM Intel JPMorgan Chase Kellogg's Kroger L'Oréal McDonald's Merck MetLife Microsoft Nike Oracle P&G PepsiCo Procter & Gamble Prudential Financial SAP Siemens Snapchat Spotify Starbucks Target Toyota T-Mobile Unilever Visa Walmart WeWork World Bank Xerox
    Accenture, Adobe, Amazon.com, Bank of America, Charles Schwab Corp, Citigroup, Coca-Cola Company, Cornell University, Dell, Deloitte, Duke University, eBay, Exxon Mobil, Fannie Mae, Ferrari, French Red Cross, Goldman Sachs, Google, Government of Canada, HP, Intel, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Macy's, Merck, The New York Times, PayPal, Pfizer, US Army, US Air Force, Skype, and Walmart.
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm15%
    Manufacturing Company13%
    Computer Software Company11%
    Energy/Utilities Company9%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Educational Organization35%
    Financial Services Firm8%
    Computer Software Company8%
    Government5%
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm13%
    Computer Software Company12%
    University7%
    Healthcare Company7%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Educational Organization35%
    Financial Services Firm11%
    Computer Software Company8%
    Manufacturing Company6%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business39%
    Midsize Enterprise16%
    Large Enterprise45%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business14%
    Midsize Enterprise42%
    Large Enterprise44%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business32%
    Midsize Enterprise18%
    Large Enterprise50%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business14%
    Midsize Enterprise40%
    Large Enterprise47%
    Buyer's Guide
    Microsoft Power BI vs. Tableau
    May 2024
    Find out what your peers are saying about Microsoft Power BI vs. Tableau and other solutions. Updated: May 2024.
    771,212 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Microsoft Power BI is ranked 1st in BI (Business Intelligence) Tools with 297 reviews while Tableau is ranked 2nd in BI (Business Intelligence) Tools with 293 reviews. Microsoft Power BI is rated 8.0, while Tableau is rated 8.4. The top reviewer of Microsoft Power BI writes "A complete ecosystem with an builtin ETL tool, good integrations with python and R, and support of DAX and Power Query (M languages)". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Tableau writes "Provides fast data access with in-memory extracts, makes it easy to create visualizations, and saves time". Microsoft Power BI is most compared with Amazon QuickSight, KNIME, Domo, Oracle OBIEE and Databricks, whereas Tableau is most compared with Amazon QuickSight, Domo, SAS Visual Analytics, Databricks and SAP Analytics Cloud. See our Microsoft Power BI vs. Tableau report.

    See our list of best BI (Business Intelligence) Tools vendors and best Reporting vendors.

    We monitor all BI (Business Intelligence) Tools reviews to prevent fraudulent reviews and keep review quality high. We do not post reviews by company employees or direct competitors. We validate each review for authenticity via cross-reference with LinkedIn, and personal follow-up with the reviewer when necessary.