Power BI vs. Tableau: Which Is the Best Data Visualization Tool?

Power BI vs Tableau are two crucial Business Intelligence (BI) and data analytics tools for the analysis, collection, presentation, and integration of business data and information. They assist you in performing data visualization, data manipulation, and data analysis to draw insights and make sense of business information and data. There are times when researchers, practitioners, and learners face the challenge of deciding which one of the data analytics tools, Power BI and Tableau, they need to learn or use for their work.

Let’s move on to the important differences between Power BI vs Tableau that will help you overcome some of the challenges.

Power BI vs. Tableau

Power BI by Microsoft is a business statistics service provider that analyzes and visualizes data, extracts information, and then shares it with different departments within an organization. Whereas, Tableau is a robust Business Intelligence tool that controls the flow of data and converts data into functional information. It can create a variety of visualizations to present data and display insights collaboratively.


Tableau has a drag-and-drop feature, which allows its users to create interactive visuals in no time. It can also create interactive dashboards with just a few clicks.

Tableau Software was launched in 2003 in Mountain View, California, and Tableau Desktop 1.0 was released in 2004. On August 1, 2019, Salesforce acquired Tableau. Products of BI Tableau include Tableau Reader, Tableau Online, Tableau Vizable, Tableau Desktop, Tableau Server, and Tableau Public.

Power BI comes with a convenient drag-and-drop functionality and features allowing the user to copy all the formatting across similar visualizations. Ron George originally designed the Power BI platform in 2010 summer, and the first release was available for public download on July 11, 2011. Key components of Power BI are Power Bi Service, Power BI Gateway, Power BI Desktop, Power BI Mobile Apps, and the Power BI Report Server.


Tableau is more expensive software, with the pro version of Tableau having fees of over $ 35 per month per user. The annual subscription cost is about $ 1000. Tableau Creator is about $ 70 per month cost, while BI Tableau Viewer is priced at $ 12 per month. If you own a small business or are a startup, you can choose Power BI vs Tableau to upgrade if necessary.

Power BI is cheaper and more affordable compared to Tableau software. The professional version of Power BI costs less than $ 10 per month per user. Annual subscriptions reach around $ 100. Power BI Premium has a dedicated cloud computing license and storage services and is priced at $ 4,995 / month.


Tableau can manage large amounts of data quickly. It is fast and offers a wide range of data visualization features of Tableau. Tableau offers you a 360-degree view of your data as it does not limit the number of visualization data points or enforce size or line limits.

Power BI is easy-to-use software. It is faster in speed and better when there is a limited volume of data. However, the software tends to slow down while managing large amounts of data.

User Interface

Tableau has a comparatively smarter interface that enables its users to customize and create dashboards according to their needs and requirements. It offers an inviting work environment that encourages you to experiment with data and get intelligent results. Workspace has various sheet tabs, a status bar, a data source page, a sidebar, cards and shelves, and a toolbar.

The Power BI user interface is intuitive, and you can easily integrate it with other Microsoft products. It is quite easy to understand and learn. It enables you to operate better and is also user-friendly. The Power BI Desktop offers three optional views on the left side of the canvas – The Model View, The Data View, and The Report View.

Data Sources

Tableau Software has access to many data sources and servers such as Amazon Redshift, dropbox, Excel, Google Analytics, Text File, Cloudera Hadoop, JSON, google drive, statistical files, PDF, and google sheets.

Power BI is that it supports a variety of data sources but has limited access to other servers and databases as compared to BI Tableau. Some examples are Access DB, MySQL database, Folders, PostgreSQL database, Microsoft Excel, Oracle Database, Text/CSV, IBM DB2, MS SQL Server, etc.

Ease of Using

Tableau software offers some important benefits for visualizing and exploring data and information in detail. The software also possesses capabilities of incorporating natural language into its software. It helps to find solutions to complicated issues by better understanding data. Power BI has the edge due to its ease of use as it is based on a user interface having roots in Microsoft Office 365, which most end-users are already familiar with.

Programming Support

Compared to Power BI, Tableau software integrates better with the R language. Tableau Software Development Kit can be used in any of the four programming languages ​​ Python, Java, – C, and C ++. By linking to these programming languages, you can create even more robust visualizations.

Power BI supports M language and Data Analysis for modeling and manipulation of data. By using Microsoft revolution analytics, it also connects to R-programming language, but it is only available to business-level users.

Data Visualization

Tableau enables its users to customize device-specific dashboards. It offers interactive visuals supporting insights on the fly. It has the ability to translate questions into visualizations and makes you identify opportunities, ask questions, and identify trends. You do not need any prior knowledge to work on Tableau, as it provides built-in table statistics to create reports and dashboards.

Power BI offers a convenient drag-and-drop functionality. It offers Power BI features that make the data appealing visually. Power BI provides a variety of detailed and engaging visualizations to create dashboards and reports. Using the Power BI service, you can ask questions about your business data, and it will provide you with useful information.

Machine Learning

Tableau supports Python machine learning features. This allows us to perform machine learning (ML) tasks over predictive data and datasets.

Power BI enjoys the benefits of Microsoft Business Statistics, including platforms such as SQL Server-based Analysis Services, many Azure databases offers, Azure Machine learning, and data streaming in real-time. It helps to analyze the data trends and patterns and understand the data better.

Customer Support

Tableau has more than 160,000 active users participating in more than 500 global user groups and more than 150,000 active customers participating in the Tableau online community. Microsoft Power BI is relatively new and younger in the market as compared to Tableau and therefore has a smaller community.

Google Trends

Google Trends for Tableau vs Power BI suggests that Tableau is comparatively more popular and widely searched online. Also, on YouTube, Tableau is more popular compared to Power BI in terms of search volume.

Power BI vs. BI Tableau – Similarities

  • Tableau vs Power BI are both extremely popular. They are the two primary leaders in the market of business intelligence platforms. Tableau came into the market in 2003 and became one of the most popular BI tools. Contrary to that, Power BI was recently launched by Microsoft in 2011 and was added to Office 365 in the year 2013.
  • Both can connect to a variety of data sources. These data sources include JSON, CSV, and MS Excel. The paid version of both software offers you access to more than 50 additional data connectors such as Salesforce, Amazon Redsift, and Google Bigquery. If the underlying data changes, visualizations are updated.
  • You can use Tableau and Power BI to create a variety of different visualizations. These visualizations include geographical maps, treemaps, and line and bar charts. You can interact with these visualizations on both platforms, such as hovering over them to get more information. They can also be combined together to create dashboards.
  • There isn’t any coding involved in both software, and both are user-friendly. The user-friendliness makes them the best and the foremost set of tools to learn if you are a fresher in data analytics. If you are a business analyst, then these two are the main data visualization tools you’ll need to work with data. It doesn’t mean that these two are the only tools you will be working with. There will be other tools as well, such as Python, R, and SQL. Thus, adding one or more of these valuable tools to your skillset is extremely crucial.


Now, as you know the similarities and differences between Power BI vs Tableau business analysis tools. Thus, you can always make the right decision and choose the tool that fits your business requirements and budget. For more information, you can contact [email protected]. IT experts at Xavor will help you choose the right data analytics tools for your enterprise and generate maximum benefit from them.

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