Microsoft Power BI Vs Tableau – Learn the Key Differences

Updated 12 Apr 2023
Published 29 Mar 2023
Gaurav Sharma 2316 Views
Power BI Vs Tableau

Business intelligence technologies are now crucial for firms to make well-informed decisions in today’s data-driven business environment. Tableau and Power BI are two of the most used solutions on the market.

Although all of these tools have strong capabilities for data visualization, analysis, and reporting, there are important distinctions between them that may make one more appropriate for a given use case than the other.

We will examine the differences between Tableau and Power BI in this article and offer some suggestions as to which product may be more appropriate for enterprise-level businesses.

To assist you in choosing the best tool for your company, we’ll go over a number of crucial aspects, such as data visualization capabilities, data sources and connection, cost and licensing, scalability, and more.

Key Differences Between – Power BI And Tableau

Microsoft Power BI and Tableau are two of the most popular business intelligence tools on the market today. Here are some key differences:-

Key Differences Between - Power BI And Tableau

Power BI & Tableau, Ease of Use

Power BI is generally considered to be more user-friendly and easier to use for beginners, thanks to its integration with other Microsoft tools such as Excel. Tableau, on the other hand, has a steeper learning curve and may require more training for new users.

Data Connectivity

Both Power BI and Tableau can connect to a wide variety of data sources, but Power BI’s connectivity with Microsoft products and Power BI implementation Services is more seamless. Tableau, however, has better connectivity with non-Microsoft data sources.


Tableau is generally considered to offer more customization options for visualizations and power bi dashboards, allowing users to create more complex and sophisticated visualizations. Microsoft Power BI, however, is still highly customizable and offers a wide range of visualization options.


Both Power BI and Tableau allow for collaboration, but Power BI’s data integration with other Microsoft products such as Teams and SharePoint makes it more convenient for team collaboration.


Integration With Other Tools

Power BI is part of the Microsoft ecosystem and integrates well with other Microsoft tools like Excel and SharePoint. Tableau, on the other hand, has more extensive third-party integrations and can work with a wider range of tools.

Mobile/Tablet Compatibility

Power BI has a native mobile app that allows users to access dashboards and reports on their mobile devices. While Tableau also has a mobile app, it requires more customization to ensure that dashboards and reports are optimized for smaller screens.

Data Modeling

Power BI has more robust data modeling capabilities than Tableau, making it easier to transform and shape data. Power BI also allows for the creation of calculated columns and measures within the application itself, while Tableau requires the use of external tools like Excel or SQL.

Data Modeling

Community Support

Tableau has a larger and more active community than Power BI, which means that there are more resources available for troubleshooting and learning. Power BI, however, has a growing community and Microsoft provides extensive documentation and support.

Mapping & Spatial Analysis

Tableau has stronger mapping and spatial analysis capabilities than Power BI, with built-in geographic mapping and more advanced geospatial analysis features.

Power BI, on the other hand, requires the use of external tools like ArcGIS to perform advanced mapping and spatial analysis.

Data Security

Power BI has more advanced security features than Tableau, making it a better choice for organizations that handle sensitive data. Power BI also allows for row-level security, which means that different users can see different data based on their roles and permissions.

Data Security

Data Refresh & Automation

Power BI has more advanced data refresh and automation capabilities than Tableau, with the ability to schedule data refreshes and automate report distribution. Tableau, however, offers more options for real-time data connections and streaming data.


Power BI has a simpler licensing structure than Tableau, with a single user-based license for the desktop and cloud-based versions. Tableau, on the other hand, has a more complex licensing structure with different tiers for different features and user types.

Read more: Understanding Microsoft Power BI: A Comprehensive Guide

Dashboard Interactivity

Tableau offers more advanced interactivity and drill-down capabilities than Power BI, allowing users to explore data in more depth and customize the view of dashboards.

Power BI, however, offers more control over the layout and formatting of dashboards.

Dashboard Interactivity in power bi

Data Volume & Scalability

Tableau is generally considered more scalable than Power BI, with better performance on larger data sets and more robust server-based deployment options. Power BI, however, is better suited for smaller data sets and organizations with less complex data needs.

Natural Language Query

Power BI has a natural language query feature, which allows users to ask questions in plain English and get answers in the form of visualizations. Tableau does not currently have a native natural language query feature.

Machine Learning Integration

Power BI has more built-in machine learning integration than Tableau, with features like the Azure Machine Learning integration and the ability to use R and Python scripts directly within the application. Tableau, however, has stronger integration with third-party machine learning tools.

Report Sharing

Power BI allows users to share reports and dashboards with non-Power BI users through the use of shared links. Tableau, on the other hand, requires non-Tableau users to have a Tableau license to access shared reports and dashboards.

Report Sharing

Data governance

Tableau has stronger data governance features than Power BI, with better support for data cataloging and metadata management. Power BI, however, has made significant improvements in this area in recent years.

Customer support

Tableau has a reputation for providing excellent customer support, with a strong focus on user experience and community engagement.

Power BI also provides extensive documentation and support, but may not have the same level of personalized customer support as Tableau.


Tableau vs Power BI Cost Comparison

Power BI Tableau
Power BI Pro – Starts at $9.99 per month Tableau Creator – $70 per user/month
Power Bi Premium – Per User: $20/user/month Tableau Explorer $42 user/month
Power Bi Premium – Per Capacity: $4995/capacity/month Tableau Viewer $15 user/month

Tableau and Power BI are two popular power bi data visualization tools used by businesses to analyze and visualize their data. When it comes to cost, there are some differences between the two.

Tableau is known for being a more expensive option. The cost of Tableau varies depending on the version and the number of users.

Tableau Desktop, which is used for data visualization and analysis, costs $70 per month per user, while Tableau Server, which is used for sharing dashboards and reports, costs $35 per user per month.

Tableau Online, which is a cloud-based version of Tableau Server, costs $42 per user per month.

On the other hand, Power BI is known for being a more cost-effective option. Power BI offers a free version, which includes basic data visualization and sharing capabilities.

The Pro version of Power BI costs $9.99 per user per month and includes additional features such as collaboration and data governance.

There is also a Power Bi Premium : of Power BI, which is designed for enterprise-level organizations and has a higher cost.

Read also: Top Power BI Consulting Companies For Leading-edge Enterprise Solutions

Power BI Vs Tableau- Which One is the Better Choice

Power BI Vs Tableau- Which One is Better Choice

Both Power BI and Tableau can be suitable for enterprise-level organizations, depending on the specific needs and requirements of the business.

Tableau is often considered a better choice for larger organizations with complex data needs and a larger user base. It has more advanced features for data governance and scalability, and its server-based deployment options make it easier to manage and share data across multiple teams and departments.

Power BI, on the other hand, is a good choice for organizations that are already using other Microsoft tools like Excel and SharePoint. It has strong integration with the Microsoft ecosystem and is often easier to learn and use for those who are already familiar with Microsoft products.

Power BI also has a simpler licensing structure and can be more cost-effective for smaller organizations or those with less complex data needs.

Ultimately, the best choice for an enterprise-level organization will depend on a variety of factors, including the specific data needs and the level of expertise and resources available within the organization.

It’s important to carefully evaluate both Power BI and Tableau, as well as other business intelligence tools, before making a decision.


Significance of Experienced Business Intelligence Consulting Partner

Implementing business intelligence solutions requires specialized knowledge and expertise that may not be available in-house. An experienced power bi consulting company can provide the necessary expertise and guidance to help organizations implement a successful business intelligence strategy.

A good business intelligence consulting company can help organizations identify the right data sources and tools, design and implement data models, develop effective dashboards and reports, and ensure that the system is optimized for performance and scalability.

By working with an experienced consulting company, organizations can accelerate their time to market, reduce the risk of implementation failure, and maximize the value of their investment in business intelligence.

FAQ’s regarding Power BI Vs Tableau

        • Is there any coding required for Power BI or Tableau?

          One of the best parts about Power BI and Tableau is that only low-code experience is required to use these technologies. However, you can go through the fundamentals of R-programming, Python, and SQL to have rich data visualization, dashboarding, and analytics.

        • What are the similarities between Power BI and Tableau? 

          There are some similarities also exist between the two, such as follows:
          1- Both are top business intelligence tools available to date in the market.
          2- Both are code-free or work on a low-code basis and are user-friendly.
          3- You can connect both with the different data sources or streams, and these also facilitate diverse data visualization.

        • Is Power BI Easy to learn compared to Tableau?

          Both are easy to learn, and the rest of the things depend on what kind of analytical and data visualization skills you have. However, Tableau is suitable for users who still need to gain pre-experience in data visualization, but for Power BI, you need a little experience in analysis and visualization.

      • Is there any condition in which Tableau works better than Power BI?

        Yes, whenever there is a requirement to handle bulky data, Tableau works more efficiently than Power BI as it lags in handling bulky data. Tableau has no restriction over the limitation of data points in visualization and offers a 360-degree rotational data view.

      • Who owns Tableau and Power BI?

        In 2003, Tableau was launched by Tableau software, an American data visualization company, but in 2019 Salesforce Org. acquired both the product and the company. On the other hand, Power BI is owned by Microsoft Corp. and was launched in 2011.

Gaurav Sharma

Gourav Sharma is a Digital Marketing Strategist at Arka Softwares, a leading web development company. He has 2 years of experience in the Information Technology industry. He spends his time reading about new trends in Digital Marketing and the latest app development technologies.

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