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Power BI vs. Tableau

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Power BI vs. Tableau — Overview

Microsoft Power BI is a data visualization tool with advanced business intelligence capabilities. It enhances data visualization and discovery through BI and analytics. With Power BI, you can simplify data sharing and analytics by seamlessly connecting all the data sources. It helps you reduce the cost, complexity, and security risks of managing multiple data analytics solutions. You can scale Power BI per your requirements.

Tableau transforms the way you visualize data by providing advanced analytics and data discovery capabilities. It comes with drag-and-drop features. You can seamlessly analyze crucial data and share insights across the organization. The platform lets you create a data-driven culture. Tableau uses augmented analytics to help you uncover business insights faster. It relies on cutting-edge technologies like machine learning, natural language, and smart data prep.

Tableau vs. Power BI — Core Capabilities

Data Visualization

Power BI

Power BI enables you to upload datasets effortlessly. You can choose numerous visualizations as blueprints and create attractive visualizations.

Besides, it lets you ask queries using Microsoft’s advanced AI and natural language. You can use any number of data points and set visualizations per your need.


Tableau allows you to create different kinds of baseline visualizations. These include heat maps, scatter plots, and line charts, among others.

It is equipped with an interface that doesn’t require coding skills to create sophisticated visualizations. With Tableau, too, you have the freedom to use as many data points as you want.


Power BI

Power BI relies on coding-focused analytics, requiring programming skills in two different languages (DAX and M).

It requires multiple steps to fill in the blanks, including deciding about a visual, adding elements, formatting, etc.


Equipped with proprietary VizQL technology, Tableau lets you graphically explore data.

Tableau is natively visual and incredibly fast when it comes to creating analytics. It yields results instantaneously without requiring multiple steps.

Data Sources

Power BI

Power BI can seamlessly connect all your external data sources MySQL, JSON, and other databases. The tool automatically determines the relationships when a user adds data from multiple sources.

Besides, you can also connect with Microsoft Azure and other third-party databases.


Tableau supports hundreds of data sources alongside providing Big Data capabilities, such as NoSQL and Hadoop.

Tableau, too, automatically determines relationships when you add data from different sources. Additionally, it enables you to modify data links based on your requirements.


Power BI

Power BI forces migration to Microsoft Azure. Hence, public cloud deployment is limited to Azure only. Cloud implementation requires on-premise data gateways unless the data is on the cloud.

Cloud implementation with Power BI relies on different interfaces and cloud data strategies. Analytics capabilities depend on data storage and connectivity with sources.


Tableau features a data-independent approach that reduces the risk of having to redeploy reconfigure systems over time. It leverages your existing infrastructure, whether it runs on Windows or Linux. You can use public cloud, on-premise systems, or SaaS.

Tableau enables you to visualize and analyze data using one common interface. Besides, the platform lets you seamlessly toggle across data sources.


Power BI

Administration of Power BI is spread across different technologies. Scaling your BI tool is not easy since it requires additional solutions and technical resources.

Power BI gives you limited control over how the solution is installed or configured. Every time you need to scale up, you must look for technical support.


Tableau requires significantly less hardware and technical assistance to scale. It comes with a user-friendly administration, featuring centralized site roles and permissions. The tool enables a comprehensive data management approach, covering data preparation and catalogs integrated into the platform.

You can seamlessly customize the Tableau server’s architecture to match the specific requirements and resources of your business.

Customer Support

Power BI

Customer support is limited for users of the free version of Power BI. However, all users can submit a support ticket. The paid users enjoy better access to customer support and get a faster response to tickets.

Power BI offers extensive support resources and documentation for developers. These include guided learning, a users’ forum, and samples of use cases.


Tableau offers direct support via phone and email alongside a customer support portal. It also has an active global user community that sets the industry standards for business intelligence.

Tableau also offers resources and training. Coupled with is an active community, the platform also hosts conferences and other events to educate users and developers.

Power BI vs. Tableau — The Verdict

Power BI and Tableau offer visibly different business intelligence and analytics capabilities, as highlighted in this Tableau vs. Power BI comparison. With outstanding scalability, incredibly user-friendliness, and frictionless customer support, Tableau stands out from all other BI platforms. However, for small and medium enterprises, Power BI could well be a cost-efficient alternative.

Tableau is particularly most useful for enterprise-grade applications. Companies dealing with staggering amounts of data and large teams should always prefer Tableau over Power BI. However, the ultimate decision is yours, depending on the specific requirements and resources you have. At OrangeMantra, we build deeply customized BI solutions using both Tableau and Power BI.

the verdict

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