Power BI vs Tableau in 2021

In a world that treats data as the new oil, analytics and visualization have become the trump cards. The competition is increasing as more and more tools are entering the market. To stay on top, one single tool has to be designed to deliver a mix of qualities such as brand recognition, ease of use, and price. Are you wondering what all tools are exactly matching these standards? Let us get into the discussion of Power BI vs Tableau.

Updated on 28th May, 20 800 Views

This blog throws light on the topic Power BI vs Tableau. Since their inception, both tools have come a long way in Data Analytics and have become the leaders among Business Intelligence tools. The blog draws a comparison between the two and features their relevance in the field.

In this ‘Power BI vs Tableau’ article you will learn the following concepts:

Before reading about the difference between Tableau and Power BI in this Tableau vs Power BI comparison blog, let’s understand what Power BI is.


What is Power BI?

This is a Business Intelligence tool that allows users to extract and modify data from a multitude of sources, be it Excel files, images, videos, etc., into insightful reports and interactive dashboards. Data analysis and visualization have various techniques and methods of conveying the information in data to the users. Power BI is deployed for the cleaning and integration of complex data and identifying underlying trends and patterns to run ad-hoc queries.

Check out this video on Power BI and start learning:

You have briefly learned about Power BI in this ‘Power BI vs Tableau’ blog. Now, let’s get a clear idea of Tableau.

Want to learn more about Power BI? Enroll in Power BI Certification training to become proficient in this BI tool.


What is Tableau?

Data-driven storytelling has become the new language for organizations. Tableau generates visualizations in the form of understandable dashboards, reports, and worksheets. This paves way for the easy reading of complex data without any technical knowledge and draws insights beneficial for the revenue and growth of the business.

You can check Tableau Certification Course online to learn more about tableau from basic to advance level.

Check this out for more clarity on what Tableau is:

After learning enough about Power BI and Tableau, let’s come to the main topic of this blog, Power BI versus Tableau.


Difference Between Power BI and Tableau

Every enterprise has its own set of goals and targets set to increase its revenue and drive its growth in the right direction. We will discuss some important areas where Power BI and Tableau show major contrasts in helping organizations achieve their goals. Let’s get into Power BI vs Tableau in various distinct aspects.


1. Cost

Tableau is much more expensive compared to Power BI. This point actually is a deal-breaker for many firms as the costs are on the opposite ends of the spectrum. Anyone looking for an affordable option, the choice is clear. Hence, most of the startups opt for Power BI and later upgrade to Tableau on a need basis.


2. Data Visualization

When it comes to visualization, the best tool in the market today is Tableau. No questions to ask! It can break down large datasets into simpler visualizations and provide users with better drill-down features. Whereas, Power BI makes its mark on data manipulation, reporting, and predictive modeling.


3. Deployment

Tableau comes first when considering deployment flexibility as it has more cloud-based and on-premises options. Power BI, on the other hand, can also have both on-premise and cloud. In the cloud, it is only limited to Azure.

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4. Complex Data Handling Capacity

Tableau handles huge data efficiently than Power BI. Power BI lags when encountered with heavy data.


5. Functionality

Tableau performs better compared to Power BI when it comes to questions on data. It suggests that the depth of data to be worked with is much sophisticated with Tableau.


6. Integration

Both Tableau and Power BI easily integrate with third-party data sources. However, Tableau has an edge over Power BI for slightly divergent integration.


7. Programming Tools Support

Both tools can blend smoothly with all major programming languages. There is much better integration of R programming language with Tableau than Power BI. The latter requires another tool called Microsoft Revolution Analytics to connect to R, but it is available only for enterprise-level users.

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8. User Interface

Tableau is usually used to create customized dashboards with sleek design to enable a user-friendly interface. Power BI, on the other hand, is much simpler to learn and has a more intuitive interface than Tableau. Hence, enterprises prefer Power BI over Tableau, completely attributed to its ease of use and simplicity.


9. Support and Community

The older the technology, the better will be its supporting community. Power BI is relatively new compared to Tableau. So, its user community will obviously be smaller than Tableau. This helps Tableau users to network better.

Learn about both Power BI and Tableau in our in-depth blog on Power BI tutorial and Tableau Tutorial.



Clearly, from the above Microsoft Power BI vs Tableau discussion, you can make out which tool will serve you more, of course considering your requirements. A user, who is not a Data Analyst, will prefer Power BI over Tableau as the latter is not as intuitive and commands more effort in learning. So, Power BI triumphs in terms of ease of use and simplicity. However, when it comes to speed and capacity to handle complex data, Tableau is the sought-after one. There is a guarantee on the quality of visualizations users can generate using Tableau, especially for medium to large enterprises that have no limitation on spending on human capital.

Here we have brought to you only the Power BI vs Tableau pros and cons. There are other options as well to choose from as Business Intelligence tools for your enterprise. However, now you have enough information to choose Power BI or Tableau.

Check out Intellipaat’s Business Intelligence forum to post and clear your doubts.

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