Background

Power BI
Power BI is a business intelligence tool released by Microsoft. Available in both free and paid versions, Power BI gives users the tools to create, analyze, and share visual reports and dashboards. Originally built as an Excel add-in in 2009, Power BI later became a standalone product in 2015. Power BI operates on the Microsoft Azure Cloud, but is available as an on-premise deployment available in the Premium package. 

Tableau
Tableau Software is a business intelligence and visualization software company founded in 2003. Tableau got its start as a project by the Stanford University Computer Science Department to find a way for people to more easily analyze information. The product was an immediate hit and won several awards within a few years. It also manages to maintain the highest percentage of market share among business intelligence products.

There are several Tableau product types including Desktop, Online, Prep, Server, and Reader that each have uses and access points. This article will focus on the Tableau Online option, most similar to the Power BI Pro and Premium licenses.


Pricing

Power BI

Licensing: Pro licenses cost $10/user/month. Premium plans will vary slightly, but costs will consist of $10/month per license and $4995/month per required node (dependent upon license count).

Power BI is available in several plans – Free, Pro, and Premium The difference between Pro and Premium licenses is that organization-wide capabilities like storage space, dataset size, and sharing abilities are upgraded in Premium compared to Pro plans.

Billing Frequency: Monthly

Tableau

Licensing: Tableau Online requires at least one Creator license for $70/user/month, at least 5 Explorer licenses for $42/user/month, and if you choose to use Viewer licenses, at least 100 of those are required at $15/user/month.  

Full pricing information, as well as details regarding the capability differences of each license type, can be found here. Tableau, unlike Power BI, doesn’t offer a free product in which users can build out data visualizations. The free license option from Tableau allows users to view and interact with already-built reports, but they are unable edit them in any way.

Billing Frequency: Monthly


Customer Reviews

Tableau

Overall rating: 4.53/5 (717 reviews)

Common Pros: Ease of use, customizable without being too complex, ability to combine data from different sources, extensive training resources

Common Cons: Expensive, customer support, steep learning curve in some areas, lacking in R queries, frequent updates that use resources, slow performance with very large datasets

Power BI

Overall rating: 4.42/5 (290 reviews)

Common Pros: Inexpensive, connects with any data source, integrations make it easy to share reports

Common Cons: Tough to learn, can be overly complex, connectors faulty at times, data refresh is lengthy


Release Schedule

Power BI

There is typically one Power BI update released per month that includes bug fixes and often new features added across the system. You can read about the most recent update on this page, which is kept up to date with info about each new release.

Tableau

Tableau Online gets an update every couple of weeks with fixes for the errors and bugs reported by users. Upgrades containing new features, tools, and/or functionality are released roughly every three months, with the latest coming in October 2018, which you can read about here.


Integrations

Both Power BI and Tableau can connect to any data source, either through pre-built connectors or by writing custom extensions. Data retrieval can be automated to occur on a scheduled basis or by triggered events.

Both systems can be extended with add-on applications available in Microsoft AppSource and the Tableau Extension Gallery. AppSource is a marketplace with over 100 free and paid apps to extend Power BI, while the Extension Gallery offers 25+ integrations built specifically for Tableau. Add-ons serve a wide variety of purposes, from new visualization options to predictive analytics

As a Microsoft cloud-based application, Power BI works well with many other cloud-based solutions including Office 365 (Power BI Pro comes with Office 365 E5 licenses.) With Power BI connected to Office 365, users can connect files stored in OneDrive and use them in app workspaces. Power BI reports can also be published on SharePoint Online, PowerPoint, and Microsoft Teams.


Report Sharing

Tableau

Tableau Online gives users the ability to share reports in two ways – through a link or by embedding a short code script into the sites they choose. Giving the option to automatically create an email with the link already in it is convenient and the publisher can even make it so a password is required to access the workbook.

With Tableau Embedded Analytics, users can share the reports they build. The Tableau Server allows both internal and external users to view the shared visualizations according the user permissions that are set.

Power BI

Sharing the visualizations you build is surprisingly easy, as users with a Power BI Pro license can distribute reports in a number of different ways. One of the most popular is embedding a report in a SharePoint site, ensuring that it will reach a specific group of staff. Sharing reports via email can be done with both internal and external users. Exporting to PowerPoint takes only a matter of clicks and sharing directly within Power BI allows users to work together in-real time on the web client.


Features

Features listed are taken from getapp.com.

 

Power BI

360 Degree Feedback

API

Activity Dashboard

Business Analysis

Collaboration Tools

Collaborative Workspaces

Customizable Reporting

Dashboard Creation

Data Connectors

Data Import/Export

Data Synchronization

Data Transformation

Data Visualization

Data Filtering

Drag & Drop Interface

Geographic Maps

Graphical Data Presentation

Interactive Reporting

Mobile Integration

Permission Management

Natural Language Search

Real Time Analytics

Tableau

API

Activity Dashboard

Collaboration Tools

Customizable Reporting

Dashboard Creation

Automatic Notifications

Data Connectors

Data Import/Export

Data Synchronization

Data Filtering

Data Transformation

Data Visualization

Drag & Drop Interface

Geographic Maps

Graphical Data Presentation

Interactive Reporting

Mobile Integration

Email Integration

Permission Management

Natural Language Search

Real Time Analytics

 

Get a Demo of Power BI

 
Name *
Name
*