Power BI vs Tableau

 Power BI vs Tableau: Two front-runners, dominating the evolving generation of Business Intelligence

Despite several players in the analytics market, data experts are compelled to embrace either PowerBI or Tableau as their first choice of analytical tool. It is not only the dashboards on Power BI or Tableau which makes them inevitable substitutes to the data visualization tool but also the way one experiences insights through analysis which helps them in giving an edge in the market. As claimed by data experts the end goal of the analysis is not a dashboard but a  better understanding of their data sets. Both PowerBI and Tableau have their own capabilities and they provide a platform to extract valuable insights from data.

In order to learn more about the two most prominent BI(Business Intelligence) tools, let us do a SWOT analysis that could help us in making a better decision when selecting a particular option for a specific outcome.

SWOT Analysis of PowerBI


  •  Reasonable pricing

  •  Multiple Integrations and data     sources

  •  Easily accessible on any browser and several devices like mobile 

  •  Effective and easy data visualizations


  • Lack of deployment flexibility

  • Compared to Tableau, PowerBI does not work well with large amounts of data.

  • Lacks Data Cleansing solution

  • It has a bulky user interface

  • Limited data sharing capability 


  • The evolving market of Data analysis.

  • Connectivity to  Microsoft Cognitive Services and Microsoft Graph API 

  • The surging number of customers on the digital platform


  • Other players like "Qlik" which are better in handling big data

  • Softwares like Tableau which is more flexible in deployment 

PowerBI: Strengths 

PowerBI has a reasonable pricing plan and is decent for new users as it is a subscription-based service and there is no need to buy licenses, support, etc. Further, new customers can buy free version and after subscribing they can create their own dashboards.PowerBI is not only dependent on Microsoft data sources but also it is compatible with a plethora of data sources like Oracle Database, MySQL database, IBM DB2 database, and many more. Should you need the current PowerBI report of your data you can easily access them on multiple devices including your cellphones. The darg and drop functionality enables end-users to create reports easily and in a short span of time.

PowerBI: Weaknesses 

One of the major drawbacks of PowerBI reports and dashboards lies in the fact that they can be shared only with the users with the same email domains.PowerBI is useful only in those organizations where most of the work is done on Microsoft Excel or on other Microsoft products.PowerBI should not be a choice if one wants to use large amounts of data as the performance will not be efficient.PowerBI does not have an effective data cleaning solution. Further, it has a complex user interface.

PowerBI: Opportunities 

Data is a boon which enables an enterprise to take strategic decisions. The new generation of technology is based on the capability of data and tools to analyze them. Data Scientists, Data Analysts, or Business Analysts are dependent on such tools like PowerBI to extract valuable insights from the data.PowerBI will get continuous support from Microsoft and will get connectivity to Microsoft premium services like Microsoft Cognitive Services.

PowerBI: Threats 

There are many competitors of PowerBI like "Qlik and Tableau" which have better data handling capabilities. For example, Qlik is efficient for handling big data, and Tableau is famous for the quality of visualization to analyze data effectively.

We can refer to the following two links to gain more useful pieces of information related to PowerBI:


  •  Beautiful visualizations

  • More flexible in deployment than PowerBI

  • Better performance when dealing with large data sets 


  • The price structure is a bit confusing especially when compared to PowerBI 

  • It does not support version control

  • Does not have automatic report refreshing option

  • It demands SQL knowledge


  • More customers from online channels

  • New trends in consumer behavior 


  • Better and cheap technology developed by the competitor like PowerBI 

Tableau: Strengths 

A tableau is an effective software for creating beautiful visualizations. When it comes to deployment Tableau is very flexible as Tableau server can be deployed on Windows box without the support of the SQL server. It can easily be deployed on Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, or Google Cloud Platform, or on Tableau Online.
As compared to PowerBI Tableau is better in dealing with large data sets.

Tableau: Weaknesses

The major weakness of Tableau lies in the fact that one needs to invest in buying the software before using it which makes it more expensive than PowerBI.Tableau does not have updated versions like PowerBI.Further, it does not have an automatic report refreshing option which results in an increase in manual work. Moreover, one needs to be technically sound for using Tableau efficiently as it demands SQL knowledge. 

Tableau: Opportunities

More business is getting connected to the internet which generates immense data to be analyzed in such a situation the use of effective data visualization tools like Tableau becomes inevitable. Further, new trends in consumer behavior demand the use of effective BI tools so that companies can proactively design their product satisfying the volatile market.

Tableau: Threats

New competitors and especially big competitors like PowerBI which offer their BI tools at a comparatively lower price and with user-friendly options.

In order to learn more about Tableau, we can access the following links:



From the above SWOT analysis, we could derive some useful insights about the two leading BI tools which are shaping the Data analytics and Business intelligence(BI)  industry in a significant manner. Although we focused only on the top two BI tools, there are many other market players that contribute a reasonable percentage in the BI market segment. Few of them are mentioned in the Gartner chart below:

by Divya Shekhar