Microsoft Power BI vs. Tableau – Which One Is Better?

power BI vs tableau

Data is an integral part of every business that is collected and stored in databases for record-keeping and analysis. When used meaningfully, data can provide information for companies that urge them to make strategic decisions, and smart planning will skyrocket revenues.

Teams for Data analysis and business intelligence continually work on data to make it more meaningful. Business intelligence software is one such way to make your existing data more meaningful.

Companies and professionals use business intelligence tools to speed up their planning and operations. Microsoft Power BI and Tableau are two of the top software in the market. Both are on par with each other to have their own benefits and limitations. Here is the guide if you are thinking about the best business intelligence software for your business.

Microsoft Power BI

Microsoft Power BI is a business data analytics tool that helps you to perform data analysis of your business and presents you with meaningful insights. It provides insights you might consider understanding and applying further in your business operations.

Microsoft Power BI extracts data from the source performs data operations for modification and provides a strong visual representation per your business logic.

Launched in 2011, Microsoft Power BI is a Software-as-service model. It is Business intelligence self-service software used by data analysts and business intelligence teams.

Microsoft Power BI Performs

  • Data extraction
  • Data analysis
  • Data operations
  • Data visualization
  • Data representation
  • Data Sharing

Microsoft Power BI Products

  • Power BI Desktop
  • Power BI Service
  • Power BI Mobile Apps
  • Power BI Gateway
  • Power BI Report Builder
  • Power BI Report Server
  • Power BI Embedded


  • Power BI services: Power BI services allow users to work on-premise and Azure Cloud to share data with multiple tiles and visualizations.
  • Deployment with DAX: Set of predefined codes for Data Analysis Functions (DAX) in its 200 such functions in the Power BI library.
  • Use of Natural Language: The use of Natural language in queries and operation requests makes it easier to use dashboards of Microsoft Power BI for Data Visualisation.
  • Microsoft Integration: As Power BI is a product of Microsoft, it is easier to integrate with Azure and Microsoft Office 365.


  • Data Visualisation: Charts, column charts, combo charts, donut charts, decomposition trees, funnels, bars, etc.
  • Data sets and reports.
  • Data connectors.
  • Customizable detailed, and attractive visualizations.
  • Flexible Tiles.
  • Online Analytical Processing.
  • Ad-hoc analysis and report generation.
  • Quick Deployment.
  • Hybrid Configuration.
  • SaaS Solutions.
  • Real-time dashboard updates.
  • Secured Environment.
  • Interactive and customizable Dashboards.
  • Drag and drop functions.
  • 3500 data points that offer data visualization.
  • Allowance of copying similar visualizations.
  • Easy to use as people with knowledge of Microsoft Excel can use it efficiently. People with non-technical skills may find it easier to use and manage Microsoft Power BI.
  • Easily Sharable data within the organization.
  • Putting queries about data to find visual insights as results.
  • Query Editor.
  • Auto-search.
  • Navigation Pane.
  • Acceptable File size up to 1 GB.
  • Easy report embedding technology.
  • Supports artificial intelligence and machine learning.
  • Automatic Refresh.
  • ETL suite.
  • Real-time spot trends.
  • Identification of errors.
  • Resolution of issues.
  • Help and feedback buttons.
  • The User Interface of Microsoft Power BI isn’t complex as it matches Microsoft Office 365.
  • Visualization:


This business intelligence software reports and analyses large volumes of data. It understandably represents data to professionals working on multiple levels.

  • Tableau performs
  • Data extraction
  • Data extraction
  • Data analysis
  • Data operations
  • Data blending
  • Data visualization
  • Data representation
  • Data flow management

Tableau has been an industry standard since its launch in 2003 and continues to operate even better since its acquisition by Salesforce. Data analysts have effectively used it.

Tableau Products

  • Tableau Desktop
  • Tableau Prep
  • Tableau Server
  • Tableau Online
  • Tableau Vizable
  • Tableau Public
  • Tableau Reader
  • Tableau Mobile

Data Visualization in Tableau

One of the key features of Tableau is that it offers various visual representation techniques that are easy to understand

  • Charts
  • Graphs
  • Maps
  • Dashboards
  • Stories
  • Histograms
  • Gantt Charts
  • Box plots
  • Motion Charts


  • Platforms: Tableau can be used in any Operating System, such as MAC OS.
  • Multiple Data Source Connectivity: Flexible as it has data connectors for many databases like SAP, Google BigQuery, Hadoop, and many more.
  • No lag: Tableau does not lag when processing large data. Instead, it fastens up the processes.
  • Integration with Multiple Programming languages like R and Python.
  • Multiple data sources like Excel, TXT, PDF, Amazon Redshift, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Hadoop, and many more.


  • Drag and Drop features.
  • Interactive, shareable, customizable, and mobile-ready dashboards.
  • Real-time analysis.
  • Handles large quantities of data at a faster speed.
  • No limitation of data points in visualization.
  • 360-degree view of Data.
  • Flexible workspace area with cards, shelves, status bar, toolbar, source page, sidebar, etc.
  • Accessibility to multiple data sources.
  • Integration with many programming languages.
  • Natural language capabilities.
  • Translation of visualization queries.
  • In-built table calculations.
  • Supports Python machine language.
  • Imports all sizes of data.
  • Map feature.
  • Variety of static parameters.
  • Up to 16 column-table displays.
  • Robust data features.
  • User security with authentication.
  • Community engagement with online resources.

Microsoft Power BI vs. Tableau: Comparison Chart

Power BI is a product of Microsoft with a single certification. But Tableau belongs to Salesforce and owns multiple certifications. While Power BI is an affordable tool, it is challenging to compare them.

After understanding features, we can compare power bi and Tableau based on deployment, user interface, data servers, connectivity, third-party integration, and other important factors.

S.NO Parameter Microsoft Power BI Tableau
1 Technology A library of 200 DAX for calculating and measuring columns MDX for measurements and dimensions
2 Volume of Data Limited amount of Data Handles vast volume of data without hindering operations
3 Usability Useable only on Microsoft devices Can be used in other operating systems like MAC OS
4 Deployment UseableOn-premises and Azure On-premises, Cloud-based, Big Data
5 Speed Lags with a large volume of data Fast even when processing a large volume of data
6 Third Party Integration Google Analytics, Azure, Salesforce Hadoop Databases
7 Programming Languages DAX M programming language R, C, C++, Java, and Python
8 ProgrammingIntegration to R-programming language Indirect integration to R by the assistance of Microsoft Revolution Analytics Direct integration with R
9 User Interface Easy to learn and user friendly Intelligent interface usable by professionals
10 Machine Learning Azure Machine Learning and SQL Server based Analysis Services Python Machine Learning
11 Data Sources Limited Access Good Connectivity
12 Embedding Report Easy Challenging
13 Used by Medium and Large Organisations Small and Medium Businesses
14 Community Limited Support Extensive Support
15 Cost Cheaper Expensive


Depending upon your business operations, you can perform Tableau to power bi migration and vice versa.

Usually, organizations perform migration from Tableau to Power BI to reduce complexity, change reporting systems, and cut down costs.

While power bi to tableau migration is performed when an organization increases its capital or acquires several other organizations to perform under it.


Almost every organization uses Business Intelligence software, and its revenue is expected to reach a market value of US$32.48bn by 2027. Microsoft Power BI and Tableau are the most trusted for business analysts and intelligence teams. Tableau offers multiple connectivities with servers, data sources, and programming languages and handles large quantities of data. As Power BI is a product of Microsoft, there are multiple advantages of power bi over Tableau, like easy UI, machine language support, and Azure cloud support. Tableau is the best-suited software for you if you are a large organization with multiple teams that use complex processes and handle chunks of data. In contrast, Microsoft Power BI is the right choice for mid-size organizations, small businesses, and self-employed professionals due to ease of usage abs affordability.
Vikas Agarwal is the Founder of GrowExx, a Digital Product Development Company specializing in Product Engineering, Data Engineering, Business Intelligence, Web and Mobile Applications. His expertise lies in Technology Innovation, Product Management, Building & nurturing strong and self-managed high-performing Agile teams.

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