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  • Ali Hasany

Data Visualization: Tableau VS Power BI – What's the Difference?

Updated: Mar 7

Tableau vs Power BI
Tableau vs Power BI

Tableau and Power BI are solutions for data visualization as well as business intelligence. You can extract data with both tools, visualize the data, analyze it, and turn it into a piece of actionable information.


In this article, you will learn what both Power BI and Tableau are in detail and what is the difference Tableau vs Power BI. Additionally, I'll make a realistic comparison of the two so you can decide which one to utilize for your project.

Note: This article is not a black-and-white comparison of Power BI and Tableau. There are a lot of grey areas between the two and that’s what we are going to look at the most.

What is Tableau?

Tableau became popular in the early 2000s. It is the leading data visualization and business intelligence tool for companies that want to be data-driven.

Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access, and Google Analytics are just a few of the many data sources from that Tableau can interact and obtain information. Even files like JSON, text, statistical, and spatial information can be integrated.


Tableau has great features such as:

  • no code data query

  • drag and drop

  • real-time analysis

  • data filtering

  • mobile view

  • data connectors

  • text editor

  • dashboards

  • team members' collaboration and tons more.

What is Power BI?

Power BI is a suite of data analysis and visualization tools and services that helps you convert data into visually interactive reports. It was made available to the public in 2011. Power BI integrates with various data sources such as Excel workbook, SQL server, PostgreSQL, and Microsoft Access. You can then turn this data into any kind of visualization that pleases you. You can also enter your data manually.

Power BI
Power BI

That chart could be a pie chart, bar chart, funnel, R and Python Visual, or even a Q & A. Power Bi is a powerful data visualization tool.

The cool features you have access to with Power BI include:

  • smooth integration with Microsoft products

  • data refreshes

  • mobile app

  • map creation

  • a wide variety of charts

  • custom charts with R and Python

  • integration with Azure machine learning

Why Use Power BI or Tableau Instead of Excel?

Tableau and Power BI are made for one important thing Excel is not primarily made for – data visualization. I know you can still make charts with Excel, but that functionality is limited in comparison to both Power BI and Tableau.

In terms of dashboards and visualizations, Tableau and Power BI are more potent than Excel. Additionally, they handle data more quickly than Excel.

In short, companies and startups that what to be more data-driven should choose Power Bi or Tableau instead of Excel.

Differences between Tableau and Power BI

Tableau vs Power BI
Tableau vs Power BI


It is difficult to determine who performs better in business intelligence because both Power BI and Tableau do so well. The only reasonable inference that can be made is that Tableau is more reliable than Power BI. This is due to Tableau's increased data handling capacity and access to a variety of both popular and rare data sources.

But if you really need to choose one, below are some metrics to consider:

  • If you are on a budget, Power Bi could be a better choice.

  • If you have a team of highly skilled data professionals, Tableau is a more robust solution than Power BI.

  • If your company is still a startup, you can consider Power BI, but if the company has moved above a small scale and continues to grow, you should choose Tableau.

  • If you have a large amount of data to process and you think the data would continue to increase, you should choose Tableau. But if it’s relatively small data to process and you don’t think it will increase so much, Power Bi is a good option.

Thanks for the reading...

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