Tableau Or Power BI, Which Is The Market Leader?


In 2019, Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Analytics and Business Intelligence Platforms provides a surprise for both buyers and providers of BI Consulting. For the first time, Microsoft Power BI, a business intelligence tool always lagging a little behind its main competitor Tableau, has finally surpassed it. So, Power Bi OR Tableau?

So what has made Microsoft Power BI rage ahead in this fierce race to the top? Is it Microsoft’s constant investment in the tool or is it an affordable price?

Or could it be Tableau’s uncertain future with Salesforce’s acquisition for a hefty $15.7 billion?

Whatever the reasons behind these market positions, you can be sure that this rivalry is set to continue.

In this fast-paced world of Machine Learning and surplus data, everyone needs the help of some visual data analysis tools. Oh, do you know about Machine Learning?

So comes the question again, what is the best tool for you?

While Power BI is the less expensive of the two, its scaled features and additional users make up for the lower price.

Tableau on the other is a data analyst’s dream, while Power BI is more in tune with the needs of the general public.

The key parameters for using such tools are ease of use, brand recognition, power, and price. So what makes Tableau and Power BI the market leaders in the business intelligence space. Let’s have a deeper look.

Tableau makes more bang for the buck by offering beautiful visualizations with extensive capabilities targeted for data engineers and companies with bigger budgets. Whereas Power BI is a prime option for quick access to specific analytics or intensive reporting. It has extensive R and big data related to integrations that are better for smaller companies looking for more affordable solutions.

Comparison: Power BI OR Tableau

BasisPower BITableau

Date Established


For whom

Beginner as well as advanced users.Advanced user or Data Analysts.


Power BI Desktop Free Version: Data cleaning and preparation, Customisation and the ability to publish to the Power BI service.

Pro Version: $9.99/month. Data sharing, building dashboards with a 360-degree real-time view and the ability to publish reports anywhere.

Premium Version: $4995/month. Enterprise BI, big data analytics, cloud, and on-premises reporting.


Tableau Viewer: $12/user/month. View and interact with dashboards and visualizations in a secure, easy-to-use platform.

Tableau Explorer: $35/user/month. Explore trusted data and answer your questions faster with full self-service analytics.

Tableau Creator: $70/user/month. Discover insights with a powerful suite of products that support your end-to-end process.

Trial period

Users can try it for free for 60 days before purchasing the subscription.– Users can try it for free for 14 days before purchasing the subscription.

– Get a 1-year free license if you are a student or teacher.

Company Investment 

It is better for smaller companies looking for more affordable solutions.It is a value for money service for data engineers and if the company’s budget is bigger.


Being a Microsoft based product, it has many pre-built dashboards and APIs (Application Program Interface) for ready insights from popular services such as Salesforce, Google Analytics, and other Microsoft products.Offers support for JavaScripts. But it is less reliant for customized programming as you need to identify which tool and data to be used to make a connection.


SaaS-based Model 

A software application that is hosted by a provider on their servers, but accessible to users across the Internet.

It has got both on-premise and cloud services. On-premise means that a company keeps all of this IT environment onsite either managed by themselves or a third-party.

Cloud means that it is housed offsite with someone else responsible for monitoring and maintaining the data.

Data Sources and Data Access

Access of External Sources like Oracle, SAP, MySQL, etc. Users can connect to the Microsoft Azure database, third party database and some well known online services like Salesforce and Google analytics.Offers more external, Third-party database and data access services than Power BI has.

Data visualization

– Numerous visualization types donut charts, combo charts, gauge charts. Real-time access to data with drag and drop facility.

– Utilizes many of the same functions as Excel for visually appealing and informative reports.

– Tableau lets you create various visualizations such as line chart, Gantt chart, scatter plot and more.

– It provides opportunities for visualizing geographical data with maps including graphics in tables and also allows using different forecasting models.

– Having invested heavily in advanced data federated, clustering, segmentation and powerful analytics function Tableau is the clear leader.

Data Performance

The datapoint limit for Power BI is 3,500, so dashboard design can or can not be sufficient. It does not have any limit for data points so users can create dashboards of any size.

Analytics and Reporting

Better for predictive analytics.Better with advanced and complex dataset analytics.

Decision Services

It can be used as a financial analysis tool with fraud protection, compliance monitoring. Collaborated with companies like DELL, Avande Inc. for the Power BI-partner program. A Team of over 300 organizations is bringing solutions and expertise to users.Assist in data analysis interpretation with Fraud detection tools and self-service data preparation. More control over governance and metadata management. Also, there is an addition to embedded advanced analytics.

Data Storage

In the Free Version, users can have up to 1 GB of data storage capacity.

In the Pro Version, Each workspace/group could handle up to 10 GB of Data. For more than 10 GB, data needs to be in Cloud.

To have more, a user can upgrade to a Premium account and get the maximum storage of 100 TB. 

It stores unique values for each column making it possible to fetch billions of rows.

At the same time, it has data storage of 15 GB for personal workbook and 100 GB for an online site.


– Has a basic setup with Azure tenant that connects to your Power BI through an Office 365 admin interface. It can quickly connect to existing spreadsheets, data sources, and apps via built-in connections and API.

– Users needing to use Power BI independently of the Microsoft stack can become a stumbling block. However, Power BI does offer an on-premise solution albeit at a higher price requires installing Power BI Server and SQL Server regardless.

– Can install Tableau on any Windows-run device and use it without Microsoft SQL Server.

– Has a list of available connections on display. Can start connecting to your data sources and build your visualizations. You can also share them via Tableau Server or Tableau Online.

Customer Support

Customer support functionality is limited for users with a free Power BI account.Direct support is available by phone. You can also email by logging into the customer portal to submit a support ticket.

Similarities between Power BI & Tableau

BasisPower BITableau


Has a basic setup with Azure tenant that connects to your Power BI through an Office 365 admin interface. It can quickly connect to existing spreadsheets, data sources, and apps via built-in connections and API.It also has a basic setup with a list of available connections on display. Can start connecting to your data sources and build your visualizations. You can also share them via Tableau Server or Tableau Online.

Machine Learning

This tool allows you to ask questions of the data such as “how often are sales promotions needed?” or “which geographic area has maximum sales?”It also has a similar feature to Power BI’s natural language query tool that Tableau calls “Ask Data”. Additionally, it has the “What if question” feature that enables users to ask questions like “what if the ratio is X, not Y?”

Online resources and Community forums

It also includes guided learning, a user community forum and samples of how partners use the platform.It guides you about getting started, best practices and how to optimally use the platform’s top features. Users can also access the Tableau community forum and attend training and other events.

Live Data Access

It has real-time data access and easy to use drag and drop features.It also features drag and drop features. And gives you live query capabilities and extracts that are helpful for data analysts.

User Interface

Power BI is more user-friendly with its drag and drops functionality.Easy to use also coming with Drag and drop functionality.

Conclusion: Power BI OR Tableau

To put it simply, you cannot isolate the comparisons between Tableau and Power BI. While Power BI offers more compatibility within the Microsoft ecosystem, Tableau’s advantage lies in self-containing data visualization and its advanced capabilities and scalability.

If Data visualization is your priority then Tableau is the clear winner. Power BI, on the other hand, is a better choice when it comes to predictive modeling and reporting with superb serviceability and a lower cost of ownership.

However, Tableau is a better option. Though Power BI is narrowing the gap with significant investments of Microsoft in its enhancements and updates. This is reflected in the latest Gartner report of 2019. The report statesMicrosoft Power BI as a market leader of the business intelligence platforms which is why we emphasize on the need of Power BI training.

“Well, then… should I spend on Tableau? Would Power BI benefit me more?”

Power BI and Tableau remain the close competitors. Both deserve the user’s trust, so the answer would be that it’s too soon to comment on a clear winner yet.

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A learner, dreamer, passionate for modern technology (Analytics tool, WordPress, Visuals). More than a decade of experience in S&P Global but the equivalent experience gained in a few years with the startup. Heading new initiatives at Edu4Sure but wearing multiple hats (Content, Visuals, Video & Development). Trained more than 2000 professionals in the last 2 years on various skills (Analytics, Content, WordPress, Finance, Entrepreneurship, etc). Last but the most important - mother of an awesome kid!


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