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Which are the standout Business Intelligence tools in the recent decade?

Checkout the comparison of BI giants Power BI vs Tableau 2019

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Most of you would have heard of terms like business intelligence, data science, data visualization and data analysis. Have you ever wondered what these terms are and why are these terms in high demand at present? The answer is, today the world is run on data. Even the smallest organization collect and analyse data for the developing their business and to make quicker and better decisions. If you are searching for Business Intelligence or Data Visualization tool, you will come across the two front-runners in the category, Microsoft Power BI vs Tableau Course.  

Table of Content

  • What is Business Intelligence?
  • What is Data Visualization?
  • Tools for business intelligence and data visualization 
  • Power BI vs Tableau: History
  • Power BI vs Tableau: Overview
  • Power BI vs Tableau: Price
  • Power BI vs Tableau: Setup
  • Power BI vs Tableau: Visualisation
  • Power BI vs Tableau: Dashboard
  • Power BI vs Tableau: Learning
  • Power BI vs Tableau: Job Opportunities
  • Power BI vs Tableau: Skills
  • Frequently asked questions

Before looking into the tools Power BI vs Tableau, lets us have an understanding on what is business intelligence and data visualization.

What is Business Intelligence?

Business-Intelligence logo

Business Intelligence comprises software and services to transform data into actionable insights. BI tools access and analyse data and provide data visualization about the state of the business. Business intelligence is an umbrella term that includes the processes and methods of collecting, storing and analysing date to create new strategic business opportunities.  

Importance of business intelligence

  • Find ways to increase profit
  • Analyse customer behaviour
  • Comparing competitor’s data
  • Track performance
  • Enhance operations
  • Calculate success
  • Spot market trends
  • Determine issues or problems

What is Data Visualization?

data visualisation logo

Data visualization is a graphical representation of information that finds clarity by discovering insights hidden in your data. The concept of Data Science is the analysis of data. This analysis becomes easy when data is represented in the form of patterns than looking at thousands of rows on a spreadsheet. Data visualisation helps to deliver visual summary of data which can bring out insights or signals easily.

The advancement of technology has allowed the skills of data visualization to drill deep into graphs and charts for analysing and gaining insights which will otherwise go un-noticed in text-based data. Human brains can process images much faster than data. Hence, data visualization helps to grab the attention of audience and hold the attention through data storytelling. It also helps in saving time and effort on comprehending data that may or may not have a solution. 

Data visualization elements

  • Charts
  • Tables
  • Graphs
  • Maps
  • Infographics
  • Dashboards

Tools for business intelligence and data visualization 

There are plenty of tools available for data visualization and data analysis. Not every tool is apt for every organization. While looking for the perfect data analytics tool, many people compare Microsoft Power BI vs Tableau. The reason is, to stay at the forefront of data science field, a tool must have a specific mix of power, brand recognition, user friendly and price. Microsoft Power BI and Tableau have the perfect blend of the above-mentioned features. 

Gartner’s Magic Quadrant is a third-party analysis of the leading tools for data visualization and data analysis. This graphical representation was published by Gartner to give a picture of the clear winners in the field of Business intelligence platform. Gartner Research has placed gracefully placed Microsoft Power BI in first position and Tableau in the second position. 

Power BI vs Tableau

From Gartner’s Quadrant it is very clear that when it comes to Business Intelligence tools, Tableau and Microsoft Power BI are the top performers throughout the years. Tableau is the leader of BI market as it was the first BI vendor to add data visualization to its BI tool. However, Power BI relatively younger has emerged as a remarkable competition to Tableau in recent times and racing to be the market’s top BI tool. Both being popular tools, offers different features. When we compare Power BI vs Tableau, both the tools have their own strength and weakness. Both tools suit business based on requirements and you can choose the best product based upon the organization’s budget and requirements.

Power BI vs Tableau: History

Tableau was released in the year 2003 and became a gold standard in data visualization. Power BI was released in the year 2011 as a part of Microsoft pack. Gartner recognised Tableau as the leader among BI tools for seven consecutive years from 2012 to 2019. Power BI picked up a lot from Excel, resembling a bunch of its features combined with charts and dashboard sharing.

Power BI vs Tableau: Overview

What is Power BI?

Power-BI logo

Power BI is a business analytics service by Microsoft which bridges the gap between data and decision making. It creates amazing data experience by easily connecting to the models, visualize your data and create memorable graphical reports. It helps you to gain insights by connecting to all your data sources with the scale to analyse, share and promote insights across your organization. It also maintains data accuracy, consistency and security. It helps your organization to make confident and quick data driven decision that drive strategic action. 

“Power BI is a collection of software services, apps, and connectors that work together to turn your unrelated sources of data into coherent, visually immersive, and interactive insights”. Microsoft

What is Tableau?

Tableau is a fastest growing data visualization tool that empowers everyone to see and understand their data. It explores and download data in seconds. Tableau helps you quickly and confidently transform and shape your data. It has smart algorithms which helps you to reorganize and combine data from multiple sources. It helps you to transform your data into powerful interactive dashboards that can be easily shared in the organization through tableau platform. The dashboard can be easily accessed online, on your desktop, tablet or even on your mobile phone. 

“From connection through collaboration, Tableau is the most powerful, secure, and flexible end-to-end analytics platform for your data. Elevate people with the power of data. Designed for the individual, but scaled for the enterprise, Tableau is the only business intelligence platform that turns your data into insights that drive action”. Tableau

Power BI vs Tableau: Price

Power BI vs Tableau logo

Power BI is cheaper that Tableau as it uses the existing Microsoft systems like Azure, SQL and Excel to build data visualization. As Power BI is set up within the Microsoft ecosystem, it is a good low-price option for start-ups without breaking the bank. Power BI’s desktop version is free tool, available to download without any basic charges. According to Gartner’s research, the price of the tool has played an important role in its popularity. 

Tableau is a paid only tool with no free version. However, it offers a short 14-day free trial. After the trial, the user has to pay and you will get more access to tool if you pay more. It is a tiered pricing system which you can choose based on your requirement. If you want direct connection to third party tools, you will need to pay for the professional edition. Tableau also has a non-profit tool and a version for academic setting. 

Power BI vs Tableau: Setup

Power-BI-vs-Tableau logo

Power BI is available in three forms: Power BI Desktop, Power BI mobile apps and Power BI service. These three elements let you create, share and consume business insights in the way that serves you more effectively. It also has a fourth element, Power BI Report Server, which allows you to publish Power BI reports to an on-premises report. Power BI is user friendly and can connect quickly to existing spreadsheet, data sources and apps via built-in connections. 

Tableau has four products Tableau Prep, Tableau Desktop, Tableau Online and Tableau Server. Prep prepares your data for analysis. Desktop uses powerful drag and drop analytics. Online helps you to share data and insights with server or online. Server watches data-driven decisions spread.  

Power BI vs Tableau: Visualisation

power bi data visualisation logo

Both the tools Power BI and Tableau have their mastery on visualization, both tools offer different approaches.  Power BI is handier and focus on data manipulation first and provides simple visualization later. With Power BI it is easier to upload data and you can select various visualization as blueprints. The drag and drop feature of Power BI is at your disposal through a sidebar. Wherein, 

Tableau scales better to larger sets and gives users better drill down features. In Tableau, while analysing data, you can get answers to your questions simultaneously. If your prime purpose is visualization, Tableau has an edge over Power BI, but unable to manipulate data as good as Power BI.

Power BI vs Tableau: Dashboard

Power BI is designed to give the users the access to data analytics and discover insights even without much prior knowledge and experience. Power BI has real time data access, i.e. teams can react instantly to business changes loaded to Power BI from the CRM, project management, financial or sales tools. 

Tableau features are as powerful as Power BI. However, it is less handy compared to Power BI as many of the features are hidden behind menus. Tableau balances query-based data visualization and drag and drop features wisely.  You can use drag and drop table view to ask question and put your data type in x and y-axis. Tableau will instantly build your visualization. 

Power BI vs Tableau: Learning

power vs tableau learning logo

Business Intelligence and Data Visualization are the areas that has attractive professional opportunity in the modern data-driven world. Power BI and Tableau are going to be the most important tool for aspiring candidates as data visualization is the future of business. If you are the interested in doing deep prep and analysis and would like to understand more about Tableau or Power BI follow these steps. Follow the blogs and vlogs on tableau, which can give you an insight on Tableau and Power BI. 

If you are willing to pursue a certificate course, Henry Harvin Education offers you certificate course on both Tableau and Power BI. Certified Business Intelligence Specialist (Power BI) from Henry Harvin is a 16 hour live online training that helps you create powerful storylines, effective presentation and highly interactive Dashboards. Certified data Visualization Specialist (Tableau) is a 24- hour training and certification programme from Henry Harvin Analytics academy. The programme equips participants to master data visualization using the tool Tableau. 

Power BI vs Tableau: Job Opportunities

Microsoft Power BI has a wide range of career opportunities including data scientist, product managers, Software Engineer, Business Intelligence Developer, and Business Analyst. Like Power BI, Tableau also have a variety of job roles to choose from. Some of the hottest job titles for Tableau Professionals are Tableau Consultant, Data Analyst, Business Analyst, Business Intelligence Analyst, and Business Intelligence Developer.

Power BI vs Tableau: Skills

Skills required for Microsoft Power BI

  • Power BI works as an advanced version of Excel, so it is better to have advanced knowledge in MS Excel to pursue a career in Power BI.
  • Knowledge of data modelling strategies is required as data modelling is an important aspect of Power BI
  • Power BI use DAX formulas, similar to MS Excel formulas, so need to have DAX formulas knowledge. 
  • Power Query knowledge is another skill required to organize the data to fit in the needs of the users. 
  • Structured Query Language is required to fetch the data from SQL servers. 

Skills Required for Tableau

  • Basic knowledge of data comprehension, i.e., knowledge of databases and spreadsheets, as well as how to gather and query data is required. 
  • ETL (Extract, Transform and Load) skills help to clean, massage and mould data together to present it in an easily consumable format. 
  • Basic Maths and Statistical skills help you to process the data into something much more valuable than just a list of numbers and information. 
  • The ability to put analytic data into charts, graphs and other types of visual reports is very important so that your audience can quickly and easily consume the information that is being presented. 
  • Filtering, sorting and grouping skills will help to effectively communicate the results with clarity to your company and client.
  • The best skill required is to obtain training from a certified training centre on how to use the different pieces of Tableau software.

Data visualization is the best bet for your career in the upcoming years. When you learn this skill, focus on your own strength and explore your personal style in data visualization and dashboards. Regardless of the tools that you are using, it is important to build a foundation of analysis and storytelling. Tableau vs Power BI 2019 is more like two seemingly identical products continuously cause debate over what’s better. Both are reputable, powerful tools which makes it difficult to decide which one is better. 

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53 Comments

  1. In terms of salary, it appears that Power BI professionals tend to earn slightly more than their Tableau counterparts. However, both tools are in high demand in the job market and offer great career growth opportunities. Ultimately, the better choice will depend on your specific skills and interests.

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