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What Are the Top Alternatives to Microsoft Power BI? A Detailed Comparison

Microsoft Power BI is a popular Business Intelligence platform in the industry with a rich set of visualization and a strong modeling capability. It is also the most preferred choice for every enterprise that has adopted the Microsoft ecosystem.

For personal use, you can download Power BI on your local machine for free. However, to use more Power BI services, you’ll have to pay $9.99 per user per month for a cloud solution and $4,995 per month for a dedicated server.

Microsoft Power BI acts as a gateway drug into Microsoft’s ecosystem. This blog will go through the top Power BI alternatives, providing you with their powerful feature sets such as data reusability, self-service analytics, data modeling, etc. After reading this blog post, you’ll surely find the alternative that best fits your business needs.

Tableau

Tableau is the most preferred tool in the BI industry. The appealing visualization capabilities of the tool make it stand out among other software. Also know more about tableau. If you are looking for a BI product with some fancy charts to present to the boards of directors, then Tableau is the first and the best choice.

Pros

  • The community is quite helpful for existing and new users.
  • The tool supports a variety of data connections (application, CRM, Database, etc.)
  • Tableau has a large library of highly interactive dashboards and charts.
  • It has high compatibility with devices (you can view its dashboard on multiple devices like laptops, mobile, and tablets).

Cons

  • It lacks a data dictionary and data modeling capabilities for Data Analysts.
  • There’s a lack of collaboration and version control when building dashboard and data logic.
  • The tool focuses primarily on visualization, and it can’t work with uncleaned data. If you want to use Tableau effectively, you need to do proper data cleaning in the underlying database first.
  • The support system of the tool is poor, and users report that they had to solve the issues by themselves.

Holistics

Holistics is a robust and scalable data platform for organizations seeking an all-in-one data stack. Using Holistics, data analysts can create a re-usable set of data for the Business team as well as can do self-service data exploration with minimal involvement of data engineers.

Pros

  • It offers powerful delivery capabilities through Shareable links, Slack/Email Schedule, and Alerts.
  • Holistics support data consolidation from multiple sources such as MongoDB, Google Analytics, Spreadsheet, etc.
  • The support team is very helpful and super responsive.
  • Non-technical teams can conveniently answer Adhoc data questions using self-service analytics while an intuitive drag-and-drop interface.
  • You can work well with almost all the popular databases in the market such as MySQL, Snowflake, Google Big Query, PostgreSQL, MS SQL, Amazon Athena, etc.

Cons

  • Holistics is a relatively new tool in the market, so there are still a lot of features to explore.
  • The chart gallery supports most of the visualization needs, and other complicated charts are still under development.
  • To fully master Holistics, you need to have a good foundation in the Data Modeling concept.

Google Data Studio

Google Data Studio is a reporting tool that seamlessly integrates within the GA360 ecosystem (alongside Google Sheet and Google BigQuery). It evolves on a monthly basis with an intuitive interface to build and explore insights. Moreover, the tool is completely free.

Google Data Studio targets a set of semi-technical users who know Excel very well and work with numbers. The users might even know a few scripting languages such as JS and Python. But they are not technical enough to build a complex analysis that requires some SQL acrobatics, build full reports from scratch, or work on data infrastructure.

Pros

  • The UI is quite intuitive and friendly. You can create dashboards and report within a few clicks.
  • It easily integrates with other Google products like AdWords, Google Sheets, and Google Analytics so that you can have even more information.
  • The tool has a great report presentation layer. GDS offers a highly collaborative drag and drop interface, where you can easily restyle and customize your charts.

Cons

  • If your data source is not Google-owned and you want to integrate it with Google Data Studio then it will take extra ETL effort and SQL code.
  • The tool lacks auto data refreshing capability. If you want to have real-time data, you’ll have to install a third-party browser extension.
  • Suppose you give the dashboard to a user. In that case, there’s a high probability that he doesn’t know where to find the relevant data or how to drill through or drill down because of limited self-service data exploration capabilities.

Qlik Sense

Qlik Sense is a dynamic self-service visualization and analytics tool that makes data exploration easy and simple for a full spectrum of users. Companies can conveniently share and spot data relationships and key insights efficiently and quickly with drill-down features, such as drag-and-drop abilities, and intuitive data prep.

Pros

  • Qlik Sense offers trend indicators and predictive analysis.
  • Powerful mobile applications designed with a mobile-first attitude.
  • It has helpful self-service analytics with a drag-and-drop interface.
  • The tool allows centralized management via centralizing locations for users to share and develop applications, insights, and data stories effectively and quickly.

Cons

  • It has a complex token pricing model.
  • Comes with inflexible data extraction capabilities.
  • While working with large data sets, the data solution is normally sluggish.
  • Due to the lack of some basic charts, there’s limited visualization.

Conclusion

All of the above Microsoft Power BI alternatives have their own benefits and drawbacks. Choosing a perfect one for your business depends on a lot of factors, including the data maturity, the use cases you want to solve, the size of the enterprise, and your budget.

To know more details about the top alternatives to Power BI, you need to consult a well-reputed vendor such as Xavor Corporation. With years of technical expertise, Xavor’s technical professionals will help you choose the most suitable alternative that fulfills all your business needs.

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