Tableau is a rapid-fire business intelligence software that allows you to make decisions at a very fast pace. Tableau is also a leading new generation Business Intelligence (BI) application which is also dubbed as a “self-service” data discovery tool as it can be achieved with almost no support from IT staff. This product shines as a graphical tool or a visualization tool, where you would have relied on various other tools and takes longer durations to represent the bar charts or the pie charts. Tableau is built to perform and it provides very quick visual analytics. Tableau comes in three variants, namely – Tableau Desktop, Tableau Server, and Tableau Digital.
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Though Tableau has a very strong command over the customer-base with their strong features provided within their Business Intelligence solutions, there are various other reasons because of which there is an equal market share for the following software. There has been a careful study that has been performed to identify the most relevant and important competitors that may give Tableau a good fight in the decision processes.
Let us take a closer look at the options/alternatives that we have compiled in comparison with Tableau software as such, in this article. Let us get down to business:
TIBCO’s Spotfire is a very powerful solution for self-service data visualization. Just as the way Tableau Desktop recommends having visualization templates for the available datasets, as it helps the lesser experienced ones to take advantage of the tool without even knowing anything on the first hand. Spotfire is made available in two choices, either a Desktop version or a Cloud-based solution. There is every possibility that businesses need to shell out cash to pay for the licenses of Spotfire Desktop applications for end-user, just as with any other Business Intelligence solutions available in the market.
[Related Page: Comparing Tableau and Spotfire.]
Qlik Sense is an offering from Qlik View’s umbrella of solutions, which can be directly compared with the Tableau Desktop version of the Business Intelligence solution. In comparison to Tableau Desktop which provides a trial period of just 14 days, Qlik Sense provides a lifetime free usage for a single user. If the point earlier was something that was appeasing you, then this point won’t as Qlik Sense Desktop version only works with Windows whereas Tableau Desktop works with Windows and Mac OS. Tableau Desktop is a complete desktop solution or a mobile solution that sits on a single box, whereas Qlik Sense has a cloud offering that can be accessed through a normal web browser as well.
Qlik Sense Desktop version also focuses on data discovery tools just like Tableau Desktop and the interface provided for Qlik Sense Desktop is very similar to what is available for Tableau Desktop. Many visualizations can be grouped into a single and an integrated dashboard using Qlik Sense – as an example, if the data provided to one visualization is changed then there will be an automatic change as per the changed data in the other related visualizations. The visualizations that are created on Qlik Sense can be shared with others using the Qlik Sense Cloud application.
Microsoft is a big-time player in the Business Intelligence realm at multiple levels with a plethora of services being provided in the lines of Microsoft SQL Server, SQL Server Analysis Services which serve the basic database management and data warehousing requirements. Like Tableau Desktop, Microsoft’s Power BI tool is also available only for the Windows platform alone and the same is available for free to use. Microsoft has also its presence in the Cloud world with Microsoft Power BI service as a cloud-based service, equaling the services provided by either Tableau Server / Online or Qlik Sense Cloud. Businesses will need to pay for Power BI service and/or Power BI Pro.
Options provided by Microsoft (as mentioned earlier), allows users to store the data, share the datasets, schedule for data refresh, and also publish visualizations to the cloud for the other users to access. Microsoft Power BI services provide large numbers of content packs that allow access, formatting, and also to visualize data from very famous SaaS applications (Software as a Service). To be very precise on the content packs, they include already built dashboards for the users to kick-start with analysis. Microsoft Power BI provides content packs from SaaS providers like GitHub and the like.
Sisense BI is an end-to-end Business Intelligence platform that has a very strong emphasis on the capabilities of the tool to the end-users. One of the best areas that Sisense BI has worked upon is the mashup ability of data from various other data sources. This can be achieved by just dragging and dropping the manipulation. It provides a visual interface by creating relationships between data sources. Sisense BI has the capabilities of more sophisticated data ingestion which by far is provided by traditional Business Intelligence solutions only.
BOARD is the best available option that fits being called an end-to-end Business Intelligence platform. BOARD has all the mundane features that any traditional Business Intelligence software has, and in addition to those features it also has the ability to some of these activities like budgeting, financial planning, business strategy management, revenue forecast, simulation of business outcomes and etc. Most of the features that we have discussed that BOARD has are usually identified in a Corporate Performance Management software (CPM) which generally don’t exist in a data visualization software.
Having said that, BOARD provides all the interactive capabilities that any other Business Intelligence software provides from the list that we are going through right now. It is a wonderful option for businesses that look for an amalgam of features both from traditional and modern Business Intelligence software. BOARD finds its usage into Production like scenarios as well than the more stripped down tool that are targeted only for data discovery. It also has many CPM features that require top-down planning tools to plan corporate strategies and financial performance.
[Related Article- QlikView Vs Tableau]
IBM Cognos is an integrated Business Intelligence package that provides an extensive range of functionality to help people understand their organization’s data. Everyone in an organization can use IBM Cognos to create or view business reports, analyze data, and monitor metrics and events so they can make business decisions effectively.
IBM Cognos Analytics is similar to Tableau and is very useful for enterprise customers. It is a self-service BI tool and supports the functionality of all the devices and features web-based delivery. Users have the advantage of creating online and offline reports that can provide information even when the systems are down.
Cognos also provides data visualizations interactively that enable users to find errors and rectify them immediately. It makes information transparent and helps you with departmental data silos. Cognos has the capability to handle supply chain and inventory that allows companies to manage materials more intelligently.
Oracle business intelligence enterprise edition (OBIEE) is a BI tool developed by Oracle and offers competitive intelligence platforms. OBIEE features visual analysis tools with quick in-memory processing extracted from various data sources. Users have the advantage of seamless analytics for both on-premise and web-based systems, and additionally, it is integrated with Oracle’s voice-recognition feature.
It supports a functionality called enterprise visualization which allows users to choose a “recommended visualization” offering custom guidance on the intent of analysis and basis of data sets. The solution provides data visualizations tailored specifically to analyst’s requirements and helps in generating data-driven insights.
Microstrategy analytics platform connects mobiles, desktops, and many other systems with a powerful set of services and tools. Microstrategy analytics connects cloud data, big data, and the content of relational databases to supply information to users. Performing this task visualizes that data through mapping views and a range of charts.
This platform supports more advanced predictive analytics through its scoring functions and native algorithms. It also helps in integrating third-party open-source statistical tools and data mining via Microstrategy SDK. Microstrategy enables users to analyze social media information across platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Google Drive, etc. With the help of this platform, you can build custom web reporting applications with Microstrategy SDK. This BI App provides live data exploration and forecasting on various business solutions.
It's an enterprise analytics and mobility that offers a user-friendly and fully interactive interface helping users to discover trends, patterns, and relationships concealed in raw data with a suite of interactive and intuitive data discovery tools. Using a powerful metadata repository, Microstrategy classifies and stores business data for users to retrieve and apply later when required.
[Related Post: Comparing Tableau and SAP Lumira]
SAP is one of the major providers of enterprise technology. It offers its own BI platform known as Business Objects (BO), which is the strongest competitor of Tableau. BO provides real-time BI while streamlining decision-making processes by placing data in accessible formats.
SAP emphasizes that its platform is able to customize and personalize the acquisition of data in forms that better reach customers. With multidimensional analysis, ad-hoc reporting, and in-memory solutions, there’s a lot of built-in functionality with BO that’s attractive to customers.
SAP BO offers features with interactive visualization that enables end-users to create their own BI content using a simple interface. This solution allows users to mash-up, manipulate, visualize, and explore an extensive range of data.
If you are thinking of shortlisting the best alternatives of Tableau for your business, this exclusive post can give you enough information in choosing the best BI platform.
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As a Senior Writer for Mindmajix, Saikumar has a great understanding of today’s data-driven environment, which includes key aspects such as Business Intelligence and data management. He manages the task of creating great content in the areas of Programming, Microsoft Power BI, Tableau, Oracle BI, Cognos, and Alteryx. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.