Tableau Vs Power BI

  • (4.0)
  • | 1760 Ratings


Tableau Desktop is also a leading new generation Business Intelligence (BI) application which is also dubbed as “self-service” data discovery tool as it can be used to achieve 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.

Microsoft Power BI is a similar offering in the line of business of Business Intelligence and Data Visualization. Microsoft Power BI is a set of offerings gathered together to transform unrelated and data available on different platforms to visually immersive, meaningful data to draw interactive insights out of it.

For an in-depth understanding and practical experience, Explore Online Tableau Training.

Differentiating Tableau Desktop Vs Microsoft’s Power BI:

With an initial understanding of what Tableau Desktop and Microsoft Power BI, let us get down to business in understanding the comparison between these two tools. The Comparison can be different based on the kind of Organization you represent when you go forward in making the purchase of any of these business intelligence software offerings from Tableau or Microsoft.

Tableau Desktop

Microsoft Power BI


Tableau Desktop provides a bigger set of visualizations than that of Power BI.

Comparatively lesser number of visualizations provided as part of Power BI software.


Tableau Desktop runs on both Windows and Macintosh OS.

Power BI is designed to work only on Windows platform.

Graphical Features:

Tableau Desktop software provides a bigger range of charts, bars and graphs for pictorially depicting the data available underneath.

Microsoft’s Power BI provides a limited set of charts, bars and graphs compared to Tableau Desktop.

Cost Factor:

Tableau Desktop is a standalone software for Organizations to purchase as a matter of fact and hence higher on the cost.

Tableau Desktop offerings are priced around $999.

Microsoft Power BI comes in conjunction with various of Microsoft’s products and has better lineage integrating into Microsoft’s family of products and hence cheaper than Tableau Desktop.

Microsoft Power BI offerings come at a cheaper price of $150.

Tableau Desktop doesn’t have a limit on the number of data points to be depicted on any of the charts / graphs etc and hence is better over compared to Microsoft’s Power BI.

Microsoft’s Power BI limits the data points to 3500 exceeding which the data automatically gets filtered and hence a possibility of missing out on the outliers.

Tableau Desktop doesn’t enforce any such learning curve as any of these complex calculations can be performed with minimal number of clicks.

Microsoft’s Power BI enforces on the learning curve to learn DAX (a proprietary language to perform complex calculations).

Tableau Desktop supports the feature of Forecasting in its software whereas this is not supported in Power BI.

Power BI does not support the feature of Forecasting.

Tableau Desktop is a perfect example to be able to provide a provision to analyze data going offline, where there is no requirement for internet  connectivity.

This is not the case with Power BI, as it does not support analyzing data going offline.

Tableau Desktop provides a feature like “What-If” analysis on any of the data sets available underneath.

Microsoft Power BI does not provide any support to such analysis in its software offerings.

Tableau Desktop provides a feature like Data narration of the story whereas this feature is not available with Microsoft’s Power BI.

Microsoft Power BI does not provide any support to such narration feature in its software offerings.

Tableau Desktop can be a different tool altogether if you are into the Microsoft family of offerings for other needs, but even then there is every possible integration possible with Tableau.

Microsoft Power BI becomes your perfect choice if you are Microsoft driven for your data generation and storage.

Tableau Desktop issues more performance specific queries on the data available to retrieve the data you intend to see on the beautiful graphs and charts.

This is a concern as the queries that are fired to retrieve the data from the data underneath is defined by DAX queries written by the users themselves.

Tableau Desktop provides a trial version to try out its built-in features.

There is no option of a trial version but there is free version of Power BI which comes with a limited set of features, to get your hands dirty with the features available.


In this article, we have tried to understand what areas of the business each of the products Tableau Desktop or Microsoft’s Power BI cater. We have tried to look at an eagle view of the features that each of these products offer to their customers and tried to understand a clear cut winner out of the compared products.

Related Article: Replacing Tableau’s Standard Maps - Tableau

If you represent an Organization that intends to perform data centric operations in a very crude manner and the operations are going to be very intrinsic in nature then Tableau Desktop is your perfect companion and if you represent an Organization which can compromise on the features available to lower cost, then Microsoft Power BI is your perfect companion to cater to your needs.

Related Pages:

Tableau Courses

Tableau Interview Questions

Tableau Sample Resumes

Tableau Server Tutorial

List Of Tableau Courses:

Subscribe For Free Demo

Free Demo for Corporate & Online Trainings.

About The Author

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. Protection Status