Debbie King - Jun 13, 2017

Power BI vs Tableau

I am often asked, “Which tool is better: Power BI or Tableau?”

Microsoft has done a great job with Power BI over the last two years. The features in Power BI have evolved so much that we’re now recommending it first to our clients. Microsoft identified the most important and useful features for a data visualization tool set and embedded them within Office 365. Power BI now has the distinct advantage of being familiar and easily accessible to non-technical users, which improves its adoption rate.  Microsoft's Power BI vs Tableau

In addition, Gartner’s 2017 Magic Quadrant ranks Power BI higher on “Completeness of Vision” than Tableau. However, to be fair, both Power BI and Tableau are matched for “Ability to Execute.” Tableau was first to market and has deeper capabilities, however, in our experience, the advanced functionality offered by Tableau happens to be the functionality that associations use the least.

If you are a power user, you may still want to consider Tableau. But, if you’re responsible for rolling out a new data analytics initiative within your association, Power BI is an affordable option with the added benefit of being “front and center” when staff log in to Office 365.

This list of pros and cons will continue to evolve, so check with us if you want to know what’s new with either solution.

 Power BI




  • Affordable
  • Integrated with O365
  • New features weekly
  • Familiar to Excel users
  • Self-serve data prep
  • Office store apps and custom visuals available
  • Extensive data connectivity


  • Excellent user interface
  • Fast and easy to create visuals
  • Good customer support
  • Story-telling feature


  • Data Analysis Expressions (DAX) knowledge required for advanced calculations


  • Cost
  • Self-serve data prep

Written by Debbie King