Business Intelligence tools like Tableau, PowerBI, QlikView, Google Data Studio, Alteryx, etc., have taken the entire industry by storm because of their wide usage and knowing how Tableau vs Power BI vs Alteryx can be used in work related to data science changes the playground altogether. The applications of these Business Intelligence tools are unmatched. They are being used to derive more and more information from raw data in almost every corner of the world.
In this article, we’ll go over the differences between these three applications to choose the best of the three i.e. Tableau vs Power BI vs Alteryx; in general usage cases and also in terms of other factors which can impact our choice, eventually leading you to choose the right application at the right time.
Note: There are more applications other than these three and I would recommend you to use applications like these only when you have concluded with your own research that they suit your needs the best.
Tableau vs Power BI vs Alteryx: What are they?
To know the differences between Tableau vs Power BI vs Alteryx, first, We’ll go over what these applications are in brief to know what we’re dealing with:
Tableau is a Data Visualization software that can be used for making aesthetic dashboards and visuals to tell data stories to stakeholders with minimal technical expertise. It has an easy drag and drop interface and is free to use in a public version where the files are uploaded on the Tableau cloud. They also host Iron Viz competitions for people to show off their data viz skills and earn rewards for it.
PowerBI as the name suggests is a BI or Business Intelligence software provided by Microsoft which is available on a free for all basis in the Microsoft store. It is a little heavier in terms of storage, compared to its competitor Tableau, but this is due to the more features that it offers with an inbuilt query editor and also data manipulation and data merging capabilities which can work on multiple datasets and pull them together to make visualizations and dashboards and share them with a team in the enterprise version.
P.S. It comes with a mobile application too which is not the case with either Tableau or Alteryx giving it an edge over both of them in Tableau vs Power BI vs Alteryx.
For more on PowerBi -> Reasons to use PowerBi
Alteryx has been around for a while as an ETL tool that has a lot of data capabilities which is similar to Tableau and Power Bi offering a drag and drop system with icons favoring different things that the software can do with data. In Tableau vs Power BI vs Alteryx, Alteryx is only a tool that can work on data pipelines to transform and work on huge datasets that would otherwise not be manipulated easily using just a few seconds of time.
Used by the big 4 for its data handling capabilities Alteryx is a perfect nontechnical replacement for Python’s Pandas and Numpy libraries put together. It would be better to see visualizations while you’re at it with your data but Alteryx nevertheless, is still one of the most amazing BI tools.
Also, read -> Alteryx for Analytics: Everything you need to know!
Differences between Tableau vs Power BI vs Alteryx
There are many general differences between Tableau vs Power BI vs Alteryx. Let’s look at them in a list;
- Tableau and Power Bi are Data Visualization tools whereas Alteryx happens to be a Data manipulation and ETL Software for operational analytics.
- The storage of Power Bi and Alteryx is heavier on a system when compared to Tableau.
- Tableau can be used to make dashboards and data visualizations on smaller datasets while Power Bi can take the load of larger datasets. Alteryx can handle small and huge datasets both for operational analytics.
- Power Bi is preferred more in larger organizations compared to tableau because of the sharing capabilities it offers with its enterprise version.
- Tableau vs Power Bi vs Alteryx, three of them are highly capable to work with data.
- Data Visualization software in the world today doesn’t get better than Tableau or Power Bi. But everyone prefers Tableau on a lower-end system and Power Bi on a higher-end system owing to its better capabilities.
The general differentiation among the three helps everyone to know more from their data. It’s best if everyone learns all the different tools in BI and Data Science including these three and then focus on using whichever one is preferred by their organization more.
Other differences between Tableau vs Power BI vs Alteryx in very short comparisons:
- Speed: Tableau and Alteryx are faster when compared to Power Bi
- Data Handling: Alteryx and Power Bi can handle more data compared to Tableau in Tableau vs Power BI vs Alteryx.
- Tasks: Alteryx can create data pipelines while the other two can create data visualizations.
- Data Science usage: People generally use Tableau and Power Bi to create visuals for their reports but Alteryx happens to be of separate use for ETL processes.
- Data mining: Tableau and Power BI can be used to drill deeper into data using visualizations while Alteryx can do so using multiple functions.
- Predictive analytics: It is possible with all Power Bi and Tableau using graphs.
- Including programming: It is possible to work with R using Alteryx but not so in Tableau or Power Bi.
- No. of users: The users of Tableau are more than the users of Power Bi and are both more than the users of Alteryx.
- Availability: Tableau and Power BI is free to use while Alteryx comes at a cost beyond the demo version
The free usage of Power Bi and Tableau leads people to use them the most. Alteryx has immense capabilities but to use them for free is not possible. It is important to see what is it that you want to do with data in your projects. If your project is about using data to ensure that it is drilled deep into to learn the most out of it; then using Alteryx or Tableau wouldn’t help, in such a case may be using a programming language like Python or R would be the best option. In some cases when you need to work on datasets that need to be shown to stakeholders as a report for real-time updation of data as it is recorded, Tableau and Power BI are the way to go. Companies like EY use Alteryx and Power BI and Deloitte uses Tableau.
It’s time for everyone interested in data to ensure that they learn the most of these three skills to work on data in any job of their liking.
Try learning these applications now and tell us what you think of them.
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An eternal learner, I believe Data is the panacea to the world's problems. I enjoy Data Science and all things related to data. Let's unravel this mystery about what Data Science really is, together. With over 33 certifications, I enjoy writing about Data Science to make it simpler for everyone to understand. Happy reading and do connect with me on my LinkedIn to know more!