Data visualization tools have made the interpretation and study of large amounts of datasets extremely convenient and it has ended the worries of being able to manipulate and handle data. Earlier methods of analyzing data without the means of data and tools proved to be a very laborious and a mind-boggling job. Since the dawn of tools that were capable of handling data and showcase them using via visualizations, it has become a lot easier and convenient to handle data and gain insights through visually enticing graphics which help in decision making.
Data visualization is an age-old human requirement of gaining insights into the hidden truth. The best example of this is when Galileo had access to a telescope, he looked at the sun for 40 days and every day he would draw a picture of what he saw on the surface of the sun. the post-analysis of these 40 pictures made clear a phenomenon called “the sunspots” which to date baffles many astronomers.
The story behind successful infographics is that it should be able to tell the complete and precise story about the data that it is representing.
From the first data visualization created by Galileo to the most recent data visualization tool, humanity has come a long way. The essence of data visualization in today’s time is often connected to Business intelligence & business analytics.
In this context, we like to bring to light the styles of the two very well-known data visualization tools which have left a deep impact on the lives of their users and help them transform the most complex and unorganized data into the most simple and most informative data visualization. The two powerful & interactive data visualization tools are Power BI & Tableau.
MS Power BI was a gift to the world from Microsoft released in the fall of 2013 which was based on the MS Excel platform. The concept behind creating Power BI data visualization was to enable small scale business to create data visualizations for them to gain meaningful insights and help nurture ideas to grow their business. Also, the data generated using Power BI is encrypted and can only be viewed if uploaded to the public domain, which not only ensures zero editing possibility and because Power BI is a paid service through enterprise access the data model or the integrity of the data visualization is not threatened by competitors.
Power BI is a cloud-based business intelligence service module/tool that assists in importing data, cleaning it & transforming it to create a dynamic visualization of the information gathered from the data processed.
Power BI helps combine Excel’s power query, power pivot data model whilst using DAX (Data Analysis Expressions), Charting, and visualization into one tool. Below mentioned are the pros & cons of using Power BI as a data visualization tool.
It is the most exclusive feature of this tool as it brings together the uniqueness of the user and the options of data visualization to help the user create custom visualizations which may differ from user to user. This tool allows the flow of ideas while making visualization a fun task.
Power BI training Microsoft can import data from several data sources e.g. MS Excel, My SQL, XML, JSON, cloud-based sources, etc to make visualization easy and productive. It was initially designed to work with data only from MS Excel, but over the years has been made compatible to extract, clean, and transform data from other sources as well.
The tool allows the user to extract raw data from different data sources and post-cleaning, filtration, and slicing of data in a Power Bi report or Dashboard to paste it in Excel. The integration of the Power BI tool with MS Excel allows the users to transform raw data into a much simpler & manageable tabular form of data in Excel behind a present work in progress Power Bi visualization.
Microsoft integrated Power BI tends to get monthly updates which are constantly notified to the user with the help of notifications. There is a Microsoft Power BI community forum where suggestions to improve and upscale are welcomed by users and the user with the best idea/suggestion and rating has a great chance of their idea being picked for a new update.
It is one of the positive aspects and features of Power BI which enables an application developer to embed or include Power BI reports and features into applications, which enables them to include Power BI visuals or reports into emails or websites to maximize the reach to readers.
The most talked-about feature or advantage of Power BI is the power to create interactive or powerful business intelligent data analytic visualizations which help the users and the readers or visualizers to gain a fresh perspective or insight on how to create a decision or pathway which will help the business to develop or attain better sales, profits, market capture, etc. The interactive reports or dashboards allow a descriptive & detailed representation of data and the truth hidden in it.
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Power BI works extremely well with single directional relationships between datasets in a data model. But if the datasets were to need more than one interlink to create a visualization or dashboard, Power BI might not be the appropriate platform to work on. Thus, whilst creating a relationship in Power BI the users need to be extremely careful about what kind of dataset they wish to integrate into a visualization.
A lot of users have reported or given feedback on the forum of Power BI that the user interface of Power BI tends to be a bit crowded with multiple functions that give the feel of an extremely overcrowded interface which often comes in the line of work and obstructs the flow of momentum gained whilst creating a data visualization.
Power BI is not a master of large data sets, it works well with data within the 10GB space limit. Anything above and beyond the specified data space Power BI is not the most recommended visualization tool. This means Power BI works well with smaller industries and businesses; thus, it also explains the lower cost variable of Power BI.
Tableau was the brainchild of 3 American developers named Chris Stolte, Pat Hanrahan, and Christian Chabot, the idea was to create a platform to able to create interactive heavy data sets that collaborate to create visually capturing data visualization to provide intuitive insights to decision making management. The aim of the data visualization using business intelligence has been afore lone concept and has always amazed many, with the introduction of Tableau interpreting data and meaningful insights became easier than ever before.
A tableau is an interactive software designed to explore and work with multiple datasets to create an enigma of visually appealing infographics using powerful Tableau visualizations and business intelligence to help the management of a company gain meaningful insights into the current & future market trends and with the interactive capabilities of Tableau like ‘Ask Data’ which allows users to raise queries to the data from the sources of different data sets which are being imported to tableau.
Industries like healthcare, insurance, manufacturing, education, marketing, wholesale, and many other business domains have been making widespread use of perceptive data visualizations being achieved by Tableau.
The most important or rather exclusive advantage is certainly the extraordinary storytelling with data capabilities using business intelligence which has helped Tableau earn the title of “the best data visualization tool for business intelligence” by Gartner which is an international advisory firm well known for Information Technology & web solutions.
Compared to any other business intelligence tool in the market, Tableau is considered for being the most compatible and user-friendly software. Tableau data visualization professionals have been quoted saying that “to master Tableau, one does not need to be from the technical field”, which in layman’s term translates to that anyone without any knowledge of coding or programming can master and learn tableau to create visually capturing visualizations.
Tableau with its capabilities of being capable of extracting data from large datasets and with no limits on the amount of data being extracted from these datasets is a dream come true for many data analysts. The fluency it has over extremely large datasets is a sight to behold. Tableau works with utmost efficiency and ease with large data sets and can handle data from different data sources all at the same time.
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This is probably the most impact-oriented disadvantage of Tableau, the cost of the software itself is something small to mid-size businesses might have trouble catering to. In addition to this the proper utilization, integration, maintenance & staff training adds to the cost of the software.
Tableau for basically designed for larger business enterprises which are economical for them in the long run.
The major issue faced by a lot of users is the post-sale support of the Tableau sales team. Once any of the software’s services are procured by the user. The support post transactions are poor and not very and supportive, whether it is renewal or procurement of a new service or licensee. The sales team is extremely rigid in providing offers that would best suit the user’s needs.
The earlier versions of Tableau had an extremely poor query editor which could not be used to ask definitive questions to the tableau. The latest update of Tableau, 2019.01 has integrated a feature in Tableau called ‘Ask Data’ which allows the user to raise queries but not to the complied visualization. The new feature allows users to ask questions but to the data source as a whole and not to the compiled data visualization examples created by Tableau. The queries raised to the data sources create a visualization but is not integrated to compile multiple query visualization into one common visualization.
Both data visualization tools Power BI & Tableau are the game changers in their fields. Both the tools come with their own set of pros & con’s which redefine the way we do data visualization. No comparison between the two is why the content works briefly describing the features of Power BI & Tableau. Where Power BI is perfect for small to mid-sized businesses that deal with data not exceeding the 10 GB limit, Tableau works wonders for multinational firms with a global outreach.
Where Power Bi allows its users to integrate a query within its visualization, Tableau allows the user to raise queries to the data collected from the data source. Both tools are integrated to create a data visualization best suited to the business needs of the user. Thus, the baseline is that if you are a small to mid-size business planning to make it big, Power BI is the tool you would need to move forward with time which is also cost-effective in achieving long-term goals for SMEs (Small and medium enterprises). On the other hand, Tableau works best for companies with a larger expense budget and proves cost-effective in the long term with the ability to handle extremely massive data with ease and help create Tableau dashboard examples.
Ms-Excel, VBA & MySQL
Using PowerBI &Tableau