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Microsoft Power BI vs Google Data Studio vs

Written by

James Watney

Last updated on

January 17, 2023

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We all know the benefits of leveraging data: better decisions, better KPIs, and better companies. But most leaders know you can’t just point a BI tool at your database and expect company-wide impact.

PowerBI, Google Data Studio, and Trevor are three market-leading BI tools, but they all offer different levels of sophistication, firepower, and user-friendliness – and different results.

With the right BI tool, you won’t have to choose between powerful data analytics and ease of use. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, so it’s important that you focus on which tool will suit your business best.

This article helps you to cut through the hype and find a solution that fits your company’s needs. We compare Power BI, Google Data Studio, and - 3 popular tools used worldwide - to show you what to look for in each tool.

Power BI vs Data Studio vs - which is best for 2023

Alternatively, if you're looking for an on-premise business intelligence platform, check out this list of self-hosted solutions.

Summary comparison table

Trevor Power BI Data Studio
Cloud-hosted option
Self-hosted option
Free tier
Easy to set up
Can use without a data team
Powerful no-code query builder
Basic dashboarding tools
Highly customisable dashboards
Beautiful design
Live chat support
Native Google Sheets Integration
Zapier Integration
Built-in JSON support
Auto table joins detection
Database map (ER Diagram)
Enterprise functionality
Supports popular databases
Large selection of datasources

Microsoft Power BI

Microsoft Power BI is a data analytics platform geared towards Windows users seeking comprehensive self-service business intelligence.

Power BI benefits

  • Power Query tools offer robust business analytics through its proprietary DAX language and full semantic layer.
  • Intuitive drag-and-drop interface for non-tech users.
  • Broad range of data visualizations and real-time collaborative dashboards.
  • Several data connectors make it easy to plug in datasets from data sources like Salesforce, Google Analytics, and Excel.
  • Power Automate and Power Apps functions let you automate your workflow and share data insights across Microsoft Office and other software.
  • There are different version of Power BI, including Power BI desktop, Power BI mobile, Power BI embedded, Power BI Report Server, Power BI Premium, and Power BI Pro - choose the one that best suits your needs.

PowerBI pain points

  • Complex tool that requires a data team for setup and debugging – and they’ll need to learn its specific DAX language.
  • Not the best choice for non-Windows users – it’s difficult to set up on a Mac, for example, and the UX is really geared towards a Microsoft ecosystem.
  • You need to invest time in cleaning and transforming your data for a smooth data flow.
  • Tricky to share dashboards and Power BI reports with people who don’t have a Power BI account, especially if you want developers and end users to have different access and editing permissions.

Best for

Large enterprises committed to Microsoft products, that are looking for a top-right quadrant tool for big data and willing to invest engineering resources in ongoing data transformation (ETL or ELT) and troubleshooting.

If you think Power BI could be the tool for you, check out our article on Power BI alternatives before pulling the trigger.

Google Data Studio

Google Data Studio, recently renamed Looker Data Studio, offers cloud-based data analytics with interactive dashboards and no-code exploration of Google Analytics data.

Google Data Studio benefits

  • Designed for ease of use and rapid setup, though some features require tech expertise.
  • Easy to share content with clients and colleagues using a link anyone can access.
  • Data visualization tools and analytics tools allow for some data exploration through real-time filters and drill downs.
  • Fits seamlessly into the ecosystem of Google products.
  • Free for anyone with a Google account.

Google Data Studio pain points

  • Limited querying capacities – it’s really a data visualization tool rather than a full-scale BI service.
  • You have to rely on the cloud as there’s no desktop tool available.
  • Weak on customizability.
  • No direct customer support.

Google Data Studio FAQ:

How good is Google Data Studio?

It depends on what you’re using it for. It’s a good tool for companies seeking a free option for basic data visualizations. It’s not so good for companies that want powerful data querying and customizable business intelligence.

Is Google Data Studio a BI tool?

Yes, Google Data Studio is a tool that offers data analytics for business intelligence. However, it’s more focused on data visualizations than a business intelligence tool per se, and it lacks the customization and ad-hoc querying features many companies want from a BI tool.

Which is better: Google Data Studio or Power BI?

It depends on your needs. Power BI is a more powerful, comprehensive business intelligence tool, but Google Data Studio can be a good option for smaller companies who want to create basic data visualizations of their online metrics. is a self-service business intelligence tool that empowers non-tech people to understand data analytics without sacrificing querying sophistication.

Trevor benefits

  • Intuitive no-code query builder with a streamlined interface that offers a great UX for non-techies.
  • Versatile, powerful querying capabilities allow business users to ask complex questions on the fly.
  • Strong real-time data exploration features with drill downs, filters, pivots, and joins.
  • Trevor is a cinch to set up – point it at a database or multiple databases and you’ll get answers to your data questions in just a few clicks.
  • Low pricing for unlimited users.
  • Fast, responsive customer service.

Trevor pain points

  • Trevor supports popular databases and data warehouses, but the range of additional data source connectors could be greater.
  • Not a data modelling or data cleaning tool.
  • Companies who just want pre-set templates for data visualization may want to look elsewhere as it’s really designed for flexible querying and customizable analytics.

Best for

Data-hungry companies of all sizes that are looking to give their business team the power to go deep on data analytics. It’s especially popular with growing SaaS and marketplace companies as it’s designed to scale with them.

Learn more about Trevor

Or, sign up free 5 minute set up, no credit card needed.

Feature Comparison

No-code query builder for business users

Power BI’s drag-and-drop query builder lets users run complex queries with ease and – depending on your plan – incorporates AI in querying.

Google Data Studio offers user-friendly analytics, but its querying capabilities are fairly basic.

Trevor stacks up well with an intuitive no-code querying interface that is powerful and versatile, with custom columns and no limits to the kinds of complex, ad-hoc queries users can run.

Business intelligence and data exploration

Power BI is a data analytics powerhouse that lets users dive deep into their data. Users can run advanced queries on the fly, create joins across multiple data sources, and filter, drill down, merge, and pivot to explore.

Google Data Studio is really more of a charting and visualization tool than a holistic business intelligence platform. There are some basic filters and customizations, but it lacks the firepower of PowerBI or Trevor.

Trevor is an extremely versatile, robust BI tool that empowers business users to run complex, real-time queries and then slice and dice the data with advanced drill downs, filters, joins, and pivots. It’s especially good for exploring data relationships.

Data visualization

Power BI is strong on interactive, dynamic data visualization features that are interactive and dynamic. However, some users find the range of customizable graphs and tables somewhat limited.

Google Data Studio includes a wide range of attractive charting and visualization options that are customizable but less interactive. Its time comparison features make it easy to visually compare current and previous data.

Trevor’s data visualization capacities are more interactive, with a decent range of real-time, customizable dashboards, charts, and auto-updating database maps.

Integrations and automations

Power BI APIs can be used to embed data visualizations in websites and third-party applications. Power Automate offers hundreds of out-of-the-box connectors to all Microsoft software as well as Adobe, Slack, Salesforce, and Calendly – but you may need to pay extra.

Google Data Studio integrates seamlessly with Google products to automate your workflow. There are also partner and user-developed API connectors with Adobe, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and more, though it lacks native connectors for programs like Slack and Hubspot.

Trevor connects to over 3,000 different apps, allowing users to trigger automated actions based on data points in all the programs in their workflow, including Gmail, Slack, Salesforce, Trello, and Mailchimp.

Data security

Power BI offers strong data protection features, with end-to-end encryption, granular access permissions, real-time access monitoring, and limits on what’s accessible through the public internet.

Google Data Studio works with Google’s wider data security and authentication protocol by email. Google uses an Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) algorithm and recently added the capacity to filter permissions at the row level. For organizations with strict data governance and security needs, it may not be the best choice, as the lack of an on-premises desktop option means all data has to be stored and retrieved on the cloud.

Trevor offers strong data security and data governance with 128-bit AES data encryption, two-step verification protocols, granular user access permissions at the column or row level, and a detailed audit trail. Trevor doesn’t write to your database or store a copy of your data.

Pricing comparison

PowerBI is an enterprise-level tool with enterprise-level pricing – per-user accounts add up as the company grows, while per capacity pricing starts at $4,995. You might also need to factor in training costs.

Google Data Studio is currently free to anyone with a Google account.

Trevor has all-inclusive pricing for unlimited users with unlimited database size ($299-$499 per month) with discounts for new customers and startups, so it’s an affordable option.

Ease of use

PowerBI is a complex tool with a lengthy setup process and technical expertise required for day-to-day running. However, it offers a relatively intuitive query interface for non-business users.

Google Data Studio is a simpler tool that’s easier to get started with but lacks querying firepower.

Trevor is a highly user-friendly platform. Its streamlined interface, out-of-the-box functionality, and low learning curve allow business users to get the most out of the tool.

Other tools to consider

There is a plethora of available tools out there, each one offering a different take on self-service data analytics, web-based or cloud-hosted, open source or proprietary.

As a business intelligence tool ourselves, we've written extensively about the various options. Here are helpful links:

Power BI vs Google Data Studio vs Trevor: Which is the best match?

Very different BI solutions will give you very different results. Before making a decision, it’s key to consider how each tool would work in the specific context of your company.

Ask yourself:

  • Is it accessible enough to entice your business users?
  • Will they be able to answer all of their specific business questions with this tool?
  • Will it work with the tech resources you already have available?

If you need free software and mainly want basic visualizations of Google web data, Google Data Studio might be the right choice.

For medium-to-large companies with data engineering teams and a sizable budget, Power BI could be an option, especially if you want complex data cleaning and modelling features.

Data-hungry companies looking for a versatile, powerful, and user-friendly solution that frees up engineers and empowers business users should think about Trevor.  

With an agile platform that combines querying power with ease of use, you can take your business intelligence to the next level – across the entire company.