Extracting insights from the vast amount of data any company generates these days is an uphill struggle without the right tools. Unless you’re using business intelligence software, internal data requests cause bottlenecks and keep data engineers from business-critical tasks, which is frustrating for everyone. 

There are numerous business intelligence tools on the market, all boasting similar features and benefits but with varying pricing and ease of use. Tableau is one leading provider, but the high price point and steep learning curve mean it’s not right for everyone. 

We put together a list of alternatives to Tableau to see how they stack up.

Tableau Alternatives – Table of Contents

Tableau

Trevor.io

Microsoft Power BI

Looker

Qlik Sense

Sisense

Oracle Analytics Cloud

Which Tableau alternative is best for your business?

FAQs

Tableau

Now owned by Salesforce, Tableau is a powerful business intelligence platform that uses VizQL programming language. Along with Microsoft Power BI, it dominates Gartner’s Magic Quadrant year on year.

Main features & benefits

  • Intuitive drag and drop interface. Large visualisation library. 
  • No-code AI and ML-powered predictive models and recommendations with Einstein Discovery.  
  • Natural language query builder supports conversational language. 
  • Live queries and auto-refreshed data for real-time insights. 
  • Import geographic data and create interactive maps. 
  • Embedded analytics and white label solutions.  
  • Lots of integrations with third-party tools.  
  • Connects to hundreds of data sources including databases and data warehouses, flat files, big data and cloud sources. Combines and analyses multi-source data. 
  • Deployment is Tableau-hosted, cloud or on-premises.
  • Mobile device and tablet views. 
  • Windows and Mac compatible. 
  • Support is via a hard-to-locate website form or the customer portal during business hours. Response times vary according to the priority level of your issue and subscription, from eight hours to one week. 
  • Various online resources, tutorials and the Community.
Tableau dashboard showing map and charts with geographic data
Tableau dashboard showing map and charts with geographic data
Source: https://www.tableau.com/products

Pricing and offers

  • Tableau Creator: $70 user/month, billed annually. 
  • Teams need one Creator to serve their Explorers ($35-$42 user/month) and Viewers ($12-$15 user/month). Priced by deployment: on-premises or public cloud vs Tableau-hosted. 
  • Embedded Analytics: custom priced. 
  • Einstein Discovery (obligatory for all users): $25 user/month. 
  • Various add-ons priced separately. 
  • Free trial, but without details of duration on the website. 

Best for

  • Creating attractive presentations to wow your clients and bosses. 
  • Medium-sized to large companies with the budget and data team to leverage the full range of Tableau’s functionality.  
  • Widely used by IT and software companies.  
  • Favoured by data analysts. 

Main drawbacks

  • Steep learning curve. You need to know which data you want to analyse before you pull it in, so data set familiarity is necessary and the connection interface is more complex than other tools. 
  • You need a technical user or developer to act as Creator and publish data for Explorers to analyse and create dashboards. Viewers can only access published insights. 
  • Non-techie users will struggle to use more than basic features without training, setup and support. 
  • The interface and certain features are less intuitive than some competitors. 
  • Doesn’t work with raw data. 
  • Several different products make it hard to work out what’s right for your end-users.  
  • Complex per-user pricing, with several add-ons, can get expensive as teams grow.
Three boxes showing dollar prices of Tableau add-ons
Three boxes showing dollar prices of Tableau add-ons
Source: https://www.tableau.com/pricing/teams-orgs

Trevor.io

Trevor.io is a self-service data analytics solution that users of any skill level can set up and run in minutes. Its versatile ad hoc query builder and unlimited dashboards are designed to free up data engineers by empowering business users to self-serve and uncover hidden insights.

Main features & benefits

  • Unlimited customisable interactive dashboards. Large visualisation library.
  • Intuitive user interface. Powerful no-limits, no-code query builder. Also supports SQL for advanced users. 
  • Easy to perform joins and explore connected data. 
  • Works with raw data, so no need for prior definition or modelling, and changes in the database are accessible in real-time. No transformation stage also means no manipulation, making it a source of truth. 
  • Collaborate and share securely with unlimited collaborators via links, email, Slack, and more.   
  • Third-party integrations with Salesforce and more for workflow automation. 
  • Live stream data to Google Sheets and Excel for automatic updates.
  • Connects to SQL databases and data warehouses. 
  • Live onboarding, training and in-app support via live chat for all users. 

Pricing and offers

  • Pro: $299 per month for unlimited users, queries and dashboards.  
  • Business: $499 per month. Ditto.  
  • Enterprise: custom-priced. 
  • 14-day free trial. 
  • 75% 3-month discount for all new customers. 
  • 1-year 50% discount for startups under 2 years old and 6 people. 
Table showing Trevor.io monthly subscription plans and the features included in each one
Table showing Trevor.io monthly subscription plans and the features included in each one 
Image source: https://trevor.io/pricing/
Boxes with details of Trevor.io support and training
Boxes with details of Trevor.io support and training 
Image source: https://trevor.io/pricing/

Best for

  • Unlimited ad hoc exploration by non-technical users and data analysts alike.  
  • Fast-growing SaaS and marketplace companies that need to democratise access and free up their data engineer.

Main drawbacks

  • No template dashboards mean it’s less suitable for e-commerce or other companies wanting a limited number of insights out of the box. 
  • No direct connection to sources like Facebook Ads, Google Analytics, etc., though you can stream to your database. 
  • Companies with an internal data team wanting to control access to data sources may prefer another tool.

Microsoft Power BI

Microsoft Power BI is based on DAX, its proprietary formula and query language. It has six products – Desktop, Pro, Premium, Mobile, Embedded and Report Server – and integrates with the MS ecosystem (Azure, Office 365).

Main features & benefits

  • Self-service Power Query transforms and enriches data for analysis. 
  • Natural language query builder. 
  • Analyse structured and unstructured data, like images, with machine learning models. 
  • Intuitive drag-and-drop interface. Wide range of visualisations for customisable, interactive dashboards. 
  • Connectors and APIs to a range of data sources including CSVs, Google Analytics, Salesforce, etc.
  • Embed analytics in web pages, apps and blogs. 
  • Automate workflows with Power Apps and Power Automate.  
  • Free support via website ticket for Pro users and up. 
  • Lots of online resources and an active Community.

Related post: Power BI vs. Google Data Studio vs. Trevor: Which Tool Suits Your Business Best?

Pricing and offers

  • Desktop, for individual users: free. 
  • Pro: $9.99 user/month.   
  • Premium: $20 user/month, or whole-organisation from $4,995 per month.
Table showing three Power BI subscription models and included features
Table showing three Power BI subscription models and included features
Image source: https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/

Best for

  • Enterprise-level analytics for technical and business users connecting to multiple data sources. 
  • Small businesses and SMEs with a data team to perform setup and support. Competitive per-user pricing makes it easy to scale. 
  • Companies committed to the MS ecosystem. 
  • Widely used by software and ICT companies.

Main drawbacks

  • Steep learning curve while engineers learn DAX.  
  • Not compatible with Linux or Mac and requires MS tools to leverage it. Also, you’re tied to Azure, so database migration can be challenging. 
  • A variety of products with different features and permissions makes it hard to choose the right package for your users. For example, they’ll need a Premium licence to share outside your organisation unless recipients use Pro. 
  • Doesn’t work with raw data.

For a deeper dive into Power BI and its competitors, see our piece on Power BI alternatives

Looker

Now part of Google, cloud-based challenger Looker uses proprietary data modelling language LookML for analysts to define dimensions and measures for business users to query. It’s powerful enough to keep technical users happy but simple enough for non-techies to perform ad hoc analysis and drill down

Main features & benefits

  • Customisable drag-and-drop dashboards and real-time insights. 
  • High degree of granularity. Strong reporting tools. 
  • AI and ML for advanced analytics and insights. 
  • Single source of truth via a complete semantic layer for storing business logic. 
  • Connects to multiple public cloud or on-premises databases.    
  • APIs enable integration with custom or third-party applications for workflow automation. 
  • Collaborate and share via URLs, email, Slack, Segment and more. 
  • Embeddable, explorable analytics and dashboards in third party websites, apps, etc.  
  • Well rated customer service available in-platform for developers and admins.
  • Various online resources and tutorial videos.
Logos of common SQL database dialects supported by Looker
Logos of common SQL database dialects supported by Looker
Source https://looker.com/solutions/databases

Pricing and offers

Rates vary widely and are customised by deployment and user numbers. Some sources quote $3,000-$5,000 per month for 10 users, billed annually.

Best for

  • Large enterprises, small businesses and SMEs with the budget and data team to perform setup and leverage it as part of a well-defined data strategy.   
  • Companies whose data governance requirements mean data teams need strict control over what business users can access. 

Main drawbacks

  • Steep learning curve as engineers must learn LookML and provide ongoing support for non-techies. 
  • Requires upfront development and definition and doesn’t work with raw data. Database changes must be incorporated by engineers before business users can access them.  
  • An analytics-based database is recommended for best performance. 
  • Prohibitively high pricing for small companies. 

See our deep dive into Looker vs Tableau for more on how these BI solutions stack up, and our rundown of Looker alternatives for more options. 

Qlik Sense

Qlik Sense is the next-generation version of Qlik View from top-right contender Qlik. It builds on View’s Associative Engine to deliver rapid insights from related and unrelated data, with added features like augmented analytics and smart suggestions.

Main features & benefits

  • Self-service data analytics, smart visualization capabilities, drag-and-drop dashboards. 
  • Good ease of use and cross-platform accessibility. 
  • The Associative Engine goes beyond standard query builders and filters to enable non-linear exploration by combining and mapping data from multiple sources via many-to-many joins. No need to pre-define relationships or queries. 
  • AI-powered insights, visualisation suggestions and task automation. 
  • Natural language queries.  
  • Get insights and explore relationships from geospatial data.   
  • Connects to multiple data sources, including websites, CSVs, databases, etc. 
  • Native integrations with MS, Google, Salesforce, AWS and more. 
  • Custom and embedded analytics via APIs.  
  • On-premises, SaaS or hybrid multi-cloud deployment.  
  • Publish, schedule and share insights via common collaboration tools like Slack, Teams, etc. 
  • Mobile app. 
  • Support via website ticket, or phone for business-critical issues. 
  • Online resources for self- or instructor-led onboarding and training, though some take several months and cost extra.
Table showing features included in Qlik Sense compared to Qlik View
Table showing features included in Qlik Sense compared to Qlik View
Source:https://www.qlik.com/us/products/qlikview 

Pricing and offers

Table comparing Qlik Sense subscription pricings with Qlik-hosted deployment
Table comparing Qlik Sense subscription pricings with Qlik-hosted deployment 
Source https://www.qlik.com/us/pricing

Best for

  • Self-service, AI-powered data discovery for varied user profiles and skill levels. 
  • Companies of any size, especially in software and IT. However, pricier licencing models are more suitable for large enterprises with a BI budget and data team.

Main drawbacks

  • Steep learning curve for more advanced features. Non-techie users will need training and support. 
  • Some reviews complain that functionality, visualisations and customisation are more limited than other BI tools. Also, that Sense is over-reliant on plugins from View, which add to cost and complexity. 
  • Reviews suggest it struggles with raw data, export and collaboration.  
  • Security features are more limited and difficult to configure than other analytics platforms.

Sisense

Sisense is a self-service, single-stack solution that uses proprietary AI-powered in-chip technology to deliver rapid insights from multiple data sources. 

Main features & benefits

  • Drag-and-drop customisable dashboards, visualisations and actionable applications with BloX templates and integrated widgets. 
  • AI- and ML-powered analytics and guided exploration automatically highlight insights and impacts. Also supports predictive analytics and natural language queries. 
  • Strong on embedded analytics and white label APIs.  
  • Track KPIs and get ML-enabled updates and workflow automation with Sisense Pulse. 
  • Supports Python, R SQL and no-code queries. 
  • Integrations with Salesforce, Zendesk and more. 
  • Connects to a wide range of cloud and on-premises databases, apps, files, platforms, etc. to blend and explore multi-source data. 
  • Works with modelled and raw data.  
  • Multi-cloud, hybrid or on-premises deployment. 
  • Mobile version. 
  • Well-rated support via website ticket. Sisense for Cloud Data Teams can access in-product or email support. Response times depend on the issue. 
  • Various online resources including video tutorials and Sisense Academy courses. Also, Community and developer forums.
Sisense dashboard embedded in a website
Sisense dashboard embedded in a website 
Source https://www.sisense.com/product/business-teams/

Pricing and offers

Custom priced annual licenses. The website advertises a free trial but doesn’t state duration. Some sources suggest 14 days.

Best for

  • Companies wishing to leverage Sisense’s strong embedding capabilities to deliver personalised, branded insights for customers and collaborators. 
  • Medium-sized companies or large enterprises with the BI budget and data team to leverage it. 

Main drawbacks

  • Some functions require programming; non-techie users will require support and training. Data preparation and modelling in particular is not intuitive. Visualisation customisation and formatting also require technical skill.
  • Some users complain limited documentation and frequent updates mean a steep learning curve.

Oracle Analytics Cloud 

Analytics Cloud is the software giant’s AI-powered public cloud BI solution for self-service data analytics. 

Main features & benefits

Brightly coloured map and chart shown on a mobile device
Brightly coloured map and chart shown on a mobile device
Source https://www.oracle.com/business-analytics/analytics-cloud.html

Pricing and offers

  • Enterprise: $80 user/month. 
  • Professional: $16.00 user/month. 
  • 30-day free trial.

Best for

  • Regular presenters will love how much time the natural language generated descriptions save. 
  • ML and NLP features make it a good user-friendly choice for non-techies in mid-to-large sized companies.

Main drawbacks

  • Requires an admin for setup and maintenance and to manage access. Also needs analysts to load, model and visualise data and create reports for consumers to work with. 
  • Some reviews suggest it can be slow and buggy. 

Which Tableau alternative is best for your business? 

Which Tableau alternative is best for your business depends on the data needs and technical skill of your end-users. Also, your BI budget, data sources and whether you have an internal data team to perform setup and support for business users.   

Companies with the time and money to invest in AI-powered tools that leverage multiple data sources will find Tableau, Qlik Sense, Oracle Analytics Cloud, Looker and Sisense worth a look. If, however, you want to keep costs down while accessing similar features, Microsoft Power BI is very competitively priced.  

Fast-growing SaaS or marketplace companies that want to empower unlimited non-techie users to uncover insights without help from their data engineer would be well advised to give Trevor a try.

FAQ

What is Tableau?

Tableau is a business intelligence software that delivers actionable insights from company data.

What are Tableau competitors?

Some Tableau competitors include Microsoft Power BI, IBM, SAP, SAS, Qlik Sense, Looker, Sisense, Oracle Analytics Cloud and Trevor.io.

Is there a better tool than Tableau?

Looker, Oracle Analytics Cloud, Sisense and Qlik Sense offer similar features and functionality to Tableau. So does Microsoft Power BI, but for a lower price. Trevor.io is a good user-friendly choice for companies wishing to free up their data engineer by empowering all teams to explore data independently. 

Is there an open-source alternative to Tableau?

There are many open-source alternatives to Tableau, including Metabase, Redash, Apache Superset and Pentaho.

Is Qlik better than Tableau?

Qlik is not necessarily better than Tableau but some users prefer Qlik’s Associative Engine, which reveals hidden insights, to Tableau’s query builder.

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