Excel, Tableau, Power BI… What should you use?

Excel, Tableau, Power BI… What should you use?

Excel, Tableau, Power BI… What should you use? Find out what you need for data analysis and visualization. Data, when used correctly, can turn into digital gold.

After publishing my previous article on data visualization with Power BI, I received quite a few questions about the abilities of Power BI as opposed to those of Tableau or Excel. Data, when used correctly, can turn into digital gold. So what must you, as an individual or organization, use to analyze and visualize your data? Keep reading to find out.

In this article, we shall understand all three systems and compare their various features.

_Microsoft Excel _was released in the year 1985 and essentially is a tool that has features like calculation, graphing tools, pivot tables, and a macros programming language. It can be used on several operating systems such as Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, etc.

Next came _Tableau. _Founded in 2003, Tableau is an interactive data visualization software. It is recognized as the fastest growing data visualization tool mainly because of its ability to help users see and understand data. It simply converts raw data into a comprehensible visual that transforms the way people use data for problem solving and decision making.

Power BI was released in 2014. It is a cloud-based analytics and business intelligence service by Microsoft. It aims to provide interactive visualizations and business intelligence capabilities along with simple data sharing, evaluation of data and scalable dashboards to it’s users.

Let’s list out a few parameters and compare all three softwares.

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1. Data Sources

Excel, being a flexible, easy-to-use spreadsheet, is often used to create datasets. It can pull data from external data sources into your spreadsheet with the help of data connection features. It can also obtain data from sources such as the Web, Microsoft Query, SharePoint List, OData Feed, Hadoop Files (HDFS) etc. Consequently, Excel files are often used as a data source for Power BI and Tableau.

Tableau offers support for hundreds of data connectors including online analytical processing (OLAP) and big data options (such as NoSQL, Hadoop) as well as cloud options.

tableau power-bi excel data-visualization data-analytics-tools data analysis

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