PowerBI vs. R Shiny: Two Popular Excel Alternatives Compared. How does R Shiny compare to drag and drop visualization tools like PowerBI?
Choosing the appropriate dashboarding/reporting/BI tool has never harder than it is now, as there are plenty of genuinely great options such as R Shiny, PowerBI, and Tableau. Today we’ll compare two widely used tools at Fortune 500 companies:
One thing to keep in mind: R Shiny is not a reporting/dashboarding tool. Rather, it is a full web framework. As most people use it to make dashboards, and many of our customers compare R Shiny with PowerBI when they invest in analytical solutions, we can consider this comparison fair. We’ll start with a basic overview of PowerBI and then compare both tools in various areas, such as:
As mentioned previously, PowerBI is used to represent interactive insights from various data sources visually. It is a perfect tool for reporting, which is a read-only operation and is relatively easy to build and maintain.
PowerBI is also one of the easiest tools to get started with, as only a couple of crash courses should get you up to speed in no time. We’re not saying R is difficult to learn, but the drag and drop GUI interface is considered to be easier to learn than R, at least for business folks.
But here’s one of the most important selling points — PowerBI just looks good out of the box. You don’t have to be an expert to produce great-looking visualizations with PowerBI. Shiny requires much more manual labor to produce great-looking dashboards. Manual work isn’t necessarily bad, as there’s no limit to what you can do if you’re willing to put the effort in, but simple drag and drop tools are more than enough most of the time.
For every pro, there’s a con, and PowerBI is not an exception. One of the most significant disadvantages of PowerBI is that it is** read-only.** As a user, you cannot use charts/tables to make decisions and save them in a database directly.
Also, PowerBI doesn’t have an accessible source code.You can only edit fields in WYSIWYG mode, which makes PowerBI easy to start but difficult to maintain. Having no source code makes it nearly impossible to have proper version control, automatically test logic, or collaborate on large projects.
Use these simple yet powerful techniques to speed-up your Power BI development. If someone asks you to define the Power Query, what should you say?
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