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10 Better Alternatives to Power BI in 2022

Power BI is a fantastic business intelligence tool, however, it’s not suitable for everybody. Some people may find that it’s difficult to use, too expensive, incompatible with their OS, or are just looking for an open source alternative. Here are some alternatives to choose from.

How do I decide on a BI Tool?

Different jobs will require different tools. Here’s a list of things you need to consider:

  • Number of people on your team
  • Pricing
  • Ease-of-use
  • Platform support (web, mobile, OS)
  • Data Connectors
  • Visualizations
  • Design Flexibility
  • ETL
  • Analytics

Keeping those things in mind, here are our recommendations:

Top 10 Power BI Alternatives

1. Polymer Search

Polymer Dashboadf

Polymer Search is a web-based BI tool with collaborative features which anyone can access directly from their browser. It’s extremely beginner-friendly and is by far the best BI tools for marketers and non-technical professions like sales. It's also used by data scientists to create unique, self-service dashboards.

In order to use Polymer, you either connect a data source, or you upload a dataset onto the web tool.

Using machine learning technology, the tool will transform your dataset into an interactive dashboard in seconds, saving you hours of work. It’s completely beginner-friendly and requires no technical expertise.

Example apps created with Polymer: Supermarket Sales, Flixgem, VR Heaven, Sheethacks

Since this is a web tool, it works on all operating systems - Windows, Mac, Linux, and the dashboards can be shared through a URL which can be password protected or restricted to certain accounts.

The unique advantage of Polymer is the interactivity and data analytics features it offers. Everything is interactive and can be searched & filtered through using “tags.” There are also numerous data visualization and data analytics tools. 

If your team needs to quickly get some insights from your dashboard, all they have to do is open the Polymer app through a URL you share with them, and they’ll be able to grab those insights themselves.

Polymer has a free plan. The paid plans start at $55/month for 1 person + 5 collaborators (vs. Power BI’s $25 per user per month).

2. Tableau

tableau dashboard

Tableau is a better Power BI alternative. It is the gold-standard in this market, however, it comes at a hefty price: ~$70/month.

Tableau is significantly faster than Power BI, it has more diverse data visualization customizations, which are quicker and easier to set up, and finally, it offers better analytics if you want to explore your data.

On top of that, it offers almost everything that Power BI does: Over 60 data connectors, ETL, integration to R/Python for data scientists, predictive analytics and data modelling.

Tableau is the closest thing to Power BI and also works for Macs, making it a solid alternative for Mac users.

Example: Tableau Dashboard

3. Google Data Studio

Google Data Studio Dashboard

Google Data Studio is the best free alternative to Power BI. It’s a quick way to analyze and visualize your data stored in Google products such as Google Analytics, BigQuery, Dv360 and campaign manager. You can also connect data from Google Sheets.

Google Data Studio offers an easy-to-learn interface with drag and drop features where you can customize and style your charts. It only takes a few clicks to get a dashboard started.

Something to note: Data Studio doesn't work well with data sources outside of Google. These will require ETL and programming work to automate.

Example: Google Data Studio Dashboard

4. Metabase

Metabase Dashboard

Metabase is the best open source alternative to Power BI. It’s free and allows you to host the dashboard on your own server, which is ideal for handling sensitive data (e.g. customer data).

Metabase lets you ask questions which it will answer using some visualizations. It’s designed for the non-tech-savvy and requires no code to operate. The downside to Metabase is that it's unable to handle multiple data sources on the same visualization and comes with limited customization and data connectors, but it is a free tool after all.

5. DOMO

DOMO Dashboard

If Tableau is the gold standard for business intelligence, DOMO is the platinum standard. 

It has great data manipulation and ETL features that can be easily learnt without coding in SQL. However, for those who are technical, DOMO provides a MySQL workspace where you can perform more complex data joining and cleaning.

What sets DOMO apart from its competitors is the amount of data connectors it offers: There are over 1000+ data connectors! Whatever data source you require, DOMO probably supports it.

DOMO also connects directly to R, allowing data scientists to perform complex tasks like data mining and prediction. It’s a very seamless experience to perform data analytics using R, and sending that data directly to a DOMO dashboard for presentation.

DOMO is also more beginner friendly than both Power BI and Tableau. All these tools require a bit of training to learn, but I found DOMO to be the easiest to learn.

There’s a catch to all this though: the pricing. DOMO’s pricing isn’t shown to the public, however, it’s clear that their product is targeted towards large enterprises. Small to medium businesses will not be able to afford DOMO. 

6. Sisense

Sisense Dashboard

Sisense is a great alternative to Power BI that supports Linux based operating systems like Ubuntu, CentOS, Amazon Linux and Redhat OpenShift.

The major advantage of Sisense over other BI platforms like Power BI is the “ElastiCube Manager.” 

ElastiCube lets data scientists quickly and easily compile lots of data together if they are comfortable with SQL. ElastiCube also means you won’t need any data warehouse or supporting infrastructure on the data side.

Another advantage of Sisense is that it also offers “in-chip processing” which can process data 100 times faster than in-memory tools. Sisense is also one of the few tools that offers AI to analyze data.

The drawbacks of Sisense is that it’s complex to use. It’s significantly more complicated than Power BI and will require extra training time to master the tool. It also lacks the ability to do advanced/scheduled reports and comes with limited dashboards.

Example: Sisense Dashboard

7. QlikView

QlikView Dashboard Example

QlikView is a guided data analysis tool built for technical teams of data scientists or developers in order to tackle large, complicated datasets, and build business applications which can store different reports, dashboards and calculations. 

Unlike other BI tools like Tableau, both QlikView and Qlik Sense use the same engine called “Qlik associative engine” to help with the data discovery process. Qlik allows you to quickly explore relationships in the dataset to find patterns and trends without having to write SQL queries.

QlikView allows you to create pixel-perfect graphs for jobs that require them. 

The disadvantage of QlikView is that it’s more complicated to learn and non-developers won’t be able to create their own visualizations. 

Example: QlikView Dashboard

8. Qlik Sense

Qlik Sense vs Qlikview Dashboard

Qlik Sense is a web-based, self-service data discovery SaaS tool with a more modern UI than QlikView. Qlik Sense focuses more on ease-of-use with its drag and drop functionality which allows for fast and easy development of visualizations, dashboards and stories.

Unlike QlikView, you don’t need to be a data scientist or developer to use Qlik Sense. This allows every team member to be an analyst. 

If you’ve never used a Qlik product or have a less technical team, Qlik Sense is usually the tool to choose over QlikView.

Example: Qlik Sense Dashboard

9. Zoho Analytics

Zoho Analytics Dashboard

Zoho Analytics is an AI-powered, self-service, BI platform with data prep and analytics features. It connects to over 500 data connectors and incorporates AI into its tool, allowing non-technical business users to hold a conversation with the AI and ask questions related to the data.

Example: Zoho Analytics Dashboard

Zoho Analytics is an affordable alternative to Power BI, priced at $25/month. The downside to Zoho Analytics is there is a bit of a learning curve to it, and it’s not user-friendly towards those who don’t have a data background. 

10. MicroStrategy

Microstrategy Dashboard

MicroStrategy is a business intelligence tool used by many large companies like Disney and ABC. It’s designed for all levels of experience, allowing you to build interactive dashboards with no code, low-code or full code. 

The drag and drop interface allows you to quickly create a dashboard, but it’s limited to the small library of visuals (10 built-in and a few custom ones). In order to get the most out of MicroStrategy, you’ll need to take the full-code approach which requires a great deal of expertise, time and money.

MicroStrategy is no. 10 on this list because it used to be a top BI tool, but has become more of a legacy system after all these years. Still, with the developments they made in the past 2 years, the tool seems to be headed in a positive direction.

Posted on
July 3, 2022
under Blog
July 3, 2022
Written by
Ash Gupta
Former Tech Lead for Machine Learning at Google AdWords (6 years) and a quant developer on Wall Street. Co-Founder & CEO of Polymer Search.

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