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Top Tableau Alternatives You Should Try in 2024

Check out the top seven Business Intelligence (BI) and data visualization software Tableau alternatives on the web. This includes enterprise-grade solutions, free dashboarding tools, and open-source products.

Top Tableau Alternatives You Should Try in 2024

If you're looking for better alternatives to Tableau, look no further. 

In this post, we compiled the top seven Business Intelligence (BI) and data visualization software tools on the web. This includes enterprise-grade solutions, free dashboarding tools, and open-source products. 

Let's dive right in. 

What is Tableau?

Tableau is a BI platform with strong data visualization capabilities.  

It is widely considered one of the best dashboard software platforms for businesses and marketing agencies. You can use the drag-and-drop visualization builder to create dashboards, connect with dozens of popular data sources, and collaborate with your team — all in one place. 

Benefits of Tableau

Here's a quick rundown of Tableau's benefits:

  • Streamlined frontend. Ever since its acquisition by Salesforce in 2019, Tableau made substantial improvements to the platform's usability and onboarding experience. It features a clutter-free user interface, free training videos, and in-app tours to kickstart productivity. 
  • Flexible data import options. Tableau supports direct uploads, integrations, and "accelerators" to speed up data collection. Some of the supported integrations include Google BigQuery, Dropbox, Salesforce, Snowflake, OData, and Amazon Redshift.
  • Automated workbook optimization. Manage your data more effectively with Tableau's built-in workbook optimization tool. It automatically analyzes your workbook and provides actionable recommendations based on issues like unused data sources and configuration errors. 
  • Advanced customization tools. Keep your data reports on-brand using Tableau's customization features. Add text, switch up the colors, use animations, and more. 
  • Mobile compatibility. While most BI platforms aren't designed to work on smaller screens, Tableau's mobile app lets you access and interact with your data on the go. The app's functionality, of course, is limited to just viewing and sharing metrics.  
  • Diverse data visualization options. Whether you're building an ecommerce dashboard or creating a marketing performance tracker, Tableau has the data visualization tools you need. You can create heatmaps, pivot tables, maps, pie charts, bar graphs, bubble charts, and more. 

Tableau Pricing

  • Tableau Viewer: $15 per user per month 
  • Tableau Explorer: $42 per user per month
  • Tableau Creator: $75 per user per month

Top 7 Tableau Alternatives in 2024

Despite the advantages of Tableau, there are plenty of BI software in the market that outshine it in certain aspects. This can be in terms of pricing, usability, extensibility, and data visualizations.

Check out the top seven Tableau alternatives in 2024:

1. Polymer

Polymer is a modern BI software that focuses on streamlining data management and reporting tasks. 

In terms of usability, Polymer is a tad better than Tableau.

You absolutely don't need to use coding to utilize Polymer's full data analysis and visualization potential. This is thanks to the platform's drag-and-drop board editor, intuitive layout, and customizable dashboard templates.

Polymer also provides AI-driven recommendations that can instantly extract actionable insights from your raw data. These recommendations are available immediately after you connect a data source and access your board. 

If you're looking for specific data, use PolyAI to generate the report you need automatically. 

PolyAI functions as your personal BI dashboard assistant — able to perform various data analysis tasks and create visualizations through prompts. 

Polymer Features

Polymer is loaded with features designed to speed up data analysis — without compromising data quality. 

Aside from the features listed above, here are additional Polymer tools you should know about:

  • Built-in data connectors. Polymer frees you from the hassle of manual data imports or using third-party connectors to set up your dashboard. Use the built-in connectors to easily pull in your data and get to work within minutes. 
  • Drag-and-drop dashboard builder. Create interactive data visualizations using Polymer's drag-and-drop editor. Choose from a variety of blocks to build your dashboard, like bar charts, pivot tables, heatmaps, funnels, and scorecards. 
  • User-friendly data manager. Filter, organize, and manage your datasets via the Polymer V3 Data Manager without leaving the board you're working on. You can also create custom metrics to automate calculations. 
  • Easy data sharing. Give team members direct, real-time access to your Polymer data through a shareable link. Alternatively, use the embed code to share your entire board or individual data blocks on your website. 
  • Unlimited viewers. While most BI platforms charge per seat, Polymer allows you to share data with unlimited viewers. Additional board editors, however, cost an additional $25 per month (Teams plan users start with three editors). 
  • Seamless customization. Use the drag-and-drop interface to resize and rearrange your data blocks to group related visualizations or highlight important metrics. For public access boards, you can set a custom URL and use your own logo to personalize the user experience for guests. 

Polymer Pricing

  • Starter: $50 per month ($25 per month with annual billing)
  • Pro: $100 per month ($50 per month with annual billing)
  • Teams: $250 per month ($125 per month with annual billing)
  • Enterprise: Contact sales to get a quote

2. Power BI

As the name suggests, Microsoft's Power BI is a suite of BI and data visualization tools that make data accessible even to non-technical users. 

Power BI has three main components: the Power BI Desktop, the cloud-based Power BI service, and the Power BI mobile app for Android and iOS. 

Power BI Desktop is for the guys who manage your data, build models, and prepare visual reports. The main Power BI service, in turn, is for decision-makers who crunch the numbers.

Lastly, the mobile app is for end users who need quick access to certain reports. Picture salespeople tracking monthly quotas or marketers checking lead generation performance. 

Power BI Features

Power BI and its alternatives share similar core features. So, when choosing a BI platform for your business, you need to pay close attention to the features that make each solution stand out.  

Here are four important Power BI features you should know about: 

  • Smooth integration with Microsoft ecosystem. If your organization uses Microsoft 365 apps, being able to switch between apps on the fly is a huge advantage for your productivity. On top of data connectors, the Power BI workspace also comes with shortcuts to all Microsoft apps, including Mail, Excel, OneDrive, and more.
  • Quick Insights. Similar to Polymer's suggested insights and PolyAI, Power BI's Quick Insights tool can extract insights from your datasets in a few clicks. Recognize trends, track outliers, and turn data into tangible action plans.
  • Security features. Power BI includes a host of data privacy and security features, like sensitivity labels and user authentication powered by Microsoft Entra ID. Your security team can also use Microsoft 365 data loss prevention policies to protect sensitive items in your datasets. 

Of course, Polymer also takes data privacy and security extremely seriously. Our data handling protocols include HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS), AWS/S3-level encryption, and AES-256 application-level encryption. 

Polymer also provides quick, actionable insights a he speed of "click." Even before you launch PolyAI, instant insights recommendations are available to you as soon as you add your data source.  

Power BI Pricing

  • Power BI in Microsoft Fabric: Free (Upgrade needed to share reports)
  • Power BI Pro: $10 per user per month
  • Power BI Premium: $20 per user per month

3. Looker

If you're looking for free Tableau alternatives, check out Looker Studio

Formerly "Google Data Studio," Looker Studio is a freemium dashboard builder with a beginner-friendly interface. 

As a Google product, Looker Studio works exclusively via a web interface. It also supports hundreds of data connectors with other Google services and hundreds of third parties, including ecommerce platforms, SEO tools, and data management solutions.

Looker's low barrier to entry and user-friendly interface are useful for lightweight number crunching. It's also equipped with advanced features under the hood for enterprise users. 

However, it's easy to find Looker Studio alternatives that are better in factors like stability, visualization options, and UI design. 

Looker Features

Looker's free option is great for small businesses and agencies that rely solely on Google products. The paid version, on the other hand, is a good choice for report builders and decision-makers who rely on a range of data sources.

Check out some of Looker's noteworthy features:

  • Embeddable reports. Similar to Polymer, Looker reports can be embedded into websites and intranet applications. This improves data sharing, collaboration, and adoption among data stakeholders. 
  • Report templates. Looker Studio also offers customizable report templates for various data analysis tasks. These enable non-advanced users to generate readable reports in minutes. 
  • Source community visualizations. Although Looker Studio's built-in visualizations are rather limited, you can use a library of community-submitted visualizations — from flight path trackers to sunburst charts. The tricky part is finding a visualization suited to your needs. 

Looker's community visualizations are huge for the platform's flexibility and extensibility. However, it can be difficult to find a visualization that perfectly suits your needs. 

With Polymer, you not only get ready-to-use templates for specific data use cases. Our AI also automatically generates entire dashboards to quickly highlight important insights — zero setup needed. 

Looker Pricing

  • Looker Studio Free: Free (Upgrade needed for third-party data connectors)
  • Looker Studio Pro: $9 per user per month

4. Zoho Analytics

Zoho Analytics markets itself as a self-service platform for both beginners and advanced BI users. 

Beginners will have no problems using Zoho Analytics, especially if you only import data from other Zoho apps. 

The learning curve steepens if you plan to create visualizations and reports with third-party data sources. Thankfully, Zoho Analytics has since spruced up the onboarding experience for new users — thanks to the free webinars, video demos, in-app walkthroughs, and customizable workspace samples. 

Zoho Analytics Features

Zoho Analytics may not be the easiest BI platform to use. But once you're past the learning stage, you'll have a solid lineup of data analysis tools at your disposal.  

  • Prompt-based AI assistant. While Polymer has PolyAI, Zoho Analytics has "Ask Zia" — an AI chatbot that can directly answer questions about your data. Ask Zia lets you sidestep the intensive aspects of data analysis and jump straight into the readable insights. 
  • Flexible deployment options. Zoho Analytics can be deployed on-premise, on the cloud, or via a web analytics portal. Businesses can also embed white-label reports directly in their standalone apps. 
  • Assisted dashboard setup. Zoho Analytics comes with pre-defined dashboard views, templates, and auto-generated supports that can get your data analysis off to a running start. 

Zoho Analytics does have features that compensate for the platform's learning curve. However, it's not the only platform that offers prompt-based AI, on-premise deployment (for select enterprise partners), and guided dashboard setups. 

You can have all those features AND still enjoy an intuitive UI design with Polymer.  

Zoho Analytics Pricing

  • Zoho Analytics Basic: $30 per month ($24 per month with annual billing)
  • Zoho Analytics Standard: $60 per month ($48 per month with annual billing)
  • Zoho Analytics Premium: $145 per month ($115 per month with annual billing)
  • Zoho Analytics Enterprise: $575 per month ($455 per month with annual billing)

5. Databox

Databox is an analytics platform with a heavy emphasis on impactful data visualizations and usability. 

The guided onboarding process only takes a few minutes to complete. And, as soon as it's over, you'll get an auto-generated dashboard already waiting for you. 

Use the drag-and-drop editor to effortlessly add metrics or data visualizations to your dashboard. Databox lets you insert as well as configure pipelines, gauges, pie charts, bar graphs, heatmaps, and more with just a few clicks. 

Databox Features

Easy-to-use UI and smooth workflows obviously make up a huge part of the Databox experience. But as you explore the platform, you'll discover tools and features that can compete with heavy hitters like Polymer and Power BI. 

  • Advanced metrics management. Just like Polymer, Databox lets you create and manage custom metrics to automate calculations for data analysis. It also supports calculated metrics that utilize data from two or more sources. 
  • Consolidate your data into one dashboard. Databox allows you to create "Looped Dashboards," which consist of multiple dashboards from different sets of data sources. Once compiled, Looped Dashboards can be shared with stakeholders inside and outside of your Databox account. 
  • Use data to forecast or benchmark performance. Use the in-app benchmarking tool to compare your company's performance against competitors. At the same time, optimize your strategies with predictive analytics through Databox's forecasting tool. 
  • Justify analytics ROI with goal tracking. Set and track measurable goals to ensure you're on the right track. With Databox, goals are tied to changes in metrics over set periods of time.

In case you're wondering, Polymer dashboards can also contain data from different sources. Visualization blocks like scorecards can also contain goal values and custom metrics for your KPIs, helping you track goals and evaluate performance. 

Databox Pricing

  • Starter: $59 per month ($47 per month with annual billing)
  • Professional: $169 per month ($135 per month with annual billing)
  • Growth: $399 per month ($319 per month with annual billing)
  • Premium: $999 per month ($799 per month with annual billing)

6. Superset

Apache Superset is one of the few open-source Tableau alternatives that strictly don't offer a proprietary version. It is a data visualization tool designed for businesses that have very specific use cases for data. 

Superset can be deployed via a Docker container, PyPI, Kubernetes, or Docker Composer. You can also deploy it locally by downloading the source code from the Apache Foundation's main website. 

Unlike the rest of the tools in this list, Superset isn't ready to use right out of the box. But if you know SQL (or have someone in your team who does) and are willing to tailor the source code to your needs, it can be the most cost-effective data visualization platform for your business.

Superset Features

In terms of features, Superset is barebones at best when compared to Polymer, Databox, Power BI, and similar platforms. It also lacks intuitive tools for some simple tasks like user management and data imports. 

But if you're looking to build a DIY data dashboard for your specific needs, Superset's flexibility is a huge plus.

  • Accessing data requires zero coding. Remember, deploying Superset requires some SQL knowledge. But once you're done with the initial setup, you're back to using a modern, intuitive interface.
  • Beginner assets. Superset includes dozens of pre-installed visualizations and CSS templates that can help beginners get the ball rolling. The platform also includes a drag-and-drop visualization builder, which is accessible as long as you're done with the initial setup. 
  • Open-source development and community-driven support. As an open-source app, you can expect Superset to only improve over time. It's also backed by community-driven learning resources that will help you complete certain tasks or troubleshoot issues. 

Open-source platforms are great for cost-effectiveness, but they always come with limitations. In Apache Superset's case, this includes difficulty in setting up, providing user permissions, and planning data exploration workflows for advanced analysis.

These are non-issues in a premium BI solution like Polymer. Apart from the long list of Quality of Life features, our platform also comes with flexible pricing that grants access to unlimited users (with viewer permissions) across all plants. 

Superset Pricing

Superset is a free-to-use data visualization platform. As of writing, they don't offer a paid version with more scalability and features. 

7. Metabase

Lastly, Metabase is a BI and data visualization platform that offers both open-source and proprietary versions. 

The open-source version is for advanced users who want a DIY dashboarding experience. On the flip side, the "Starter" version offers a more convenient route to deployment and plenty of extras, like technical support, managed updates, and report embedding. 

When it comes to data analysis, Metabase implements a unique, guided approach to help answer your analytics questions. Before you create a visualization, you need to structure a query by choosing a dataset, applying filters, and specifying the metrics to include. 

Metabase Features

Metabase provides a unique dashboarding experience that prioritizes usability and accessibility to non-technical users. While it's an SQL-first platform, everyone in your organization can hop into the app, build a query, and use data to empower their decision-making. 

  • Free, open-source version. A little bit of SQL knowledge is important to be efficient with Metabase, especially if you use a self-hosted instance of the open-source version. The good news is, it's much easier to deploy than similar alternatives like Superset. 
  • Create secure data sandboxes. Manage user groups and control which data they can see on a row level. This ensures team members can only access pieces of data that are relevant to their jobs.
  • Outsource professional Metabase services. Metabase also offers professional services for tasks like onboarding, self-hosted setup, data management, and more. You can also hire specialized professional services on a recurring basis, useful for tasks like ongoing maintenance. 

The fact that Metabase offers a unique workflow experience is commendable. However, unique doesn't always mean better. 

A lot of users complain about crashes, the expensive price tag, and the lack of crucial features like ad hoc reporting.

To be fair, Metabase has been around since 2015, which explains most of these issues. Luckily, you won't have to worry about them with a more modern BI solution like Polymer. 

Metabase Pricing

  • Starter: $85 per month ($76.5 per month with annual billing)
  • Pro: $500 per month ($450 per month with annual billing)

What is the Best Tableau Alternative?

So, which Tableau competitor should you choose? 

Take note that you can verify all the information mentioned above yourself, either by using free trials or checking websites like Reddit for community feedback. And if you look at factors like cost-effectiveness, data visualization features, and usability, it's clear that Polymer is a tad better than everything else in the market. 

Everything that makes other BI solutions great, from versatile data visualizations to the flexible pricing model, is also in Polymer. Not only that, but we also packaged everything in a clean and efficient interface. 

Free and open-source alternatives like Looker Studio, Metabase, and Superset might save you money in the short term. However, you'll miss out on powerful features that premium BI solutions bring to the table. 

Here's a quick recap of why Polymer is the best Tableau alternative on the web:  

  • Wide range of data visualizations. Create funnel charts, dependency wheels, scorecards, ROI calculators, heatmaps, and other visualizations without writing a single line of code.
  • Effortless data imports. Just pick a data connector, enter your credentials, and pick the datasets you need to import.
  • AI-powered efficiency. Get instant insights with AI-driven recommendations, or use PolyAI to automatically convert raw data into readable visualizations.
  • Seamless data sharing. Create unlimited viewer accounts for direct access to reports or embed visualizations to your own web properties. 
  • Big features without a big price tag. Create custom metrics, set goals, manage datasets, and more — for as little as $25 per month. 

Try Polymer For Free

Want to take Polymer out for a spin? 

Start a 14-day free trial here and experience what makes us different.

Posted on
February 26, 2024
under Blog
February 26, 2024
Written by
Rand Owens
Founding team member at Motive (Formerly KeepTruckin) and passionate about all things Marketing, RevOps, and Go-To-Market. VP of Marketing @ Polymer Search.

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