With the success of Power BI, what’s next for Tableau?
Tableau have always been fantastic at data visualization. When they entered the industry, it was the right time for a revolution in data visualization. They were a sign that business intelligence was focusing back on the business again.
Now, there are lots of competitors and would-be Tableau organizations. Notably, Microsoft Power BI has superseded Tableau in ways such as data ingestion and modelling. This means that Tableau need to respond, or they will be backed into a corner, siloed by their success in data visualization.
Where might Tableau go next?There are changes in functionality and changes in licensing to reflect customer expectations. Here are some notable acquisitions which show where Tableau might go next. Empirical Systems offers AI solutions to perform statistical analysis on small data. It’s interesting since it’s about the Little Data, and it’s just as important – if not more important – as Big Data. We also see a move into augmented technology, which means that there are efforts to improve computers so that humans can interact with them better. ClearGraph were acquired by Tableau in 2017, which presumably lies behind Tableau’s latest achievement, Ask Data. Ask Data lets users ask questions naturally to get insights from any published data sources. The idea is that users can type a question and get an answer in the form of a viz. Power BI also offers this functionality, using Cortana.
Tableau are also aligning with Power BI, moving from an up-front perpetual license-based model to a subscription-based model. Power BI started off free and then grew into subscription-based options to meet different needs.
Which is better, Tableau or Power BI?
Both technologies are great at the things that they do well, and there is clearly an effort on both parts to meet industry expectations with a focus on augmentation and working with little datasets.
You won’t like this answer, but it depends on what you need. I’m finding that many customers have both technologies in place. Tableau is still a billion dollar industry, and there is plenty of room for more than one vendor. Ultimately, this benefits customers.
I wish them both every success!