With several BI Tools available on the market today, it can be difficult selecting the right one for YOU. When making a selection it is important to not only consider cost but also capabilities and scalability. Below we’ve outlined a comparison between two very popular tools – Tableau and Metabase. If you’re exploring these two tools, hopefully this will help you make an informed decision!
Advantages of using Metabase vs. Tableau:
- It is fairly simple to use, and learn, compared to Tableau.
- It as friendly overall user interface
- it is very easy to join tables on keys
- It has unique features:
Share reports automatically. You can email reports or dashboards daily / monthly / or after any specified time period directly to an email list.
Drag and drop visualizations. It is EASIER to drag and drop tables/ visualizations onto dashboards compared to Tableau. If the data is fed correctly through a database, visualizations can be created simply by dragging and dropping.
Creating dashboards is a breeze! A beginner with no experience can easily build dashboards to create visualizations.
(The tool provides certain suggestions such as aggregates on which visualizations can be built – like calculating the mean of a particular column. For example, Metabase may suggest calculating the mean order amount by customer, and will calculate it for you.)
Disadvantages of using Metabase vs. Tableau:
- Lack of flexibility
Poor filtering. We tried to create a filter that can filter data based on orders in the last x days and could not accomplish that in Metabase. Instead, we had to create separate visualizations for each of: yesterday, last 90 days, last 60 days, last 30 days.
No formatting flexibility. We could not add custom labels or change colors.
- Lack of resources
Metabase has a lot fewer tutorials and community support at this point, making it even more unfriendly to beginners.
- Highly reliant on SQL
There were many duplicates in the dashboard that we created. It was impossible to filter the duplicates through Metabase.
- Fewer collaboration options
There is no way to share dashboards other than through an email.
Here’s an at-a-glance look at the pros and cons
|Offers a free trial||Lower price point compared with similar tools|
|User friendly; easy-to-use UI; simple set up process||Great for beginners, user friendly; easy-to-use UI;|
|Extensive analytics & reporting options available||Offers a 14-day free trial|
|Wide variety of deployment options|
|24/7 Support available|
|Variety of training resources available|
|Higher price point||Limited analytics; no benchmarking|
|Poor Versioning||Limited deployment options|
|No customer support available|
|Limited training resources|
|Limited Graphing capabilities|
|No Desktop version|
If you’re looking for a free data visualization tool for some basic graphs and you want to do it yourself using SQL, then Metabase may be a great tool for you. On the other hand, Tableau desktop version costs $70 and will allow you to join data between databases and Excel, customize queries against data and build some very sophisticated graphs with filters – and much more.