Some of the best Microsoft Power BI alternatives for ease of use are Datapad, Tableau Desktop, Sisense, QlikSense, Zoho Analytics, Cyfe, Holistics, Ubiq, and IMP Cognos Dashboard.
In this guide, you will find a full comparison between these alternatives and get to know which one is the right fit for your business.
Undoubtedly, Power BI is a great platform to work on. But it does have some major challenges, like its user interface.
Power BI’s user interface is pretty complicated to grasp in a glimpse. Although pro analysts may find the UI cool, novice users can have a hard time learning the functionalities and processes of the platform.
Besides, we came across a few reviews where users compared Tableau with Power BI and cited that the UI of Tableau is far easier, quicker, and learnable than what Power BI offers.
Suppose you're an enterprise with a ton of data. Tracking KPIs is already a tough thing. And if there are complications with data importation as well, it becomes a nightmare for you.
Power BI can't handle a ton of data all at one time; it consumes a lot of RAM, so your desktop can heat up and slow down every process.
Not just this, but it also creates a lot of temp and cache files that might fill your disk quickly.
Power BI isn't an easy-to-understand tool. It takes a significant amount of time for you and your team to get the hang of it, import data, create dashboards, and finally analyze them. With larger teams, it could prove to be really time-consuming and exhausting.
Considering the above reasons, it’s time to look forward to some good BI tools. Here’re the best alternatives we reviewed:
Datapad is a mobile-first dashboarding and analytics platform that allows time-bound entrepreneurs to access critical business KPIs instantly on their mobile phones.
Datapad is best suited for small to medium-sized organizations with rather simple databases to work upon. It’s also an excellent choice for users who dislike desktop dashboarding. It's for people who are looking to track their kpis with their teams in a most simple way. Datapad is not a tool that would allow you to do deep dive data analysis, tool is for creating metric visibility in your company.
In comparison to other similar tools, Datapad doesn’t require a hefty set-up or frequent logins to access your data. Instead, it delivers high-end dashboarding features in a compact mobile app (available for both iOS and Android).
Our mobile app is optimized for compatibility and sheer performance on all small-screen devices. So, you can expect pixel-perfect resolution rather than half-volleys.
If you ever used a mobile app of any dashboarding tool in the past, you should forget about them because Datapad will deliver the best mobile app experience for you.
Here is a sneak peak:
Another sought-after feature of our tool is its capability to import data.
In Datapad, you can import data automatically or manually. To set things on auto-pilot, you can enable our one-click integrations to popular platforms such as Facebook, MySQL, Google Analytics, Google Sheets, and many more.
Here’s how you can do it:
Not so commonly, if you want to add data manually, you can freely opt for manual input. Again, here’s how you can do so:
When we reviewed other BI and analytical tools, we noticed a common string, actually two.
In the first scenario, most such tools don’t have an inbuilt chat system, pivoting users to a third-party app for effective communication.
Secondly, even if the tool offers an in-built chat system, it’s just built for its namesake. The UI/UX design and free flow of communication aren’t there to entice users.
Datapad, on the other hand, offers real-time collaboration. Users can simply comment under a metric to start a discussion. Moreover, you can enable alerts for team comments and any sensitive changes in the trajectories.
Microsoft Power BI is a self-service BI and analytics software by Microsoft. Basically, it's a collection of software services, apps, and connectors that work together to collect and visualize data under one roof.
The platform primarily helps businesses make data-driven decisions.
The platform is bliss for BI engineers who want to visualize complex databases. Although non-technical users might find it complex to master, tech geeks might find the platform advanced yet perfect for their use.
Evidently, Power BI is far ahead of other data visualization tools in terms of data monitoring, visualizing, and privacy.
In contrast, Datapad is a tool built for teams that are trying to track their top level KPIs in a most simple way. It’s easy to use and doesn’t require any technical expertise to master - absolutely no code.
Besides, you can always have all your KPIs at your fingertips, something which Power BI doesn’t offer. So, basically, you can collect, monitor, analyze, and visualize KPIs from your small-screen devices.
Plus, Datapad offers better in-app collaboration features. If you are an enterprise company, you can get value from both tools.
Power BI can be better used for hefty databases with complex visualization and analytics. It can present your team with in-depth insights.
Datapad, on the other hand, is a tool that would allow you to track your kpis with your team and collaborate around them in a most simple way. Datapad empowers your whole team to create and share metrics not just your technical team members
Our tool isn’t the best at performing in-depth analysis of raw data. Although it can be effective in deriving crucial insights from databases, some heavy functions such as data cleansing, predictive analysis, and data modeling are not our cup of tea (as of now). If you are looking for a tool that would allow you to do deep dive data analysis, Datapad is not for you. If you are looking for a way to create simple and beautiful dashboards and track your metrics with your whole team then Datapad is great for you.
If you’re desktop-ridden, Datapad won’t entice you. Our tool features a mobile-only experience, i.e, it offers all the features of typical dashboarding desktop software in the Datapad mobile app.
You can easily create, view, and edit dashboards from your mobile phone. So if you’re not used to tracking KPIs on mobile, Datapad is probably not for you. This doesn't mean that we won't have web version forever, we are actually developing web version and it will be ready to use end of February 2023.
As of now, Datapad doesn't support many integrations. However, it has integrations to popular data points such as Google Analytics, Google sheets, Facebook ads, and more. But other tools like Power BI have much more to offer.
P.S. We are shipping many more integrations every month
Datapad is a completely free-to-use platform. All you have to do is sign up for the app and download it from the Play or Apple store.
✅ Easy-to-setup and use
✅ Lets you collaborate with your team in real-time
✅ Real time save for managers and founders
❌ Mobile-only version
❌ Not a lot of integrations right now
❌ Not great for deep dive analysis
Tableau Desktop is a self-service data visualization software that allows business owners to access, analyze, and visualize data to make impactful business decisions.
The platform aims to support the entire analytics journey, from data preparation to deep analysis to the shared insights that drive the business forward.
Tableau Desktop is widely used across every industry or department may it be IT, sales, finance, marketing, HR, customer service, and any other. It’s also a great dashboarding software if you want to drill down further into your data.
Tableau offers a 14-day free trial. After which, it has three paid plans, namely:
The pricing of these plans is not mentioned on the website. You may contact their sales rep to get a quote. Besides, students and teachers can enjoy 1 year of Tableau Desktop, Prep, and eLearning for free.
✅ Fantastic UI/UX design
✅ Flexible and capable of visualizing complex data
❌ Steep learning curve (hard to use)
❌ Limited functionality
Sisense is a BI and cloud analytical platform that allows businesses to infuse AI-driven analytics into work streams or products.
Its self-service BI and AI-driven insights help data-driven leaders make quick and impactful business decisions.
Sisense is a leading BI platform used by the likes of Philips, Skullcandy, ZoomInfo, and more. The most popular use cases of Sisense are from IT, Finance, Healthcare, Marketing, and advertising industries.
Like Tableau, Sisense offers a 14-day free trial, after which it has a custom pricing policy. You can contact their sales reps for further pricing details.
✅ Robust architecture and numerous APIs and connectors
✅ Premium access control and security
❌ Frequent lags and bugs
❌ Lacks some basic features like font formatting
Qlik Sense is a web-based leading cloud analytics and business intelligence platform that empowers business owners and analysts to simplify data analysis and make impactful decisions when it matters the most.
With over 38,000+ customers, including Samsung, Honda, and DocuSign, Qlik Sense is best suited for the IT and automotive industry and large organizations with 50-200 employees.
Qlik Sense offers a 30-day free trial. After trial expiration, the platform has two premium plans, namely:
✅ You can build your own data warehouse
✅ Dedicated mobile apps for iOS and Android
❌ Steep learning curve
❌ Might struggle with calculations and combining formulas
Zoho Analytics is yet another popular BI and analytics tool that allows businesses to analyze data from a wide variety of data sources. The platform enables you to structure, transform, and clean your data set for effective and easy analysis and reporting.
Zoho Analytics is trusted by over 2 million business users, and it's a popular choice among top companies such as IKEA, HP, Suzuki, and many more. Preferably, the platform best fits in with large organizations with > 50 employees and keeps track of complex databases and KPIs.
Zoho Analytics offers a 15-day risk-free trial. Apart from this, it has four subscription plans, namely:
Note: Zoho Analytics also offers a free forever plan on its on-premise set-up.
✅ Free forever plan available
✅ Dedicated mobile app
✅ Excellent number of connectors and integrations
❌ A bit of technical jargon involved
❌ Not very intuitive UI/UX interface
Holistics is a self-service business intelligence tool that enables non-technical users to build their own data visualizations and insights without needing complicated code or involving your data team for requests.
It allows businesses to execute ad hoc queries, connect multiple SQL databases, visualize data, and predict trends.
Holistic’s usage-based pricing model is perfect for small to medium-sized businesses since it lowers the financial impact and reduces costs for data analytics and KPI tracking.
Holistics take a more transparent approach to its sales process. They offer a 14-day free trial, providing full access to their tool. Additionally, they run on a usage-based pricing model, where the more reports you create and users you have, the more you pay.
With that said, there are four pricing plans:
An Enterprise plan is offered to match the needs of larger organizations. If you’re seeking more data capabilities, you’ll need to contact their sales team to receive customized pricing for their Enterprise plan.
✅ An affordable and fair pricing model
✅ Easy to build reports without coding or technical knowledge
✅ Advanced visuals for greater insights and data points
❌ Design options are minimal
❌ Limited branding options for customizing reports
Mixpanel provides real-time data analysis to identify patterns and understand how users engage with your website.
It’s a powerful analytics tool that helps you retain more customers to boost your business.
Trusted by more than 7000 customers across the world, Mixpanel is one of the most used product analytics tools around.
Mixpanel is the perfect tool for companies who are looking for a product market fit. Aside from that, early-age startups can also benefit from its Growth Plan.
Mixpanel’s free plan offers to track 100k users on a monthly basis. Apart from the free plan, it also has two paid plans.
✅ Can create personalized and customizable dashboards
✅ Commendable customer service
❌ Can be overwhelming for beginners due to the excessive number of elements
Geckoboard helps you maintain dashboards and let your teams focus on the most critical metrics for the business.
Geckoboard is for teams who don't want to get distracted by numerous insights and reports which don’t sit under their core KPIs.
Geckoboard has both free and paid plans. The free plan lets you import data from spreadsheets and create 1 dashboard to test it out. But if you want to use Geckoboard to its maximum potential, go with a paid plan:
✅ Best support team to help you with integration hurdles and dashboard assembly
✅ Easy to use interface with tips to help collaborators navigate the system
✅ Shareability and scheduling across email and Slack
❌ Limited data visualization libraries
❌ Lacks dashboard customizations for pro customers
To summarize, Power BI is good but Drilling down data and analyzing every KPI in-depth isn’t what everyone in the business needs to do.
You, as a founder, can build a team that might do this for you and come to you with insights. All you can do is just keep an eye on all the KPIs, sort of an overview.
That is a much less time-consuming and efficient use of any founder's time.
Datapad lets you do this exactly. By signing up and downloading the app on your phone, you can track your business KPI from anywhere in the world.