Best 8 Microsoft Power BI Alternatives in 2022 [In Depth Guide]

Cem Ruso
Cem Ruso
October 14, 2022
November 14, 2022

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.

Disclaimer: The information below is accurate as of October 9, 2022.

Why Might You Look for Power BI Alternatives?

Reason #1. Crowded User Interface

Undoubtedly, Microsoft 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.

powerbi review #1

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.

Reason #2. Complexity In Handling Bulky Data

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.

powerbi review #2

Reason #3. Rigid and Complex In Itself

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.

powerbi review #3

What Are the Best Alternatives to Microsoft Power BI?

Considering the above reasons, it’s time to look forward to some good BI tools. Here’re the best alternatives we reviewed:

  1. Datapad: Best for importing data and tracking it with your team
  2. Tableau Desktop: Best for in-depth KPI analysis
  3. Sisense: Used by mid-sized companies
  4. QlikSense: Stunning pre-built templates
  5. Zoho Analytics: Affordable solution for tracking KPIs
  6. Holistics: Self-serve business intelligence for non-tech users
  7. Mixpanel: Easy to use
  8. Geckoboard: Cast dashboards on TV
powerbi alternatives comparision table

#1. Datapad

datapad homepage

Datapad is a mobile-first dashboarding and analytics platform that allows time-bound entrepreneurs to access critical business KPIs instantly on their mobile phones.

Who Is It For?

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.

Key Feature #1. Track Your Metrics on the Go

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:

Key Feature #2. Ease of Data Import

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:

Key Feature #3. Real-time Collaborations

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.

datapad invite your teammates

How Does Datapad Compare to Power BI?

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

3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Use Datapad?

#1. You Want an In-Depth Analysis and Not Just an Overview of the KPIs

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.

#2. You Don’t Want to Have a Mobile-Only Experience

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 December 2022.

#3. You Need a Lot of Integrations

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

Pricing

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.

datapad pricing

Pros and Cons

Pros

✅ Easy-to-setup and use

✅ Lets you collaborate with your team in real-time

✅ Real time save for managers and founders

Cons

❌ Mobile-only version

❌ Not a lot of integrations right now

❌ Not great for deep dive analysis

#2. Tableau Desktop

tableau homepage

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.

Who Is It For?

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.

Features

  • Leverage live visual analytics for real-time data exploration; perform data cleansing, mashups, and complex calculations without writing a single line of code
  • Use augmented analytics and smart data preparations to generate faster and deeper insights
  • Make smarter decisions using AI-powered predictive modeling, what-if analysis, guided model building
  • Quickly integrate and visualize results from R, Python, Einstein Discovery, and MATLAB to scale models
  • Get data-driven alerts and enjoy seamless collaboration across teams and departments via Slack
  • Quickly set up the platform with the help of training videos, resources, and Tableau's online community

Pricing

Tableau offers a 14-day free trial. After which, it has three paid plans, namely:

  • Tableau Creator
  • Tableau  Explorer
  • Tableau Viewer

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.

Pros and Cons

Pros

✅ Fantastic UI/UX design

✅ Flexible and capable of visualizing complex data

Cons

❌ Steep learning curve (hard to use)

❌ Limited functionality

#3. Sisense

sisense homepage

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.

Who Is It For?

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.

Features

  • Over 100+ pre-built data connectors and a robust data engine to extract live data from data warehouses and social platforms
  • Leverage built-in code-first statistical and predictive analysis libraries and ML technologies to uncover future opportunities and outcomes
  • Has an intuitive drag-and-drop interface and AI-powered charting recommendations to quickly customize dashboards
  • Choose from a gallery of pre-built templates and custom APIs to create app-like functionality within the dashboards

Pricing

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.

sisense pricing

Pros and Cons

Pros

✅ Robust architecture and numerous APIs and connectors

✅ Premium access control and security

Cons

❌ Frequent lags and bugs

❌ Lacks some basic features like font formatting

#4. Qlik Sense

qlik homepage

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.

Who Is It For?

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.

Features

  • Choose from a broad library of interactive dashboards and visualizations that convey the meaning of data via graphs and charts
  • Use search-based discovery and insights advisor for AI-driven analysis, charts recommendations, and data mashups
  • Set up alerts and notifications to proactively monitor business; enable application automation to trigger event-driven actions which automate routine tasks
  • Add narrative and context to business analytics, and create discussion threads to interact actively with data

Pricing

Qlik Sense offers a 30-day free trial. After trial expiration, the platform has two premium plans, namely:

  • Qlik Sense Business: $30/user/month
  • Qlik Sense Enterprise SaaS: Contact sales
qlik pricing

Pros and Cons

Pros

✅ You can build your own data warehouse

✅ Dedicated mobile apps for iOS and Android

Cons

❌ Steep learning curve

❌ Might struggle with calculations and combining formulas

#5. Zoho Analytics

zoho analytics homepage

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.

Who Is It For?

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.

Features

  • Easily connect and blend data from over 250+ data sources and 500+ pre-built integrations to popular platforms
  • Use smart-cleanse to get your raw data cleansed and prepared for analysis; easily transform raw data using 250+ transform functions like pivot, summary, and more
  • Has an extensive gallery of pre-built charts, widgets, pivot, summary, and tabular views to create insightful reports and dashboards
  • Use its intuitive drag-and-drop interface to effortlessly create dashboards; also, use the drag-and-drop designer to customize reports and dashboards
  • Make use of Zia insights, predictive analytics, what-if analysis, and more to generate quick insights from data

Pricing

Zoho Analytics offers a 15-day risk-free trial. Apart from this, it has four subscription plans, namely:

  • Basic: $30/month
  • Standard: $60/month
  • Premium: $145/month
  • Enterprise: $575/month
zoho pricing

Note: Zoho Analytics also offers a free forever plan on its on-premise set-up.

Pros and Cons

Pros

✅ Free forever plan available

✅ Dedicated mobile app

✅ Excellent number of connectors and integrations

Cons

❌ A bit of technical jargon involved

❌ Not very intuitive UI/UX interface

#6. Holistics

holistics homepage

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.

Who Is It For?

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.

Features

  • Self-service capability to build charts, and reports without writing SQL
  • Share insights with a single click and integrates with Slack, email, webhooks, and more
  • Embed visuals directly to any application for better client reporting
  • Complex visualizations that deliver more in-depth insights for smart decision-making, such as Geo Maps, Metric Sheets, Conversion Funnel, and Retention Heatmaps
  • Centralize data definitions with the data catalog function and receive a visual lineage to see how data flows into actionable insights

Pricing

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:

  • Entry: $120/month
  • Standard: $300/month
  • Professional: $600/month

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.

holistics pricing

Pros and Cons

Pros

✅ An affordable and fair pricing model

✅ Easy to build reports without coding or technical knowledge

✅ Advanced visuals for greater insights and data points

Cons

❌ Design options are minimal

❌ Limited branding options for customizing reports

#7. Mixpanel

mixpanel homepage

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.

Who Is It For?

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.

Features

  • Interactive reports give a more detailed insight into how a user is engaging with your website
  • Lets you build customized dashboards in minutes so that you can track all your business key performance indicators (KPIs) in a single place
  • Specialized Ad hoc analysis to understand the hidden pattern behind a trend so you can get to the root of the problem
  • Group analytics help B2B companies dive deeper into customer usage patterns to prevent churn and drive growth
  • SOC2 Type II certification and advanced encryptions ensure end-to-end customer data privacy

Pricing

Mixpanel’s free plan offers to track 100k users on a monthly basis. Apart from the free plan, it also has two paid plans.

mixpanel pricing

Pros and Cons

Pros

✅ Can create personalized and customizable dashboards

✅ Commendable customer service

Cons

❌ Can be overwhelming for beginners due to the excessive number of elements

#8. Geckoboard

geckoboard homepage

Geckoboard helps you maintain dashboards and let your teams focus on the most critical metrics for the business.

Who Is It For?

Geckoboard is for teams who don't want to get distracted by numerous insights and reports which don’t sit under their core KPIs.

Features

  • Over 80+ integrations and a robust set of APIs to easily import data from any data source; custom integrations are offered on demand as well
  • Share live dashboard via Slack or email; also lets you export dashboard to CSV
  • Easy resizing, rearranging, and regrouping of your dashboards and reports
  • Cast KPI dashboard on the big TV screen to track KPIs comfortably with your team

Pricing

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:

  • Essential: $39/month
  • Pro: $79/month
  • Scale: $559/month
geckoboard pricing

Pros and Cons

Pros

✅ 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

Cons

❌ Limited data visualization libraries

❌ Lacks dashboard customizations for pro customers

Keep All Your KPIs In Your Pocket?

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.