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Looker vs Power BI: What are the differences?

  1. Data Sources and Connectivity: Looker primarily connects to cloud-based data sources and requires a data warehouse to function effectively, whereas Power BI offers a wider range of data connections including cloud and on-premises sources, making it more versatile in terms of data accessibility and integration capabilities.

  2. Visualization Capabilities: Power BI provides a larger selection of visualization options and customization features compared to Looker, allowing users to create more complex and interactive visuals, while Looker focuses more on providing a simplified and streamlined approach to visualization, which may be sufficient for basic reporting needs.

  3. Cost Structure: Looker follows a per-user pricing model, which can become expensive as the number of users increases, whereas Power BI offers a more flexible pricing structure with options for both individual and enterprise users, making it potentially more cost-effective for larger organizations.

  4. Learning Curve: Looker is known for its steep learning curve due to its unique data modeling and querying language, LookML, which may require additional training for users to fully utilize its capabilities, whereas Power BI is more user-friendly and intuitive, making it easier for beginners to create reports and dashboards without extensive technical knowledge.

  5. Collaboration and Sharing: Power BI offers robust collaboration features such as seamless integration with Microsoft Teams and the ability to easily share reports and dashboards with other users, while Looker provides limited collaboration tools, requiring users to rely on third-party applications for sharing and collaboration purposes.

  6. Scalability: Power BI is considered to be more scalable in handling large volumes of data and complex analysis compared to Looker, making it a preferred choice for organizations dealing with big data and demanding analytics needs.

In Summary, Looker and Power BI differ in their data connectivity, visualization capabilities, cost structures, learning curves, collaboration features, and scalability, catering to different needs and preferences of users.

Decisions about Looker and Power BI

Very easy-to-use UI. Good way to make data available inside the company for analysis.

Has some built-in visualizations and can be easily integrated with other JS visualization libraries such as D3.

Can be embedded into product to provide reporting functions.

Support team are helpful.

The only complain I have is lack of API support. Hard to track changes as codes and automate report deployment.

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Vojtech Kopal
Head of Data at Mews Systems · | 3 upvotes · 305.4K views

Power BI is really easy to start with. If you have just several Excel sheets or CSV files, or you build your first automated pipeline, it is actually quite intuitive to build your first reports.

And as we have kept growing, all the additional features and tools were just there within the Azure platform and/or Office 365.

Since we started building Mews, we have already passed several milestones in becoming start up, later also a scale up company and now getting ready to grow even further, and during all these phases Power BI was just the right tool for us.

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Pros of Looker
Pros of Power BI
  • 4
    Real time in app customer chat support
  • 4
    GitHub integration
  • 1
    Reduces the barrier of entry to utilizing data
  • 18
  • 2
    Powerful Calculation Engine
  • 2
    Access from anywhere
  • 2
    Intuitive and complete internal ETL
  • 2
    Database visualisation
  • 1
    Azure Based Service

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Cons of Looker
Cons of Power BI
  • 3
    Be the first to leave a con

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    What is Looker?

    We've built a unique data modeling language, connections to today's fastest analytical databases, and a service that you can deploy on any infrastructure, and explore on any device. Plus, we'll help you every step of the way.

    What is Power BI?

    It aims to provide interactive visualizations and business intelligence capabilities with an interface simple enough for end users to create their own reports and dashboards.

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