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Looker vs Tableau: What are the differences?

  1. User Interface and Ease of Use: Looker focuses on providing a simple and intuitive interface that is easy for non-technical users to navigate and understand. Tableau, on the other hand, offers a more visually appealing interface with a wide range of customization options for experienced users to create complex visualizations.

  2. Data Visualization Capabilities: Looker is more focused on providing pre-built data models and templates for analysis, making it easier for users to get started quickly. Tableau offers a wide range of visualization options, including advanced mapping capabilities and interactive dashboards, making it suitable for intricate data analysis and storytelling.

  3. Data Source Connectivity: Looker connects directly to databases and other data sources in real-time, providing up-to-date information for analysis. In comparison, Tableau allows users to connect to a variety of data sources but may require additional steps for data preparation and cleaning before analysis.

  4. Cost and Licensing Structure: Looker's pricing is typically based on the number of users or the amount of data processed, making it more scalable for small to medium-sized businesses. Tableau offers different licensing options, including both desktop and server licenses, potentially making it more cost-effective for larger organizations with established data teams.

  5. Collaboration and Sharing Features: Looker offers built-in collaboration features, allowing users to share reports and insights within the platform easily. Tableau provides robust sharing capabilities, including the ability to publish dashboards to the Tableau Server or Tableau Online for broader access and collaboration.

In Summary, Looker and Tableau differ in their user interfaces, data visualization capabilities, data source connectivity, cost structures, and collaboration features, catering to different user needs and preferences in data analysis and visualization.

Decisions about Looker and Tableau

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 · 307K 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 Tableau
  • 4
    Real time in app customer chat support
  • 4
    GitHub integration
  • 1
    Reduces the barrier of entry to utilizing data
  • 6
    Capable of visualising billions of rows
  • 1
    Intuitive and easy to learn
  • 1

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Cons of Looker
Cons of Tableau
  • 3
  • 2
    Very expensive for small companies

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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 Tableau?

Tableau can help anyone see and understand their data. Connect to almost any database, drag and drop to create visualizations, and share with a click.

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