Metabase quest (Metabase vs X "competitor")

Hi,

How is metabase different that tableau and powerbi?

As explained in the documentation with sample data, it seems more like a visualisation on data which is a capability provided by powerbi and tableau as well.

Thx
Deepak

Hi, without knowing tableau or powerbi that well for me a big advantage of merabase is that it is
a) open source: means you can participate and improve it and drive change. And because it’s open source it is for free what is a huge benefit for small businesses or NGOs.
b) it is more “lean” than a lot of other systems i know, it provides what i need without a huge package of unnecessary other things.

You might just need to try it with your real database to see if it fits your requests :slight_smile:

1 Like

Related topic: Metabase vs Redash

Building on the cost perspective. Tableau needs a much bigger server than Metabase to run well. It’s difficult to do much for less than £2000 per year in licensing.
PowerBI looks great at first (£8 per user per month), but once you start to do anything clever it very quickly switches to the hosted model at £XXXX per month plus user licences. Ignore the free licence unless you’re one person working on their own.

I don’t do much with Tableau, but I have done a lttle with PowerBI.
PowerBI is prettier at the moment and does a very nice job of working with multiple data sources. The data exploration is weak compared to Metabase, though you do get proper drilldown and can select by clicking charts rather than having to use parameters.
PowerBI’s greatest weakness is when it comes to sharing your work - you export to PowerPoint to view a picture of your work. Metabase’s option of sharing links is far more powerful.

I would add that, in my experience, PowerBI gives you an incredible amount of granular control over properties as well; the flip side is, as noted by @AndrewMBaines, you end up paying for it.

I’m a big fan of the interactive filtering though:

I’m a long time (on and off for 10 years) Tableau user and recent convert to Metabase. At my organization we use both, but for the most part, I think Metabase is superior.

Here are some key differences:

  • in Metabase, SQL queries is a first class concern for generating reports. In Tableau, SQL is at the modeling step and not easily accessible if you want to just write sql and get a chart.
  • Metabase offers drill-down on any dimension. Tableau required predefined drill paths with hierarchies. Sometimes hierarchies and can make things easier, but Metabase is more intuitive IMO.
  • Tableau has a ton more control over formatting. With Metabase, formatting is quite limited. Since the Metabase defaults are good, any further refinement in Tableau is likely a waste of time.
  • Data blending in tableau is a powerful feature but you need to know what you are doing. Not possible in metabase.
  • interactive dashboards in Tableau can be excellent but they are rarely intuitive. Keeping hour dashboards simple is often a better idea.
  • it is easy to find and hire people with Tableau experience. Metabase is still niche (though one of the most starred GitHub projects). We’ve hired Tableau people and they could pick up Metabase in no time, but they are sometimes resistant and often miss the power of Tableau. But their analyses are of similar if not higher quality.
  • tableau extracts are useful if your underlying dB is slow. No equivalent with metabase
2 Likes