Use this cost calculator to compare the monthly and annual licensing cost between Power BI and Tableau. We further break down what each licensing tier means to help you make an informed decision before deciding on which business intelligence tool is right for your organization.
Determining the most cost-effective business intelligence solution for your organization can be challenging. We explain the different licensing plans and provide a cost comparison calculator to determine the difference between the monthly and annual costs of Power BI compared to Tableau to help you make a more informed decision.
Power BI vs Tableau Cost Calculator
The following calculator is updated with current Power BI and Tableau monthly per user pricing. Pricing is subject to change. We recommend working with a Microsoft or Salesforce (Tableau) sales specialist to determine exact pricing for your organization.
Enter in the number of licenses expected for each tier and the calculator will populate with monthly, annual costs and the difference between the two platforms.
Read below for more information on what each license type includes.
All prices are for the United States region and listed in USD.
To help understand what each license includes and how many you might need, here is the breakdown for each.
Power BI Licensing Tiers
Power BI offers several different price points that unlock access to different features. The Power BI Pro license is the most common at $10 per user per month, it is also included in Microsoft 365 E5 enterprise licenses.
The licenses are:
- Free – Power BI Desktop to design reports and learn, cannot share reports with others.
- Pro – Minimum requirement to share reports and view reports shared with you
- Premium – Includes additional features targeted at enterprise, such as support for larger datasets.
- Premium Capacity – Dedicated compute resources, eliminates need for individual viewer licenses
- Fabric (Premium Capacity Add-On) – Data science and data integration add-ons
From the Microsoft Power BI Pricing Website:
Make sure to check the latest Pricing & Product Comparison | Microsoft Power BI as prices are subject to change. We also recommend working with a Microsoft Sales Representative if you are considering a large deployment.
Power BI Premium Capacity should also be considered for cost savings above 500 viewers per month, or if you want to avoid having to manage individual viewer license which can become burdensome.
Tableau Licensing Tiers
Tableau offers several different price points based on user roles. The viewer license is the most common and required to view and share reports. Creator and Explorer licenses are required for those that are building and editing reports.
- Creator – Required for creating dashboards, includes Tableau Prep for advanced data transformations.
- Explorer – Provides the ability to edit and make minor changes to pre-existing reports published by Creators
- Viewer – Required for viewing and interacting with published reports
From the Tableau Pricing Website:
Make sure to check the latest Product and Pricing Selector | Tableau from Salesforce as prices are subject to change. We also recommend working with a Microsoft Sales Representative if you are considering a large deployment.
Power BI vs Tableau Cost Comparison
The calculator at the top of the page will help you determine the difference between monthly and annual costs for each of these platforms. As with anything, there is some nuance to pricing and overall price should not be your only guiding factor prior to making a purchasing decision.
Some additional things to consider are:
- Experience of existing work force – if a data visualization team already exists using Tableau the incremental cost of licensing could be offset by not having to re-train employees on a new platform.
- The scale of deployment – A $5 (USD) per month difference in licensing to view reports is different when an organization has 10 employees compared to 1,000.
- Capabilities – Both systems offer advanced features like AI analysis and data integration tools to work with and transform complex datasets but go about it in very different ways. Tableau Prep can be much easier to use than Power Query and covers many capabilities of more expensive enterprise software like Alteryx.
Both systems are easy to get started with but each can get complicated when working with complex data models. From a pure licensing standpoint, Power BI will be less expensive. However, there could be capabilities in Tableau that make it easier to use and provide more value for your organization’s specific needs.
Understanding Renewal Costs and Terms
While we’re not aware of anything specific to these specific platforms, it’s generally a good practice to understand what the billing term and renewal costs are. For large deployments, software sales people may offer you an enticing introductory price which renews at full price.
Make sure to ask lots of questions prior to signing up for either platform, as it can become prohibitively expensive to migrate from one platform to another due to the labor cost required to re-create a large number of reports and re-train employees.
Tableau pricing is typically listed with annual billing in mind, while Microsoft pricing is per user per month.
Tableau and Power BI are both excellent platforms for business intelligence, creating dashboards, and publishing reports. We hope our cost calculator helps you make a more informed decision prior to making a purchasing decision.
While determining which product to purchase for your business keep in mind additional factors, such as existing employee skillsets, ease of use, and any specific features that are must haves. Work across departments to understand where data is, how much of it you need to work with and think through the potential future data needs of your company in the next several years as the cost to switch platforms can far exceed the difference in licensing costs.