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Post By Admin Last Updated At 2022-03-16
A Comprehensive Comparison of Tableau and Google Data Studio

tableau vs google data studio

BI tools are essential for extracting insights from user data in a business. These technologies assist analysts in delving deep into data, exploring, visualizing. Further, presenting it in a format that allows top management to make decisions. These tools allow you to create custom dashboards and reports without having to know how to code. They also make it possible to schedule reports for certain times and audiences.

All these functions need them being continually linked to and querying many databases. As a result, connectivity support for a variety of databases. As well as data manipulation skills become an important concern when evaluating BI solutions.

In this blog, we test and contrast two of the most useful BI products. They are Google Data Studio vs Tableau.

What is Tableau?

Tableau was originally offered to the market in May 2013, and it hasn't looked back. But, since collecting $250 million in its first public offering on the NYSE. It now leads Gartner's magic quadrant in B.I. is the best visualization tool. It is the most powerful and fastest-growing Visualization tool in the industry. So, including charts. E.g., Bubble, Dual-axis, Gantt, Box plot, and Geographical charts, when compared to any other tool on the market.

Its entire product suite is consist of the following categories of products:

Tableau Desktop



reader and server

Each product kind has a distinct and sometimes contradictory function. The Desktop/Public versions allow for the creation of visualizations. But, the Online/Server version allows for the sharing and publishing of Reports with editable working sheets. Further, the Reader version is for viewing. It has a wealth of abilities. It enables you to code and creates any bespoke visuals. So, this is by combining many datasets to create a Dashboard or a Storyboard.

Do you want to know why it's such a powerful tool? It connects to 60+ data sources. So, it can change data in a variety of ways. As well, add any type of Visuals into it through coding and customization. In Live/Extract mode, where execution is by working users. So, it manages millions and trillions of records. As a result, the developers have supplied a limitless number of adjustable features. Hence, leaving it up to the end-user to decide how to use it.

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What is Google Data Studio?

Looking back at GDS's history in Cloud Services, it was officially introduced in 2016. This, followed by a Beta version in 2018. This tool welcomes newcomers to have a good grasp and exposure to Report creation. Google's Data Studio is completely free; all you have to do is log in with your Google credentials. Time series, Pie charts, Line, Area, Scatter charts, and other sophisticated charts. These are a few of the configurable Reports that can create using GDS.

This is the finest economic tool. So, especially if you are a freelancer, take out the Analytics in the best form and offer the same to your end-user. Thus, allowing you to save money and manage the project well. More than 60% of start-ups and freelancers, believe it or not, rely on Google Data Studio for reporting. 

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Key Differences

In the following sections, we'll look at some distinctions between both

User-Interface Design:

The user experience in both is clear and specific. Tableau is more effective than Google Data Studio. Because it has more possibilities and a larger scope for doing any operation. Making a dashboard on Tableau is immeasurable and best to Google Data Studio.


GDS has limits when it comes to connecting with data sources. Because it only allows us to connect to a limited number of connections. But, whereas Tableau has a much larger number of connections, namely 60+.

Need for Business:

Tableau offers the broadest business scope, as it provides end-to-end dashboard creation. But, whereas GDS provides a part of the service. Tableau is useful for firms and mid-sized businesses. But, whereas GDS is useful for startups and freelancers.

Support from the community:

Tableau features a larger community support area. So, here each posted question will receive a response in under 24 hours. Community is not that par in GDS, but it does provide you with meaningful solutions on time.

Features of Tableau

It began as a desktop application. But, it now offers a cloud-hosted experience as well. It is to construct custom dashboards. So, it excels at performing more in-depth exploratory data analysis. It has connectors for a wide variety of data sources and most of them allow live connections. It has its data transformation module called Tableau prep. So, this includes the creator license.

Features of Google Data Studio

Google Data Studio is a cloud-based service. So, it allows users to connect to a variety of data sources to build dashboards and reports. Since it's a Google service, it works with everything. So, including Google Analytics and Google BigQuery. It takes on the features of other Google services that pertain to sharing. Thus, making it simple to share reports and dashboards with others. It also supports popular on-premise data sources. E.g., MySQL, besides cloud-based data sources.

Google Data Studio vs Tableau

Now that we have a basic grasp of both of these tools' capabilities. So, let's go a little deeper and see how they compare to the traditional criteria used to test BI products.

The following criteria will use to compare both:

On-premise vs. cloud-based installation methods

Tableau, as before stated, allows both types of installations. It can installs as part of an on-premise server. Further, it can develop using the Tableau desktop program. It also gives cloud-savvy users the flexibility of a fully managed hosted environment.

Google Data Studio is a cloud-based service, and when you use it, your data will send to the Google cloud. Tableau is preferable for firms with strong data security rules. Further, mandates to keep data on their premises for this reason alone.

Data Interactivity and Data Exploration

Both techs allow analysts to engage with data and study it through respective interfaces. When compared to GDS, Tableau offers a more collection of exploration & charting options. It has an advantage in this field if you need to interact with your data using hard functions. Tableau enables additional interaction in reporting. Both of these features, but, need professional developers to use. This brings us to the learning curve associated with these instruments.

Learning Curve and Developmental Ease

GDS can only handle a limited number of complicated functions and interactions. When compared to Tableau, this means the learning curve is less steep. So, this is a significant benefit for firms that need to set up simple dashboards and reports.

Tableau has a steeper learning curve. So, it requires professional analysts to use its capabilities.


It's quite clear to share reports in Tableau with another Tableau user within the business. Once the dashboard is published, any user with Tableau access can see it. Sharing info with an external client or user, but, might be a more difficult operation. You can save data to a PDF or an Excel file, but this isn't the best option.

It's as easy to share reports on GDS as it is to share a Google Doc or Sheet. It's as simple as clicking the "share" button and sharing it with everyone who has a Google account. Of course, like with other Google apps, you can grant editing or 'view only' capabilities.

Support for Database Connectors

All Google techs, including GA, and Firebase, are tightly integrated with Data Studio. In the case of GDS, native support for alternative cloud-based data sources restriction. The same is for the majority of file-based data sources. Google Data Studio, for example, still doesn't support excel files. Converting to CSV or a Google Sheet document is the only method to use them. Google's partner program allows community connectors to create for Data Studio. The majority of them pay for services.

Tableau, but, supports most databases, file-based formats, and cloud-based data sources. Such as Salesforce.

Features of Collaboration

Data Studio inherits the access control and sharing capabilities of regular Google products. Thus, making granular sharing a breeze to use.

Tableau's server also allows for sharing, but it's not as straightforward to use as Google's. Yet, functionality, both of them are as well-placed.


Along with the Google Cloud Platform, Google Data Studio is now available for free.

Tableau is available in a variety of licenses. So, with viewer licenses starting at $15 per month and creative licenses starting at $70 per month. At least one creator license will need for each deployment.


With its creator license, Tableau delivers an add-on tool called Tableau Prep. Before creating dashboards and reports, use prep for all transformation needs.

Google's transformation capabilities have a limit. The JOIN operation, which is to combines data from several sources. So, it is the sole meaningful change available. Tableau is more feature-rich than Data Studio when it comes to transformation.

Real-time updates are available

Real-time updates for certain data sources based on APIs are present for both. In the case of GDS, manual refreshes need for static file-based data sources. The necessity for manual refresh can cut with some custom code and app scripting. In such cases, Tableau enables scheduled extracts. It gives dashboards and reports which update in near real-time. For the case of real-time ETL outside of the Google app environment. It has an advantage over Google Sheets.

When Is Google Data Studio Suitable?

To summarise the previous info, GDS may be a suitable fit for your firm. So, if your use case meets the majority of the following criteria:

You need to create a small dashboard using restricted data sources.

Google tools are the foundation of your development stack.

Before reporting on the data, you don't need to perform any hard changes.

Your architecture is mostly cloud-based. So, you don't mind having your data stored elsewhere.

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When Should You Use Tableau?

If your request fits most of the requirements below. So, it may be worth considering:

Your system makes use of a variety of on-premise and cloud-based data sources. Thus, the majority of them are not part of the Google ecosystem.

You need help with difficult transformations.

You have a specialized business analysis team. Further, they can take advantage of Tableau's suave features.

You don't mind spending money on BI software. Also, they are willing to pay-per-user licensing fees.


Tableau and Google Data Studio can both handle the most common BI use cases. But, there are differences in the types of data sources, the extent of changes, and the learning curve.

To summarise, GDS is a far more clean and simple application that, in every sense, looks and feels current. Because it is also free, GDS is a godsend for many small and medium-sized businesses.

Tableau, but, should perform well for you if you are a huge firm with no HR or financial limits. Further, you need to work with sophisticated data.

Database connector support is still insufficient in both tools. Further, there is no native support for many cloud-based services.

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