Your Guide to Software Selection

Tableau vs. Microstrategy

Want to compare Tableau vs. Microstrategy to see which is the better BI software for you? Both Tableau and Microstrategy have been actively useful in the BI space for a while, and have attracted their own proponents, while generating quite a lot of analytical debate. There is a consensus that each of these platforms has its own strengths and potential drawbacks, and that each can be useful in its own capacity.

Different Operational Models

First, the two platforms work on different models and formats.

Tableau promotes its platform in three different versions — Tableau Desktop works on individual workstations, and Tableau Server operates through a company network. A third offering, Tableau Online, is a cloud-based service. So companies can choose whether to have Tableau on resident computers, or whether to stream it throughout the intranet, or deliver it through the cloud.

Tableau Online is a popular choice that can be viewed through a mobile interface or web browser. In addition to these choices, Tableau promotes its active community of users, as a resource for discovering more about this BI option.

The model for Microstrategy is evident from the company’s visual layout of its platform overview. A metadata repository links to various types of devices, from Windows or Mac computers to iOS or Android mobile devices. Applications and other components attach into this central repository, with a variety of tools and services laid out for customer evaluation.


Each offering also promotes its own range of features. Tableau is enthusiastic about its capability for single sign-on security, its universal mobile access, and its dashboard design.

There are also specific features that often get mentioned in rave reviews of Tableau — some of them are related to the ability to push data into web formats, which is helpful for various kinds of marketing and outreach. There’s also functionality to create customized data operations for individual clients and customers. Other key aspects of the Tableau platform involve the ability to make quick changes or provide alternatives for data results that help to drive data use on the fly.

Microstrategy promotes tools for data discovery, enterprise reporting and real-time telemetry, in addition to mobile operations and versatile dashboards. The platform also offers tools such as Intelligent Cubes that help to direct work with relational databases. There is also an ability to use metrics as attributes, which can improve the ways that company leaders use developed analytics in this platform.

Other features in Microstrategy relate to the interface results for data: although it is seen as a relatively complex tool in general, some engineering designs let users get more from data. For example, there is the ability to add reference lines to scatter shot graphs, to make some visual results more easily understandable. In terms of recall, a Recently Viewed Objects feature helps guide users back to previously discovered results.

Tableau Top Benefits – and Limitations

Many reviewers would agree that the top benefits of the Tableau platform involve the ease-of-use, quick visual builds, and useful and transparent dashboard results that this BI tool is known for. Tableau can, in general, be used by nearly anyone without a lot of advanced technical knowledge. This, in a sense, makes this platform a leader for quick and easy analysis, and for creating visual results that a wider audience can use.

At the same time, it is hard to bill Tableau as a ‘full enterprise’ platform, or at least, a big data leader, based on existing analytical limitations. Some suggest that this tool should be combined with other more comprehensive big data handling offerings, especially for extremely large data sets.

Microstrategy Top Benefits – and Limitations

Microstrategy relies upon the breadth of its applications, the consistency of its repository-driven data handling processes, and its versatile relational database tools. A software development kit allows for customization and compatibility. There is also the ability to handle large and diverse data assets and provide enterprise-level handling and analysis.

At the same time, this platform can require more expertise in terms of formatting and displaying results. There is generally a bigger need to work with the interface tools to craft something that’s transparent and easily digestible. That means Microstrategy may be less useful for some kinds of tasks that are more aimed at pushing easily aggregated data points than really digging into a full field of enterprise data.

The above helps to characterize the attributes and appeal of each of these winning business intelligence systems for enterprise. Other concerns will relate to the compatibility of a platform within an IT architecture, the specific needs of a business, and cost. Use a platform engine like SelectHub to compare enterprise software choice side by side, and make selection easier.

SelectHubTableau vs. Microstrategy

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  • Possum Jones - April 13, 2017 reply

    idk when this article was written, but it seems to be right on the money whether it was 2007 or 2017.

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