Tableau vs. Google Data Studio: Which is Better for Your Business?

Data visualization is important for your business and using effective data visualization tools is necessary for its success. Two of the most popular data visualization tools are Tableau and Google Data Studio (GDS).

So, how do you decide if Tableau or GDS is best for your business?

On this page, we’ll share the details about each data visualization tool and offer suggestions to help you pick which tool is best. If you need help creating your data visualizations, call us today at 888-601-5359 to speak with a strategist.

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Tableau basics

Tableau is one of the most popular data visualization tools, and it focuses on using data analytics to help you create visualizations that work for your business. Tableau makes it easy to create and distribute visual data.

The benefits of Tableau

Tableau helps you gain insights into dynamics, trends, and other important business data. You can organize your data systems by file formats, relational and nonrelational data systems, and cloud systems. It simplifies combining all your data sources to create a visual representation of your data, also known as data blending.

Tableau offers a large variety of visuals to depict your data, even if you don’t know all the ropes. If a developer is struggling to use the tool, there are training videos, blogs, and forums to help answer any questions or address issues.

This data visualization tool is straightforward. You import data, build your visualization, share it, and publish it. It’s that easy!

The downfalls of Tableau

While this data visualization tool offers numerous formats, including desktop, online, and server, this data visualization tool is meant to be used on a desktop computer.

It is also difficult to share your data with external clients. Tableau makes it easy to share your data within your company, but it is challenging to share it with your clients. This can make it difficult for your business to provide your clients with data.

Tableau also has limited compatible programs. It can connect to Google Analytics, Google BigQuery, Google Cloud SQL, and Google Sheets, but it cannot connect to Google Ads, Attribution, or YouTube Analytics. You will have to use third-party tools to connect with these features.

Tableau pricing

Tableau offers different types of pricing models. The price depends on your business’s needs.

1. For individuals

For individuals, there is one package option. It costs $70 per month per user. This package offers Tableau Desktop, Tableau Prep, and on Creator license of Tableau Server or Tableau Online.

2. For teams and organizations

There are multiple types of packages available for teams and organizations. These packages are divided by deployment options.

3. Public cloud

Groups can get Tableau Creator for $70 per user per month, which include Tableau Desktop, Prep, and Server. There is also an option for Tableau Explorer for $35 per user per month, which only includes Tableau Server. Lastly, there is Tableau Viewer or $12 per user per month with Tableau Server.

4. Hosted fully by Tableau

Teams and organization can access Tableau Creator for $70 per user per month. You can also get Tableau Explorer for $42 per month per user, which includes Tableau Online. Tableau Viewer also includes Tableau online for $15 per month per user.

Google Data Studio basics

GDS is a web-based reporting and visualization tool. This is a new tool that you can use to create visuals for your data.

The benefits of GDS

GDS is a great tool for your business. This data visualization makes it easy to put your dashboard together. You can take raw data and turn it into interactive visualizations.

This program makes it easy for your business to access data through data connectors. All you must do is pick your visual, drag and drop it into the report, and set up the metrics for it.

One of the unique and beneficial features of GDS is that multiple people can work on the same data visualization. Like other Google programs, the tool allows more than one team member to work simultaneously to create and edit data visualization, which promotes collaboration.

In addition, GDS functions with other Google products. You can connect it to products like Google Drive and Google Ads.

The drawbacks of GDS

One of the biggest drawbacks is that it is a web-based visualization tool, which means that it is dependent upon your Internet connection.

If you don’t have a strong Internet connection, you will struggle to use GDS. There isn’t a downloadable version of this program. If you want to use GDS, you need a strong Internet connection.

Another downfall of this tool is that it is a beta version and many things aren’t supported by this visualization tool. It can be challenging to use if you need more features than what GDS offers.

When you use GDS, there is no support for rich interactivity on your Google Data Studio reports. You can’t focus in on visuals or look deeper into data.

There is also limited customization with this visualization tool. You can only use about 50 functions, which is small compared to other programs like Tableau.

GDS pricing

One of the best things about GDS is the price. GDS is free for people who have a Google Analytics account, and there are no additional costs to use GDS.

Which is better: Tableau or GDS?

Each visual data program has their benefits and their drawbacks. This makes it challenging to figure out which one is best for your business. Here are a few points to consider when you are debating which one to choose for your business.

1. Web vs. desktop

When you are considering which program to use, you need to think about where you want to use it. Tableau is primarily meant to be used on a desktop, while Google operates on the web.

If you have a strong Internet connection, GDS is a good data visualization tool to consider. Tableau is a good tool to use if you don’t want to rely on connecting to the Internet. Decide which is functionality is more important to your business and which will work better with your campaign.

2. Price

Pricing is always an important factor. You need to consider your budget and think about how much you can spend on a data visualization tool.

Tableau has numerous pricing packages depending upon which version you use. None of these pricing packages are below $500. If you use the most favorable version of Tableau, you’re looking at $999 to $1999 a year for the program.

GDS is free. If you already use Google Analytics, you have access to this tool. This makes it a more cost-effective option for your business if your budget is tight.

3. Types of visualizations

When choosing your data visualization tool, consider the types of visualization each program enables you to make. You should create visuals that resonate with your audience and get your message across. Consider what types of visuals you need to make, so you can figure out the right data visualization tool.

Tableau is a more developed program than GDS, so it has far more visualization options. GDS focuses on the basic visualizations, like pie and bar charts.

If you want to keep your visualizations simple, GDS is a great option. For more complicated visualizations, you’ll need to rely on Tableau.

4. Connectivity to other programs

There are many moving parts to your digital marketing plan. It is ideal to create the most streamlined process possible for your business to help make it easier. If this is something important to your business, you need to consider how that factors into your data visualization tools.

Tableau is more limited on connections to other programs. GDS is more flexible and enables you to connect to programs like Google Ads and YouTube Analytics, which you can’t use with Tableau. To use these programs on Tableau, you must download a third-party compatible extension.

When choosing the right data visualization tool for your business, you need to consider how you are connecting your campaign. It will affect which data visualization tool is best for your business.


WebFX can help you build better data visualizations for your business

Data visualization is an important part of your business. You need the right tools to present your data. At WebFX, we know how to use data visualization tools to help your business present your data better.

Our team has more than 25 years of experience working on various aspects of digital marketing plans. We’re a full-service digital marketing company that specializes in data visualization. We’ll help you create visualizations to work for your business.

If you want a company that drives results, look no further than WebFX. To date, we’ve driven over $3 billion in sales and over 7.8 million leads for our clients. We focus on driving client success first.

Our clients love the work we do for them. In fact, we have over 1,020 client testimonials from a variety of industries. Check them out to see what our clients are saying about the work we do at WebFX!

Create your data visualizations today

If you want to build better data visualizations, contact us online or call us today at 888-601-5359 to speak with a strategist.

We look forward to helping your business grow!