Creating detailed reports and data visualization is crucial in businesses that want to closely monitor its performance and predict trends and outcomes.

For many years, business intelligence software products such as Tableau have been the go-to solutions of organizations for creating reports and data visualization.

In 2016, Google introduced Google Data Studio. This new tool lets Google users generate reports with data visualizations that can be shared with different clients.

Tableau is a serious competitor when it comes to the reporting and data visualization industry, but Google is well-famed for creating top-of-the-line products.

Will Tableau’s time tested BI solutions still be better than Google Data Studio? Or is Google’s fresh take on a data visualization tool better than the traditional choice?

If you’ve already narrowed your software search down to Google Data Studio and Tableau, read on. Otherwise, browse other options using our Product Selection Tool. Our knowledgeable Technology Advisors will send you a free, no-hassle shortlist of the best BI software for your specific needs. Getting started is easy and takes less than five minutes

A brief introduction to Tableau and Google Data Studio

Tableau is an award-winning BI software currently owned by Salesforce. This BI software lets users access business data and create interactive data visual reports from it. Users can analyze and share these visual reports.

Google Data Studio is a free reporting tool from Google. It lets users create dashboards that can be shared with others. Google Data Studio can be integrated with other Google tools for analysis.

Feature comparison of Tableau vs. Google Data Studio

Creating dashboards 

Tableau makes creating dashboards much easier for users. Users can effortlessly modify and customize dashboards with its drag-and-drop function. These dashboards can be published and shared with other members of the organization.

Google Data Studio lets users without programming background create dashboards. Automated data dashboards can also be shared within an organization with this reporting tool.


Tableau users can securely share information and easily collaborate with other members of the organization with the use of dashboards created with Tableau. The collaboration tools provide security settings that let report builders choose who can view, edit, and delete the visualizations.

Read also: Qlik vs. Tableau: Comparison Of Key Differences

Google Data Studio works like other Google tools, such as Google Sheets. Team members can collaborate and work on dashboards simultaneously. Changes made during collaboration are saved in real-time. The software also provides user permissions to determine who has view or edit access to each of the reports.

Data visualization 

According to its users, one of the best features of Tableau is its data visualization capabilities. Creating interactive data visualization is made easy by Tableau because of its drag-and-drop ability. Even complex data can be simplified through the data visualization feature of Tableau.

Customizable charts and graphs can also be created through Google Data Studio. Users can customize colors, images, and even logos with this data visualization. In addition, viewers can choose what they want to see on a report.

Mobile access 

Tableau comes with a mobile app companion called Tableau Mobile which makes the BI software accessible from mobile devices. All of the reports and embedded analytics features are available for viewing on mobile devices, as well.

Mobile-friendly reports can be created with Google Data Studio. These reports may also be accessed and viewed from a mobile device as long as it has a web browser. However, users must build reports on a desktop or web browser.

Data analysis 

Tableau lets companies analyze how their business is doing through meticulous data analysis. With data analytics from Tableau, the business can see trends and predict possible outcomes based on the patterns.

Google Analytics may be added to Google Data Studio in order to analyze the web performance of a business. While Google Data Studio has analysis capabilities, users will need to clean and segment their data before entering it into Data Studio, whereas Tableau offers these features in the interface.

Data sources and integration possibilities 

Cloud-based data sources are integrable with Tableau via native integrations or over the Tableau API. Other integrations for Tableau include some Google Suite of products like Google Analytics, Google Cloud SQL and Google BigQuery.

Since Google Data Studio is a product of Google, you can expect that it can be integrated with all Google products. You can also upload CSV files and connect over 150 partner apps. 

Additional factors to consider before making your final choice

Before signing up for a data visualization tool for your company, you might want to consider that Tableau has more inherent business intelligence capabilities than Google Data Studios.

For example, Tableau allows courtesy data joining and lets users see multiple data sources in a single chart. Tableau also has data blending functions, while Google Data Studios doesn’t. Tableau also offers more calculation functions than Google Data Studios.

Since Tableau has been on the market for a longer period of time, its community is far more responsive than Google Data Studios. It might be easier to ask help from other users of Tableau than users of Google Data Studios.

But then again, when Google Data Studio was launched, it had limited capabilities compared to Tableau. It only allowed a limited number of reports to be created. Google Data Studio wasn’t even available to every Google user back then. Now, Google Data Studios has drastically improved and already has some capabilities that can be compared to BI software vendors as Tableau.

Although Tableau seems to be the better choice for now, Google Data Studios can quickly expand its features to match what Tableau has to offer.

So, what’s your choice?

Both Tableau and Google Data Studios have the necessary features a reliable reporting and data visualization tool can have. The main difference is the extent of these capabilities.

Google Data Studios could be the better choice for small to medium sized businesses. This reporting tool can efficiently handle the reporting, analytics, and data visualization tasks, and the Google interface will be familiar to many users who already invest in the Google Suite. Best of all, access to Google Data Studios is free. It can be the better choice for startup businesses, too.

If you are handling a large, established business and have a vast amount of data to analyze, Tableau might still be the better choice. Tableau has solid expertise in data analysis and visualization. There’s a good reason big international companies such as Johnson & Johnson and Comcast trust Tableau to do business intelligence tasks for them.

If you want more BI software options, use our Product Selection Tool to get five free recommendations.