Metabase vs. Tableau
Which is right for my team?

Metabase is the easy-to-use business intelligence tool with the friendly UX that lets everyone in your team to work with data.

Trusted by over 60,000 companies

What's the difference between Metabase and Tableau

Tableau has a steeper learning curve than Metabase. People (even non-technical or data-savvy folks) actually like using Metabase, because it’s easier to learn, meaning they’re more likely to run reports and get data on their own.

What makes Metabase a good choice compared to Tableau?

  • Easy to use for everyone. With intuitive tools like interactive dashboards with quick drill-through analyses, the query builder to write questions without SQL, and one-click-to-create charts.
  • Open source and affordable. Transparent pricing for startups through to advanced functionality and support for Enterprise.
  • Super fast to set up and integrate with what’s in your stack. Go from install to creating your first dashboard in less than 5 minutes. No technical skills or data team required.
  • Help from our world class Success team. Technical experts who help with everything from troubleshooting to advice on best practices. Customers love them.
  • Private and secure. We never look at or copy your data. And we prioritize privacy and security features to secure data access in your org, like SSO and fine-grained permissions.

When might Tableau be a better fit than Metabase?*

  • You’re an enterprise-level company working with large, complex data sets, with a robust data team to manage your BI program.
  • You have a very generous budget
  • You only want some of your people querying your data
  • You need advanced data visualization, including super sophisticated chart types, advanced analytics, predictive modeling, and integration with statistical languages like R and Python.
  • You need extensive customization options for tailored dashboards and reports.
  • You pledge allegiance to Salesforce

*For the record... Metabase also supports a number of happy enterprise-level customers for all their business intelligence needs - and for some, just the self-service part of their analytics program in addition to tools like Tableau.
(We’re trying to present a somewhat balanced view here, but c’mon, it’s still our website 😏)

Frequently asked questions

When is Metabase a better choice than Tableau?

Metabase is best suited for businesses that need a straightforward way for everyone in the team to self-serve analytics. BI that your team will actually enjoy using, at the right price for your scale.

When is Tableau a better choice than Metabase?

Credit where it’s due - Tableau can be a good fit for larger enterprises or orgs with more extensive data analysis needs, deep pockets, and a lower need for everyone in the org to be able to jump in and run their own reports. It’s got all the bells and whistles - and depending on the maturity of your org, your use case and needs, it may be more than you need.

Who uses Metabase over Tableau?

Metabase is trusted by over 60,000 companies with their analytics, from startups who need their first business intelligence tool through to Enterprises. Metabase open source is the go-to choice for founders and solo-developers to let their teams get answers from data on their own so they’re not running the same reports once a month. Metabase Pro and Enterprise is generally chosen by CTOs, CPOs, Heads of Data who have been there, done that with every other BI tool on the market and need a way to make self-service analytics actually happen.

What use cases do Metabase and Tableau cover?

Metabase and Tableau both cater to internal analytics, as well as interactive embedded analytics for customers.

Metabase is ideal for quick, intuitive data exploration that lets people in your company click around in interactive dashboard and visualizations to learn from data, or create queries with or without SQL.

Tableau may be better suited for complex data analysis and putting detailed visualizations in front of customers.

What’s the differences in pricing between Metabase and Tableau?

Metabase is open source with affordable plans available for additional security and governance features, cloud deployment, and fast, unlimited technical help from engineers.

Tableau’s pricing is generally higher with user-based licensing with various pricing tiers depending on the use case.

Do you need to know SQL to use Metabase or Tableau?

Metabase and Tableau both let data analysts work in SQL; and less technically savvy people ask questions without SQL.

Metabase lets people ask questions with or without needing to know SQL. The intuitive Query Builder lets non-technical or data savvy people put together analyses with clicks - no SQL necessary. Analysts and data people who prefer to write SQL can fill their boots in the SQL editor.

How do Metabase and Tableau compare in terms of visualization capabilities?

Metabase and Tableau give people a way to visualize their data and make sense of the numbers. But Metabase is so much more than just a visualization tool. For people who feel like they’re seeing double when staring at columns, it’s an intuitive way to filter and summarize to uncover trends and get insights to make data-driven decisions.

Ok, give it to me straight though - what’s the best Business Intelligence tool?

There’s no right or wrong answers here. It will generally depend on your use case, how much you want people to be able to learn from data and run reports on their own without depending on your data team; your preferred data stack, how fast you need to get up and running, your budget, and more.

Again, there’s no “right” answer, but just sayin’ - Metabase will let everyone on your team work with data, integrates with your preferred data tools, gets up and running in 5 minutes flat, and suits all budgets (and you can try it for free).

Have more questions? We’d be happy to help.
Talk to a person

“It's the first time in my years working in data that I saw non-technical business users create their own dashboards and analytics in our BI platform, all made possible because of Metabase’s user friendly and intuitive data exploration and dashboarding capabilities.”

Photo of Dobo Radichkov

Dobo Radichkov

Chief Data Officer, Holland & Barrett