By :

Rashi Vaidya

May 07, 2020

Business Intelligence

Google vs Microsoft: Battle Of The Heavyweights In The Business Intelligence Space

A picture speaks a thousand words. In the world of

Business Intelligence (BI)

a Chart, Graph, or an Infographic brings data to life and manages to convey insightful information more effectively. With the huge amount of data that businesses have access to daily, it becomes important to have the right kind of visualization tools that make this data easy to consume and understand. Today, there are several data visualization tools available in the market. You can choose the perfect one for your business based on factors such as budget, type of data sources and inputs, and interactivity required, among others. Microsoft’s Power BI and Google Data Studio are two of the more popular data visualization solutions. 


Here is a brief comparison of the two:


What is it?

Microsoft’s suite of data visualization and business intelligence tools, Power BI can easily analyze, transform, and visualize data into engaging visual reports. It lets you make informed decisions, connect, model, and explore data with visual reports. These can then be collaborated, published, and shared. 

Who is it for?

If you need to perform a lot of data crunching at work using Excel, then Power BI is probably the perfect tool for you since it seamlessly integrates with most other tools in Microsoft’s business suite. It mostly empowers data analysts and business intelligence professionals in creating data models before they disseminate reports throughout the organization.

What’s ‘WOW’ about it? 

  • User-friendly interface and excellent data visualization capabilities.
  • Integration with other Microsoft tools such as Excel, SQL Server.
  • Free version available with limited storage and capabilities. Paid Pro plan offers more storage, faster refresh cycles, and collaboration capabilities.
  • Creates a single data model from hundreds of different types of data sources.
  • It allows you to perform complex operations easily.

What’s ‘MEH’ about it?

  • Third-party visuals cannot be exported to PowerPoint.
  • It could be challenging if you are not an extensive user of Excel and other Microsoft tools.


What is it?

It is a free data visualization tool that can create a wide variety of custom visual reports. It is for the power users wanting to go beyond data and dashboards of Google Analytics. The widgets are well known for variety, customization options, live data, and interactive controls. After Google announced free, unlimited Data Studio reports in February 2017, the free version has added many powerful features and usability enhancements.

Who is it for?

Since Google Data Studio is free, it’s a great option for small entrepreneurs and startups. It helps business owners and managers who are bombarded with large volumes of data regularly. This cutting-edge solution enables the generation of reports, helps the users gain actionable insights, and thereby make smarter decisions.

What’s ‘WOW’ about it?

  • Again, it’s absolutely free!
  • Easy to use, out-of-the-box tips, and helps create simple charts.
  • If you already have a Google account, the setup becomes quicker and simpler.
  • It’s intuitive and has UI elements similar to other Google services like AdWords, Google Analytics, or Google Tag Manager. 
  • It is easily integrated with other Google tools.
  • You can upload data from many other data sources as well.
  • It offers more than 100 data connectors.

What’s ‘MEH’ about it?

  • Sometimes, connections with third-party data sources can be tricky, and the data does not show up accurately, which can lead to wrong insights.
  • Not much provision for cleaning up the rough data that needs to be visualized, since it works best with data that’s already processed.

So who wins finally?

While both Power BI and Google Data Studio have many distinctive features, they offer similar output overall. If budget is a limitation and data clean-up is not an issue, you can choose to go with Google Data Studio. On the other hand, if complex data conversion from multiple sources other than the Google suite of offerings is what you are after, then Power BI is what you need. For more information on this suite of services and their benefits, visit NVISH Solutions.

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