AWS Quicksight vs. Tableau -Which is The Best BI Tool For You?

Business Intelligence (BI) tools are essential for making data-driven decisions. Two of the most popular options are Amazon Web Services (AWS) Quicksight and Tableau. But which one is best for you? This article will provide an in-depth comparison of AWS Quicksight and Tableau, covering a range of factors such as ease of use, data sources, pricing, and more.

We’ll also discuss some alternatives to these two BI tools and review them in terms of their pros and cons. By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of which BI tool is right for your business.

Overview of AWS Quicksight

If you’re looking for a cloud-based BI tool with pay-per-session pricing and basic visualizations, then AWS Quicksight might be the right choice for you.

It supports up to 15+ data sources and offers comprehensive security measures, including encryption of all traffic between your browser and Amazon's servers.

Data preparation is easy, as it allows users to cleanse, blend, transform, and publish in Aurora or S3 storage formats.

The user interface is simple to use and provides intuitive navigation features that make creating reports easier than ever before.

Additionally, data compression helps keep file sizes small so they can be easily shared without taking up too much space on a server.

Quicksight also has powerful reporting capabilities that allow users to quickly generate insightful visuals from their data.

All this makes AWS Quicksight an attractive solution for those who are just starting out with Business Intelligence tools or have limited requirements when it comes to data analytics projects.

Overview of Tableau

Tableau offers an extensive range of features and capabilities with its subscription and perpetual license pricing, advanced visualizations, collaboration tools, AI/ML integration, and more. Tableau supports over 100 data sources including popular cloud platforms like Amazon Web Services (AWS) as well as local databases.

It is designed to enable users to:

  • Extract data from multiple sources
  • Integrate it into the platform quickly and easily
  • Store it securely in one place
  • Explore complex datasets for deeper insights through interactive dashboards & reports
  • Analyze large volumes of information visually.
Feature Detail
Data Extraction Supports over 100 data sources including AWS Cloud Platforms & Local Databases
Data Integration Easy-to-use ETL process enabling rapid preparation of data for analysis
Data Storage Data stored in a secure environment allowing safe access across teams
Data Exploration Interactive Dashboards & Reports that provide rich insight into complex datasets
Data Analysis Visualize big data at scale using powerful analytics tools & predictive models

Tableau's key advantage lies in its ability to combine all these features seamlessly into one comprehensive BI solution. Its easy-to-use interface ensures even novice users can learn the tool quickly without any prior technical knowledge.

Additionally, its extensible architecture allows businesses to expand their solutions as needed while providing scalability and reliability when dealing with vast amounts of data.

This makes Tableau an ideal choice for mid-sized companies looking to get started with business intelligence or larger enterprises needing a scalable BI solution.

Ease of Use

When it comes to ease of use, Tableau offers a user-friendly interface that makes it easy for even novice users to quickly learn the tool without prior technical knowledge. The speed of setup is fast and intuitive as data processing time is minimized through specialized algorithms designed for specific chart types.

Furthermore, its interface design is highly optimized for both desktop and mobile devices with an emphasis on providing an exceptional user experience.

To further enhance its ease of use, Tableau provides various features such as:

  1. Fast setup times due to robust data processing capabilities
  2. Multiple chart types available in order to better visualize data
  3. An intuitive interface design tailored for both desktop and mobile device usage
  4. A comprehensive user experience that allows new users to quickly understand the software’s features

Data Sources

When it comes to data sources, Quicksight provides access to up to 15+ databases, like a smorgasbord of options compared to Tableau’s 100+.

The main difference between the two tools is that Quicksight offers basic data integration and only supports cloud storage services. At the same time, Tableau can leverage on-premise connectivity and enables users to blend different data sources.

Both tools support automatic data refreshing but Quicksight does not offer advanced data governance capabilities like Tableau does.

The following table summarizes the key features related to data sources for both AWS Quicksight and Tableau:

Feature AWS QuickSight Tableau
Data Sources Up To 15+ 100+
Data Refreshing Yes Yes
On-Premise Connectivity No Yes
Cloud Storage Yes Yes
Data Blending Limited Advanced

From the above table we can see that when choosing which tool best suits their needs, users must consider the extent of complex analysis they plan on doing with their datasets.

Unless they are dealing with very simple queries or small datasets, Quicksight may not be able to handle more detailed analyses due to its limited feature set when compared to Tableau.


In terms of pricing, QuickSight, and Tableau each offer distinct options to cater to various user requirements.

  • QuickSight Pricing: QuickSight provides flexible pricing options, including a pay-per-session model, which allows you to pay based on actual usage. For those seeking a more comprehensive solution, there’s the enterprise edition, which is designed to accommodate the needs of larger organizations. QuickSight also offers the benefit of cost savings, as you only pay for the sessions you use, making it a cost-effective choice for many users. Furthermore, they often have free trial periods available, giving you the chance to explore the platform before making a commitment.
  • Tableau Pricing: Tableau also offers a range of pricing choices, such as subscription-based plans. These subscription plans allow users to access Tableau for a specified duration, offering flexibility for different budgets and project needs. In addition to subscriptions, Tableau also provides perpetual licenses for those who prefer a one-time payment model. This variety of pricing options ensures that Tableau can meet the financial requirements of a broad user base, from individuals to large enterprises.
Pricing Comparison of QuickSight and Tableau
Feature Amazon QuickSight Tableau
Pricing Model Per-User Subscription Per-User Subscription
Basic User Types Reader, Author Viewer, Explorer, Creator
Reader Price $5 per month (Inactive users pay $0) $12 per month
Author Price $28 per month (Inactive users pay $0) $70 per month
User Capabilities Author: Data connection, visualization, advanced features, interactive dashboards Creator: Data flow and visualization in Tableau Desktop, advanced features
Reader: View, filter, drill down, export data as CSV Viewer: View and interact with published visualizations and dashboards
Explorer: Additional interactivity
Monthly Usage Pay based on active users Pay in full regardless of monthly usage
On-Premise Deployment No support for on-premise deployment On-premise deployment available for Creator, Viewer, and Explorer
Plans and Pricing Range $5 to $28 per user per month $12 to $70 per user per month


In terms of data preparation, both tools offer users the ability to quickly prepare large datasets for analysis. Data security is also a priority with both platforms, offering secure access control mechanisms and encryption capabilities.

When it comes to data analysis and visualization, Tableau offers more advanced features than Quicksight. It has an intuitive user interface that allows users to easily create custom charts and dashboards based on their preferences. Additionally, Tableau provides support for 100+ types of data sources and can be used for predictive analytics as well as AI/ML integration capabilities.

Quicksight’s strength lies in its ease of use and quick setup time. Its pre-built templates help users build visuals faster without having to go through complex configurations or customization processes. However, compared to Tableau, Quicksight lacks some key features such as dashboard sharing and AI/ML integration capabilities.

Overall, each platform offers unique strengths that should be considered when selecting the best BI tool for your needs.


Collaboration is a key factor to consider when selecting a business intelligence tool, with both platforms offering unique features in the area.

AWS Quicksight provides limited data sharing and collaboration tools but does offer user permissions for added security. It also has basic visualizations that can be used by multiple users working together on projects.

Tableau offers more extensive collaboration features, including advanced data-sharing capabilities and robust visualization tools. Additionally, it allows users to set detailed user permissions to control access to sensitive information, ensuring greater data security.

Both solutions support mobile devices and are suitable for various use cases; however, Tableau's advanced collaboration features make it an ideal choice for organizations looking for more powerful BI software.

Dashboard Sharing

A key distinction between the two platforms lies in their ability to share dashboards, with one offering basic sharing capabilities and the other providing advanced features. When it comes to dashboard sharing, AWS Quicksight offers flexible sharing options, enabling users to securely grant access to team members or external audiences. However, its data security is limited and there are not many user access levels that can be granted for shared dashboards.

On the other hand, Tableau provides a range of secure sharing options with multiple user access levels as well as extensive team collaboration capabilities. This allows organizations to easily control who has access to their shared dashboards and what type of information they can view or edit. Additionally, Tableau’s AI/ML integration makes it easier for users to identify patterns in large datasets and improve decision-making through predictive analytics.

All these features make Tableau a more comprehensive BI platform when it comes to dashboard sharing compared to AWS Quicksight.

AI/ML Integration

In addition to its advanced dashboard-sharing capabilities, Tableau also offers AI/ML integration, allowing users to leverage the power of machine learning and predictive analytics for improved decision making.

With AI/ML integration, businesses can gain a better understanding of their data and make more informed decisions. Here are some benefits of leveraging AI/ML integration with Tableau:

  • Automation Tools: AI/ML Integration provides automated tools such as Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Auto ML that enable faster data analysis. This allows businesses to quickly analyze large datasets without manual input or complex coding.
  • Machine Learning: The combination of machine learning models with Tableau’s visualizations gives users greater insights into their data than ever before. Users can create dynamic dashboards that update in real-time with new information from various sources.
  • Data Analysis: Leveraging AI features within Tableau makes it easier to detect patterns and identify trends in your data, giving you an edge over competitors who do not have access to these powerful tools. Additionally, this helps reduce the need for manual analysis which can be labor-intensive and time-consuming.
  • AI Features: Advanced AI features like anomaly detection help uncover hidden opportunities in data sets that would otherwise go undetected by traditional methods of analysis. This helps organizations stay ahead of the competition and make decisions based on meaningful insights they might have missed out on previously.

Overall, integrating AI/ML capabilities into Tableau is a great way to get the most out of your business intelligence toolset while staying competitive in today's market. With the right setup, businesses can unlock valuable insights from their data set using comprehensive automation tools and enhanced visualization options enabled by machine learning algorithms.

Mobile Support

Both tools offer mobile support, allowing users to access their data and dashboards on the go. AWS Quicksight and Tableau both provide mobile usability with app integrations for Apple and Android devices. This enables users to review their data and insights while away from a desktop computer.

Additionally, both platforms allow offline access, meaning users can still view updates in real-time even when an internet connection is not available. However, there are some device limitations that should be considered before relying solely on mobile usage. While most of the features remain accessible on a phone or tablet, some functions may be limited depending on screen size and resolution.

It is also important to note that larger datasets may take longer to load on smaller screens due to processing power constraints. Overall, both AWS QuickSight and Tableau have excellent mobile support options for users who need convenient access to their data analytics projects at any time. Depending on the user's needs, either platform could offer an ideal solution by providing easy navigation across multiple devices without sacrificing functionality or performance.

Use Cases

Just as a carpenter would not use a hammer for every job, the decision between AWS Quicksight and Tableau for Business Intelligence tools should be based on the specific use case.

Both solutions offer cloud-based storage capabilities with mobile support and basic visualizations but differ in terms of data sources, collaboration features, dashboard sharing options, AI/ML integration, pricing models, and user interface.

Regarding data analysis use cases such as customer behavior or market trends, both AWS Quicksight and Tableau provide extensive automation capabilities that can quickly process large datasets. However, Tableau offers 100+ different data sources compared to 15+ offered by Quicksight which makes it more suitable for complex projects that require multiple types of data sources.

Additionally, Tableau's advanced visualizations enable users to create powerful dashboards with ease while also offering extensive collaboration features like commenting and versioning.

Finally, when considering security features such as access control measures and encryption protocols and the cost-effectiveness of each platform’s subscription model or pay-per-session plans – plus their respective user interfaces – this will help inform the best BI tool for any given situation.

Ultimately, depending on the size and complexity of one's analytics requirements coupled with their familiarity with either product; they should make an informed decision about which solution is best suited for their needs.

Alternatives to AWS Quicksight and Tableau

Weighing up the pros and cons of each solution is like comparing apples and oranges, but there are alternatives to consider when choosing between AWS Quicksight and Tableau for Business Intelligence.

When it comes to data visualization, an alternative tool worth considering is Microsoft Power BI. It supports multiple data sources including files, databases, big data stores, cloud services, social networks, web APIs, and more. Additionally, with its custom visuals and advanced analytics features such as drill-down analysis and AI/ML integration capabilities, it allows users to create intuitive dashboards that can help them gain a better understanding of their data.

Apart from Power BI, other tools include:

  1. IBM Cognos Analytics which offers extensive capabilities in terms of reporting capabilities through automatic insights.
  2. Google Data Studio which provides real-time reports with access control.
  3. Qlik Sense, a perfect alternative to QuickSight helps make sense of large amounts of complex data.
  4. ThoughtSpot which enables teams to interactively explore datasets quickly without the need for coding skills or SQL queries.

All these tools offer various levels of data analysis and integration capabilities along with robust security measures for storing sensitive information while allowing users to share their insights securely across different platforms.

Review of AWS Quicksight and Tableau

When it comes to Business Intelligence, two of the top contenders are AWS Quicksight and Tableau, each offering unique features tailored to specific needs.

Data preparation is a major factor when selecting the right BI tool; both Quicksight and Tableau offer robust data preparation options that help users cleanse, transform, manipulate, and visualize their data quickly and accurately.

In terms of security features, AWS Quicksight has received a positive review from users as it offers advanced encryption for stored data while Tableau provides access control with granular user permissions.

Both tools also provide extensive data connectivity capabilities, allowing users to connect to various types of databases as well as cloud storage services such as Amazon S3.

The user interface of both tools is intuitive and easy to use while Quicksight has an advantage in terms of speed due to its columnar technology-based architecture but Tableau's drag-and-drop functionality makes it easier for beginners.

Comparing features between these two popular BI tools can be difficult since they have different strengths depending on what your project requires. However, some key differences include:

  • Pricing structure (Quicksight is pay per session while Tableau has subscription or perpetual licenses available)
  • Visualizations (Tableau provides more)
  • Collaboration/dashboard sharing (Tableau has better options)
  • AI/ML integration (which again favors Tableau).

Ultimately, the decision should depend on familiarity with the respective tool, budget constraints, and most importantly the size and complexity of your analytics requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How easy is it to transition from Tableau to AWS Quicksight?
Transitioning from Tableau to AWS Quicksight can be relatively easy, as both tools offer data integration and similar visualization accuracy. However, there are key differences in usage costs, user experience, features, and AI/ML integrations that should be considered before making a decision. It is important to compare the two based on your specific needs and determine which one offers better value for money.

2. Does AWS Quicksight offer any customization options?
AWS Quicksight offers customization options such as interactive dashboards, data connectors, data sources, data transformations, and visualization types. These features help users to customize their analytics with different views and visualizations so they can monitor the performance of their business more effectively. Additionally, it also allows users to create custom reports by connecting to various data sources and transforming them into meaningful insights.

3. Are there any additional fees associated with using either AWS Quicksight or Tableau?
AWS Quicksight offers pay-per-session and enterprise edition pricing, while Tableau has subscription and perpetual license options. Both tools are scalable with extensive integration capabilities. When deciding between the two it is important to consider cost comparison, feature comparison, integration capabilities, scalability options, and support quality.

4. How secure are the visualizations created in AWS Quicksight and Tableau?
Both AWS Quicksight and Tableau provide secure visualizations, with features such as data encryption, access control, connectivity options, and cloud storage. Additionally, they offer reporting tools that allow users to securely share their visuals across multiple platforms. Quicksight also offers a feature called Secure Socket Layer (SSL) which encrypts your data while it is being transferred from the source to the destination in order to ensure maximum security.

5. Is there a free trial period for either AWS Quicksight or Tableau?
Both AWS Quicksight and Tableau offer free trials so you can test out their data sources, dashboard design, data integration, data exploration, and data analysis capabilities. With the trial period, you’ll be able to see if either of these BI tools is suitable for your needs.

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