Looker Vs. Tableau: Which BI Tool Reigns Supreme?

Business intelligence tools have become essential for modern organizations to stay competitive, yet with the growing number of options, which one best suits your purposes? Looker and Tableau are two popular data analytics platforms that offer comprehensive solutions for data analysis. But which one is the best choice for you?

In this article, we will compare Looker and Tableau in terms of their data sources, data visualization capabilities, ease of use, reporting capabilities, integrations, and more to help you make an informed decision. We will also look at customer reviews and pricing so that you can determine which BI tool is the right one for your organization. By the end of this article, you should be able to decide which platform best fits your needs.

Looker vs. Tableau: Overview

Comparing the two data analysis solutions, it’s clear there are distinct differences in how they approach user experience and visualization capabilities, ultimately determining which reigns as the superior choice.

Looker offers a comprehensive suite of BI tools designed for data structuring, with features that allow users to easily create custom tables. It also provides cost-benefit benefits with its flat rate pricing model and strong scalability options.

Tableau is renowned for its powerful data exploration capabilities, providing users with access to robust interactive dashboards, live query performance optimization, and integrated natural language processing. The platform boasts an impressive range of pre-built connectors allowing for data connectivity, while its Automation API allows users to automate processes like scheduling reports or refreshing extracts.

When it comes to the accuracy of insights, both platforms provide reliable data aggregation, making them suitable for large datasets. Additionally, each has its own set of governance controls such as row-level security settings and audit trails to help ensure data quality. In terms of interpretation of results, Looker's SQL support makes it great for complex queries whereas Tableau excels at structured reporting tasks due to its intuitive drag-and-drop interface. Ultimately, choosing between the two depends on individual needs when it comes to data automation, cost benefits, and most importantly effective data interpretation


Looker and Tableau are two of the most popular business intelligence tools on the market, but did you know that Tableau was the first to offer cloud-based analytics services, while Looker was the first to provide a visual SQL editor?

Data Sources

Examining the variety of data sources that each platform can accommodate is integral in determining which business intelligence solution will be most suitable.

Looker provides access to an extensive range of data from multiple sources, including data lakes, cloud storage services such as Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure Storage, Google Cloud Platform, and BigQuery. It also supports various types of databases like Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Vertica, Greenplum etc., making it versatile for all sorts of applications related to big data analysis.

Tableau also offers support for different kinds of data sources including traditional data warehousing, machine learning models, predictive analytics solutions with natural language processing capabilities and text mining tools. Additionally, Tableau integrates with popular enterprise products such as Salesforce and SAP HANA to leverage existing datasets.

The software allows users to combine live queries with extracts from both local or remote databases using its powerful ‘hybrid’ approach to data management. This makes it easier than ever before for organizations to visualize their complex datasets on the fly while keeping up with the latest technological advancements in the world of business intelligence.


Both Looker and Tableau are powerful business intelligence tools, but did you know that Looker supports data coming from over 20 sources, including popular tools like Salesforce and Google BigQuery, while Tableau supports data from over 50 sources, including cloud-based data warehouses like Amazon Redshift and Snowflake?

Data Visualization

Data visualization is an integral part of business intelligence, allowing organizations to easily interpret and analyze their data in a meaningful way. Looker and Tableau are two leading tools for visualizing vast amounts of information, but which one reigns supreme? Both offer powerful features such as data exploration, data warehouse management capabilities, and various levels of data governance. Additionally, they both have advanced modeling tools that can help users visualize complex relationships between different pieces of data.

When it comes to scalability options, Looker only offers cloud storage while Tableau has the ability to store on-premises or in the cloud. Furthermore, Looker provides extensive automation benefits with its out-of-the-box integration capabilities for popular applications like Salesforce and Marketo. With this capability, businesses get more accurate insights faster than before by connecting multiple sources together.

On the other hand, Tableau also excels when it comes to big data processing capabilities thanks to its robust query engine designed for very large datasets. It allows users to quickly find patterns hidden deep within huge databases without having to manually explore each record. Finally, both platforms give users access to sophisticated algorithms used in data mining, helping them uncover trends that would otherwise be impossible to detect using traditional methods.


Data visualizations can help people interpret information more than 6,000 times faster than just looking at raw data.

Data Analysis

Data analysis is like a detective story, uncovering hidden patterns and trends in data sets to help businesses make informed decisions. Both Looker and Tableau, are capable of providing insights into valuable customer information.

Looker boasts features such as an intuitive user interface that helps users quickly find answers to their questions while Tableau offers powerful visualizations with deep analytics capabilities.

When it comes to analyzing data, both Looker and Tableau offer powerful solutions for managing large amounts of data. Through robust features such as Data Quality, Data Mapping, Data Processing, Data Storage, Data Mining, Data Modeling, Query Building, Query Optimization, Data Automation, and Data Cleansing. These tools provide enterprises with access to reliable data resources that can be used for making strategic decisions around areas like marketing campaigns or product development.

Ultimately, which BI tool reigns supreme depends on the individual needs of each enterprise; both Looker and Tableau have strengths that cater to different use cases.


Looker and Tableau can both facilitate sophisticated data analysis, but Looker has the edge when it comes to speed. Looker can run analysis on over 1 billion records in less than one second.

Data Sharing

Data sharing is like a treasure map, leading to the discovery of hidden insights and knowledge that can be used to benefit businesses. When it comes to these tools, each of them offer different ways for companies to share their data effectively and efficiently.

Looker features a Data Discovery Platform that allows users to access reliable real-time data through its web-based API. It also offers powerful data syncing capabilities so teams can easily collaborate on projects without having to worry about conflicts in data sets. Additionally, Looker boasts an array of sharing best practices, such as secure authentication procedures and encryption protocols, along with customizable user permissions settings for extra security.

On the other hand, Tableau provides customers with comprehensive dashboards and analytics solutions tailored specifically to their company's unique needs. Through its intuitive interface, customers are able to quickly design effective visualizations which can then be shared amongst colleagues or even externally with clients or partners via multiple platforms.

Moreover, Tableau helps organizations maintain compliance with data-sharing laws, policies, and regulations by controlling who has access to specific datasets. Furthermore, the platform offers numerous options when it comes to establishing custom sharing limitations (e.g., restricted records) and strategies (e.g., using filters). In this way, Tableau ensures only relevant information is being disseminated while minimizing potential risks associated with accidental exposure of confidential customer data.


Looker’s Data Discovery Platform offers real-time data access and secure collaboration, while Tableau’s intuitive interface enables customizable visualizations and strict data-sharing control, ensuring compliance with data-sharing laws and minimizing risks.

Data Security

When it comes to data security, the ability to protect data from unauthorized access and malicious use is paramount. According to a 2019 report by Varonis, approximately one third of organizations reported having experienced a data breach in the last year alone. To ensure secure data storage, both Looker and Tableau provide robust features for user authentication, encryption standards, compliance regulations, risk mitigation strategies and privacy requirements.

Looker allows users to securely store their data in the cloud with Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Google Cloud Platform (GCP). It provides granular control over who has access to what information through its Data Accessibility feature which can be used to define different levels of visibility for certain datasets. In addition, Looker also offers an array of comprehensive Security Policies that include two-factor authentication as well as advanced auditing capabilities for monitoring changes made within the system.

Tableau on the other hand utilizes AWS servers for storing customer's sensitive data and implements various measures such as strict password policies, strong encryption protocols, regular software updates etc., to keep all private information safe. Additionally Tableau provides built-in Governance & Compliance tools that enable customers to set up rules around how their data is accessed and distributed across teams while also helping them stay compliant with regulatory requirements like GDPR or HIPAA. Furthermore, they have recently incorporated Risk Mitigation algorithms into their products so that any potential risks can be identified quickly and addressed accordingly.


Looker and Tableau are two of the most popular business intelligence tools, but did you know that Looker provides stronger data security measures than Tableau? Looker allows its users to encrypt their data at rest, whereas Tableau does not.

Ease of Use

The ease of use of a BI tool can be compared to a puzzle – each piece must fit together perfectly for the desired result. Both Tableau and Looker offer various levels of usability that make them formidable contenders when it comes to choosing an effective business intelligence (BI) solution.

When discussing which product reigns supreme, there are several points to consider; including Usability Comparison, Learning Curve, User Interface, Data Input, Visualization Tools, Customization Options, Collaboration Possibilities, Automation Capabilities, Compatibility Issues and Troubleshooting Tips.

Tableau provides an intuitive user interface with drag-and-drop capabilities for data input and visualization tools. It also offers customization options so users can tailor their visualizations to their needs while still maintaining simplicity in the process. In addition, its collaboration possibilities enable teams to work on projects more efficiently by allowing members to access dashboards from anywhere at any time.

On the other hand, Looker has automation capabilities that allow users to create complex queries easily as well as compatibility issues if working with multiple sources. Moreover, it includes troubleshooting tips for those times when things don't go according to plan. Ultimately both products provide different sets of advantages depending on what kind of project is being undertaken and who will be using the software.


Looker and Tableau are both widely acclaimed for their user-friendly interface, but did you know that Looker has been rated as the #1 BI tool for ease of use by G2 Crowd for the past three years in a row?

User Interface

The user interface of both BI solutions is so user-friendly that it’s almost like a dream come true! Looker and Tableau offer easy setup processes for users to quickly get up and running. They also have intuitive dashboard designs, with many features including drag-and drop, mouse interaction, and plenty of customization options. Both programs are designed to be highly user friendly, allowing even novice users to easily navigate the interface design without much difficulty.

Looker provides comprehensive automation tools which allow users to create automated reports in just minutes. It has an impressive selection of visualization tools, making data analysis easier than ever before.

On the other hand, Tableau offers various powerful functionalities such as its automated reporting feature, enabling businesses to take their analytics capabilities one step further by automatically generating insights from raw datasets. Additionally, they provide numerous visualization tools, helping users gain valuable insight into trends or patterns in their data with ease.


Tableau’s user interface is designed to help users create visualizations in as little as three clicks.


When it comes to pricing, both Looker and Tableau offer competitive options for businesses looking for a BI solution. The cost of choosing between Looker and Tableau can significantly impact your decision, depending on your company size and budget. Looker, with a starting price of $5,000 per month, may seem more expensive, making it better suited for larger enterprises looking for scalability.

On the other hand, Tableau’s Creator solution begins at just $70 per user, making it a more cost-effective option for smaller businesses. Therefore, when considering your analytics needs, it’s essential to factor in your budget and the size of your organization to determine which platform aligns better with your financial goals.


Looker starts at $5,000 per month, ideal for larger enterprises, while Tableau’s Creator solution begins at just $70 per user, making it a budget-friendly choice for smaller businesses. Your company size and budget play a crucial role in deciding between these BI solutions.


When it comes to flexibility, Looker’s dynamic solutions allow businesses to customize their data analysis and reporting needs with ease. Businesses can tailor the platform to fit their unique requirements, taking advantage of customization options, data exploration, and automation possibilities that make the process simpler than ever. Furthermore, Looker provides cross-platform access so users can analyze data from any device while leveraging collaboration features for improved communication between teams.

The platform also offers powerful features like data inputs, scalability options, and data governance capabilities designed to help organizations manage their data more effectively. Moreover, advanced data management tools provide further control over how information is utilized within a company. Plus, with third-party connectivity integrations available, companies have even more ways to maximize their insights. Ultimately, Looker’s flexible offerings enable businesses to get the most out of their BI investments now and in the future.

Feature Looker Tableau
Customization Options Yes Yes
Data Exploration Yes Yes
Automation Possibilities Yes No
Cross-Platform Accessibility Yes Yes


Looker and Tableau both offer great flexibility in data visualization, but Looker goes a step further with its ability to easily combine data from multiple sources – allowing users to quickly build complex visualizations without the need for extensive coding.

Reporting Capabilities

As the sun rises over the horizon, illuminating the data landscape, Looker and Tableau’s reporting capabilities stand out like beacons of light. Both tools have impressive features in terms of Data Aggregation, Automation Tools, Data Interpretation, Performance Monitoring, Dashboard Design, Data Modeling, Report Scheduling, Connectors Support, Visualization Tools, and Data Caching. However, each one has its own unique strengths that make them better suited for different types of users.

The power behind Looker's reporting lies in its ability to manipulate large datasets with ease. It offers an intuitive SQL-based query language along with a suite of powerful Data Modeling and automation tools to help quickly generate reports from any source. Additionally, it allows you to schedule report creation so that they are regularly updated without manual intervention. Furthermore, by using caching technology it can deliver quick results even when dealing with massive amounts of data.

On top of this robust set of features is a library of visually appealing charts and graphs that can be used to create beautiful dashboards and visualizations on demand. Tableau also provides comprehensive support for interactive data exploration but may not offer as many options when Connectors Support or performance monitoring is needed. Nevertheless its extensive collection of visualization tools give it a slight edge when creating stunning visuals making it attractive option for those looking for eye-catching graphics to complement their analysis.


Looker and Tableau both provide powerful reporting capabilities, but did you know that Looker’s reporting performance is up to 8x faster than that of Tableau? This makes Looker an ideal choice for organizations that have large amounts of data and need to quickly generate insights.


When it comes to integrating with other business intelligence tools, Looker and Tableau both offer comprehensive solutions. Both platforms have a wide range of connectivity options that include data connectors for various databases and applications like Salesforce, Oracle, Google BigQuery, Microsoft SQL Server and more.

In addition, Looker offers integration processes such as data migration, data transformation and data consolidation. Moreover, they provide powerful automation tools to ensure the highest levels of data quality. On the other hand, Tableau also provides access via API which allows users to integrate their platform with cloud-based solutions quickly and easily. Additionally, users can leverage its extensive library of pre-built integrations to speed up the connection process.

In summary, both Looker and Tableau enable customers to connect multiple sources of data into one unified view using robust automation tools, secure APIs, and easy-to-use interfaces. Furthermore, each tool is designed specifically to handle any type of integration process including but not limited to data migration, data transformation, data consolidation, and strong cloud solutions.

Here are some key points for comparison:

  1. Connectivity Options
  2. Data Connectors
  3. Integration Process
  4. Data Migration
  5. Data Transformation


Tableau offers the most software integrations, enabling users to access data from multiple sources and create data-driven insights.

Mobile Compatibility

Both Looker and Tableau offer mobile compatibility, allowing users to access their data from the convenience of their smartphones or tablets. This makes them both great options for those who need to access a wide range of information on-the-go. Both platforms have invested heavily in mobile responsiveness, offering users robust device limitations, offline use capabilities, and multi-platform access.

Looker offers an intuitive interface that is optimized for tablet usage as well as voice recognition features that are especially helpful when searching through large datasets. Additionally, it has cross-device syncing capability so all changes made by one user will appear across all devices used simultaneously.

Meanwhile, Tableau also provides excellent display resolution and touch compatibility features that make navigation simple and straightforward even on small screens. It also allows location tracking which can be extremely beneficial in certain business applications such as sales performance analysis.

Feature Looker Tableau
Mobile Responsiveness Yes Yes
Device Limitations Yes Yes
Offline Use Yes Yes
Platform Variations Yes Yes
Display Resolution Good Excellent
Touch Compatibility Average Excellent
Voice Recognition No Multi-Platform Access
Yes Cross-Device Syncing Yes


Tableau Mobile allows you to access and edit your dashboards on the go, while Looker doesn’t provide native mobile compatibility.

Support & Training

When it comes to support and training, both Looker and Tableau offer comprehensive resources to help users get the most out of their data. Looker provides a number of options for collaborative support such as:

  • Online courses
  • Consulting services

These offerings provide comprehensive training on topics like Data Integration, Scalability Options, Dashboard Creation and Accessibility Options. Additionally, there is an abundance of user documentation available that covers all key features in detail. Furthermore, there are many community discussions where users can ask questions or join existing conversations about various topics related to Looker.

Tableau also offers plenty of supporting materials, including several online courses which cover topics like Data Connectors, Database Queries, Dashboard Design etc., along with comprehensive written tutorials to assist new users getting up-to-speed quickly. What’s more, Tableau has numerous dedicated consultants who can provide assistance either directly or through specialized workshops & seminars. In addition to these amazing resources , they have a helpful customer support team who will answer any queries promptly and accurately.


Looker and Tableau both offer comprehensive support and training options for users, but did you know that Looker provides a 24/7 customer support network, while Tableau only offers 8-hour customer support?

Customer Reviews

Comparing customer reviews of Looker and Tableau can help reveal which BI tool reigns supreme. Reviews from customers provide an insight into the user experience, support services, automation tools, comparison studies, free trials, learning curves, customer satisfaction, feature sets, pricing models and user feedback offered by each platform.

A quick online search for customer reviews will quickly highlight that both platforms have a good reputation in terms of overall performance. However, there are some key differences between them when it comes to specific features. For example, Tableau is praised for its automated analytics while Looker offers more comprehensive data modelling capabilities.

Additionally, Looker’s subscription-based pricing model tends to be seen as more cost effective than Tableau’s one-off payments in most cases. Furthermore, users tend to find Looker’s learning curve not as steep compared with Tableau's due to the former's comprehensive support system and helpful tutorials on offer. Overall though, both platforms appear to receive positive ratings across the board from their respective customers depending upon individual needs and preferences.


Customer reviews of Looker and Tableau reveal that Looker is the preferred BI tool for analyzing data in the cloud.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What types of data sources can be used with Looker and Tableau?
Looker and Tableau both allow users to connect to various data sources for analysis, reporting features, cross-platform compatibility, cloud storage options, data visualization tools, customization options, mobile support, user friendly interfaces. Additionally, Looker offers additional security protocols when connecting and accessing multiple sources of data.

2. How does Looker compare to Tableau in terms of scalability?
Looker is more scalable than Tableau as it offers a range of features such as automated reports, data modeling and performance analysis. Additionally, Looker has the advantage with its user interface for data visualization and accessibility to various data sources plus enhanced security measures. Moreover, cloud-based computing allows users to access analytics tools from anywhere in the world while also enabling collaboration between teams.

3. What are the main differences between Looker and Tableau in terms of data analytics?
Looker and Tableau are both data analytics tools, but they have some distinct differences. Looker focuses on the ability to explore data with its Data Exploration feature, while Tableau is more geared towards data visualization. Additionally, Looker has a better User Interface which makes it easier for users to navigate. Both offer Collaborative Analytics capabilities and Reporting Capabilities, however Tableau has an advantage in terms of Cloud Connectivity. Lastly, Looker provides more advanced features such as Data Modeling and Security Protocols than Tableau does.

4. Does Looker or Tableau offer better customer support and training?
When it comes to customer support and training, Looker offers a help desk for customers as well as video tutorials that can reduce the learning curve. Tableau also provides comprehensive help documentation with cost analysis and performance tracking capabilities along with user friendly interface for data visualization tasks. Both provide connectors support, security protocols, compatibility issues, platform integrations and other features to ensure seamless experience.

5. Are there any integrations available for Looker and Tableau?
Both Looker and Tableau offer data connectivity, cloud integration, data visualization, pricing models, and data security features for your business. However, when it comes to feature comparison, user experience, performance analysis, deployment options, and onboarding process; Looker's offering is more comprehensive than Tableau’s.


Comparing Looker and Tableau is like comparing apples to oranges. Both BI tools have their own unique strengths, weaknesses, and features that you need to consider before deciding which one is right for your business.

When it comes to data sources, data visualization, data analysis, data sharing, data security, ease of use, user interface, price, flexibility and reporting capabilities both offer powerful solutions. However, when it comes to integrations mobile compatibility support & training as well as customer reviews Looker vs Tableau comparison shows that the former reigns supreme.

All in all, there’s no definitive answer on which BI tool reigns supreme; the choice will ultimately depend on what fits best with your organization’s needs and goals.

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