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Power BI vs Google Data Studio

28 June 2023

Power BI vs Google Data Studio: Which is the Champion of Data Visualisation?

Businesses are perpetually on the hunt for tools that facilitate the processing, analysis, and visualisation of voluminous data sets. As we navigate the sea of available options, two noteworthy titans emerge from the crowd—Power BI and Google Data Studio. This comprehensive comparison of Power BI and Google Data Studio aims to shed light on the strengths, weaknesses, and suitability of each tool for diverse business needs.

What is Power BI?

Launched by Microsoft in 2014, Power BI has fast become a potent player in the data visualisation domain. It offers robust functionalities, enabling businesses to synthesise complex data into insightful visuals and reports.

An Introduction to Google Data Studio

In contrast, Google unveiled Google Data Studio in 2016 as part of the Google Analytics 360 Suite. This data visualisation tool allows users to connect to multiple data sources, create illuminating reports, and share insights seamlessly across an organisation.

Power BI vs Google Data Studio: A Side-by-Side Comparison

User Interface and Ease of Use A good user interface is paramount in data visualisation tools. After all, what good is a tool if users struggle to make head or tail of it? When comparing Power BI and Google Data Studio in terms of user interface and ease of use, it becomes apparent that Google Data Studio, with its intuitive and user-friendly interface, shines in this aspect.

On the other hand, Power BI's interface might seem a tad intimidating to newcomers. However, it should be noted that Power BI offers a plethora of functionalities, allowing for greater complexity and depth in analysis. It’s a classic case of simplicity versus sophistication, and the choice would hinge on your business requirements.

Data Connectivity and Integration

Power BI distinguishes itself in this aspect. It provides extensive data connectivity options, connecting seamlessly to a wide array of data sources, from Microsoft Excel files to SQL Server databases. On the other hand, Google Data Studio, while supporting a wide range of Google-based data sources (such as Google Sheets, Google Ads, and Google Analytics), isn't as extensive when it comes to non-Google data sources.

Data Visualisation and Reporting Data visualisation is the heartbeat of these tools. Power BI excels here, offering a smorgasbord of visualisation options and advanced reporting features. From heat maps to waterfall charts, Power BI has it all. However, this advantage comes with increased complexity.

Google Data Studio, meanwhile, offers a more streamlined approach to data visualisation. While it may lack some of the advanced functionalities of Power BI, its ability to create clean, engaging reports with interactive filters makes it a worthy contender.

Collaboration and Sharing

In today's interconnected work environment, collaboration and sharing are crucial. Here, Google Data Studio leverages its integration with Google Drive to provide robust sharing capabilities. Power BI, though not as seamless as Google Data Studio in this regard, still supports effective collaboration and sharing via Power BI service (also known as Power BI online).


An inevitable consideration is pricing. Power BI operates on a freemium model, where the basic version is free, and advanced features come with a cost. Google Data Studio, on the other hand, is entirely free.

Power BI vs Google Data Studio: Customer Opinions and Use Cases While specifications and features form a substantial part of the comparison, customer opinions and use cases offer invaluable insights into how these tools perform in real-world scenarios. So, what's the verdict from the users themselves?

Power BI has been lauded for its comprehensive data analysis and visualisation capabilities, making it a favourite among data analysts and businesses dealing with complex data structures.

In contrast, Google Data Studio is popular among users who prefer a more straightforward tool for creating clean, engaging reports. It is also favoured by businesses heavily reliant on Google-based data sources due to its seamless integration.

Power BI vs Google Data Studio: Which Should You Choose?

The choice between Power BI and Google Data Studio ultimately depends on your specific business needs, budget, and data complexity. Power BI is the go-to tool for complex data analysis and visualisation, while Google Data Studio shines in simplicity, collaboration, and seamless integration with other Google products.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Power BI better than Google Data Studio?

It's not a matter of one tool being objectively better than the other. Power BI offers more advanced features and is better suited for complex data analysis, while Google Data Studio is user-friendly and excellent for simpler, more straightforward data visualisation tasks.

Can Google Data Studio connect to SQL Server?

Yes, but this requires using Google's partner connectors which may involve additional cost.

Is Power BI free to use?

Power BI operates on a freemium model, with the basic version being free. However, to unlock more advanced features, there are costs involved.

Its a good idea to check in with the latest updates which can be found on theMicrosoft Website On a month to month basis Microsoft is continually improving and updating Power BI, so its a good idea to ensure that you are untilizing all of the resources availible and making sure you have the latest update.  

You can also read our comparison guides between

Power BI and SRSS

and Power BI and AAS.

Power BI and Google Data Studio are both remarkable tools, each with its strengths and weaknesses. We hope this article has helped you determine the best fit for your business needs. After all, the goal is to make data work for you, not the other way round.

About the author: Craig Hartzel
Craig is a self-confessed geek who loves to play with and write about technology. Craig's especially interested in systems relating to e-commerce, automation, AI and Analytics.

+44 (0)20 8446 7555

[email protected]



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