Google Data Studio vs Power BI

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    The Best Choice Between Google Data Studio vs Power BI is…

    In our continued series of comparing robust business intelligence tools of 2024, we last discussed Power BI vs Tableau.

    Moving on to the new fold of our discussion, let’s compare another powerful set of BI tools - Google Data Studio vs Power BI.

    Why should you read this guide?

    In this blog you will find end-to-end answers to –

    • What Is Google Data Studio? What Is Power BI?
    • What Is the Difference Between Google Data Studio Vs Power BI?
    • How Do They Empower Your Business Operations?
    • Which Is Better Power BI Or Google Version of Power BI?

    Let’s get going to find your answers and a lot more on your way.

    Ready to decide…

    Starting our debate about Google Data Studio vs Power BI — Let’s first get to know our two contenders.

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        What is Power BI?

        Microsoft Power BI (Power Business Intelligence) is a cloud-based data visualization and reporting platform, primarily used for visualizing raw information into immersive dashboards, reports, charts, etc., and sharing them across your teams, or embedding them in your website or app.

        To speak of its popularity, in 2023, Gartner Magic Quadrant for Analytics and Business Intelligence Platforms positioned Microsoft as a leader for the 16th year straight.

        Thinking what keeps Power BI ahead in the debate of Google Data Studio vs Microsoft Power BI?

        Here’s what Power BI has to offer —

        • Cost-effectiveness
        • Rich set of features
        • Diverse set of versions
        • Customization capabilities
        • Comprehensive security features
        • Smooth integration with the Microsoft ecosystem

        Simply put - MS Power BI is a wholesome BI tool for businesses of all sizes. It empowers businesses, such as yours, by offering ease, versatility, and cost-effectiveness in data visualization, reporting, collaboration, and decision-making.

        Did you know? Most of the Power BI initiatives fail, due to lack of knowledge, training, and support.

        Thinking about - “How can I differentiate in my approach to succeed in my Power BI initiative?”

        Simple – By leveraging the potential of Power BI Consulting Services.

        By engaging with a trusted Power BI consultant, you not only get to make the most of your MS Power BI investment but also have ongoing support and guidance to optimize your business intelligence efforts.

        Next, in the comparison of Google Data Studio vs Power BI, it’s time to scoop the capabilities of the second contender – Google Data Studio.

        What is Google Data Studio?

        Google Data Studio now known as Looker Studio is a free, lightweight web-based data visualization tool by Google.

        It is primarily used to identify trends, compare results over time, and improve decision-making.

        Looker Studio can be easily accessed by your team of professionals with limited to no data expertise as it comes with various interactive dashboards and reports, drag-and-drop features, and ready-to-use templates.

        The best part? You need not download any software to access Google Data studio, as you can simply access it from your regular Google browser, just like you’d access Gmail or Google Maps.

        Thinking about what makes Google Data Studio stand out in the debate of  Google Data Studio vs Power BI?

        Here’s what Google Data Studio has to offer —

        • Zero-Platform Fee
        • Ease Of Use and Collaboration
        • Security inherited from Google Workspace
        • Descent Selection of Basic Visualization Options
        • Seamless Integration with Google Workspace Apps
        • Promising Scalability with The Google Cloud Platform

        Simply put - Google Power BI is an ideal choice for small businesses, looking to kickstart their BI journey with a cost-effective and self-explanatory platform, especially those with heavy reliance on the Google ecosystem.

        In the comparison between Google Data Studio vs Microsoft Power BI, we’re confident that you’ve got a fundamental understanding of the technological capabilities of both BI tools.

        Thinking about - “Which BI tool is best suited for my company’s BI needs?”

        To give you a quick answer – In the tug-of-war of Power BI vs Google Data Studio, MS Power BI is suitable for businesses of all sizes, with diverse data sources, high budgets, and proficient data experts.

        However, the Google Data Studio, a  Google version of Power BI is meant for start-ups and business professionals with limited BI needs, primary data expertise, and budget constraints.

        Still unsure?

        It’s ideal to trust a reputed business intelligence agency that will gauge your business intelligence needs, suggest the most suitable tool, and even make it work for you.

        Moving on, it’s time to dive deeper, into the face off of  Google Data Studio vs Power BI, nail down their features, and explore how they can boost your BI efforts!

        Power BI vs Google Data Studio

        Let’s now get started by exploring the side-by-side difference between Google Data Studio and Power BI and discovering which one stands tall and best suits your BI needs.

        Google Data Studio vs Power BI - Points of Disparity That You Need to Know

        A business intelligence initiative powered with robust data visualization capabilities will provide an ROI of $13.01 back on every dollar spent, states Nucleus Research.

        Business leaders, IT managers, and executives, such as yourself, are growingly realizing the importance of data visualization and business intelligence.

        In the emerging BI landscape, new tools are constantly emerging leaving you spoilt for choices. However, in the crowd, Power BI and Google Data Studio stand as the best of the best.

        Comparing Google Data Studio vs Power BI, let’s understand the difference with better clarity, to help you make the right choice.

        1. Data sources: Google Data Studio vs Power BI

        Why do data sources matter? Because data sources lay the foundation of any data-centric decision-making initiative.

        What Data Sources Does Power BI Connect and Integrate With?

        Power BI seamlessly connects with a wide range of data sources including Google Analytics, Meta, Excel, Web APIs, cloud-based data sources, custom data connectors, and many others.

        In the file category, Power BI connects to sources like Text/CSV, XML, JSON, Folder, PDF, Parquet, etc.

        What Data Sources Does Google Data Studio Connect and Integrate with?

        The Google version of Power BI, Google Data Studio seamlessly connects to a variety of data sources such as Google Analytics, Google Sheets, Google Ads, Google Cloud Storage, BigQuery, YouTube Analytics, SQL and NoSQL data sources, and even non-Google data sources.

        In the category of data types, Data Studio by Google supports numeric, Boolean, geo, currency, URL, image, text, and other data types.

        However, Data Studio Google doesn’t have the innate capability to handle many inputs. It allows users to develop and create connectors, but these are usually paid advantages.

        2. Real-time Data Integration: Power BI vs Google Data Studio

        Next in the difference between Microsoft Power BI and Google Data Studio, we have real-time data integration.

        Does Microsoft Power BI Support Real-time Integration?

        Microsoft Power BI offers great support for real-time data integrations allowing users to access the latest dashboards and reports, and empowering leaders, like yourself, to quickly make informed decisions.

        Unlike other BI tools, Power BI supports real-time integration for most data sources.

        Does Google Data Studio Support Real-time Integration?

        Google Data Studio doesn’t support real-time data integration.

        It requires users to refresh real-time data manually to display current information and near-real-time updates.

        The same applies to Google Data Studio’s third-party connectors as they don’t possess real-time integration capabilities.

        3. Data Blending Capabilities: Microsoft Power BI vs Google Data Studio

        Data blending is the process of combining available data sources to create a single source of truth, which is prepared to be visualized and analyzed.

        Are There Any Constraints to Data Blending in Power BI?

        Microsoft Power BI allows users to blend multiple data sources until the picture doesn’t look the way they want.

        The architects of Power BI have allowed the limit to be more practical, based on the complexity of the data.

        Are There Any Constraints to Data Blending in Google Data Studio?

        On the other hand, the Google version of Power BI, Data Studio has a defined data blending capacity in comparison to MS Power BI.

        Its data blending capacity is limited to 5 table sources only.

        If you need to merge 6 or more data sources, you’ll not be able to achieve your goal with Google Data Studio’s innate capability.

        4. Visualization capabilities: Google Data Studio vs Power BI

        Next in the comparison of Power BI vs Google Data Studio, we have real-time data visualization capabilities.

        What Types of Data Visualization Does Power BI Support?

        Power BI walks tall owing to its diverse range of built-in visualization options such as charts, tables, and custom visuals, enabling users to create sophisticated visualizations and convey information effectively.

        What Types of Data Visualization Does Google Data Studio Support?

        Google Studio Data also provides a decent variety of visualizations, such as charts, maps, and tables.

        These visualization options can adequately create understandable dashboards and reports, but users cannot create advanced and complex visualizations.

        5. Data Modeling and Transformation: Power BI versus Google Data Studio

        Data modeling and transformation are critical components of the data preparation process in your business intelligence initiative.

        Each BI tool including Microsoft Power BI and Google Data Studio is empowered with Data modeling and transformation capabilities to support users.

        What are the Data Modeling and Transformation Capabilities of Power BI?

        Microsoft Power BI has a robust and advanced data modeling feature set allowing users to prepare, manipulate, and analyze their data.

        Its feature set includes creating calculated columns, measures, and tables while allowing users to build relationships with disparate tables, to further produce more complex data models.

        What are the Data Modeling and Transformation Capabilities of Google Looker Studio?

        Google Data Studio’s data modeling and transformation capabilities are easy and intuitive yet limited and pre-defined.

        When weighing up Google Data Studio vs Power BI, it becomes obvious that the Google BI platform lacks the modeling and transformation capabilities of Power BI.

        6. Google Data Studio vs Power BI: Customization

        In the next fold of our debate about Power BI vs Google Data Studio, we have customization.

        What are the Customization Capabilities of Power BI?

        MS Power BI provides excellent customization properties allowing users to apply filters and customize dashboards specifically for a device or a purpose.

        What are the Customization Capabilities of Data Studio?

        Google Data Studio offers a straightforward approach to customization with a reasonable scope of customizing options, reports, and chart types.

        Furthermore, it allows users to personalize their dashboards to see the data the way they’d like.

        7. Google Data Studio vs Microsoft Power BI: Collaboration and Sharing

        Business intelligence tools empower your IT and business team to share reports, collaborate effectively, and foster informed decision-making.

        Does Power BI Provide Easy Collaboration and Sharing Facility?

        MS Power BI provides seamless ways to distribute Power BI reports and dashboards and collaborate, too.

        However, to unlock collaboration and sharing features you need to purchase Power BI licenses – Power BI Pro or Power BI Premium.

        The licenses provide effortless access to seamless Power BI content distribution, collaboration and ultimately achieve informed decision making.

        Does Google Data Studio Provide an Easy Collaboration and Sharing Facility?

        Since Google Looker is a completely cloud-based tool, it is simple and straightforward to share reports and dashboards and collaborate.

        Users can seamlessly share the reports in a few clicks while allowing multiple users to collaborate on the same report.

        8. Security: Google Data Studio vs Power BI

        Unauthorized access, identity theft, compliance violations, and data breaches, are some of the common security risks that can impact the

        confidentiality of your business intelligence efforts.

        What are the Security Measures Present in Power BI?

        All Power BI content is encrypted with Microsoft-managed keys.

        To store and manage, Microsoft Power BI utilizes the Azure SQL database and Azure BLOB storage.

        Furthermore, it provides row-level security (RLS) for role-based data access and implements Transport Layer Security (TLS) for network communication.

        MS Power BI provides a useful combination of Role-Based Access Control, Azure Active Directory Integration, Row-Level Security, Transport Layer Security, Data Encryption, and other measures to ensure your data is safe and protected.

        What are the Security Measures Offered by Google Power BI?

        Just like Power BI, Google Studio Data is a very secure BI tool as it inherits security from Google Workspace.

        Users can opt to password-protect their reports and keep them confidential by allowing access to concerned stakeholders only.

        Furthermore, users can also select the users that can access, view, or edit the reports created.

        The best part?

        These security benefits by Power BI and Google Data Studio are offered by default, without the condition of additional software installation or manual intervention.

        9. Scalability and Performance: Google Data Studio vs Microsoft Power BI

        In the debate of Google Data Studio vs Power BI, scalability and performance become a crucial factor for businesses with voluminous and complicated datasets.

        Let’s zoom into the difference between Google Data Studio and Power BI concerning performance and scalability.

        How Capable is Power BI to Handle Large Datasets?

        Microsoft Power BI’s advanced data modeling capabilities and in-memory data processing engine allow users to effortlessly build dashboards and reports, irrespective of the size and shape of datasets.

        How Capable is Google Data Studio to Handle Large Datasets?

        Google Data Studio, on the other hand, may pose a hindrance when dealing with deluge and complicated data sets, making it ideal for SMEs with limited scalability and performance requirements.

        10. Pricing and cost-effectiveness: Google Data Studio vs Power BI

        Lastly, in exploring the difference between Google Data Studio vs Power BI, we have the most crucial deciding parameter – Cost.

        What is the Cost of Power BI?


        Cost of Power BI Subscription:

        Power BI Desktop

        Cost: Free

        Power BI Pro

        Cost: $10

        Power BI Premium Per User

        Cost: $20 (Free if you have Microsoft 365)

        Power BI Premium (Per-Capacity)

        Cost: $4995


        What is the Cost of Google Data Studio?


        Cost of Google Data Studio Subscription:

        Google Data Studio

        Cost: Free

        Google Data Studio Pro

        Cost: $9 (User/Project/Month)


        Dig deeper: Find Your Fit by Learning Power BI Cost, Benefits, and More.

        Phew! That was quite a comparison between Google Data Studio vs Power BI.

        Now with those anecdotes, we’re confident that you are enlightened with the technological capabilities of Google Data Studio and Microsoft Power BI, taking you closer to your decision.

        Moving on, it’s time to explore the good and bad of the BI tools in question.

        Let’s get going without further ado.

        Google Data Studio vs Power BI: Pros and Cons

        Whether your gut feeling says Power BI or Google Data Studio, diving deep into the advantages and disadvantages of each tool shall encourage you to approach your decision objectively, without letting your gut feeling influence your choice.

        Power BI Pros:

        • Easy-to-use
        • Cost-effective
        • Offline Access
        • Constant Innovation
        • Custom Visualizations
        • Robust Security Measures
        • Rich Personalized Dashboards

        Power BI Cons:

        • Costly To Scale
        • Licensing Complexity
        • Steep Learning Curve
        • Limited Capabilities with the Free Version
        • Higher Dependency on Microsoft Product Offerings

        Google Data Studio Pros:

        • No Technical Expertise Is Required
        • Free To Share and Collaborate
        • Customized Report Dashboard
        • Backed By Google Ecosystem
        • Easy Interface

        Google Data Studio Cons:

        • No Support for Excel
        • Lack Of Real-time Updates
        • Lack Of Native Data Connectors
        • A Limited Number of Visualizations
        • Complex Visualizations Not Possible
        • Slow Speed in Case of Live Connection
        • Data Blending Limited To 5 Data Sources

        This was all about the Google Data Studio vs Power BI comparison and how each tool proves instrumental in your BI success.

        Now is the time to settle down the debate…

        Power BI vs Google Data Studio – Making the Right Choice

        Now the spotlight is on you –

        How do you choose the right BI tool for your business needs when Power BI and Google Data Studio are among the top choices of business leaders, like yourself?

        As you assess the BI tools for your company’s emerging BI needs, you must consider the following factors to ensure the best choice.

        • Compatibility with your current ecosystem
        • Volume, variety, and complexity of data processing
        • Price factor
        • Level of customization
        • User adoption and training
        • Variety and quality of visualizations
        • Ease of data blending
        • Level of analytical capabilities required
        • Mobile friendliness & accessibility
        • Technical expertise required
        • Data security and compliance measures
        • Community support

        After considering these factors, it’ll be easier for you to find the answer to –

        “Which BI tool best serves my company’s BI needs?”

        While Google Data Studio is a lightweight, easy-to-use BI tool, it is still in the initial phase of business intelligence, making it ideal for businesses with basic data visualization needs.

        Power BI, on the other hand, is an advanced BI tool, power-packed with a variety of features, and advanced capabilities, ideal for businesses of all sizes.

        Considering the above mentioned factors, does Microsoft Power BI have your vote?


        We’re happy to have assisted you in your decision-making process.

        What’s next?

        Are you thinking of leveraging the benefits of Power BI independently?

        While opting for Microsoft Power BI over Google Data Studio is a wise move, it may not be wise to ignore the intricacies involved in the process.

        Thus, it is ideal to engage with a Power BI consultant and leverage their expertise to make the most of the tool and your investments.

        Thinking about – “Where will I find a trusted Power BI consulting services provider in the USA?”

        Integrative Systems will be happy to be a Power BI consulting partner of your choice.

        Just like we helped you make the best choice between Google Data Studio vs Power BI, our expertise extends to help you make the most of your Power BI investment.

        We are an acknowledged Microsoft partner, empowering businesses, like yours, for 20+ years, prioritizing our customers’ success.

        Do you have any questions for us?

        Reach out to us at [email protected] and our team of professionals will get in touch with you within 1-2 business days.

        Frequently Asked Questions About Google Data Studio vs Power BI

        1. What’s the Market Share of Power BI and Google Data Studio?

        As per Enlyft, Microsoft Power BI’s market share stands at – 13.62%.

        Google Data Studio’s market share stands at – 3.28%.

        2. Can I Use Power BI and Data Studio Offline?

        Google Data Studio is a web-based BI platform and requires an established internet connection to work; whereas Power BI allows you to produce, edit, and save reports without an active internet connection. However, unlocking sharing and collaboration features in Power BI requires an active internet connection.

        3. Is Google Data Studio as Good as Power BI?

        Power BI and Google Data Studio hold unique strengths, making them ideal for different use cases. Power BI is suitable for businesses seeking advanced data visualization capabilities whereas Google Data Studio is suitable for businesses who prefer a simple and primary data visualization approach.

        4. Can Google Data Studio Replace Power BI?

        Power BI cannot practically be replaced by Google Data Studio or other BI tools because it boasts unique features such as enterprise-grade security, smooth integration with Microsoft and non-Microsoft data sources, advanced analytics capabilities, and much more.

        Meanwhile, Microsoft’s continuous effort to upgrade the platform with modern features, improved performance, and smooth integration with multiple data sources ensures its ongoing relevance in the business intelligence landscape.

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