Looker vs Tableau: ultimate guide to choose the right BI tool

Looker and Tableau are two of the best business intelligence (BI) tools for your needs.

Before making a choice between Looker and Tableau, two of the most famous Business Intelligence (BI) software tools on the market right now, it’s important to have all the facts as clear as possible. Data preparation and management, data querying, predictive analytics, and many other analytical tools are all done by business intelligence software. These tools help managers make better decisions based on BI results.

We will look at the features of each BI software tool to help managers decide which one will work best for their businesses. This article compares two of the best business intelligence (BI) software programs, Looker and Tableau. Think you know who will win? Tableau says it has a much bigger share of the market, but Looker has Google in the lead. But Tableau is still the best. Looker is a popular BI data dashboard that is easy to use. Employees can make and share views to learn more about how their business is doing.

Looker vs Tableau: Pricing

Looker starts at $5,000 per month, but it can be much more expensive for smaller businesses. Because of this, Looker is great for big companies that want to keep growing. Tableau’s Creator solution, on the other hand, starts at $70 per user, which makes it great for small companies. The price of Looker is mostly based on two things: the cost of running a Looker instance and the cost of allowing each user to use the Looker platform.

Looker has three versions of its platform:

  • Standard: Pay-as-you-go plans are set at $5,000 per month or a custom quote price per year.
  • Enterprise: Quotes made to order.
  • Embed platform: Custom quotes.

All editions have the same prices for user licenses.

  • Viewer User: $30 a month for each user.
  • Standard User: $60 a month for each user.
  • Developer User: $125 a month for each user.

Pricing on a tableau

The Creator edition of Tableau lets users manage their solution, connect with the software, work together through the system, and write works based on their datasets. Tableau also has restricted versions of its software called Explorer and Virtual.

  • Tableau Creator costs $70 a month per person, billed once a year.
  • Tableau Explorer costs $42 a month per person, billed once a year.
  • Tableau Viewer costs $15 per person per month and is charged once a year.

Looker vs Tableau Comparison table

The Looker vs. Tableau comparison table tells you more about these two popular tools for showing data. Looker focuses on data research through a modeling layer, which makes it easier to work together and find new data. Tableau, on the other hand, has strong visualization tools that make it easy to turn complex data into useful insights. Each tool has its own way of meeting different data analysis needs.

TypeBusiness intelligence platformData visualization and analytics software
Data ModelingUses LookML language for centralized modelingOffers data modeling, blending, and prep tools
Data SourcesConnects to various data sourcesConnects to diverse data sources
User InterfaceModern and interactive interfaceUser-friendly drag-and-drop interface
DeploymentCloud-based deploymentOn-premises and cloud deployment options
VisualizationFocuses on data exploration and visualizationEmphasizes data visualization and dashboards
CollaborationAllows collaborative data explorationSupports collaborative dashboard creation
CustomizationFlexible for custom metrics and dimensionsCustomizable dashboards and data experiences
Learning CurveMay have steeper learning curveGenerally user-friendly interface
PricingSubscription-based pricing modelOffers various pricing tiers and options
IntegrationsIntegrates with popular tools and platformsOffers extensive third-party integrations
Advanced AnalyticsProvides data modeling and transformationOffers advanced analytics and calculations
Data GovernanceProvides data access controls and securityOffers data governance and access management
Visit Website Visit Website

What is Looker?

Looker vs Tableau

Looker is a tool for BI and data exploration that puts an emphasis on collaboration and making decisions based on data. It gives users a single source of truth for data analysis and lets them make reports and screens that they can share with others.

  • Data modeling: Looker’s modeling layer lets users set up relationships between datasets and describe calculations, which gives a consistent view of the data.
  • SQL for People Who Don’t Code: Looker’s modeling language, LookML, simplifies complicated SQL queries so that non-technical users can do data analysis.
  • Centralized Data: Looker’s centralized platform makes sure that all data comes from the same place, lowering differences and making sure that all data is the same.
  • Collaboration: Looker lets teams work together on reports, dashboards, and insights by letting them share and integrate them.

What is Tableau?

Tableau is a tool for visualizing data that lets users study and analyze data by making visualizations that can be interacted with. It helps the whole company find data, explore it, and share insights.

  • Interactive Dashboards: Tableau’s drag-and-drop interface makes it easy for people who don’t know how to code to make interactive dashboards and reports.
  • Blending data: Tableau has the ability to blend data, which lets users combine data from different sources without having to use complicated ETL methods.
  • Ad-Hoc Analysis: Tableau makes it easy for users to do ad-hoc analysis by letting them look at data and ask questions on the spot.
  • Mapping and Geospatial Analysis: Tableau allows geospatial analysis, which lets users see where data is best.

Data Querying

Looker lets you do visual searches and lets you make and schedule simple to advanced SQL queries and subqueries. But it doesn’t work with analysis in memory. It can connect live to cloud data warehouses like Amazon Redshift, Snowflake, and Vertica, as well as use data that has been stored. The “Bulk Find and Replace” feature of Looker makes it possible to replace many items at once.

Tableau works with both straight database queries and live connections. The results can then be used in Tableau workbooks. Query optimization is made possible by parallelization methods and multi-core processing. Tableau has a visual query language called VizQL. Drag-and-drop movements are turned into queries, and the results are shown as visuals. Its in-memory data engine, Hyper, lets you add new fields to visualizations, apply quick filters, and send reports from within the app.

Looker vs Tableau: Governance and security

Looker vs Tableau

Looker has data control built in. This is done with a language called LookML that is unique to Looker. This makes sure that everything is the same from the top down and makes sure that info is the same for self-service. This method does have a few problems, though. First, data analysts need to learn a new language called LookML in order to build the tools they need. Second, this built-in control can sometimes be too strict, which makes it hard to find some insights.

Looker only lets you find answers to questions in modeled data, but some Mode data teams have found that some very important insights can only be found in raw data. Also, if your company uses more than one business intelligence platform, it will need more tools for data control, which makes Looker less useful.

In terms of security, Looker and Google have a strategy where they both take care of it. When you use Looker, it’s up to you to set up safe access between Looker and your database and to control who has access and what they can do. Google takes care of things like making sure the code is good and following other security best practices.

Tableau is more open than Looker when it comes to governance. You need to use links, joins, and custom SQL to get your data ready for analysis. People want Tableau and dbt to work together better because “dbt would have a lot of metadata that would be very useful for organizations to give to self-service Tableau users.” They can also work with third-party systems and models with more than one factor. Tableau also lets you set up protection for the network, data, and Tableau Server authentication.

Customization and Visualization Options

Both Looker and Tableau have a wide range of customization and visualization choices that let users turn raw data into meaningful insights that fit their needs. Looker has a flexible interface that lets users make their own screens and reports. It also has different types of visualizations like charts, graphs, and maps. Its modeling language, LookML, allows for complex customization and data modeling, which makes it possible to make graphics that meet specific business needs.

Tableau, on the other hand, has a drag-and-drop interface that makes it easy to make dynamic visualizations. With a large collection of visualization designs and a wide range of chart types, users can make visuals that bring data to life and are interesting to look at. Tableau’s ability to handle big datasets also makes sure that visualizations with complex designs run smoothly and quickly. Both platforms put an emphasis on user-driven customization, which lets businesses share data in ways that make the most sense to their audience and help them make better decisions.

Looker vs Tableau: Collaboration and Sharing Capabilities

When considering Looker and Tableau, the ability to collaborate and share is a key factor. Both systems have many features that make it easier to work as a team and share data insights. Looker is great at encouraging teamwork because it has a centralized data platform that lets multiple users work on the same dashboard at the same time. This makes it easy for people to talk to each other and give feedback in real time. It also lets people share data by sending scheduled reports and data to different parties.

Tableau’s strengths, on the other hand, lie in its easy-to-use interface for creating shared dashboards, where teams can work together to add to and change visualizations. It has different ways to post, like Tableau Server and Tableau Online, so that shared insights can be accessed safely. Looker’s real-time involvement and Tableau’s collaborative dashboard creation can help you figure out which platform is best for your organization’s teamwork and sharing needs.

Looker vs Tableau: Data integration and modeling

Looker has an open set of APIs that let the company pull data from any SQL database or third-party platform, like Shopify or Snowflake. You can connect Looker to a database that supports SQL queries, which will instantly create a LookML model. Team members can then work together to add to and change the model. Looker also comes with ready-made analytical templates called “Looker Blocks” that make it easy to move data to dashboards.

Tableau also links to a number of third-party platforms, which lets you pull data for visualization and make Tableau dashboards. For example, you can link Tableau to social media sites like Hootsuite and SproutSocial to make interesting visuals.

Looker: Pros and Cons


  • Collaborative data exploration and analysis.
  • Centralized data for consistent insights.
  • Customizable visualizations and dashboards.
  • Flexibility in pricing models.


  • Smaller community compared to Tableau.
  • LookML language requires initial investment.

Tableau: Pros and Cons


  • User-friendly drag-and-drop interface.
  • Extensive data visualization capabilities.
  • Strong data blending and integration.
  • Active and supportive community.


  • Less emphasis on collaborative analysis.
  • Limited native data modeling compared to Looker.

Looker vs Tableau: Which one should you consider?

Your choice for Looker or Tableau relies on your company’s needs, resources, and goals. Looker is ideal for data-driven decision-making teams since it promotes cooperation and data exploration. Smaller companies can profit from its pricing flexibility.

Tableau’s user-friendly interface and robust data visualization capabilities make it a great candidate for enterprises wanting compelling visuals without technical expertise.

Consider your team’s technical skills, data integration needs, collaboration needs, and budget before making a decision. Free trials of Looker and Tableau let you test their features and see if they’re right for you. Choosing the proper tool will help your company gain insights from data and make smart decisions.


Is Tableau or Looker better?

Looker is the best choice if your company wants a fast, easy-to-use system with beautiful ways to show data. Tableau is the better BI software if your company needs deep data analysis or a cheap plan for a small number of people.

What feature is unique to Tableau compared to Looker?

Compare and contrast. Even though both Looker and Tableau are business intelligence tools, they are good at different things. For starters, Looker stands out in the market because of its strict, proprietary control, while Tableau stands out because of how it displays data.

Is Looker similar to SQL?

Looker is basically a tool that makes SQL searches and sends them to a database connection. Looker makes SQL queries based on a LookML project that shows how tables and fields in a database relate to each other.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staffhttps://www.bollyinside.com
The Bollyinside editorial staff is made up of tech experts with more than 10 years of experience Led by Sumit Chauhan. We started in 2014 and now Bollyinside is a leading tech resource, offering everything from product reviews and tech guides to marketing tips. Think of us as your go-to tech encyclopedia!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

Best Telemedicine Software: for your healthcare practice

Telemedicine software has transformed my healthcare visits. It's fantastic for patients and doctors since they can obtain aid quickly. I...
Read more
I love microlearning Platforms in today's fast-paced world. Short, focused teachings that engage me are key. Microlearning platforms are great...
Think of a notebook on your computer or tablet that can be changed to fit whatever you want to write...
As of late, Homeschool Apps has gained a lot of popularity, which means that an increasing number of...
From what I've seen, HelpDesk software is essential for modern businesses to run easily. It's especially useful for improving customer...
For all of our important pictures, stories, and drawings, Google Drive is like a big toy box. But sometimes the...