Compare Tableau to XLReporting in 7 Ways

author Edgar de Wit

One of the well-known names in Business Intelligence is Tableau.

This analytics platform, developed with the VizQL programming language, has been around since 2003. Tableau gives users the ability to create graphic and interactive dashboards. In 2019 they were acquired by Salesforce.

As a market leader, Tableau has a lot to offer. But it comes at a high price level, and can be seen as an "Enterprise" solution.

We are comparing Tableau with XLReporting in seven ways. What are the pros and cons? What is Tableau good at and how does it compare to XLReporting?


The purpose of Tableau is visualization. The VizQL programming language is a toolbox of visualizations. Almost any kind of dashboard is possible. From pivot tables to geo maps. In each visualization, you can zoom into the desired level.

The possibilities are endless, but that also has consequences.

When we look at the user experience, Tableau has a high learning curve. That is unavoidable with so much flexibility. Tableau compensates that with extensive consulting, training options, and a help center.

XLReporting deliberately only offers the most commonly used report types and visualizations available. Still, that is 30+ different types. And that also includes pivot tables and geo maps, and zooming in.

XLReporting also limits the number of options in visualization. In our experience, that is more than sufficient for almost every business, and it keeps things simple for our users. Our motto is "less is more".

As a result, the learning curve is low. After only a short training or watching our videos, users can create their own charts.



Tableau can only be used to visualise your data on dashboards. Tableau has no financial consolidation, financial reporting, planning or data-entry capabilities.

In XLReporting, you can create your planning models as easy as reports. Your planning data is immediately consolidated and visible in your reports and dashboards.

budget forecast model


Tableau is quite complex to install within your organization. You need the following components:

  • Tableau Prep Builder or other ETL software. For data loading, preparation, modeling, and calculation.
  • Tableau Desktop to create the visualizations and implement updates.
  • A Tableau Data management Add-on. Automates your setup and manages the data flows.
  • Tableau Online or Server: To share content and authorize users.
  • Web browser: For requesting the visualizations.

Installing Tableau is a significant IT project. By comparison, XLReporting is so much easier: you do not need to install anything. Everything runs in the browser and you can start right away.


The visualizations in Tableau demand a lot of server capacity. Especially as your users and data increases. As soon as the performance slows down, you'll have to scale up your server capacity.

XLReporting has been developed for scalability. It doesn't matter if you work with 10 or 1,000 users, you won't have to do anything.

XLReporting is highly optimized and runs on our servers. If the servers need more capacity, it is automatically adjusted. You won't even notice, and this happens at no extra cost to you.


Tableau has many support options, such as online video training, knowledge base, implementation partners, and a user community.

XLReporting has an extensive support center including tutorial videos. Our customers are supported by finance experts (not by automated bots or a help desk).


Tableau is an Enterprise solution, which shows in a pricing structure that consists of multiple components:

  • Per User: Price starts from $15 to $75 per month.
  • Add-ons: such as "Data Management" for $5.50 per user per month.
  • Additional Resources: Starts at $2,165 per month.
  • Servers, VMs, and desktops: for automating data flows.
  • Training and consultancy at extra cost.

Tableau starts with a minimum purchase of 100 users, 6 administrators, and one resource block. The minimum commitment starts at $2,613 per month.

XLReporting does not have pricing per user or server. You pay only for the number of reports and models that you create.

XLReporting starts at $500 a month for 20 reports, unlimited users, and data. For a complete reporting, consolidation, and budgeting platform.

7User experience

You can find many user reviews of Tableau. With 3,000+ reviews at Gartner and 1,500+ at Capterra, you can read different experiences.

These are the most common positives and negatives of Tableau:


  • BI leader
  • Many links with data
  • Support and community


  • High and inflexible cost
  • High investment in training
  • Slow performance


Tableau is big in Business Intelligence. But it does come with a heavy installation, training, and price tag. Your IT department needs to manage, maintain, and update Tableau.

Do you want more than just dashboards and visualizations? Do you want to do budgeting and forecasting as well as consolidation and financial reporting? With a low learning curve at an affordable price, XLReporting is the right tool for you.

xlreporting powerbi tableau

Contact us to request a demo or POC. We'll show you how XLReporting can add value to your company.

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