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Power BI vs ThoughtSpot: A Comparative Analysis

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    Choosing the right business intelligence (BI) tool is crucial for data-driven decision-making. Power BI and Thoughtspot are leading platforms that offer advanced analytics capabilities.

    Power BI is renowned for its comprehensive integration with other Microsoft products, while Thoughtspot is celebrated for its search-driven analytics and ease of use.

    This page will compare the two, focusing on their features, usability, and scalability. We'll also explore how Sourcetable provides a modernized, spreadsheet-like interface that syncs with your data, presenting an alternative for business intelligence tasks like reporting and data analytics.

    Power BI

    What is Power BI?

    Power BI is a comprehensive suite of business analytics tools that facilitates the transformation of disparate data sources into interactive and visually appealing insights. It is designed to cater to various business intelligence needs and is comprised of several components, including software services, apps, and connectors.

    • Components of Power BI

    • Power BI Desktop: A feature-rich desktop application used for creating reports and data visualizations.
    • Power BI service: A cloud-based SaaS service that enables the sharing and consumption of business insights.
    • Power BI Mobile apps: Applications that allow access to reports and dashboards on mobile devices.
    • Power BI Report Builder: A tool used for the creation of paginated reports.
    • Power BI Report Server: An on-premises server for publishing Power BI reports.
    • Data Connectivity and Integration

      Power BI provides connectivity to a wide array of data sources, including Excel spreadsheets, cloud-based data, and on-premises hybrid data warehouses. It supports the integration with other services such as OneLake and Microsoft Fabric, streamlining the process of data analysis and visualization for organizations.

    • Usage and Flexibility

      The platform is versatile, serving individuals in different roles within an organization. It enables users to connect to data sources, visualize trends and patterns, and share insights. Power BI's compatibility with Microsoft Fabric aids in the administration of the service, making it a flexible and powerful tool for creating business intelligence insights.

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    What is ThoughtSpot

    ThoughtSpot is an analytics platform that combines artificial intelligence (AI) with a search-driven interface. It provides self-service capabilities specifically designed for business and data teams. The platform facilitates embedding insights for customers, allowing natural language queries and offering a flexible, scriptable, and governed data model.

    • Key Features

    • AI-driven insights
    • Natural language processing
    • Scriptable data model
    • Granular controls and auditability
    • Capabilities

    • Embedded analytics
    • Data analysis and exploration
    • Insight sharing
    • Ad hoc analysis with AI-assisted coding
    • Applications

    • Replacing manual reports
    • Designing AI-powered analytics for products
    Power BI

    Power BI Features

    Data Connectivity and Visualization

    Power BI provides the capability to connect to any type of data source. Users can visualize data with a wide range of customizable reports and dashboards.

    Integration into Everyday Apps

    Power BI enables the infusion of data visuals into commonly used applications, enhancing productivity and data accessibility within the user's workflow.

    Insight Discovery

    With Power BI, users have the tools to discover insights in their data, facilitating informed decision-making and impactful actions.

    Support Services

    Power BI offers chat support to assist users with queries and issues, ensuring a smooth experience in data analysis and reporting.

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    ThoughtSpot Features Overview

    Latest Release: 9.10.5

    The most recent update to ThoughtSpot Analytics Cloud is version 9.10.5, enhancing the platform with new functionalities.

    Liveboard AI

    Liveboard AI enables rapid insights by summarizing significant changes in key metrics, streamlining the analysis process.

    Mode Connector

    Integration with ThoughtSpot Mode through Mode connector offers advanced, AI-driven analytics capabilities.

    Custom Sets

    Custom Sets feature allows users to categorize data into reusable segments, facilitating flexible and repeated analysis across different datasets.

    Power BI

    Advantages of Using Power BI for Business Intelligence

    Collaboration and Sharing Capabilities

    Power BI Pro enhances collaboration by allowing users to share and collaborate on interactive data visualizations. Integration with Microsoft Teams, Dynamics 365, and Microsoft Power Platform facilitates seamless sharing of insights.

    Self-Service Analytics

    Users can conduct self-service analytics, empowering them to derive insights without extensive technical skills. The platform's low-code or no-code tools simplify data preparation.

    Data Connectivity and Integration

    The ability to connect to any data source and add data to the OneLake data hub ensures comprehensive data accessibility. Microsoft Fabric provides a unified environment for all data-related activities.

    Advanced Analytical Tools

    Power BI Pro's advanced generative AI aids in uncovering deeper insights, while familiar tools ensure ease of use for those acquainted with Microsoft's suite of products.

    Data Governance

    Data governance is streamlined within Power BI Pro, offering secure management of business data, ensuring compliance and integrity in reporting and analytics.

    Power BI

    Disadvantages of Using Power BI for Business Intelligence

    Usability Challenges

    Power BI presents a steep learning curve that can be a significant barrier for new users. This complexity may lead to longer onboarding times and reduced productivity in the initial stages of adoption.

    Customization and Compatibility Issues

    Limited customization options in Power BI restrict the ability to tailor the tool to specific business needs. Additionally, compatibility issues with non-Microsoft applications can hinder seamless integration within diverse IT environments.

    Data Handling Limitations

    Users may encounter difficulties with specialized data sources or types not supported by Power BI. Moreover, there are restrictions on the amount of data that can be loaded, impacting businesses with large datasets. Power BI's in-memory data processing limitations can also affect performance.

    Performance and Data Integrity Concerns

    Performance issues may arise when handling large datasets, leading to slower insights and decision-making. A slow query editor further exacerbates these performance issues. Data integrity could be compromised when utilizing Excel with Power BI.

    Visual and Security Limitations

  • Power BI has limited visual customization, which may not meet all reporting requirements.
  • Limited visual formatting options can affect the presentation and readability of reports.
  • Concerns surrounding data security may arise due to Power BI's limited data security features.
  • Online Dependency

    Being an online-only application, Power BI requires a constant internet connection, which could be limiting in scenarios where offline access is necessary.

    Power BI

    Frequently Asked Questions About Power BI

    What is Power BI?

    Power BI is a cloud-based business analytics service that allows users to visualize and analyze data from a variety of sources.

    How can I get started with Power BI?

    Business users need a web browser and email to get started using Power BI, and Power BI Desktop is a free application for creating reports.

    What are the differences between Power BI Pro and Power BI Premium?

    Power BI Pro allows users to access all content and capabilities in the Power BI service, including the ability to share content and collaborate with other Pro users. Power BI Premium provides a capacity to deliver more consistent performance, supports larger data volumes, and enables widespread distribution of content by Pro users.

    Is Power BI available on mobile devices?

    Yes, Power BI native apps are available for Android, iOS, and Windows 10 devices.

    How can I undo an action in Power BI?

    Undo can be done with Power BI by pressing Ctrl+Z.

    Use Cases for Power BI

    • Power BI

      Enterprise BI for content distribution at scale

    • Power BI

      Self-service real-time analytics for business analysts

    • Power BI

      Embed for your customers to integrate visuals in custom applications

    • Power BI

      Advanced data preparation for multiple users and use cases

    • Power BI

      On-premises reporting for internal business intelligence content sharing

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    Advantages of Using ThoughtSpot for Business Intelligence

    Comprehensive Professional Services

    ThoughtSpot's Professional Services team delivers AI-Powered Analytics as part of its comprehensive service offerings, ensuring that clients can leverage the full potential of the Modern Analytics Cloud for their business intelligence needs.

    Expert Project Management

    The team's expertise in project delivery and staffing management guarantees that all aspects of analytics projects are handled efficiently, from inception to completion.

    Extensive Consulting Experience

    With significant consulting and solution delivery experience, ThoughtSpot's team brings a wealth of knowledge to business intelligence tasks, enhancing reporting and data analytics outcomes for clients.

    Modern Data Stack Proficiency

    Proficiency in modern data stack components, including cloud data platforms, data sources, ETL, data warehousing, and data schemas, allows for tailored analytics solutions that meet the unique needs of each business.

    Dedicated Engagement and Solutions Expertise

    The engagement managers and solutions architects at ThoughtSpot are highly dedicated and experienced, enabling them to drive successful client engagements and craft optimal solutions for data analytics challenges.

    Proven Customer Success

    With a track record of helping hundreds of customers, ThoughtSpot has demonstrated success in empowering businesses to achieve their analytics goals and derive actionable insights from their data.

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    Disadvantages of Using Thoughtspot for Business Intelligence

    User Adaptability

    Non-analytics business users may find Thoughtspot challenging to adapt to, with a considerable amount of time required to become comfortable with the platform. Additionally, there is a possibility that some users might never fully adapt to Thoughtspot's search-driven data exploration approach.

    Organizational Features

    Thoughtspot does not support the organization of reports into directories, which can lead to difficulties in managing and navigating through reports, especially as the number of reports grows within an organization.

    Technical Limitations

    The platform can exhibit bugs that affect user experience. Thoughtspot's data model complexity is higher than some other tools, potentially increasing the learning curve and implementation time.

    Reporting and Visualization Constraints

    With limited visualization and cosmetic formatting options, Thoughtspot restricts users in terms of personalization and presentation of data. The platform's drill down functionality is also not as effective as users might require for in-depth data analysis. The lack of options for font and color customization further limits the ability to tailor reports to specific branding or visual preferences.

    Training and Usability

  • Users need training to fully utilize Thoughtspot's features, which may add to the implementation timeline and costs.
  • There is no limit on the number of reports a user can create, potentially leading to clutter and management issues.
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    Frequently Asked Questions About Thoughtspot

    How can I find out which version of ThoughtSpot I am using?

    You can find the version of ThoughtSpot by clicking on the information center icon, then looking in the About section.

    Why am I not seeing certain columns or values in the dropdown when using ThoughtSpot?

    You may not see certain columns/values in the dropdown because the index has not been built with the latest data, or the column is being dropped.

    How can I verify if a column is available in ThoughtSpot?

    To verify that a column is available, you should use the Data page.

    What should be the INDEX PRIORITY value for a column in ThoughtSpot?

    The INDEX PRIORITY value for a column should be 1.

    Use Cases for Thoughtspot

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      BI strategy

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      Data visualization

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      Self-service analytics

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      AI-driven insights

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      Data modeling


    Why Sourcetable is the Superior Choice for Business Intelligence

    • Simplification of Reporting and Data Analytics

      Sourcetable streamlines the process of reporting and data analytics by integrating data from various services into a user-friendly spreadsheet-like interface. This consolidation enables businesses to manage their data more effectively, making it a more efficient alternative to Power BI and Thoughtspot.

    • Seamless Data Synchronization

      By syncing data across multiple platforms, Sourcetable ensures that all information is up-to-date and accessible in one place. Unlike Power BI and Thoughtspot, which require navigating through different interfaces and visuals, Sourcetable's unified approach saves time and simplifies user experience.

    • User-Friendly Interface

      The intuitive spreadsheet-like interface of Sourcetable caters to users familiar with traditional spreadsheet software. This familiarity removes the learning curve associated with mastering new software, positioning Sourcetable as a more accessible solution for business intelligence tasks.

    Power BI
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    Comparison Between Power BI and ThoughtSpot

    Data Connectivity

    Both Power BI and ThoughtSpot provide robust capabilities to connect to various data sources. Users can integrate and visualize data from multiple repositories effectively.

    Data Visualization

    Power BI and ThoughtSpot offer advanced data visualization tools. These tools enable the creation of interactive and dynamic visuals to enhance data comprehension.

    Integration with Applications

    Power BI allows users to infuse visuals into everyday apps, a feature that is mirrored by ThoughtSpot's ability to embed analytics into business applications for streamlined workflows.

    Power BI
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    Power BI vs ThoughtSpot

    Data Connection and Visualization

    Power BI excels in its ability to connect to virtually any data source, offering extensive visualization options. Users can create comprehensive, interactive reports tailored to their business needs. ThoughtSpot, on the other hand, emphasizes search-driven analytics, enabling users to generate insights using natural language queries.

    Integration with Applications

    Power BI allows for the integration of visuals into everyday applications, enhancing the user experience by making data-driven insights more accessible within familiar tools. ThoughtSpot's focus is more on the ad-hoc discovery of insights rather than embedding analytics into other applications.


    Comparison of Power BI, Thoughtspot, and Sourcetable

    Power BI

    Power BI is a data visualization tool that allows users to connect to and visualize any data. It also provides capabilities to infuse visuals into users' everyday applications, enhancing the accessibility and integration of data analytics into daily workflows.


    Thoughtspot is known for its search-driven analytics, enabling users to explore data through a search-like interface. This contrasts with Power BI's emphasis on a broad range of data connections and visual integration into apps.


    Sourcetable focuses on spreadsheet-like functionality combined with data integration features, which differs from Power BI's and Thoughtspot's analytic and visualization capabilities. Sourcetable's unique selling proposition is its blend of a familiar spreadsheet interface with advanced data management tools.


  • Power BI excels in data visualization and app integration, while Thoughtspot offers a search-oriented analytics approach.
  • Sourcetable provides a spreadsheet-centric user experience, which is distinct from both Power BI's visualization strengths and Thoughtspot's search-based analytics.
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    Frequently Asked Questions About Sourcetable

    What is Sourcetable and who typically uses it?

    Sourcetable is a spreadsheet that allows users to access data from most 3rd party applications, query data, and build live models that automatically update. It is typically used by growth teams and business operations folks.

    How does Sourcetable sync data and how often does it update?

    Sourcetable syncs data from over 100 applications and most databases. Data integrations update every 15 minutes on the regular plan and every 5 minutes on the pro plan.

    Do users need to know how to code to use Sourcetable?

    No, users do not need to code to use Sourcetable.

    How much does Sourcetable cost and is there a free trial available?

    Sourcetable costs $50 per month for the starter plan and $250 per month for the pro plan. All plans have a 14-day free trial.

    Can Sourcetable replace other tools and how quickly can users start creating reports?

    Sourcetable replaces workflows that are typically done in Excel, Google Sheets, and Business Intelligence tools. Users can start creating reports within minutes.

    Power BI

    Power BI Pricing Overview

    • Power BI Pro and Premium Subscription Costs

      Power BI Pro is available at a cost of $10 per user per month, while Power BI Premium is offered at $20 per user per month. For larger scale deployments, Power BI Premium per capacity SKUs begin at a monthly rate of $4,995. Self-service purchase options are provided for both Power BI Pro and Premium per user licenses through the Microsoft 365 admin center or with a credit card.

    • Autoscale and Add-on Licenses

      Autoscale features are priced at $85 per vCore for every 24 hours of use. Additional licenses can be purchased as add-ons at a rate of $10 per user per month.

    • Power BI Premium per Capacity and Fabric SKUs

      Power BI Premium per capacity is available starting at $4,995 per month for the P1 SKU. The F64 SKU, which is equivalent to P1, is offered at a monthly cost of $5,002.67. For F64 SKU without any additional paid per-user licenses, the monthly price is $8,409.60. Both Power BI Premium per capacity and Fabric SKUs require purchasing through the Microsoft 365 admin center.

    • Free Power BI Services

      Power BI Desktop, Power BI Embedded, and Power BI Mobile applications are available for free.

    • Content Consumption without Per-User Licenses

      For SKUs P1 and higher, as well as F64 and above, all users can consume Power BI content without the need for additional paid per-user licenses.

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    ThoughtSpot Pricing Overview

    • Small Teams Plan

      The Small Teams Plan is priced at $95 per month and is designed for teams of up to 5 users. It includes natural language search and in-app and community-based support. Users can manage up to 5 million data points. This plan is billed on a monthly basis.

    • Small Companies Plan

      For small companies, ThoughtSpot offers a plan at $1250 per month, accommodating up to 20 users and providing up to 25 million data points. It includes natural language search, automated insights, in-app and community support, and row-level security. Billed annually, this plan is tailored for small business needs.

    • Most Popular Pro Plan

      Geared towards growing businesses, the Most Popular Pro Plan supports unlimited users and allows for the management of up to 500 million data points. It includes natural language search, automated insights, and 24x7 in-app support. This plan is billed annually and is favored for its comprehensive features.

    • Developer Plan

      The Developer Plan is free and caters to individuals and small developer teams. It supports up to 5 users and 3 million data points. The plan includes natural language search, in-app and Discord chat support, and access to APIs and dev tools. Additionally, it has a limit of 5 worksheets, 5 answers, and 10 liveboards.

    • Pro Plan

      Designed for single-tenant, medium scale applications, the Pro Plan offers unlimited users and up to 5 billion data points. This plan includes natural language search, automated insights, 24x7 in-app support, and access to APIs and dev tools.

    • Enterprise Plan

      The Enterprise Plan is suited for large scale, multi-tenant applications, providing unlimited users and data. It features automated insights, 24x7 in-app support, and access to APIs and dev tools, tailored for enterprise-level requirements.

    • Studio Plan

      The Studio Plan is free and aimed at individual analysts. Details about the features and limitations of this plan were not provided.

    Power BI

    User Reviews of Power BI

    Power BI, Microsoft's self-service business intelligence tool, has garnered attention for its exceptional data visualization capabilities and user-friendly interface. Its popularity among both experienced and new data analysts is reflected in its reviews from top business intelligence review websites.

    • Usability and Interface

      Users appreciate the highly intuitive UI of Power BI, often highlighting its short learning curve. The familiarity to Microsoft users contributes to its ease of use, making it a powerful tool for business analysts who require minimal training to get up to speed.

    • Data Connectivity and Integration

      The platform's ability to connect with a wide range of data sources is frequently praised. With 74 data connectors, including popular ones like MailChimp and Salesforce, Power BI enables seamless incorporation of diverse data into queries, which is a standout feature in user reviews.

    • Visualizations and Reporting

      Power BI's data visualization prowess is consistently mentioned in positive reviews. Users have access to a vast selection of custom visualizations from the Office Store, and the Publish to web feature is noted for its ability to make reports and visualizations public.

    • Versions and Pricing

      The availability of a free version is well-received by users, though they acknowledge its limitations in data storage and refresh cycles. The Professional version, designed for enterprises, is recognized for its enhanced storage, faster refresh cycles, and collaboration features.

    • Support and Development

      Microsoft's commitment to Power BI is evident from the multiple development teams working on the platform. Additional modules like Power BI Gateway - Personal are highlighted for facilitating secure data transfers between on-premises data and the cloud-based service.

    • Overall Experience

      As an Editors' Choice for self-service BI tools, Power BI is acclaimed for its comprehensive features that cater to a range of users. Its status as one of the best BI tools on the market is consistently echoed in user reviews.

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    User Reviews of Thoughtspot

    Top business intelligence review websites have compiled user feedback on Thoughtspot, highlighting its AI capabilities. These insights reflect the tool's strengths in utilizing artificial intelligence for data analysis.

    • Comparative Usage

      Some users prefer using PowerBI over Thoughtspot for their business intelligence needs. This preference is noted in discussions comparing various tools within the industry.

    • Market Potential

      Thoughtspot is perceived as promising by a segment of the user base. This sentiment suggests an optimistic outlook on its future applications and growth in the business intelligence domain.


    In summary, Power BI and ThoughtSpot offer distinct approaches to business intelligence. Power BI is integrated with Microsoft's suite of products, while ThoughtSpot emphasizes search-driven analytics.

    When considering ease of use, Power BI provides a more traditional BI toolset, whereas ThoughtSpot offers a more modern, intuitive search experience.

    For organizations looking for a more simplified approach to business intelligence, Sourcetable syncs data in real-time across services into a spreadsheet interface, which may be more familiar to some users.

    Simplify Your BI Tooling

    Sourcetable is the AI spreadsheet that lets you analyze your data in one place. Get unlimited access free for 14 days.