Torbjorn Zetterlund

Wed 11 2020

Data Studio is so much easier to work with than Tableau

by bernt & torsten

Tableau is an old product which I worked with from 2009 tills I discovered Data Studio and switched. I will give my view of why I think Data Studio is easier to work with.

I was working as a Resource Manager back in 2009, I had to produce a resource utilization report on a weekly basis. We used an Excel sheet that we called staffing where we kept all the data to how the resource was allocated, and we used Tableau to make the report for senior management.

I remember that while working with Tableau was not that straightforward, you had to take a training course to learn how to do the reports and if you went on vacation and came back you had almost to re-learn Tableau as it was not that easy to use, it was not that straightforward to use.

I changed my job, and in my new environment the Google Cloud Platform is the cloud service of choice, and I got to get involved with doing some reports using Data Studio. I was surprised by how easy Data Studio is to use, and how well it integrates into the Google Cloud Platform.

Let’s take a look at Data Studio and Tableau.


Google Data Studio, does not have all the features that Tableau has. Tableau has a huge array of features for every analyst’s needs. The learning curve for Tableau is huge and mastery of each and every feature would take months of training. On the other hand, DataStudio is simple, has fewer features that are essential to an analyst and it’s easy to quickly grasp everything that’s possible and not possible.

Google Data Studio is easy for non-analysts to grasp how to make a report, I worked with one staff member whose job was not in data analysis, that very quickly create a report from a dataset that resided in BigQuery. With the easy drag to drop interface to create a report, Data Studio gives the opportunity to anyone in an organization making data reports, it democracies an organization’s data.

Do you have the right tools for your data?


Google Data Studio is frequently updated with new features. The DataStudio community is constantly requesting and prioritizing features that the product team actually listens to and acts upon. I like this about Data Studio and it makes me excited to keep using the product and see how much it can grow.

Best Data Connections

Tableau has more types of data sources available to connect to than Data Studio, but Data Studio has more quality connections, especially to other Google services such as Google Analytics, Google Adwords the Google Cloud Platform data services like BigQuery. On the other hand, getting such a setup in Tableau requires a lot more work and the easiness will never quite be there.

The most important data for a company can be linked directly in Data Studio which makes it powerful for quickly setting up robust reports and Tableau can’t compare.

Always Online

Tableau has a few features for getting your data online including Tableau Online and Tableau Server, but they feel tacked on to the main desktop product. When you work with Data Studio, everything is online from step one. You build reports online, your data is hosted online, you share reports – everything is online.

Sharing reports with Tableau, you might have to export as a CSV or a pdf file and then send it to the person via email. Or you might try to send them the Tableau file and hope that they have a view-only license installed and that it’s the correct version. In Data Studio you share a report you simply input the user’s Google Account email and choose view or edit rights to instantly make the report available.

The other benefit of using Google Accounts is that DataStudio is protected by all the same authentication as Google Sheets, Gmail, etc., which means that your data is more secure and it is more difficult to get the valuable performance data out of your company.


Not much to say Google Data Studio is Free to use, and Tableau charges an amount per license to run their software. You can make your own choice to spend money or get to use a service for FREE.


Since starting using Google Data Studio I enjoy my time creating dashboards/reports, when I worked with tableau I often got frustrated as I have forgotten a step in the process of creating a dashboard. I know people that like Tableau, it has its supporters. These data reporting tools will continue to evolve.