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GoodData Alternatives Based on its Reported Limitations

Written by
Rogan Sage,
last updated on
July 12, 2024

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The best customer-facing analytics experiences are intuitive for your end-user and blend seamlessly into your website or app. They empower users to make decisions based on real-time data and actionable insights. 

For that to be possible, you need a solution that’s straightforward to set up and totally customizable according to your UX. Not only that, but truly remarkable, interactive dashboards need to be high-performing and fast-loading.

GoodData is a powerful business intelligence (BI) solution, but it might not be the right tool for embedding top-class analytics experiences into your product. In this article, we’ll explore GoodData’s pros and cons and suggest a few of the best alternatives based on its limitations.

Discover a developer-friendly toolkit that’s purpose built for creating remarkable customer-facing analytics in a fraction of the time. Learn more.

Contents

GoodData

Financial dashboard for Syntax, built on GoodData, showing accounts receivable
With GoodData, users can analyze their data using AI. But it’s not fully customizable so you might not be able to configure it exactly to your UX. Source: GoodData

GoodData is, first and foremost, a cloud-based analytics platform for self-service BI. It has an AI assistant that supports non-technical users to search and analyze data using natural language. 

So, rather than setting up a complex query, a user could ask “compare customer acquisition costs from the last two quarters” and get that data right away.

That’s one way GoodData tries to differentiate itself from competitors like Microsoft PowerBI. Another is offering embedding via React SDK or web component—in addition to the traditional iframe option (which often results in slow, clunky loading experiences in your app).

GoodData works best when handling large datasets and running complex queries for internal use. But, when it comes to embedding, most users wish for more visualization options (more on this below). 

Since you’re here looking for alternatives, let’s explore why and what solutions we can suggest.

Why you might look for alternatives to GoodData

You’d most likely choose GoodData if you need a mid-range embeddable BI tool and have a relatively static user-base. Otherwise, the costs will start stacking up. But that’s not the only drawback:

  • Customization is limited. Since you’re not dependent on iframe embedding, you get a more-integrated experience with GoodData than, say, Tableau. But you can’t make edits in code. That means you can’t fully customize your analytics experiences to suit the needs of your end-user and the overall UX of your website or app. 
  • It’s not that easy to use. While the AI tool is intended to make the platform more accessible, users find the overall learning curve is steep. “In my eyes, it's not an out of the box solution,” says a user on Capterra. “We've completed multiple training sessions and it is difficult to use.” Part of the problem is it uses a proprietary programming language, MAQL. It’s meant to be simpler than SQL, but most users prefer to use the language they already know.
  • It’s expensive for small businesses. GoodData does make its pricing structure clearer than other BI tools, since it has dedicated plans for embedding. These start at $1,500 a month, scaling if you want more ‘workspaces’ (i.e. customer segments). “Scaling the platform for larger datasets got expensive quickly,” says Jessica W., Senior Marketing Executive. “The pricing structure felt inflexible for our evolving requirements.” You’ll also need to request a custom quote if you want more advanced security features.
“GoodData is definitely a great platform but there are certain limitations of the software as well. I think that there are just very limited options for securely transferring data between our company’s system and our client’s system.”
Aliya W., General Accounting Head

GoodData alternatives at a glance

In our shortlist, you’ll find alternatives that are either cheaper, easier-to-use, or more flexible than GoodData. Here’s a quick overview:

  GoodData  Embeddable  Explo  Sigma  Metabase 
Embed method   iframe, web component, React SDK  Web component  iframe or web component   iframe iframe 
Main benefit  Uses AI for predictive analysis Full customization freedom and a fixed price Easy to use with a less corporate UI  Easy to use  Cost-effective (if self-hosting) with low  developer dependency 
Main disadvantage  Lacks customization freedom & complicated to use Embedded analytics only - not part of an internal BI tool Gets expensive for big user bases  Can get costly and lacks customization freedom  Very opinionated UI
Pricing  Starting at $1,500 per month and scales with the number of workspaces (usually one per customer) Fixed price, no hidden fees or license fees per views or users  Starts at $1995 per month for white label with 25 users  Not disclosed - users say around $1,000 per creator/year  Starts at $500 per 10 users per month (embedding included) 

Now, let’s review each alternative in more detail.

1. Embeddable

Scalapay line graph built on Embeddable with drop-down filtering
This Embeddable chart demonstrates Scalapay’s simple visual language with modified KPI widgets and intuitive drop-down data selection. Source: Scalapay

Embeddable is a headless embedded analytics solution that uses next-gen embedding and a developer-optimized SDK to deploy user-facing analytics that load lightning-fast. 

It’s the only solution that gives you full control over the code while taking care of the backend for you, offering a native feel without building your solution from scratch. Here’s how we do it:

  • Next-gen embedding. Analytics are embedded using a web component—never iframe. Your dashboards load fast, directly in your DOM. With bi-directional communication between your charts and your app, your users get a more seamless experience.
  • Front-end toolkit. You can use Embeddable’s out-of-the-box components or work with a charting library. Either way, you own the code in your git repo so it’s fully customizable and our SDK makes it simple to publish your charts. 
  • Backend engine. Row-level security (RLS), caching, and performance is handled by our backend engine. So, your components will interact seamlessly with each other. Embeddable integrates with the most common databases through a read-only transaction, so your data is secure and loads super fast. Plus, you can customize the cache for even better performance.
  • No-code builder. You’ll need some developer input to get set up. After that, anyone can use the intuitive point-and-click interface (no coding required) to build and iterate on your dashboards. That’s one less barrier to remarkable analytics.

If you’re looking for ‌business intelligence software first, and embedding second, Embeddable isn’t the right choice for you. It’s purpose-built for embedding and doesn’t do internal BI. 

But that means no iframe embedding—and you get full customization freedom. There’s no reason you should be stuck with an inflexible plug-and-play solution that doesn’t match your UX.

See examples of what you can achieve with full control over the UX and UI.

What users say about Embeddable

Embeddable users like how customizable Embeddable is, noting how easy it is to build custom dashboards in the no-code builder.

“Embeddable is making it easier and quicker to build insights and dashboards for our customers, enabling us to make changes in a no-code builder and deploy them without engineering input."
Ritchie Cargill, Technical Lead at Resident Advisor

“What really excited me about Embeddable was what comes after [embedding]. We're talking about building filters, letting our users manage the charts themselves, and letting the team beyond just me make changes. That's where it starts to get really lucrative."
Nick Larson, Co-founder and CTO at AnyCreek.

"Embeddable seems to be the promise of the hyper customization of a tool like Plotly with the ease of use of something like Tableau. It may be the best of all those worlds.”
— Justin Hayes, CEO and co-founder of Parcelytics

Embeddable pricing

Most embedded analytics pricing models are designed to scale depending how many users or viewers you have. Embeddable is different. You pay a fixed, monthly fee with no hidden costs. You won’t be penalized for your growth.

"When pricing is per dashboard viewer, it becomes commercially unviable. Embeddable, offered the best package, fully customisable and a flat pricing."
Rodel van Rooijen, Founding Engineer at Solvimon.

Embeddable vs GoodData

If you’re choosing between Embeddable and GoodData, bear these factors in mind:

  • GoodData does internal BI as well as embedding. Embeddable doesn’t do internal business analytics. Instead, we focus on helping you create remarkable user-facing analytics experiences.
  • Embeddable is more customizable. While GoodData offers a range of embedding methods, you won’t own the code. So, with GoodData, there’s a limit to how native your charting components will feel, which is defined by which controls they make available to you on a given chart. 
  • Embeddable offers a fixed price. If you expect usage to scale, GoodData could become less affordable over time. With Embeddable, you’ll only ever pay a fixed monthly fee.
  • GoodData uses AI but might have a steeper learning curve overall. The AI Assistant is designed to help non-technical users build more quickly and easily. But overall, users report a steep learning curve. 

2. Sigma Embedded Analytics

An example dashboard built on Sigma for a business called EnzymaTech
Sigma is considered fairly intuitive to use but you’re dependent on iframe embedding. Source: Sigma

Sigma is a cloud-based platform for self-service data analytics. It’s known for having a shallow learning curve and an intuitive user interface that’s quite similar to Excel. Sigma’s Embedded Analytics feature can be used to embed dashboards into your website or app using an iframe. 

Here’s why people choose Sigma for embedded analytics:

  • No coding experience required
  • Out-of-the-box charting components for building simple dashboards
  • Extensive integration with a variety of data sources including Snowflake, BigQuery, and Redshift
  • Cloud-based architecture so you can scale as much as your budget allows

You can’t edit Sigma’s charting components in code, unfortunately. Thanks to iframe embedding and Sigma’s opinionated UI, it’s unlikely that your visualizations will ever load as fast as you’d like, or feel fully native to your app. But that’s true of most out-of-the-box solutions.

What users say about Sigma 

Sigma is known for being easy to use, especially for those who are familiar with Excel. However, users wish there were more visualization options and a broader range of features.

“Some of our team members use it to embed dashboards into our production systems, while others use it for basic analysis and reporting. While Sigma is very simple to use, it's sometimes lacking in robust visualization options and the ability to customize how certain aspects of the charts look and feel.”
Paxon F., Senior Data Scientist

“Embed implementation is quite simple. Creating dashboards is easy and styling options are simple but effective. Coming from Tableau there are some features and functionalities which do not exist yet.”
Sigma user

“Its embedded analytics abilities allows us to leverage its computational power that would have taken forever to create internally.” 
Cam E., Data Analyst

Sigma pricing 

Sigma operates on a quote-based model and doesn’t publish its prices online. Some users report paying around  $1,000 per creator per year, which may include unlimited viewers (but this is unclear).

Sigma vs GoodData

Here’s how Sigma and GoodData compare:

  • Sigma is very easy to use.  Both platforms boast no-code UI, but Sigma is the more user-friendly out of the two, according to users.
  • GoodData may end up costing more. It’s difficult to compare pricing since Sigma scales per creator while GoodData scales according to workspaces (customer segmentation). But if you need more workspaces than GoodData’s Pro plan allows, Sigma could be more cost-effective.
  • Sigma only supports iframe embedding. One of Sigma’s biggest flaws is iframe embedding, which requires the end-user to load Sigma within your app so they can see your analytics. This could harm the UX, since you get no control over how Sigma’s analytics behave in your app.

3. Metabase Embedded

Dashboard on Metabase showing company-wide KPIs and MoM revenue
Metabase offers a free self-hosted version (with their branding) and is easy to use at a basic level. Source: Metabase

Metabase is a low-code business intelligence platform with cloud-based or on premise hosting options. If you need a straightforward way to bring simple dashboards or charts into your application, Metabase Embedded Analytics might be the answer.

Here’s what you should know about Metabase:

  • It uses iframe embedding which is quick and easy to deploy but compromises the user experience and loading speeds
  • You can set up static or ‘interactive’ dashboards. The latter essentially embeds the full BI tool into your app, which is powerful but overkill for simpler use cases
  • It’s user-friendly at a basic level but users will hit a steep learning curve if they need to process more complex data.

Compared to other BI platforms, Metabase is one of the most user-friendly and cost-effective ways to embed analytics into your website or app. However, it’s really only suitable if you want simple dashboards and don’t mind embedding their very opinionated UI into yours.

What users say about Metabase 

Everyone remarks on how easy it is to do simple, ad hoc queries in Metabase. However, users report that it lacks visualization options and can be bogged down by slow loading speeds.

“The query editor is fantastic, it's straightforward to generate reports and configure. Easiness comes with disadvantages, there are very few parameters you can tweak in charts and reports and not many configuration options.” 
Gustavo M., Data Engineer

“Great user experience, great user management, easy to use and everybody learns quickly how to find the information they need. I believe for more complex analysis you will need a more robust system.”
Fernando, Head of Customer Experience

“The downside of Metabase is when multiple users are using the same dashboard or report at the same time, it becomes too slow.” — Saurabh R., Product Manager 

Metabase pricing 

For whitelabel embedding, you’ll need the Pro or Enterprise plan, starting at $500 for 10 users per month. Additional users are $10 each per month. That’s north of $20,000 per month if you have 2,000 viewers, for example.

Anyone who signs in to view analytics is counted among billed users, so costs will rise further if you offer interactive embedding. If you offer static embedding, viewers can access analytics at no extra cost—but they won’t be able to run ad hoc queries or build their own dashboards.

Metabase vs GoodData

  • Metabase is easier to use if you just need simple dashboards. It’s low-code and very straightforward to set up. However, it’s not suited to advanced data modeling as the learning curve suddenly becomes very steep.
  • Metabase is more cost-effective especially if your end-users don’t need ad hoc query access. Its fees scale per business user, so if your customers only require viewing access to static dashboards, it’s quite affordable.
  • GoodData supports more embedding options while Metabase only offers iframe embedding.

Pro tip: If all you need to do is showcase some interesting statistics in your app, try Metabase. It can be cheap, depending on your use case, and it’s easy to deploy. If you want more customization freedom and interactivity, consider GoodData or another alternative on this list.

4. Explo

Explo analytics dashboard for the music industry, showing streaming figures for top songs and albums
Like GoodData, Explo offers AI-powered data analysis. Source: Explo

Explo was purpose-built for quickly and easily embedding dashboards and reports into your application. Meanwhile, other tools like Sigma and Metabase focus first on internal BI and offer embedding as an add-on. 

As a result, Explo is somewhat better suited to embedding than a traditional BI tool. The visualizations aren’t so corporate in style and it gives you the option to embed using a web component if preferred.

Explo even claims to offer native-feeling embedding. But, there’s a limit to how much you can customize your analytics experiences on this platform, since you don’t own the code.

Here’s what you can do with Explo: 

  • Embed using either web component or iframe
  • Create dashboards using a no-code builder
  • Ask questions about the data using natural language and get answers powered by AI
  • Create white-label portals for accessing analytics

What users say about Explo

Typically, users find Explo to be very user-friendly and quick to deploy. Like most SaaS embedding solutions, however, this does mean you sacrifice full customization freedom.

“It has a very user-friendly interface. We can create interactive data visualizations that look and feel professional in minutes. There are some missing features that makes it hard to provide the reporting experience we would like for our customers.”
Ashok B., Engineering Change Manager.

“Not quite as flexible as building in house would have been, but more than satisfactory for what we need.” — Explo user

“Deploying fast lost us some very detailed control over the solution, but it would have taken us a very long time to build from scratch so the trade off was worth it.” — Explo user

Explo pricing

Explo does have a free plan, but it’s only for internal BI.

  • Growth plan starts at $695 per month. You’ll need this one for embedded dashboards but note that the templates are limited and it’s not whitelabel
  • Pro plan starts at $1,995 per month, with whitelabel embedded dashboards. It includes unlimited templates and 25 ‘customer groups’*
  • Quote on request for the Enterprise plan

*With Explo, ‘customer groups’ refer to how you segment access according to users, partners, or clients. For example, if you run a booking platform for short-term rentals, each property management company would have their own customer group with unlimited users and viewers. If you’re a B2C business, or have many users across different businesses then this may get expensive quickly.

Explo vs GoodData

Explo and GoodData have a similar profile overall, but this should help you choose between the two:

  • Explo is very easy to use. You’ll be able to create dashboards using out-of-the-box components and embed them in your website or app in minutes. Plus, there’s no need to learn a proprietary programming language (unlike GoodData). Users noted that GoodData has a steep learning curve overall.
  • Both use AI to answer natural language questions. The question remains on how accurate AI-based querying is, especially if it’s not backed by a robust semantic modeling layer with appropriate synonym handling and a response-accuracy feedback loop to enable it to learn. However, in theory, this promises to simplify data analysis for the end-user.
  • GoodData supports embedding with React SDK as well as web component and iframe. Explo only offers web component or iframe embedding.
  • Explo’s pricing model is more transparent. Both scale according to how many customer segments you need (Explo calls it ‘customer groups’ while GoodData calls it ‘workspaces’). GoodData may be slightly cheaper, starting at $1,500 per month with white-labeling, but it’s not clear how many workspaces are included.

Know how many workspaces are included in GoodData’s Pro plan? Let us know and we’ll update this article! 

Pro tip: If fast deployment and ease-of-use is more important than anything else, consider Explo. If you’d prefer the flexibility of embedding with a React SDK, GoodData can do it—but be warned that costs could become unmanageable if you need more workspaces. 

What about custom-built embedded analytics?

One major drawback of GoodData is it lacks flexibility. There’s a limit to how much you can customize its charting components and it’ll always feel somewhat foreign to your app. 

That’s OK if your priority is to give business users access to a few quick metrics. But if you want your customers to experience high-performing, interactive analytics that support their decision-making and fit seamlessly into your UX… most out-of-the-box solutions just aren’t good enough.

But that doesn’t mean your only option is to build your analytics from scratch. Custom embedded analytics are amazing, but very complicated and expensive to build (as we know from years of successfully running our BI platform, Trevor.io). 

That’s why we made Embeddable. You shouldn’t have to settle for an inflexible embedding solution or drain all your resources on building analytics from the ground up. With Embeddable, you own the frontend code in your git repo, so it’s yours to edit as you see fit. It handles all of the backend whilst providing an intuitive no-code dashboard builder, so it only takes ~10% of the time vs. going for a fully custom build.

If you’re curious about Embeddable: Request the developer docs

How to choose your embedded analytics solution

GoodData stands out as a data platform because it doesn’t rely on iframe embedding. But it loses points for customization, ease-of-use, and pricing. If that’s an issue, consider these alternatives:

  • For fully bespoke analytics that feel native to your app, try Embeddable. You own the code while our backend makes sure everything performs highly and loads lightning fast. It’s the only solution that gives you full customization freedom without building from scratch.
  • If you need simple charts and rapid deployment, consider Metabase. It’s low code and easy to embed, but you’ll sacrifice customization freedom and performance.
  • For an all-round easy-to-use internal BI solution, try Sigma. It’s a shame that Sigma uses iframe embedding, because it’s otherwise an intuitive, mature tool. Best for when you need internal BI as well as embedding—and don’t mind sacrificing customization.
  • For AI-powered data analysis without GoodData’s steep learning curve, go for Explo. It’s very similar to GoodData in many ways, but more user-friendly. Just beware that it could get costly as you scale. 
Discover a developer-friendly toolkit that’s purpose built for creating remarkable customer-facing analytics in a fraction of the time. Learn more.

Frequently asked questions about GoodData alternatives

What are some cost-effective alternatives to GoodData for small businesses?

Small businesses that need embedded analytics should consider Embeddable and Metabase as alternatives to GoodData. Metabase is widely considered one of the most cost-effective BI platforms, and offers static embedding at no extra cost on its Pro plan. However, if you want a more flexible solution try Embeddable. With Embeddable, you pay a fixed monthly price with no hidden fees. Plus, you get more control over how your analytics look and behave in your app.

Embeddable is registered in England as TMD Technology Limited (no. 13856879), at International House, 142 Cromwell Road, London, SW7 4EF.