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4 Best Alternatives to Tableau for Embedded Analytics

Written by
Rogan Sage,
last updated on
June 18, 2024

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Tableau is known for its ability to process highly complex ad hoc queries and turn them into visual dashboards. It’s a perfectly adequate business intelligence (BI) platform for self-service BI and internal reporting.

However, when it comes to embedding those dashboards into your product, Tableau falls short. It does have an extensive visualization library and allows you to control some elements like colors and font—but you don’t get full customization freedom. Ultimately, the analytics experience always feels foreign when embedded into your app. It’s also not the best choice for real-time analytics, thanks to iframe embedding and slow data loading times. 

Given that you're reading an article about alternatives, it's likely that you're aware of some of the issues people commonly raise with Tableau Embedded.

Below, we’ll explore these drawbacks in more detail together. Then, we’ll deep dive into the best alternatives to Tableau for embedding analytics based on these themes—to help you choose the best solution for your end-users.

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

Tableau Embedded Analytics

Einstein Discovery KPI dashboard on Tableau
Tableau’s visualization library is extensive, but you don’t get full customization freedom.

Tableau is a BI platform built primarily for internal use. Like many business intelligence tools, it allows you to embed your dashboards into other applications. Tableau stands out because you can embed your analytics through an iframe or a web component. But the web component option has no row-level security (i.e. no permissions/user auth). 

Tableau Embedded is best suited for internal reporting or implementations where look and feel are less important. That’s because you don’t get much freedom to customize your charting components. While you can change the colors and fonts, it gets tricky when you need to customize the icons, calendars, borders, or shadows to meet your brand guidelines or integrate with your design system. 

Why you might look for an alternative to Tableau for embedded analytics

You’re likely looking for an alternative to Tableau for embedded analytics if you want to:

  • Achieve full customization freedom. While Tableau’s graphs library is extensive, users report that there isn’t enough customizability. You don’t own the code of the frontend charting components, so you can’t edit them to look and behave exactly the way you or your customers want.
  • Provide users with a native experience. When you open a website on your phone, you expect it to have a consistent, responsive design; the same goes for embedded analytics. Ideally, your analytics experience should be lightning-fast and feel just like the rest of your app. However, embedding through an iframe makes dashboards feel foreign and clunky. 
  • Scale at a fair price. Tableau can be expensive, especially when scaling up. Specific prices for embedded analytics aren't available on Tableau’s website, but the logic of its pricing model suggests you’ll need to pay for creators, users, and viewers. This  can significantly increase your bill every month.
  • Process large amounts of data. Some users complain that Tableau runs slow when processing large datasets. This can affect data freshness, crucial for live or real-time user-facing analytics. 
  • Save time for engineers and data teams. Tableau has a relatively steep learning curve, especially for non-technical users. To support your end-user and reduce the number of data requests getting pushed to your technical teams, you might want a no-code tool or alternative that puts more control in the hands of your customer-facing teams.
“Tableau is a powerful data visualization tool that allows users to quickly and easily create interactive, shareable dashboards and reports. However, Tableau can be expensive, especially for larger organizations requiring advanced features and capabilities. While Tableau is designed to be user-friendly, some users may find the learning curve to be steep.”Ankit P., Data QA Analyst and Tableau user.

In short, if you’re looking for advanced analytics for organizational use, Tableau might be the one for you. But, if you want to wow your end-users with a native-feeling analytics experience, reduce the burden on your data/engineering teams, or avoid scaling monthly costs—take a look at the other tools in this list.

Tableau alternatives at a glance

To help you find the right solution for your end-user, we’ve evaluated both business analytics tools and dedicated embedded analytics platforms. Here’s a quick overview before we get into the details:

Comparison chart showing Tableau alternatives

1. Embeddable

Embeddable no code builder illustration
Build user-facing analytics, tweak the code to fit your preferences, and embed your experiences using web components

Embeddable is a software development kit (SDK) for building remarkable, highly custom user-facing analytics. It follows a headless architecture approach, letting you combine data models and charting components that your engineers can tweak or redefine in code. Then, those definitions move on to the no-code builder for your customer-facing teams to use and create engaging, interactive dashboards that fit perfectly with your existing user experience.

With Embeddable, you’ll get a:

  • Front-end toolkit. Bring the charts we provide you into your git repo and make as many edits as you like. Then, push them to Embeddable using the SDK. It’s pure code, so you can also use any open-source charting library you like (e.g.  ChartJS, Highcharts, Google Charts, Tremor) or even build your own.
  • Backend engine. Embeddable manages security, performance, caching, interactions between components etc—and provides the end user with real-time data that loads instantly. It connects to all major databases securely through a read-only transaction and lets you customize the cache for even better performance.
  • No-code dashboard builder. Anyone on your marketing, design, product, or customer success teams can build and iterate upon your dashboards without needing to code. Instead, they use an intuitive interface with point-and-click functionality to build experiences that align with your brand and user needs.
  • Next-gen embedding. Your analytics will load directly in your DOM, fast, because it embeds via a web component (not a slow, clunky iframe). This also enables bi-directional communication between your app and the charts themselves.

Like the very best developer-focused  SaaS products, Embeddable comes with a community of innovative developers, designers, and product people. You’ll have the opportunity to create and experiment together, and take the industry’s standard of user-facing analytics to new heights.

Curious to learn more? Request the developer docs

What users say about Embeddable

Users like Embeddable because it helps them build eye-catching, fully bespoke analytics experiences in 10% of the time it would take them to build them from scratch. 

  • “Easy to use, clearly-written docs, super friendly team.” — Bart Lammers, CTO at Eyk
  • "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 a shipping analytics company.
  • "What really excited me about Embeddable was what comes after [embedding analytics]. 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 pricing

We work on a fixed embedded analytics pricing model. You pay a monthly price with no hidden costs or extra fees per users, viewers, or dashboards. This approach makes Embeddable an appealing solution for mid to large businesses, or products with a large or growing user base.

Embeddable vs. Tableau

The main differences between Embeddable and Tableau are:

  • Tableau is a BI tool with embedding capabilities, as we’ve covered, you can add your dashboards to your internal or external apps through an iframe. However, Embeddable was built from the ground up for customer-facing analytics. It focuses on integrating seamlessly with your existing development practices and processes.
  • Embeddable is an SDK for developing customer-facing analytics (you maintain control while we handle the backend). Tableau is a plug-and-play software solution.
  • You can’t fully customize your designs with Tableau. The dashboards always look like they were made somewhere else. Embeddable gives you full customization freedom and a more native-feeling analytics experience.
  • Embeddable can be more cost-efficient for businesses because it charges a fixed price, while Tableau charges per users, views, and features.
Pro tip: If you need to ship analytics today or if you want to embed your dashboard into internal apps only, pick Tableau. However, if you want to create a remarkable experience for your customers that loads fast as well, then Embeddable is probably a better option for you.

2. Preset (on Apache Superset)

Preset dashboard showing multiple metrics and visuals for the World Bank
Access the full benefits of Superset through a simplified interface: Preset

Preset is the fully-managed version of Apache Superset, one of the most popular open-source BI tools in the market. That means you get the benefits of an open-source solution as well as the support of a SaaS model. 

Preset offers:

  • The ability to embed your dashboards 
  • Embedding with an iframe using the Preset API 
  • A big visualization library with various chart types 
  • Filtering and data exploration capabilities

However, like all open-source products, full customization requires coding experience. It’ll take significant developer input to make the most of Preset’s flexibility.

What users say about Preset

Users choose Preset because it gives them more freedom to customize the available charts and it can be less expensive than other tools in the market. However, there are still limitations to how much you can customize charts and, overall, it has a steep learning curve. 

  • “I like Preset’s rich feature set and that it’s open-source in nature (Apache Superset). Unlike its competitors, it's quite challenging to use, especially at the start. Some features, you can't really expect non-technical users to be able to use intuitively.” — Preset user and data analytics manager
  • “It makes the user experience very intuitive and convenient. One thing I would wish for a new feature is a native integration with dbt so that Superset automatically displays all of our important metadata stored in our dbt project.”  — Preset user and logistics and supply chain employee

Preset pricing

Preset offers three different pricing plans: 

  • Free. Up to five users and unlimited dashboards and charts 
  • Professional. $20/user/month and 2 workspaces + $500
  • Enterprise. Custom quote including API access and database integration

To embed your dashboards, you need to be on the Professional or Enterprise plan and pay for the embedded add-on. The Embedded Dashboard Viewer license starts at $500 a month for 50 licenses.

Preset vs. Tableau

Tableau and Preset are two different products with similar functionality. Here’s how they compare:

  • Tableau is a private BI tool owned by Salesforce while Preset is the managed version of an open-source tool (Apache Superset)
  • Preset is more customizable than Tableau due to its open-source nature
  • Tableau and Preset are both reported to have a steep learning curve
  • They both embed using an iframe 
Pro tip: If you need to have more control over your dashboards and how they look, then Preset might be a better option. However, if you’re looking for a plug-and-play solution that lets you ship analytics within hours without needing the design to match your platform's look and feel, then Tableau might be a better fit. 

3. Luzmo

Luzmo ecommerce KPI dashboard showing a map with zoom functionality for deeper data analysis
Build embedded analytics using pre-built designs and visualizations on Luzmo

Luzmo is an embedded analytics platform that allows you to easily create dashboards for your users to see without much engineering work. Here are Luzmo’s stand out features:

  • Supports self-service analytics through its embedded analytics dashboard editor. Here, users can interact with the data and create their own dashboards. This is only available to enterprise customers.
  • Drag-and-drop functionality that makes the UX very friendly and overall easy to use
  • Modern visualizations that make your dashboard look less corporate and more suited for user-facing applications

On the downside, Luzmo isn’t the best option for processing highly complex data analytics. As a result, users find themselves spending more time creating those dashboards. Plus, you can’t create custom formulas to organize and view the data, or get full control over the way the charts look and behave.

What users say about Luzmo

Users choose Luzmo for quick and easy dashboards. However, they feel it lacks customization options and it gets complicated to navigate the UI or handle more complex dashboards. 

  • “Luzmo is simple enough to use that non-technical people are easily able to be involved. However, we are planning to have a lot of dashboards and datasets in the future, and I think the UI isn’t necessarily super easy to navigate once we get to the stage. It can also be time-consuming to create more complex dashboards and ensure the right themes/colors are applied.” — Luzmo user and computer software employee
  • “I like the flexibility of options it contains, the possibility of having control over the data, and the ease of creating an embedded BI solution in record time. Not very challenging integration with a great support team. Some limitations in the components, but their team is always trying to improve them” — Juan Carlos P., Luzmo user

Luzmo pricing

Luzmo offers three pricing plans: 

  • Basic: $995/month for 100 monthly active viewers and one designer. This plan includes Luzmo’s brand in your design
  • Pro: $2050/month for 500 monthly active viewers and five designers. This plan supports while labeling
  • Elite: $3100/month for 1000 monthly active viewers and 30 designers. This version supports the embedded dashboard editor

Luzmo vs. Tableau

Luzmo is different from Tableau in these aspects:

  • Luzmo is a dedicated embedded analytics platform that was built for self-service analytics for end-users
  • Both tool have an opinionated UI, and don’t give you full control over the UX & UI
  • Luzmo embeds with a web component while Tableau uses an iframe
  • Luzmo is faster to load queries due to its accelerator feature and Tableau is known to run a bit slow 
  • Tableau has more visualization options but Luzmo’s have a more modern look 
Pro tip: If you want to add modern looking user-facing analytics to your product, and don’t need to process complex data, then Luzmo is the better option. If you need complex data processing and you’re happy to embed OK-looking analytics for end-users, then Tableau will work for you.

4. Power BI Embedded

Power BI dashboard showing how to embed it outside of the tool
Embed your Power BI dashboards using an iframe and share them with internal or external users

Power BI Embedded is a Microsoft business intelligence product that can be used for adding analytics to your internal or external apps. This white-label solution allows you to customize certain options like colors, layouts, and adding your logo. Some key features of Power BI include:

  • Power BI supports row-level security (RLS), and, as with other Microsoft products, prioritizes security
  • Power BI allows you to preload the data in your embedded dashboards so users can see the data more quickly. Note: this affects data freshness. 
  • Since it embeds using an iframe, embedding with Power BI is a very easy process. You just have to copy and paste a code snippet into your repo and set up the auth via the API. But, as you know, this gives your dashboards a foreign feel and a slower, clunky user experience.
  • Supports seamless integration with almost every data source and SQL and NoSQL database in the market.

The problem is, Power BI Embedded can be very costly to scale because it charges per user and usage. Scaling happens in blocks—if you need one more GB of RAM storage, you need to pay for the next available block that’s double the initial price. Also, Power BI comes with fairly standard visualizations and lacks customization freedom.

What users say about Power BI Embedded

Users like that Power BI is a high quality, mature tool. However, like Tableau, it does feel like another tool has been embedded within your app, and can subject users to long loading times. 

  • “Data is made available in a very easy to access manner [but] it can be difficult to specialize how data is presented if you don't know your way around the software.” — Jimmy B., process improvement engineer
  • “It takes a bit to load. Then another big issue is you can review results in real time. You have to wait until the next day to see metrics.” — James D., Power BI Embedded user
  • “As a Software Developer, I was able to successfully integrate charts created in Power BI into applications. This helped my clients to view the data in graphical format for making big management decisions. Clients have expressed worries about Power BI Embedded being slow when many people use it together.“  — Nisha R., software engineer

Power BI Embedded pricing

Power BI Embedded offers usage- and user-based paid plans that start at $735.91 per month for an A1 node with 3GB of RAM capacity and one virtual core. If you’re unsure what that actually means, you’re not alone. Many people report that the pricing model is confusing and unpredictable. 

If you run out of storage, the price jumps to $1,465.91 per month. In addition to usage, you also have to pay for the Power BI Pro license which is $10 per user per month. 

Learn more about Power BI Embedded pricing.

Power BI Embedded vs. Tableau

Overall, Tableau and Power BI are fairly similar tools. Here’s how they compare:

  • Power BI charges per usage and users, while Tableau charges per feature and users.
  • Power BI’s visualization library is somewhat limited, especially compared to Tableau’s.
  • Power BI and Tableau both embed using an iframe.
  • Power BI uses DAX and Tableau uses VizQL. Both have a learning curve for anyone unfamiliar with these languages.
Pro tip: Power BI Embedded and Tableau are very similar products, so your decision may come down to pricing. If you’re a startup or have a small user base then Power BI might be more accessible at first. If you need more visualization options for your embedded analytics, then Tableau is potentially the better option.

What about custom-built embedded analytics?

If you have the resources to dedicate a team of developers, or you only need a simple dashboard, then building custom user-facing analytics in-house is an option. It’s one way to get full control over your analytics, security, design, and performance. 

Some of the best examples of user-facing analytics you can find are likely custom-built. It’s virtually impossible to achieve such levels of customization and native-feel with a BI tool. But don’t underestimate how costly and time-consuming it’ll be, especially if you want your analytics experiences to be interactive and highly secure. 

Considering the ‘build vs. buy’ question, both options come with a certain degree of compromise. This is exactly why we built Embeddable: We believe you shouldn’t have to compromise on user experience and native feel just because you don’t have the resources to build analytics in-house.

With Embeddable's three-part SDK, your engineers get to define the data models and charts while we handle the complexities of the backend. You get great performing analytics and complete control over the user experience. Plus you can bring in charts from any charting library, and manage charts in a no-code builder so it’ll take you ~10% of the time it would take to build from scratch.

How to choose your embedded analytics solution

So, you’re not fully sold on using Tableau for embedded analytics. But you do want your end-users to have high-performing analytics experiences. Here’s what we recommend:

  • You want fully bespoke user-facing analytics but don’t have the time or budget to code from scratch: Embeddable is the only embedded analytics platform that gives you full control over your charts in code and makes them available for anyone on your team to build analytics experiences with a simple point-and-click interface.  
  • You want a low-code solution that doesn’t use an iframe: Since it was purpose-built for embedded analytics and uses a web component, Luzmo is an option here. But you will sacrifice full customization freedom.
  • You want an internal BI tool first and foremost with customizable embedding capabilities: Preset has a steep learning curve but was built on an open-source platform—it allows more customization than other traditional BI tools like Tableau or Power BI.
  • You’d be happy with Tableau if it wasn’t for the price: Tableau is broadly similar to Power BI. Go for the latter if you want to save a few dollars but don’t mind using an internal BI tool with limited customizability. 

We built Embeddable after hundreds of conversations with customers of our BI tool, Trevor.io. We know how complex it can be to create remarkable analytics experiences from scratch—and the frustrations of being limited by a tool that isn’t fit for purpose. 

So, Embeddable gives you the best of both worlds: The customizability of custom-built data analytics and the simplicity of a plug-and-play tool. Plus, Embeddable integrates with the main databases in the market, has its own open source component library, uses next-gen embedding, and is offered at a fixed price.

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 alternatives to Tableau for embedded analytics

Does Tableau have embedded analytics?

Yes, Tableau allows you to embed analytics into internal and external applications. Tableau embeds dashboards through an iframe. This makes it very easy for users to share analytics with end users, although iframes usually feel clunky and can be slow. 

What are other BI platforms similar to Tableau with embedding capabilities?

Other business intelligence platforms with embedding capabilities that are similar to Tableau include:

  • Power BI Embedded
  • Sisense
  • Qlik Sense
  • Looker
  • Metabase

But, if you’re looking for an alternative to Tableau, you might consider Embeddable. All the solutions above are internal BI tools with embedding capabilities. Meanwhile, Embeddable is purpose-built for embedding analytics, giving you fast, beautiful analytics experiences that look native to your app.

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