Category 1: Three Month Moving Average
The moving average is arguably the most common time intelligence calculation. Let's see how Power Pivot handles it.
Three Month Moving Average of Sales (Power Pivot) |
Three Month Moving Average of Sales by Month (Power Pivot) |
Three Month Moving Average of Sales (Tableau) |
Three Month Moving Average of Sales by Month (Tableau) |
These are the same numbers we saw in Power Pivot, albeit in 30 seconds as opposed to 5 minutes. This is a no-brainer.
Winner: Tableau
Category 2: Year over Year Growth
Year over Year Growth, also known as "This Year vs. Last Year % Δ", is one of the other extremely common KPIs. Let's see how Power Pivot handles it.
This calculation is significantly less complex than the previous one. It leverages the SAMEPERIODLASTYEAR() function which is designed to do exactly this. The main thing that we didn't like was the fact that this calculation returned errors for the first year. Therefore, we had to wrap in an IFERROR() function. All in all, this was not a complex task. Let's check out the results.
These values look reasonable. Next, let's compare it to Tableau.
Category 2: Year over Year Growth
Year over Year Growth, also known as "This Year vs. Last Year % Δ", is one of the other extremely common KPIs. Let's see how Power Pivot handles it.
Year over Year Growth (Power Pivot) |
Year over Year Growth by Month, Year (Power Pivot) |
Year over Year Growth (Tableau) |
Year over Year Growth by Month, Year (Tableau) |
Winner: Tableau
Category 3: Three Month Forecast
This is a bit of a bonus category for us. Forecasting is a newer feature that isn't present in many tools. For quite some time, it's been a feature for the Mathematicians and Statisticians. However, it's becoming more and more common for business users to try for themselves. Let's see how Power Pivot can handle this.
Forecast (Power Pivot) |
Forecast (Tableau) |
Winner: Tableau
Summary
Power Pivot has some very powerful Time Intelligence that allow the user to create virtually any calculation they want. However, they do not have many built-in calculations for the more common calculations. On the other hand, Tableau lacks the Time Intelligence functions, but has "Quick Table Calculations" which cover the majority of the KPIs you would find. Also, Power Pivot was completely unable to offer a reusable forecasting algorithm. Tableau's algorithm is in its early stages, but is still very useful. The bottom line is this: If Tableau's Quick Table Calculations can handle your KPIs, then Power Pivot can't compete. If your KPIs are more advanced than that, then perhaps Power Pivot's functions can help you out. Thanks for reading. We hope you found this informative.
Brad Llewellyn
Associate Data Analytics Consultant
Mariner, LLC
brad.llewellyn@mariner-usa.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/bradllewellyn
http://breaking-bi.blogspot.com
http://breaking-bi.blogspot.com
This is a very informative and interesting comparison! Thanks for the effort - and sharing!
ReplyDeleteLooking forward to part 10.