Power BI is a freemium-type software that you can get started for free and use some of the general features for free.
However, if you would like to use advanced features such as the Cloud license, this can cost your business some money.
But for creating data models and building reports on your dedicated computer within the company where you host Power BI, you won’t have to pay to use the basic features of the software.
While this might be enough for some businesses, often, it’s not good enough for many others who might require the most advanced features of such intelligent software.
With so much competition in the software industry, there are plenty of free Power BI alternatives that you shouldn’t underestimate. Some of them can really compete with Power BI at the same level and even provide more features you didn’t even consider are a possibility.
All this, not only at a fraction of the cost but for free, is a great thing for businesses on a tighter budget or start-ups.
With free alternatives, you won’t have to worry about financing the software, and yet you’d be able to benefit from precise business data analysis.
10 Free Power BI Alternatives
If you’re looking to save some money and yet benefit from good Power BI alternatives, these are 10 of the best picks you should consider. Of course, each alternative is a bit different so check each alternative wisely before making a decision!
LinceBi is one of the best free Power BI alternatives because it is built on open-source code.
This business intelligence tool is free for download, but you can also deploy it on-premise (company’s computer) or even deploy it on Docker or Kubernetes.
If you’re skilled enough and interested in building custom/personalized features into the LinceBi tool, this is a possibility since you can access LinceBi’s open-source code for free.
Not only is LinceBi free to use, but you also get free training, you don’t need any license, and you can have an unlimited number of users.
Whether you’re trying to integrate data, build an analysis of your data, turn Excel databases into visual reports, or improve data reports, everything is possible with the LinceBi.
You can even design custom dashboards and create balance scorecards that help you interpret your data in a very easy-to-understand way.
Compared to Power BI, LinceBi can seem a lot more agile and flexible at times, but it’s also a perfect choice for easier scalability.
Even though Power BI includes visuality into its reports, LinceBi can create easy-to-understand reports so anyone within your company can read and learn from them.
On top of that, Power BI isn’t very customizable, while LinceBi is highly customizable since it’s based on open-source code, which can be a huge advantage.
Metabase is a great PowerBI alternative because it offers one of the easiest ways to share data analytics. Importing the data to create visually appealing and easy-to-read reports takes only minutes. Once you get the hang of the tool, Metabase could even improve your workflow and improve your company’s data-based productivity.
While Power BI can provide you with self-service analytics at the enterprise level, Metabase is decent, yet it makes the process slightly easier to understand.
Just the way Power BI comes with smart built-in tools, Metabase is full of features that can help import, shape, and create data reports from which a business can benefit.
These features include data exploration without having to complicate things by working with SQL. Anyone can provide answers or create and edit reports in only a couple of clicks.
What Power BI doesn’t have that Metabase does is the notebook editor, which allows you to collaborate with your team members to get more from your data. However, if you ever decide to get into SQL and dig deeper into your data, unlike Power BI, Metabase provides a Smart SQL feature.
This feature allows you to visually interact with your data to make quick and effortless tweaks.
Even though the cloud-hosted Metabase version isn’t free, you can use Metabase’s on-premise open-source version, which is.
Also Read: Power BI Pro Vs Premium
Power BI is an excellent tool, but if you’re a company with loads of data who wants to produce daily reports, Power BI might not be the best solution out there.
Luckily, Seal Report is an open-source and free Power BI alternative that specializes in managing data with the ability to produce as many reports as you would require daily, regardless of the data size.
In comparison with Power BI, Seal Report is a lot easier to install and set up, and for some users, it might even be an easier tool to create daily reports.
Even though Seal Report might not include as many features as Power BI has, it is still a tool full of features that mainly focus on quality data reporting. These features include native pivot tables, interactive HTML 5 charts, web report server, report tasks, and more.
In comparison with Power BI, one of the unique features of Seal Report is the report scheduler, which helps create and execute reports.
Seal Report also has fewer requirements to install and run the tool on-premise in comparison to Power BI. But what’s very interesting is that Seal Report also has a live demonstration, even if it’s an open-source, free business intelligence tool.
If you like how you can visualize your data with Power BI, you will love to know that Visplore is an advanced business intelligence tool that helps you get the most out of your data with a high focus on visualization.
With the help of Visplore, as soon as you import your data, you can explore it to fully understand your data, prepare it by cleansing your data and annotating it, and cutting out useless data to the final step to learn from your data.
In comparison to Power BI, Visplore has a highly visual discovery that helps you spot data patterns or even correlations between data to gain useful knowledge you can later use to improve your business.
Even though Power BI has a similar feature, Visplore is all about exploring your data visually. Therefore, Visplore might not have as many features as Power BI but with its high focus on visualization.
I’ve noticed in comparison of Power BI with Visplore that Visplore is a lot easier to use since you can integrate data and start working on it without any setup.
What’s even better is that Visplore is ideal for scaling data analysis as you can get quality discoveries from complex data. The helpful annotation and data selection make data clean-up effortless.
Visplore is completely free, and all you have to do is get the free version compatible with the Windows operating system to get started.
Check Out: How To Use Power BI On Mac
Oracle Analytics Desktop
Oracle Analytics is well known for its cloud version of a business intelligence tool similar to Power BI.
Even though the cloud version is a paid version, Oracle Analytics provides a desktop version that is free to use.
The desktop version can do everything the cloud version can, yet it only needs to be installed on-premise.
In comparison to Power BI, Oracle Analytics also provides powerful data visualizations as you get to build compelling visual stories after importing your data.
However, where Oracle Analytics has an advantage over Power BI is the intelligent insight feature which incorporates artificial intelligence and machine learning to automatically explain data.
This is one of the unique features that help with data prediction but also data handling. With this feature, Oracle Analytics also combines automated data preparation which is something Power BI lacks.
Oracle Analytic’s predictive analytics is as quick as Power BI’s prediction, but with the excellent collaborative features of Oracle Analytics, this feels like a great advantage over Power BI.
Another great thing I like about Oracle Analytics is how pleasant it is to work within the dashboards and collaborate with others. You even can embed analytics anywhere, which improves the workflow when working in groups.
If you’re only getting started with data analysis and business intelligence, or you’re a small-sized company, you can benefit from JetPack Data’s free plan.
JetPack Data is a great alternative to Power BI because it focuses on data visualizations while providing efficient and intel-worthy data analysis.
With the help of powerful visuals, JetPack Data helps deliver hidden insights to help businesses make data-driven decisions.
Just like Power BI, Jetpack Data supports most standard data formats, but where JetPack Data excels over Power BI is the highly customizable dashboard.
With JetPack Data, you get to customize your dashboard (with plenty of freedom), something you can’t do inside the Power BI.
On top of that, you can also customize data reports which help you and your company see and learn from your data the way you would like to.
JetPack Data claims that you can save anywhere between two to six hours a week by analyzing your data using JetPack Data.
Another of JetPack Data’s advantages over Power BI is the drag & drop (plug & play style) use which helps you build your analysis to share with others for a smooth collaboration.
From data import and preparation to analysis, you can benefit from contextual recommendations, which is another thing Power BI doesn’t include in its software.
Therefore, with the help of “storytelling” recommendations, you gain valuable information that can help you easily make data-driven decisions.
You can use and rely on the free version for as long as you wish, but you only have to keep in mind that you will be able to work with two files, two shares, and 25 MB per file each month.
Google Data Studio
If you are not interested in on-premise business intelligence tools, yet you want the best free cloud tool you can get, Google Data Studio is the best alternative.
Even though Google Data Studio is not as comprehensive as Power BI is, a free tool that allows you to import your data in the cloud and generate very elaborate data reports is more than enough for most.
Google is also very well known for providing a very collaborative workspace for all of its applications and tools, and that’s the case with Data Studio.
You can easily access Google Data Studio in any browser, and there’s absolutely no installation required. As soon as you open the Google Data Studio, you’ll see the homepage that allows you to start uploading your data.
Like Power BI, Google Data Studio supports most standard data formats, but where Google excels is the easy access and ease of use.
A couple of tutorials are ready to teach you how to take advantage of this free cloud business intelligence tool, but the learning curve is so small that it won’t take you long to figure it out on your own.
Google Data Studio can be a great Power BI alternative if you’re looking to create interactive reports, connect your data, edit, and improve existing reports. However, it’s also good to measure reports and gain valuable information from your data reports for free.
Even though Google Data Studio doesn’t have as many features as Power BI, it’s a great alternative because it provides better collaboration tools combined with ease of use.
Check Out: Power BI Report Vs Dashboard
If you’re an entrepreneur, a start-up, or a small company and mostly manage your data in SQL, PopSQL is a great alternative to Power BI.
Not only will you not need all the additional features of Power BI that might make your workflow slower, but you’ll benefit from the quick efficiency of PopSQL.
PopSQL offers a free version where you can get one editor, ten saved queries, and the ability to connect two databases at once.
Suppose you mostly manage your data with the help of SQL. In that case, this gives PopSQL an advantage over Power BI as it is created to organize data queries, easily search for anything within your data, and easily share insights from your SQLs.
PopSQL is as good as Power BI when used for SQL since it improves the collaboration process, data visualization, and a non-technical way to work with data in SQL.
Power BI lacks the modern SQL editor that PopSQL features, enabling users to quickly and easily visualize data without needing any prior technical knowledge or experience.
Explore: Tableau Vs Power BI
Rational BI is a great Power BI alternative that focuses on modern ways of analyzing data, visualizing it, and getting powerful insights from your data.
What’s great about Rational BI is that it can help enterprises and large organizations manage and learn from their data, just like Power BI, yet the main advantage is that the tool is web-based.
This gives Rational BI an advantage over Power BI since you get the ability to query your data live and instantly from any device without the requirements of on-premise hosting.
Even though the free version of Rational BI is a bit limiting as you get access to the basic features, these features are equal to the free features of Power BI.
Therefore, with Rational BI, you can create notebooks and custom dashboards, easily collaborate with others, import your data in various formats, build your data in blocks, and analyze public data sets.
Analyzing public data sets is another advantage you can benefit from if you choose Rational BI over Power BI.
Power BI can be connected with other Microsoft tools. And even though Rational BI doesn’t support such compatibility, it is still as good with collaboration as Power BI is.
If you’re highly focused on your business profitability, Syft is a great Power BI alternative that focuses on using your data to create financial reports.
This is one of the features that Power BI doesn’t include. That’s why Syft Analytics is a great choice if this is exactly your purpose of business intelligence use.
With Syft Analytics, you can import your data in the most standard data formats and instantly work on generating visual reports. These visual reports can help you improve profitability, improve your service/product delivery, and even save time.
Power BI focuses on reports which is one of Syft Analytics’ features, but Syft Analytics also features plenty of other ways to visualize your data.
You can include multiple data reports and create one entity from it to easily compare performance and create easy-to-read visual representations of your data groups.
Financial forecasts are the most powerful way of understanding how your company does business using only your data. This gives you a clear insight into your expenses and income and pretty accurate predictions of how to improve your profitability.
On top of that, these financial reports are very easy to understand which ensures great collaboration across the team and can even be a neat way to report your finances to your management.
These are the biggest advantages of Syft Analytics over Power BI. Even though both tools use data to make reports and conclusions, they are built for a slightly different purpose.
Even though the Basic (free) plan is a bit limiting, you can still get a lot of value out of Syft Analytics while paying nothing.
However, upgrading is always an option and if you ever decide to upgrade, you can try out all available features with a free trial that lasts for 14 days.
Also Read: Best Power BI Alternatives For Mac
Each of these alternatives is slightly different yet still has the same purpose followed by very useful features. With that being said, you can easily replace Power BI without hesitation.
In my opinion, the best free Power BI alternative is LinceBi because it is the most similar to Power BI, it’s free for life, and yet it still provides as good, or even better features.
For example, one of the most unique features of LinceBi is the balanced scorecards that help you interpret your data in a different yet quality way.
Other features ensure the excellent ability of data importing, analysis, and reports that help you understand your data. Not only do these tools help you understand your data, but they also help you manage it.
While each one of these alternatives is similar to Power BI and even better in some ways, it’s still important to consider all options to make the choice that fits your needs the best.
Scott L. Macarthur is a marketing consultant and an online author. He is mostly engaged in providing his expertise to startups and SMBs. He is also an author on TheNextWeb.