Power BI and Tableau are the two most commonly used Data Visualization tools and in many instances, we see organizations replicate the data prep stage in Tableau in order to meet the same requirements accomplished in Power BI. This has also been a common ask from many organizations to see if they can reuse data sets between the tools and help reduce redundancy in data across the enterprise and also streamline their orchestration processes.
With the December 2019 version of Microsoft’s Power BI, data models prepared in Power BI Desktop and published to Power BI service can now be consumed by Tableau. Tableau already has a connection to Microsoft Analysis services, and now with the new Power BI release, organizations using both tools can benefit greatly as analysts using Tableau will be able to easily analyze and access existing data models in Power BI.
In this blog, we will explore the prerequisites, steps, and limitations of connecting Power BI datasets in Tableau using the Microsoft Analysis Services connection.
- Make sure you have the latest versions of Power BI desktop and Tableau Desktop installed.
- You will need a Power BI Pro user account and a Power BI Premium workspace.
- You will need to have the latest analysis services client libraries installed.
Connecting Power BI dataset in Tableau
- To begin with, go to the workspace where you have your dataset published (workspace needs to be of premium capacity).
- Copy the link of the workspace from settings -> Premium tab -> workspace connection.
3. Now open your Tableau Desktop and connect to a new data source “Microsoft Analysis Services.”
4. Paste the link in the server and replace the “myorg” with your Azure domain name and select your authentication method, after which you will be asked to enter your credentials.
5. Once connected, you will be directed to the page with the list of datasets belonging to your workspace from which you need to select one, and the fields respective to that dataset will be displayed as shown below (all dimensions, user-created hierarchies will be present under dimensions):
Feature comparison: Consuming a Power BI dataset in Tableau vs Power BI
|Creating calculated columns|
(Evaluated for each row in a table and takes up space)
|Creating Calculated Measures/Fields|
(Evaluated when the visual is rendered and does not take up space)
|Creating Hierarchies||No (existing hierarchies will be present)||No (existing hierarchies will be present)|
|Changing Table/Field names||Yes||No|
|Changing connectivity mode (Import/Direct)||No||No|
|Connecting multiple Power BI datasets in a single report||Yes||Yes|
(Connecting more than 1 PBI dataset will add a local model to the .pbix file. To learn more about this feature, click here)
Limitations of connecting with Tableau
- While trying to connect with Windows authentication to log on to the server, one might encounter an error as shown below.
Error: This is because the Azure proxy requires authentication before you communicate with the Analysis Server, and the MSOLAP drivers attempt to authenticate immediately with a username/password.
- To resolve this, one needs to use the “use specific username and password option” wherein you need to give your email address for the username and a single space for the password. This will lead you to a pop-up window prompting you to enter your credentials.
2. The session gets expired when kept idle for a long time and it needs to be closed and opened again to regain the connection.
Thus, a data model created in one tool can be analyzed across two different tools of the organization’s choice, thereby reducing redundant models and time taken for creating multiple data models. Thich would be one of the main advantages of connecting a Power BI dataset to Tableau.