Sisense vs Tableau - The Ultimate Showdown of Data Analytics Tools for 2024

Data Visualization
Jun 15, 2023
Sisense vs Tableau - The Ultimate Showdown of Data Analytics Tools for 2024

Today’s world operates on data and providing the right data at the right time can make a world of difference for your product users. To add value for your existing customers and excite new ones to purchase, there is a simple hack - giving them access to the most important data in your app.

You can do this with an embedded analytics dashboard and Sisense and Tableau are two popular choices for product teams. Today, we’re going to take a look at Sisense vs Tableau and how they compare for embedded analytics.

But before we begin…

Why is embedded analytics important for SaaS?

Embedded analytics is the process of embedding an analytics dashboard into your SaaS application. It means giving your customers access to data about their use of your app.

In simpler terms: let’s say you have a fitness app that helps customers get in shape. You could add an interactive dashboard in the app that shows users how much distance they ran, how many pushups/pullups they did, how many calories they burned, etc.

That’s the main value of embedded analytics: giving customers access to crucial KPIs and metrics about their app use. That would allow them to define long-term OKRs regarding the product too.

This also improves customer retention and lifetime value and makes it easier to get new customers, hopefully lowering your customer acquisition cost in the process. With a valuable feature like this, you can also expect less churn.

Typically, there are two ways to add this functionality to your product. You can either code and build it on your own, using in-house resources, or you can purchase an off-the-shelf dashboard product.

Today, we’re going to consider the second option and compare two products for embedded dashboards: Sisense vs Tableau.

Sisense - the good and bad sides

If you’re a data-driven SaaS product manager with a penchant for great visualizations, Sisense is a product you will appreciate. Building dashboards and widgets is extremely easy and compared to Tableau, Power BI and similar products, the learning curve is nowhere near as bad.

PS. There is a separate product called Sisense Healthcare Analytics, aimed specifically at healthcare industry professionals.

Sisense dashboard

If you’re going for an embedded use case, you’ll like their Embed SDK, which allows you to create a detailed system for user permissions. Moreover, you can do the segmentation of complex datasets pretty effortlessly.

While Sisense is a pretty advanced business intelligence tool, it does have some drawbacks when it comes to an embedded analytics use case. Getting it to actually be embedded in your product can seem like rocket science. 

Sisense review on G2

When you first start with this analytics platform, you can feel swamped by the wide range of features and the user permission setup. Once finally done, you want to start your dashboard and hit another wall as there are different platforms for Windows and Linux. And naturally, they don’t have the same features, which can be an issue.

Tinkering with the ELT database system in Sisense, called Elasticube is going to take a bit of time. Finding all the right features in the outdated UI and getting it to sort and display your columns and tables might prove to be challenging.

Tableau - the good and bad sides

Tableau is a Salesforce business intelligence platform that has been in the data management and visualization space for as long as 2003. It is used for business intelligence, data analysis and visualization, data modeling and more. Think of it like Excel spreadsheets on steroids.

Tableau dashboard

There are five main products in this BI solution:

  • Tableau Desktop
  • Tableau Cloud
  • Tableau Prep
  • Tableau Server
  • Tableau Data Management
  • Salesforce

Embedded analytics is also a part of their offer but is not considered a standalone product.

When it comes to the good sides of Tableau, its key features are its speed and capability. You can easily analyze millions of rows of data in just a few minutes and then visualize it to make it more engaging.

It supports a nice variety of data sources and connectors, including Hadoop, DB and SAP. If you do most of your data analysis and visualization locally and on-premises, Tableau Desktop is going to be an excellent addition to your tool stack.

On the negative side, the tool can have a pretty busy user interface, especially for beginners. Luckily, their customer support is usually pretty good, so you can reach out when you get stuck - and you will get stuck. There are also many online communities for Tableau troubleshooting.

However, the biggest issue in Tableau for our use case is getting it to work in an embedded environment. Tableau claims that it can be done in 20 minutes with a little bit of copying and pasting and some local setup, but the practice has proven that it’s actually much more time-consuming.

You’re going to need an experienced developer in your team to be able to use all the visualization options available and make full use of all the advanced analytics features.

Then there are user reviews with complaints of slow loading times, data connectors crashing, strange pricing models based on discounts (that are no longer valid after some point), expensive licenses (such as the Explorer ones) and much more that is not a good look for this BI software.

Tableau review on G2

Overall, it seems like Tableau is a product intentionally built for enterprise audiences working primarily outside of the cloud and without a need for embedded analytics.

Sisense vs Tableau - pricing

To find out how much Sisense costs, you’re going to have to go on a hunt for the “pricing” button on their website because it’s hidden really well. All CTAs lead you to book a demo, and we want to know how much it costs without getting in touch with a sales rep.

This is unfortunate because the pricing page asks you to fill out the information to get a personalized quote. However, as mentioned in our previous article on Sisense vs Power BI, we did a bit of research and found out that Sisense can cost anywhere from $25k to $109k per year, with some users quoting figures in the middle of that range. This translates to $2-9k per month, which is not as bad for BI tools, but it is a bit pricey for embedded analytics dashboards alone.

When it comes to pricing, it becomes evident once more that Tableau treats embedded analytics as an afterthought and that the product is mostly focused on internal and external reporting. There are two separate pricing tiers for Tableau Creator and the embedded analytics product.

How much does it cost to have embedded analytics in Tableau? We don’t know and it’s a good chance that you’ll struggle to find out too. You need to reach out the sales team to get a quote. Besides being vague, our customers tell us that the pricing is pretty rigid with little wiggle room and that you also have to pay for inactive users.

Which tool should you choose?

Before we go any further, both tools are great choices for reporting and data visualization. When talking about an embedded analytics use case, Sisense has the upper hand. It has an amazing dashboard editor with tons of useful features.

Having said that, both tools are primarily not built for being used in embedded systems and it shows. Getting either of them to embed within your SaaS app is going to take lots of time and effort. Ease of use is a major issue, as well as the complexity and lack of transparency when it comes to pricing.

With this in mind, we want to present a third option that beats them both for data analysis and visualization in embedded analytics.

Luzmo for embedded analytics - the all-round winner

The difference between Luzmo on one hand and Sisense and Tableau on the other is that Luzmo was built specifically for an embedded use case. Sisense and Tableau are primarily on-premise data analytics and visualization tools, used for analysis and reporting.

Luzmo dashboard

Luzmo was built with one purpose in mind - making it easy to add user-friendly analytics dashboards into SaaS products. Thanks to our advanced API and easy-to-use dashboard builder, you can drag-and-drop your way to your new SaaS dashboard. Scalability is no issue either, as the dashboards can handle 10 users and viewers just as well as 10,000.

Connect any number and type of data sources with our flexible API and start creating real-time interactive visualizations. With over 40 different visualization types to choose from (graphs, bar charts, tables, pie charts and more), you’re bound to find something for your users.

With just a few lines of code, you can embed your new dashboard and make it fit into your existing product and formatting. And all of that comes with super transparent and affordable pricing.

Ready to get rolling? Start your free trial now and give your users the amazing in-product experience they deserve!

Build your first embedded dashboard in less than 15 min

Experience the power of Luzmo. Talk to our product experts for a guided demo  or get your hands dirty with a free 10-day trial.