Tableau vs Elk

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Tableau and Elk Kibana are very similar programs, with both offering clear visualizations of large amounts of indexed content with graphics, such as maps, charts and graphs. However, there are some differences that are worth noting when comparing Tableau vs Elk.

The Basics

Strictly speaking, Kibana is classified as a monitoring tool, whereas Tableau is considered a business intelligence platform. Kibana ELK is an open-source, browser-based data visualization plugin for Elasticsearch, licensed by Apache. It is designed to provide clear visualizations for indexed content in an Elasticsearch cluster.

Tableau also provides interactive data visualization by translating raw data into an easy-to-understand format. Kibana is very quick and easy to setup and run. It is both a powerful and flexible analytical tool. Kibana has 12.4K GitHub stars, showing that users like to keep track of topics, and 4.81K GitHub forks, showing that users like to experiment with changes without compromising the original project.

Tableau is an interactive data visualization private software designed to make seeing and understanding data simple with drag-and-drop functions. It can connect to most databases, making it one of the most flexible and comprehensive analytical platforms available. However, because it is not an open-source platform, Tableau is not free.

Tableau vs Elk Kibana Key Features

Kibana offers the following key features:

  • Highly flexible analytics and visualization platform.

  • Offers real-time analyses of streaming data.

  • An intuitive interface suited to users with a wide variety of experience.

Tableau offers the following key features:

  • Can connect to a spreadsheet, big data, a SQL database and Apps located either on premise or the cloud.

  • Is able to assimilate different types of data without having to write code. More experienced users will have wide ability to optimize data sources.

  • Has the ability to rapidly make powerful calculations of existing data with its easy drag-and-drop features.

  • Can review statistical summaries and make trend analyses, including correlations and regressions.

  • AI functioning allows asking questions and making data-driven decisions in identifying opportunities and distinguishing trends.

  • Automatically creates interactive maps with built-in postal codes and custom geocodes and territories for swift tracking and mapping of individualized regions, such as sales areas, in more than four dozen countries around the globe.

Alternatives to Tableau and Kibana

There are at least three currently available alternatives to Tableau and Kibana:

  • Grafana: A generic dashboard with graph composer. Grafana focuses on how to project time-series metrics with graphs but also supports other data-visualization methods with a panel architecture that supports multiple plugins. Grafana currently supports Graphite, OpenTSDB and Influx, but offers plugins that supports multiple data sources.

  • Splunk offers one of the leading platforms for OI, or Operational Intelligence. Splunk is well suited for monitoring, searching, analyzing and visualizing a broad range of data.

  • Prometheus is designed as a monitoring system for IT systems and services. Prometheus compiles data from specified targets at determined intervals to evaluate rule expressions and display data. Prometheus can be configured to trigger specific alerts when a designated condition occurs.


When comparing Tableau vs Elk to determine which platform is best suited for specific tasks, is is best to look at the issues as a whole. As an open-source project, Kibana may seem the better choice for use with Elasticsearch. However, Tableau can create instant visualizations with highly structured data. While Kibana is more of a dashboard tool used in Elasticsearch, Tableau strengths lie in diverse functionalities, such as the ability to work on multiple platforms and its ability to extract data from various sources.

Many high-profile companies have already integrated both Kibana and Tableau into their analytics. Companies that use Kibana include Airbnb, DigitalOcean and 9GAG. Companies that use Tableau include Avocode, Zumba and SoFi. Bear in mind, whenever making comparison it is important to remember that apples must be compared to apples, and not oranges. Costs aside, the bottom line when comparing Tableau vs Elk is deciding what functions the program will be required to perform and what system it will be installed on.

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