Power BI vs Excel Comparison

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  • Posted in Power BI
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  • 5 mins read

Large amount of data is being generated nowadays. The importance of data analysis has increased over the past few years but there is still a large amount of data is ignored or not analyzed.

Microsoft Excel has been preferred data management and visualization tool. It is one of the widely-used and popular spreadsheet applications in the business world. Data plays important role to remodel businesses, new tools and technologies are introduced day-by-day.

Power BI is a popular self-service data visualization tool from Microsoft, has made it easy for businesses to analyze data from various data sources with ease. It offers business analytics and intelligence services that are interactive, easy-to-use, and secure.

Let’s compare the traditional reporting tool and modern Power BI in detail. This post explains key reasons behind Power BI’s suitability over Excel for reporting.

Data sources

Data is available in multiple formats. Excel support for limited data sources and it is mainly used for analysis and computations on data with a wide range of functions and mathematical operations on data.

Excel 2013 provides a wide range of Power BI features and functionalities to turn data into meaningful information. This supports external data sources such as SQL tables, cubes, Microsoft Azure Data, and more.

In case of Power BI, you can select any type of data you want including data from any app or services, reports, cloud-based sources, workbooks, CSV files, Excel, or databases. It also has a powerful compression algorithm that makes larger data files easily accessible, analyzed, and stored.

Excel makes it difficult to work on larger datasets. It will be difficult to add more sales data or datasets to the current one.

Whenever new data is discovered, it can be integrated with Power BI without linking or reopening everything. This flexibility of adding and linking datasets reduces overhead. It will automatically perform data refreshes. You can also schedule data refresh.

Reporting and Dashboarding

Power BI makes data analysis and reporting easy with its powerful features. Power BI reports are visually attractive, easy-to-understand, and offer multi-perspective insights that can help make decisions faster. Reports are highly interactive and dynamic – when data changes, the value in the report changes. Reports can have a single visual or more than one visual. Resizing, editing, easy formatting, natural language querying, and filtering make Power BI one of the ideal and powerful tools for data reporting.

On the other side, Excel has a tabular data format and also allows displaying data in various chart formats. But, with the larger datasets, it lacks flexibility. It is more suitable for simple and structured data models and has limited scope for datasets and reports.


This is where the Power BI ranks higher than any other visualization tool. With self-service analysis capacity, various data visualizations, cloud-based services, and security measures, Power BI gained a leading position among other tools in the market.

Why power bi is better in visualization?

  • Easily identify trends from every point of view

You can analyze a large amount of data with clarity and ease. You can use various attributes to get precise results. Analyzing data using various dimensions at different times help an analyst to predict faster and get into a broader picture of data.

  • Personalized Dashboards

Power BI Dashboards are called a canvas where all the reports are highlighted with snippets. These visualizations are coming from reports and reports are based on datasets or collection of different datasets. You can click any visualization to view the complete report.  Users can customize dashboards or edit those as per their needs.


  • Alerts

Power BI helps analysts to set alerts based on KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). These alerts can notify you when any change in a dashboard or value exceeds the limits you set.

  • A Wide Range of Charts

Power BI’s powerful algorithms help convert data into smart insights. It offers various charts like:

  • Bar and column charts
  • Line charts
  • Pie charts
  • Tables
  • Area charts
  • Doughnut charts
  • Gauge charts
  • Funnel charts
  • Scatter charts
  • Multi-row cards
  • Single number cards
  • Maps
  • Tree maps
  • Combination charts
  • Templates and Themes

You can create or customize themes and templates to get consistent, appealing, and uniform user experience across the visuals and analysis. Drag-and-drop functionality, easy editing and removing, smoother navigation, and user-centric design together create a great experience for users as well as for designers. we can import theme using import theme in Power BI.

Make working together easier

Power BI makes sharing easier. Dashboards or reports can be shared with other members of the organization at just a few clicks. Power BI service offerings are available for on-premises or in the cloud, ranging from small businesses to enterprise-scale intelligence.

Excel also offers visualization options such as tables, line charts, bar charts, pie charts. column charts, and so on. It has limited scope for integration, functions and formats. Using rich set of mathematical formula and pivot tables organizing complex data structure and setting KPIs are easy with advance versions of excel.

Data Security Is A Priority

Regardless of tools and technology, you are using, data security is important. Power BI has built-in security controls including role-based authentication, row-level security feature, networking security, risk mitigation, session monitoring, authorization, and cloud-based security provisions.

In Excel, you can restrict access for a particular file, worksheet, or even workbook. You can also lock files to hide visibility or grant read-only access to prevent modification or editing.

From this information we can conclude that power bi provides us various features over excel. Power Bi is a powerful and user friendly analysis tool starting from importing data till visualizations.

Addend Analytics is a Microsoft Gold Partner based in Mumbai, India, and a branch office in the U.S.

Addend has successfully implemented 100+ Microsoft Power BI and Business Central projects for 100+ clients across sectors like Financial Services, Banking, Insurance, Retail, Sales, Manufacturing, Real estate, Logistics, and Healthcare in countries like the US, Europe, Switzerland, and Australia.

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