Enterprise Security: Tableau vs. Power BI
Compare Approaches to the Key Security Concerns
Large organizations often see business users adopting the desktop versions of Tableau and Power BI before a full strategy is developed. Eventually, the need to share and publish reports from these visual analytics tools arises and a corporate approach and associated policies need to be established. For large enterprises, concerns typically center around security, fitting into the overall IT infrastructure and data audits.
During this on-demand webinar, we compare and contrast the approaches to security taken by Tableau and Power BI to help you make wise choices when planning out enterprise level deployments.
We dive into enterprise security related topics including
- Single sign on
- Users, groups and permissions
- Row-level security
- On-premise data access
- Audit logs
Power BI, Tableau
Sr. Director of Software Engineering
Bob leads software development and BI architecture efforts at Senturus, focusing on software and cloud architecture in the Power BI and Tableau practices. Before coming to Senturus, Bob was designing, building and scaling business intelligence software, reports and dashboards for use by thousands of restaurants.
Greetings everyone and welcome to this latest installment of the Senturus knowledge Series today.
We’re excited to present to you on the topic of Enterprise security comparing Tableau versus Power BI and approaches to various security concerns first as usual a couple of housekeeping items the GoToWebinar control panel can be minimized and or restored using the orange arrow that you And see in this graphic here. We mute all of the microphones for so everyone can hear the presentation. But we do encourage you strongly encourage you to submit any questions through the GoToWebinar control panel. I do give you the caveats today that we have a very meaty presentation today. So we will likely not have a ton of time for questions, but those questions that we can’t answer live owing to time or other constraints. We will post online.
Along with the recording in the presentation that’s senturus.com after the event is over which brings us logically to the next slide. Where can I get the presentation slide deck and can I get it? The answer is an unequivocal? Yes. If you head on over to senturus.com resources and bookmark that slide you’ll be able to find not only this webinar, but all of our past webinars as well as demos white papers presentations and helpful hints. You can sort by topic date title, etc.
Etc. 2 I’ll free and a great resource for you next Slide the agenda today after some quick introductions. We’re going to get into the meat of the presentation which includes an architecture overview. We’ll call it discuss single sign-on users and groups permissions and roll level security on premise data access audit logs and then towards the end. We’ll do a quick Senturus overview give you some great additional free resources. So encourage you to stick around after the main presentation to learn about those resources.
Has and hang around for the QA time permitting presented to them. Can we do a quick audio check because someone said they had an issue? I just want to make sure everyone can hear sure.
Can-Can you hear? Have you been able to hear me? Okay. Yes, I have. Okay. Let’s see here. Okay, once you raise your hand now if you’re having an issue is all kind in the questions log hear from someone. I think it might be Mike’s you might be on your own there with the audio not working.
Okay, carrying on all will monitor that and if there’s a problem we’ll try to remediate it. So I’m pleased to be joined today by my colleague Bob Looney who has been heading up software development and bi architecture efforts here at Senturus for the last year and a half prior to that. He spent 12 years designing building and scaling bi software reports and dashboards used by thousands of different restaurants.
He currently focuses on software and Cloud architecture in the Power BI and Tableau practices its interests and when he’s not sitting in front of his computer screen Bob enjoys running marathons and watching Bay Area sports teams. Oh wait Houston sports, and I guess I get that one wrong. We’re working on that. Um last night. Oh rough, huh? Let’s get you guys will bounce back. I’m actually pulling for you. My name is Mike wine her. I head up the Tableau practice here. It’s interest as well as work with our sin our analytics connector products and training and we’re number of different hats here.
And I’ll be your MC today. So first we like to always get a finger on the pulse of our audience here. So those of you who have joined us. I’m going to put up our first poll which is which platforms do you currently use in your organization? Please select all that apply. So you use Cognos analytics and e-version Power BI Tableau and or other so we’ll give you guys a 30 to 60 seconds to do this. I’ll get about seven.
80% of all voting guys are quick on the trigger. You must have done one of these before. So every by 82% great close this down and share the response to the you so pretty even split here a lot of you 3/4 using Tableau there but then kind of 60 percentage for Cognos Power BI but I’m going to Hazard that that a lot of you I mean given those numbers are probably running multiples of those which we’re seeing a lot in organizations, okay?
Thank you for the input there. We have a second pole here that we’re going to ask you. Here’s what stage would you categorize your organization in terms of the deployment of Tableau and or Power BI so select one of these if you’re using those do you have isolated desktop users and you share those workbook file sort of manually have some departments adopted a server or the service, you know Tamil online or powerbi.com where you have more mature bi process for the corporate wide.
Policy and have you done or are you doing a full migration from another tool? That’s either planned or is in process or sort of none of the above? So we only got about this one this questions that maybe a little more complicated got about two-thirds you guys voting so get those votes in.
Give you a few more seconds.
Alright, alright 3/4.
Close it out and show you the results. So we have but 20% of you with isolated desktop users more than half kind of at that broader deployment where you have Tableau server Power BI service another third or so with corporate wide policy and then kind of the rest making up the other two buckets interesting great. Well, thank you for that those valuable insights. Hopefully you find those worthwhile. And with that I’m going to hand the floor over to Bob for the core of the presentation go.
Bob thank you much Mike appreciate the introduction as you mentioned kind of meaty presentation here. So we’re going to Dive Right In and a level set on a little bit of architecture overview before we get to some of the more complex topics. So when you look at the Power BI and Tableau to actual see that they align pretty closely you’re going to have a desktop app for both platforms as well as a vendor hosted service.
So in the Power BI World, they only offer the vendor hosted service on app.powerbi.com for Tableau. It’s a little bit more of an optional service. You can do a vendor hosted service or you can do an on premise Tableau server.
And so when you’re looking at that you also get what operating system choices you can run on Windows and or and or Linux Tableau server.
Power BI does offer this report server product, but it’s really a subset of Power BI service. It’s not all the features. It’s kind of an evolved reporting Services server if you’re familiar with that Microsoft Technology.
They both offer products for on premise data access. So Power BI calls this a Gateway and have low calls this a bridge. It’s the same concept of securely getting your data from on premise databases data warehouses and files up into the cloud service. And then lastly they both offer mobile apps on the two popular platforms. So if you think about it a typical, you know, just architecture what these things look like.
It’s going to be something like this where You’re using a desktop tool to model data create reports and dashboards and you’re going to publish that up to either a vendor hosted service or perhaps the server you’re running in your data center your mobile apps talking to that server. Maybe your viewer licenses the folks that only consume reports are only going to ever care about that server. And then that server is reaching back on Prim to get at your databases and data warehouses via that bridge component or Gateway component.
They’re so just kind of a real quick overview of what the pieces and parts were talking about today are so let’s dive a little bit deeper on Tableau server. So this works like most typical SAS apps work. It’s all in one you have your user management you’re licensing your audit logs your viewing reports and dashboards setting up groups. Everything’s all rolled up into this one application.
You can install this locally on Perm or Tableau will host it in there Tableau online product. But the end of the day, it’s the same exact tap your multi-tenant it up there but it’s self-contained. This is kind of the first real big difference. Now, we look at the Power BI architecture and Power BI everything’s built on top of this is your lair and Power BI really is only a component of the solution needed to do.
Boy Power BI so in Power BI your viewing reports and dashboards and maybe doing web authoring up in the Power BI service. But over an Office 365 that you might be doing your user management and Licensing that’s where your audit logs are going to be your groups and distribution lists are going to be over there and then over in the Azure active directory Cloud, you’re going to have, you know, domain sync type features and your Authentication.
Methods and if you’ve configured single sign-on or multi-factor, that’s all there. So all three of these things going to play together as opposed to the Tableau world where you really kind of have one self-contained and configured ab and then just diving a little deeper on Microsoft specifically.
They have this technology called as your ad connect most Enterprises typically run active directory and this is just a way to get your users and groups from active directory into Your and why that comes into play here is that you’ll see Power BI is going to leverage those users and groups. You’re not going to have specific users and groups. Just tied to Power BI so that’s we’re going a little later on in the presentation.
So if you get a summarize that largely the same core components and features Tableau has some unique strengths around having a Mac desktop client and a Linux server client if that’s some for some reason is a in your environment then maybe that’s a stronger choice. And as well as the on primer on premise service server option and then Power BI might be stronger and easier to implement if you’re already using Office 365 or you already have a large.
Your deployment your it groups likely already managing users and groups that you could leverage over in Power BI so that’s kind of quick component overview setup. And so let’s look at single sign-on. So why use single sign-on? Well, it’s to keep everyone from jotting down passwords on a little scraps of paper and slip them under your mouse pad or wherever else you’re going to keep them. You want to increase your security.
You can also very quickly type tie in multi-factor authentication which is the text message codes or the authenticator type mobile apps to get security tokens.
So when you look at tying single sign-on for your users to Tableau server again, we’re back to it works like most other SAS applications the default when you first install stall it is that Tableau has its own user name and password database, but then there’s a Kind of clean intuitive way to set up single sign-on using small which is a very popular enterprise-level single sign-on protocol or even open ID connect, which is a Google driven protocol.
And so what that sort of looks like is in the administration pain, you can see that you get authentication types and you always get the Tableau option, but then you can quickly add other single sign ons well, Supported by Tableau the screenshot on the right there is from their documentation site.
Walks you through different scenarios different providers. Yeah. So well supported is kind of the way to think of that.
So conversely Power BI is unlike most other SAS apps and this ties back to that architecture. We were looking at earlier. It doesn’t maintain its own list of usernames and passwords. It’s leveraging Azure active directory. And if you’ve synced your on premise active directory up to Azure, then in essence, your on-perm users are the users you will use to sign into Power BI.
And by default when you set up as your and Microsoft and everything, they use their own identity provider, which is that screen on the right sure, you’re familiar with it from some application of Microsoft’s that you’ve used. So the question becomes can you replace it? Well, yes, you can replace it. It’s you’re replacing it though at the is your side of things.
And you’re replacing it for all Microsoft services at that point. So they do support a couple different protocols there this WS Federation and same will pee. But again, you’re going to replace this for Office 365 and neither is your login type scenarios and the caveat stew are if you start digging into the documentation Microsoft provides. Yeah, they it’s possible. But if you start digging deeper They Don’t Really test it.
And if you have any problems, will you need to go contact your identity provider? So the way to think about it is possible, but maybe not encouraged going down this path.
So single sign-on summary for the applications, they both supported if you’re already using Office 365 for email or something like that, then your Power BI set up with single sign-on is going to be faster. It’s going to be instant in fact, but it’s still possible to tie Tableau into that type environment.
And then if your organization uses and IDP, like October 1 log in you’re using that for a variety of other web apps and internal apps It’s might be a cleaner and easier path to go tableau.
Alright, so now that we can sign on we need to talk about our users and groups and get them into the tools. So, of course you have manual options on the tablet aside to add users and you can see there’s even some bulk import type features from files comma separated list email addresses in your also picking the authentication style. So do you use that internal Tableau database or do you use the single sign-on that you just configured?
As well as what’s the site roll? Are they explore Creator viewer? What’s the license that you bought that user? So you’re assigning that all that point?
Groups, of course, you can set up groups manually, you’re going to use groups later on to assign permissions kind of a best practice there so that you’re not doing individual level permissions on different workbooks and projects.
But for most larger organizations, you’re going to use something like the Tableau API so that we’ve done this recently for a client where we’ve automated a data feed coming out of active directory to go and create users and maintain which users go with which groups in Tableau and an ongoing basis to keep those two systems and sink at the user and group database level.
And then lastly the Tableau offers this newer feature, which basically means if you’re using Akhtar One login as your identity provider that sink those systems together and you don’t have to go create these users and groups. It’s going to pull it over kind of continuously on going from those two systems. So its a little bit cleaner don’t have to have this synchronization step going on between the two systems.
So as we look at Power BI users Concepts right here a little different anyone can go to Microsoft site and download Power BI desktop and statistically how most people get started. You just need you know administrative type permissions on your local machine to install it. You can go if you have a Microsoft ID you can go and click this nice little free trial length. Get a 60 day free trial for Power BI service, which is their kind of their Pro license.
Trial service in start using it and you can start really dive in pretty deep without ever kind of getting into some of these licensing and user creation issues interestingly. If you’re on the it side of things maybe that’s not sending like such a good idea that your users can go do a lot of these things without some of the controls that some of the push and pull that you see in the industry right now.
Getting back to this architecture idea that users aren’t specifically for Power BI you’re making them over in your on-perm active directory. You’re making them Cloud users up in Azure active directory or or Office 365 so that screenshot below there’s from admin.microsoft.com if you were setting up a cloud-based user you could do it there.
Similarly groups come from active directory so you can do that inside active directory our on-prem active directory or or the admin not microsoft.com and you see there’s different types of groups their distribution list security groups things like that. Those all get reused over in the Power BI World, which is great.
If you already have those things set up in your it departments already kind of maintaining all these things for you you get a bunch of back in functionality for free likewise Power BI has API. So if you’re looking to automate some of your onboarding processes things like that, you get some some great capabilities there. But typically this is already an IT function that your your it group is going to be doing is setting up users and groups.
So the summary for users and groups is they both they both have them for sure and they both support flavors of Automation and Power BI obviously is again going back to is your ad and either that’s coming from on-prem or you’re managing it someway Tableau has a little bit more flexibility here as far as tying into single SSO providers.
I’m using our apis but tip at the end of the day, you need to get those users and groups in Tableau before you can log on and your Enterprises. You’re going to want to automate that for you know, anyone who has a decent number of users. So look at those apis. It’s probably the key feature there.
All right. So kind of the core piece of this presentation permissions and roll level security. So first we’re going to try and level set on these two terms because these are two very kind of confusing and closely related and intertwine terms permissions are all about what folders what reports can you see and can you view them? Can you edit them?
Can you create them permissions in this context are Enforce that the bi tool level. So this user can see this folder. This user can create reports in this folder things like that row level security is more of a data data pattern and it restricts slices restricts access to the slices of data.
So what data rows can use your scene report interesting thing about real level security and why it gets even more confusing is that you can enforce it at your data warehouse or you can enforce it at the bi to level so we’ll Talk about that in just a second. But that’s a very key decision. You need to make as you start a looking at and planning your overall architecture. And it’s the combination of these two things that are really enforce your your company’s data governance policies, right? So permissions and really level security they work together. So let’s kind of see how how that looks so permissions. Typically, this is pretty straightforward. You have things like your executive group.
All the folders in your bi tool. It doesn’t matter which one we’re talking about here your business analyst maybe they can view modify create delete anything in those folders. They need full access, right? But your sales associates. Maybe they can only just see that sales folder. They can’t see marketing. They can’t see Finance or engineering permissions. Hopefully pretty pretty clear-cut real level security.
Gets into this idea of slices of data in the report. So if two people have permission to view the same report, but they see different things when they see that report. So the the example down here at the bottom is a store manager should only have access to the store that they manage. So this is store manager 101 and he sees is stored his sales for the day, but the corporate managers will they need to have access to all the stores so you can see corporate manager gets all for his stores.
That they have set up but it’s the same reports the same daily sales report they both have permission to the report, but when they view the report, they did get different slices of data. So hopefully that those two kind of definitions and examples will help level set for for looking at these two concepts on each platform.
So in Tableau permissions are typically folder driven. So you get these folders. You can Nest folders inside of each other. They call folders projects will see that Microsoft calls them something else here in a second and then you assign and restrict to either users or groups best practices to use groups and you can get these different levels of permissions views as you look at permissions and tablet and tableau.
So we’re looking at the project permissions down there at the bottom. You can see that the finance group has publisher permissions to the project and Editor to the workbooks and editor do the data sources. And then as you dive into your folders and you look at specific projects, you see that it actually gets pretty fine tuned as far as what you can and can allow and disallow for various groups and users.
They have a nice UI that even shows you effective permission. So like at that my user down there on the bottom, even though he’s in the it group since he’s an administrator. He actually actually gets effective permissions of everything.
Then datasource permissions look a little different so you can view it. You can connect to it and build reports. You can save it, but you can’t download it in this in this case. You can’t delete it in this case. So there’s different permissions for data sources versus the workbooks themselves.
So similar Concepts in Power BI is but slightly different words and twist on them. So we’re calling folders workspaces in Power BI you can’t Nest workspaces. So workspaces are gonna one layer one layer deep you can put multiple reports in on multiple data sources, but you can’t Nest them and you do want to use this new upgraded workspace experience. So if you go create a new workspace today on Power BI you get this revert to Classic option.
Don’t use that the permissions are very wonky and It’s likely going away soon. So definitely use the upgraded workspace experience on the right side. You see there. We get things like admin member contributor and fewer as the roles that you can assign groups or users to in Power BI.
And permissions and Power BI that. They’re a little less fine-grained is maybe the way to think of it? So in Tableau, we could get very nitty-gritty with who which group which person gets what Power BI it’s more at this folder level at the at the workspace level where you say, you’re an admin for this whole workspace every report in that workspace you get you can control some of the interactions at the report level things like can you comment on this?
You can toggle that on on and off at the report level, but other things are kept up at that folder level. So both a pro and a con depending on if you like more complexity and control or simpler streamlined permission models.
Similarly datasets have their own kind of flavor of permissions to be able to build reports off this data set to be able to share this data set things like that very similar concept to what Tableau does with their data set permissions.
So summarizing permissions, they both Cascade down from this folder level to reports dashboards or data sets inside that folder Power BI kind of has this broader Concept in Tableau goes a little bit more with the ability to fine-tune each and every user and group and feature on the report and like like I said before it kind of cuts Cuts both ways to have that level of control with the tool.
Several level security. So this is this is the last of the deep topics before we go with a couple easier topics to finish it off.
So remember real level security we’re talking about slices of data a user can see here. So the question is where do you implement it? And really this question can even vary by data source. But the first option is you implemented up at your data warehouse or protect perhaps a database that can support it in the users get defined there on who gets access to which slices of data. Typically if you’re doing this in an Enterprise context you have like data stewards and folks like that who are responsible.
For denoting which groups in your organization. Can I get access to which slices of data but some databases don’t support that some some organizations don’t have this really formalized Enterprise data warehouse, or maybe you’re pulling in some ad hoc data. So that’s where option to comes into play and you can actually Define and Implement real level security at the to level. So Power BI and Tableau both support this concept of building those patterns.
Turns out the two level which we’ll look at here in just a second.
So looking thinking back to option once that’s where your you’ve already have your Enterprise data warehouse and you have these formal definitions already set up there and it’s enforcing real little security security for you with Power BI if your data warehouses is analysis Services. It works really well together unsurprisingly. They’re both Microsoft products. So they’re very tightly coupled you’re using active directory groups and users.
That single sign-on from Power BI service all the way down to that data source. So you just see what you should see if you’re using some other data warehouse or database you can use careerists to pass from the Power BI server service the vendor hosted service down through the on-prem gateway to those data sources so that your re-level security continues to be enforced for your users.
He’s so there’s the list there that Microsoft currently supports. I actually think they added a couple just the other day at least the public preview Oracle being one of them. So the big question is if you’re using a data warehouse or a database for real of security does the product support it?
And then moving on to Tableau, you’ll see that similarly they offered this concept as well on the Kerberos side.
You get a couple more data sources down there postgres being one of them Oracle has been fully released for a while now, but they also have this initial SQL feature where in essence every query is prefixed with execute as user or set set this session so that you can tell the database server which user to execute the queries as just two different flavors on how to pass that logged on user down to your data warehouse. So that security is enforced and then the interesting note is that Tableau online, which is the vendor hosted Tableau is not supported. So really this is more in the context of you’re running a local Tableau server on Prem and you’re connecting to another on-prem data.
Database so just something to keep in mind there. And again, your existing data warehouse is going to probably help dictate which direction you’re going here.
So thinking about that second option of well, my data warehouse doesn’t support real level security or I’m pulling data from somewhere else, but I still need to kind of a drill level security to it. That’s what option two is that we’ll talk about here in both of them approached this again, very similarly with roles and things like that. So in Power BI desktop, you create and test roles and Power BI service you assign users and groups to rolls.
So what that Looks like you can make a static roll. So this is where you’re tying access to a group in your bi tool. So there if there’s a security group that you set up and you assign people to that group and then this role gets tied to that group or there’s a dynamic role where you can actually put data in your database tables that says this user goes with the store.
This user goes at this region, whatever it needs to be and then you get these these special user functions tax function in this case user principal name, which is really just kind of your email address, right that gets matched against the database table to help determine access.
So when you’re developing that and desktop, you can even test it. You can say I’m going to view this as a role and then my my user email addresses this set the Houston Nets interests. And then when you start viewing that all your data got filtered down to just viewing that Houston roll. So that’s kind of a dynamic role example there.
And then something unique to Power BI compared to Tableau as you can even test it online. So after you’ve published it up there they have the ability to test online as well.
So you can go and you can view it as a member of that group or even if you’re using Dynamic filters pass through that email address so that you see it like that user sees it which is very handy feature for supporting large number of users to be able to see The published version of what they see so kudos to Power BI for that feature.
Tablo approaches this very similar concept you use Tableau desktop to create roles and to test rolls. The only again difference here is that after you’ve published it Tableau server Tableau online. You can’t really do the testing up there but it is where you’re assigning users and groups and we’re its enforced. So just a quick walkthrough of what that looks like and Tableau desktop you’re creating user filters.
During the creation of your dashboards or you can set up a dynamic filter again using user name is member of is a someone in a group Tableau group. So it gets back to this concept of are you going to use the groups defined in the bi tool or are you going to use a data table to enforce your RLS?
Then you drag those filters on to your dashboard and you used a little pop up in the bottom right corner there to view the dashboard as you would like. You were a Denver employee and all the sudden you see only the Denver store on that report.
And then the other same note there that you can only test this on desktop after you published. You’d actually have to go sit down with the user to see what they’re saying.
All right. So the summary over that very complex topic is that if you have a data warehouse, you should definitely be looking to see if the bi tool that you’re using or assessing is going to support it. And how do you then pass that single sign-on information down to the data warehouse if you’re not using a data warehouse, or maybe you’re picking up a data source, that isn’t in your data warehouse some ad hoc data, but you still need to enforce re level security you then have these two static.
Truce and dynamic filters option static filter is meaning you’re tying it back to the groups in your bi tool and dynamic filters. Meaning you have some sort of entitlement data table in your data. So I know that’s a lot that’s again pretty complex topic and happy to dive deeper with anyone on some of those fun topics there. So let’s let’s kind of finish this off with a couple easier topics. So both system systems offer.
A this on premise Gateway or Bridge product to get back from your Cloud hosted server securely through your firewall to your on-prem data.
Tableau calls this Tableau Bridge. You can see there you get these live connected data sets that you’ve published up to Tableau coming back through to your on-prem data databases.
And it’s going to run as a Windows service. So you’re probably going to have a dedicated machine for this. If you have a large deployment, you do get some web-based Administration where you can say which Tableau Bridge you want a specific data extract or data source using up in Tableau, but it doesn’t support clustering. So if your machine goes down, if you’re installing updates that dataset if it’s a live data set at least is is now kind of cut off.
And again, you can’t pass Kerberos which is single sign-on type information down to those data sources from a remote hosted type service. So they give you some minimum specs there but in general and we’ll talk about this in a minute. You want to make sure you have lots of threads on your processor lots of RAM on your machine to keep up with your queries.
Power BI Gateway is what Microsoft calls their product very similar concept and product C down the right side. There is setting that up in Power BI service and then you add different data sources to your gateway, but you’ll note that they call them Gateway clusters. So you can actually hook up multiple multiple machines to the same Gateway cluster that way if you take one down the other ones picking up the workload.
Again chorus is supported since Microsoft really doesn’t have this on Prim server concept all that Carreras supported data sources are supported through Power BI Gateway and they give you a little bit beefier recommended specs not minimum specs but recommended so eight cores and 8 gigs of RAM 64 bit and even even an SSD drive to make sure things keep keep moving.
So best practices here just from what we’ve seen the sometimes people will stand up these Bridges or gateways and one piece of their Network and then their data centers over in another piece of their Network. This is not a good idea because now you’re just adding more Network latency as your data hops around especially if you’re talking many people and why every Quest and things like that, so try and get it in your or near your data sources as possible.
Make sure it has plenty of RAM multicores and just like any other system just monitor it I mean if you’re seeing bottlenecks on the CPU, see if your it team can address that or Ram or anything else like that networking?
So in essence, they both have on-prem data access. They both are required to run on 64-bit Windows machines. So there is no Linux option here. If your Linux shop only Power BI takes this clustering approach. That’s one of the kind of big differences here that should translate to higher availability and redundancy.
Then lastly audit logs. So we need to make sure we’re tracking all the activity happening happening on our systems Microsoft with that architecture of azure and Office 365 and Power BI kind of being interlinked to actually keep all their audit logs together over in Office 365 and something they call this security and compliance portal. So all your activities getting log there.
You can search and download information. You can even set up alerts like you can see on the right side there that if someone like for example, someone shares a Power BI desktop dashboard since an alert to these users, so there’s some useful things there depending on how lock down your organization needs to be from a security standpoint.
And then of course you have the ability to run searches date ranges users types activities and pull that for your Auditors. If that becomes an issue similarly Tableau stores all this in a kind of local database on the Tableau server. They have the interest of the difference here is they really just kind of reuse their own product to show this to you. So you’ll see that they create their own tab location.
– boards such as this built off of that audit information, but for my feature standpoint, you’re getting at the same types of information just in a little bit more visual sense here and you can download all that information as well query that information as well. I think the summary here is they both they both offer these capabilities. You can even do some alerting based off those capabilities, which is very handy as well.
So to recap we went through a lot in a very short amount of time architecture and SSO and things like that. But the key Point here is the last piece is that you’re here unique organization is going to drive a which these things are important to you and so pick the one that makes the most sense for your organization. And if that’s something you need help with that’s definitely a service that we offer and with that mic. I will pitch it.
Back over to you to talk about that great. Thanks, everybody stick around because we do have the questions at the end of the presentation here. And as a reminder, go ahead and submit your questions via the questions log Bob. That’s a tremendous presentation with a lot of meat in there. There’s you know, you could argue along with performance and Trust in the data that really this is where this is arguably the most critical component.
Of any bi deployment especially as you roll this out to the Enterprise is getting this security done correctly, especially in this age where you seem seems to be a data breach or some kind of problem around that every other day with with enormous consequences. So Senturus is here has done a comparison not only compared the security features of those two platforms, but we track over a hundred fifty different attributes and we rate them.
Across those platforms across three platforms Cognos Tableau in Power BI along with that.
We provide notes and links and explanations other caveats to give a deeper understanding relative to the to your environment and your business needs and you know, we did that really because we see that this whole decision has become much more complicated with the increasing demands of users the proliferation of both data and tools Those aging systems that no longer meet the needs of performance the demands of user self-service and scalability the move to the cloud and people’s decisions of where to you know, data sovereignty and data security and and versus costs and the benefits of using the cloud or some sort of hybrid.
So none of those things are a surprise, but we believe that our approach to this is unique and as a response to clients who are just getting started looking at various tools or or who are me preps in the midst of an implementation or perhaps are adopting what we call a bimodal form of bi where we saw in that earlier poll. A lot of folks are probably running Cognos and Tableau or and and or Power BI and a myriad of tools and making these things work in a way that’s best for your organization. So you reap the benefits of all those organizations that successfully leveraged analytics is really important. And so we keep up to date.
With the Rapid Release schedules of these products in the ever-changing capabilities and its really interesting to kind of watch the Ripple across these different product releases with regards to things like incorporation of artificial intelligence and natural language processing support for local files and modeling Python and our integration and other things. So what we offer is a full tool comparison here where our Consultants will walk you through those hundred fifty plus rating. So we’ll gather information about your organization help explain our rationale and provide guidance.
And focus on those capabilities that are most important to your specific organizational priorities and we offer that for $49.99 with the entire cost of that credited against any future services or training so you can reach out to us for that if you’re interested in that now before we get to the free resources and what not the end, I want to walk you through a couple quick slides on Senturus and who we are at Senturus. Our clients know us for providing Clarity from the chaos of complex business requirements Myriad disparate data sources.
Moving targets and Ever Changing regulations. We have made a name for ourselves because of our strength that Bridging the Gap between it and business users. We deliver solutions that give you access to Reliable analysis ready data across your organization enabling you to quickly and easily get answers at the point of impact in forming the decisions you make and the actions you take our Consultants are leading experts in the field of analytics with years of pragmatic real-world expertise, and we are experts and specialists in migration.
Ian’s we are so confident in our team and our methodology that we back our projects with a 100% money back guarantee that is unique in the industry. No doubt, you’ll recognize several of the companies on this slide. We’ve been at this for a while nearly two decades over 1,300 clients ranging from The Fortune 500 to the mid-market and having delivered over 2500 successful projects across a range of business areas from the office of Finance to sales marketing HR.
And various other areas. So the next time you have an analytics need please consider us for that project in terms of upcoming events here. We’ve got some great stuff coming up across kind of a spectrum of things here. We have a what’s new in the latest release of Cognos 11 one for you can head over to senturus.com event to events to register for any and all of these we have our annual NorCal.
Cognos user group meeting in San Francisco that’s on Tuesday November 5th. That’s most of the day Affair. We have a webinar featuring our Senturus analytics connector which enables the aforementioned bimodal bi and it was you to leverage your Cognos metadata and reports using tools front-end tools like Tableau and or Power BI and then we have a great webinar favorite new features in tablet 20 19.3 coming up later in November. So again, that’s a great site to bookmark. Please head on over there.
For those and then head over to senturus.com Senturus resources for not only all of our upcoming events, but the resource Library which will contain the presentation and webinar recording of this and other presentations including a comparison of Power BI Tableau and Cognos the webinar.
We did that’s that does a side-by-side comparison of creating a dashboard and those three products to create webinar that we just actually reprised a couple of weeks ago and then lastly our blog which talks about Top of Mind what’s top of mind it’s interest. So kind of bite-sized information.
You can easily digest and I’d be remiss if I left out training if you head over to Senturus.com training, we offer a full gamut of training from corporate training to self-paced learning specific mentoring and instructor-led online courses led by some of the best instructors in the industry and we offer that for Power BI Tableau and Cognos, so, please Pay a visit to that site and take a look and the next slide so we can get into the question and answer here. So Bob and if you got a chance to take a look at some of the questions there. Yeah. The first first one is actually a great question for you Mike. So I’m going to throw it back your way. Can you get to the Cognos connector option you mentioned in the Power BI slide sure. So I met Jacques this area director there.
Yes, I did mention the webinar that’s coming up there and what we saw was so a lot of organizations adopting and I think that that poll that we showed earlier in the presentation. It’s kind of testimony to that that many organizations are running Cognos either actively or as a legacy system for their operational reports Pixel Perfect reports that sort of thing and they want to keep that running and they built all those valuable metadata, but they can’t access that and they can access things like power cubes or tm1 cubes or GM our models Dynamic cubes that sort of stuff. They can’t leverage that.
That nice metadata that they’ve invested so much and so our connector allows you to connect to that metadata and and just pull over that nice clean friendly business model that will save your analysts tons of time in terms of replicated trying to replicate that or dumping out flat files which again present a pretty big security risk and save them time as well as align your business metrics across the organization and reduce cost around change.
Judgment and things like that. So if you go to our Senturus site, you’ll see that we’ve got a whole page on it with live dashboards video demos of the product for both Power BI and Tableau and numerous webinars and case studies showing customers that are using and how they’re using it and getting benefit from it their environments create. Perfect. So I’ll take the next one. It’s about Power BI Pro versus premium specifically like data limits.
So when you talk about licensing Power BI, You either license a pro-level license, which is an individual user license or premium, which is a capacity license that starts making sense somewhere around 500 users depending on your use case, but with premium comes a few extra things like higher data limits their new report Builder tool and then depending on your own kind of internal requirements. It’s dedicated capacity. It’s not shared capacity.
You so if you have sensitive data that might be required for your it Security Group to keep things as far as the specific data limits and pro and premium. I believe it’s 10 gigabyte data extracts. If you’re using out fro, the extracts are the data sets are limited to a gigabyte. This is a gigabyte remodels are at our a 10 gigabyte limit unless you’re in premium. And then I think you can go up to 12 at their highest tier. That’s kind. I think I saw something recently.
About this newest wave to 2019 release upping that even much higher. So I believe there’s a solution on the on the horizon for that because they knew that that wasn’t going to fly, but that really is a big difference can in Power BI is is they have this premium capacity which is at the org level. We didn’t dive into licensing much here Tableau licenses.
Typically at the user level with a think core level is License available, but really not not typically how their licensing. Let’s Catalog online has a data limit to its a I forget what it is. I want to say it’s something like 10 gigabytes as well. So our work space is only available in pro version. Is it present the latest version of Power BI desktop? So the workspaces in Power BI do require a pro license just because you are publishing something up to the Power BI service. So you need that Pro license for that.
Again, they offer a 60 day trial so free trial to go and do that. So as soon as you publish something up to the service though, you’re now in a workspace of some sort. If you’re just using desktop, you can say if things as these PBI X-Files is what they call them and you can pass those Pi X Files around and somebody else can change them, but they’re they’re not really a work space per se.
And I think one other thing about the connector that John brought up to is a big benefit of it is that we apply the security that’s already been modeled in Cognos. So so the value of the connector goes up a lot the extent to which you’ve modeled row-level security and all the things Bob was talking about in the framework manager model layer because we just apply that by virtue of the user that you’re impersonating there. And then this other person asked about expanding the analysis to include other bi platforms.
Hundred fifty attributes like qlik sense and we don’t really have plans to do that right now and honestly what we see with qlik sense as we just don’t see them really run into them that much anymore. I think since they were taken private. I think the level of development that they’re seeing in the feature comparison there start the those vendors are starting to pull away and if you look at Gartner’s Matrix and things like that, you kind of see that bear out in their analyses as well.
Great. There’s another question here about ad-hoc query and Power BI. Yeah, I see that and that is query studio in Cognos. Yeah, there really isn’t anything anything similar to that. I mean, I think you could make the argument that in Power BI desktop or even in their their web environment, right?
That’s which look very similar that if you present data set to somebody they can the purpose of those tools oftentimes is to do ad hoc query analysis, so Just pick the fields you want and you can visualize it a hundred different ways from Tuesday. And and it’s very analogous to query Studio albeit much more. It’s much more complex. Right?
So your you don’t have the guardrails that query Studio has around it core Studios and interesting Beast because I sold Cognos for like a decade and whenever you demoed it, people are like, oh, yeah, that’s way too simple because you can’t do multiple charts and you can’t do this and that but then as soon as you made it more complicated, Was too complicated so it’s kind of this tool that you can never find The Sweet Spot for it and sorted. You know, I’m you almost want to be able to dial in the UI to turn off or on various features to optimize it for a given audience, but it’s surprisingly kind of hangs on out there that in certain environments where it’s served a useful purpose. So yeah, I think you’re starting to see some of the same things with the natural language processing rate either. It’s too simple and and what’s the value or once you add enough capability?
Is now you have to figure out to speak the correct way to the computer, right? That’s very true. And I think with you know, I always I’m fond of saying that that you know, IBM really kind of wove Watson into the into their analytics platform. And so when you go in to see a 11 and we have webinars in this as well, when you go in there and you do a data exploration, it applies all that stuff to these these data sets and shows you relationships and and automatically generates visualizations for you and you can ask a question.
Ends of the data in NLP and as a response to that I think are they have kind of I would say the most mature user friendly option there owing to the maturity of Watson templo bought asked data from I forget what the company was, but they’re still integrating that so it’s it’s not as user friendly and there’s there’s limits and what you can do and and then Microsoft has it as well you publish things to powerbi.com.
I think in both of those cases Tableau and Power BI you have to be The server or the service to leverage that functionality and it’s still it’s a relatively immature. Yeah, there’s another question here. I’ll take about a right-back capabilities and Power BI and Tableau. So Tableau does have something called Tableau extensions and we recently worked with a client to implement right back capabilities from that Power BI approaches it in the same way, but kind of the bottom line on both of those.
Tools that was you do need a developer involved typically and then you’re hosting it on a website somewhere to be the middle man between pulling data off that data visualization and writing it back to your Source system. So yeah, if that’s something you’re interested in that’s that’s well within our development services that we offer.
So here’s kind of a this is a pretty high level broad question to that way that I saw here if you can see an organization that Use multiple tools like we suspect is the case of a lot of the people that are on the line here in terms of both the back end and the front end. You have a hybrid type of a system then what’s the best approach for that scenario?
Yeah, that’s a great question. There’s an Roi answer, right? So this is sometimes you can sell the business on an Roi of well, if this use this tool you can get to this Roi quickly. And so that it makes the tool makes sense pretty instantly. I do think that’s why you’re starting to see so many organizations with multiple tools though. So, I don’t know. What are your thoughts might I mean, I think that’s a that’s a big hairball of a question.
I think it gets X to the fact that this is a that’s a hairball of a question for every organization and it really the classic consultant answer if it depends really applies here and I think I alluded to some of it earlier where you know, it depends on a lot of things right. Are you looking to lower your costs?
Are you do you have do you want to move to the cloud and if you’re moving to the cloud do you have HIPAA constraints or data sovereignty constraints where your data can’t be in the cloud at all and that’s going to affect all those decisions and what you can and can’t do or what’s best for you and that’s I kind of you know, it helps to sit down with you know, folks like Bob and experts in our organization that can help you comb through those things prioritize them and make the best decision for your organization and one that you can live with and grow with for the next 5 to 10 years the greed the question about is there feature similar to IBM Cognos right back feature in Power BI or Tableau.
So those features are generally in the functions of the financial planning or the Any analytics tools that leverage things like tm1 that have right back capabilities and so they don’t really have that in Power BI or Tableau. What you do? You see? Yeah. I was gonna say I touched on that a little bit earlier with the extensions though. So, yeah, you can create it. But yeah not not out of the box for sure.
Right and what you see is is people ad litems you leverage things like parameters so you can kind of do what if thing right you can change a input to a formula or something that Verges maybe a forecast function and does projections out order changes the regression line or does some things like that. So there are certain things you can do but not right back per se and sort of a traditional planning sense. Well, I think we’re kind of running up on the top of the hour here Mike. Yeah. It’s the one more one last question here that we see. How do you see Tableau versus Power BI is one tool gaining momentum over the other with your clients. I mean, I’d say from from our perspective.
Microsoft is really charging ahead with the Power Platform and owing to their I think ubiquity and they’re aggressive development. They at least the perception is that they have a bit more of the momentum that said Tableau is still I think considered the gold standard and you could make the argument that in a lot of ways.
They still are the Cadillac or whatever you want to call them and they have plenty of momentum of their own now whether the acquisition by Salesforce Style Is that or accelerates the momentum really remains to be seen but that’s kind of kind of my perception on that. I don’t know if you have any any comments on that Bob. Yeah, I it also gets back to that. It depends question. Right and there are certain scenarios where Power BI will never make sense and vice versa.
So Yep, different different tools for the job. Yeah, exactly. And and it’s interesting to see the differences between the tools and and that can make a big difference in terms of the adoption and the cost for your organization. So again, that’s where we can help you out. So yeah, it is top of the hour. I think we’ve covered all the Jermaine questions here. So with that we’ll go to the last slide here, and I thank all of you for your time and attention today.
Thank you Bob our presenter for a Presentation there’s a lot of good meaty stuff in there. I won’t need to eat lunch after this one, and if you’d like to reach out to us, please visit our website at Senturus.com, or you can always email us at info at Senturus.com, or if you’re like to pick up a phone still triple-eight 601 6010 and feel free to connect with us on our various social media connections via LinkedIn or SlideShare YouTube Twitter and or Facebook.
So thank you everyone for your time today, and we look forward to seeing you at one of our upcoming events. Thanks and have a great rest of your day by now.
Other BI comparison resources
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