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BigQuery Data Visualization Tools, BI, PowerBI, Looker, GCP, Tableau

Google’s BigQuery, a powerful data warehouse part of GCP has become indispensable for managing extensive datasets. It is particularly effective when paired with data visualization and Business Intelligence (BI) tools. These enhancements allow users to convert complex data into clear, actionable insights.

In this guide, we explore the top 5 data visualization tools compatible with BigQuery. Our focus is to provide an easy-to-understand comparison to help you find the tool that best suits your specific needs.

What is BigQuery?

BigQuery, a core service of Google Cloud Platform (GCP), is a comprehensive solution for data warehousing, analytics, and machine learning. It’s designed to handle large-scale data analysis, allowing users to execute petabyte-scale queries swiftly.

Thanks to its serverless architecture, it eliminates the need for extensive infrastructure management, making data handling both efficient and cost-effective. This cloud-based data warehouse distinguishes itself by requiring minimal maintenance, offering users the luxury of focusing more on data analysis and less on system upkeep.

BigQuery Data Visualization Tools, BI, PowerBI, Looker, GCP, Tableau

What sets BigQuery apart is its ability to manage complex analytical queries with ease. Ideal for heavy queries requiring substantial data, it’s optimized for scenarios where quick, efficient processing of large datasets is crucial. This also results in greater opportunities for BigQuery cost optimization.

For organizations looking to alleviate the load on relational databases without compromising on data analysis capabilities, BigQuery presents an ideal solution, allowing seamless integration and enhanced performance without the traditional burdens of database management. To estimate your BigQuery charges, please visit our Bigquery Pricing Calculator.


Data Visualization Tools in BigQuery

These tools integrate seamlessly with BigQuery, using its robust data processing capabilities to provide real-time insights and analytics. This synergy enables users to query vast amounts of data and visualize the results in an impactful way, enhancing the decision-making process.

Here are the advantages of using a Data Visualization Tool with BigQuery:

  • Improved Reporting Efficiency: Quick generation of comprehensive reports with interactive dashboards and graphics.
  • Data-Driven Decision Making: Empowers businesses to make strategic decisions based on visually represented data trends and patterns.
  • Increased Accessibility: Makes data insights accessible to a wider range of users, regardless of their technical expertise.
  • Streamlined Collaboration: Visual data aids in more effective communication and collaboration among team members and stakeholders.

BigQuery Data Visualization Tools Costs, Capabilities and Pricing Table

The following table provides an overview of five essential BigQuery data visualization tools, detailing their key capabilities, features, and pricing structures.

Tool NameCapabilitiesKey FeaturesPricing
Looker StudioIntegrates seamlessly with BigQuery for real-time data analytics– Customizable dashboards
– Data modeling capabilities
– Embeddable reports
Free version available; Premium pricing upon request
TableauRobust data analysis and visualization, with strong BigQuery compatibility– Drag-and-drop interface
– Advanced analytics
– Collaboration tools
Starting at $70/user/month
PowerBIMicrosoft’s analytics and visualization tool, compatible with BigQuery– AI-driven insights
– Office 365 integration
– Rich visualizations
Free version; Pro version at $9.99/user/month
Hevo DataETL tool that facilitates data integration for BigQuery– Pre-built integrations
– Real-time data replication
– Automated data workflows
Free plan available; Paid plans start at $149/month
HolisticsBusiness Intelligence platform supporting data modeling and reporting– Automated reporting
– Data transformation and modeling
– SQL-based report building
Starts at $50/month; Custom enterprise pricing available

Each of these tools offers unique features and capabilities to enhance BigQuery’s data visualization, catering to a range of business needs and budgets. The pricing for some tools depends on the specific requirements and scale of the project, so it’s advisable to consult with the vendors for the most accurate and up-to-date information.


The 5 Essential BigQuery Data Visualization Tools

Here we have conducted an in-depth analysis of the offerings of each tool, highlighting their capabilities and ideal use-case scenarios.

Looker Studio

Looker Studio, formerly known as Data Studio offers an advanced business intelligence (BI) solution with a focus on real-time data exploration and analytics within the GCP suite of services. It stands out for its ability to centralize business data through its semantic modeling layer. This feature allows businesses to apply consistent business logic across their data, creating a unified and reliable data source for all teams.

Looker, BigQuery Data Visualization Tool, BI, GCP

Key Features

  • In-Browser Operation: Looker Studio runs entirely in the browser, eliminating the need for desktop installation. This enhances collaboration and data sharing among both internal and external users.
  • Direct Database Operation: It operates directly on the data in your database, leveraging the full capacity of your database system, whether it’s an MPP like Vertica, Redshift, BigQuery, a SQL-on-Hadoop setup like Impala or Spark, or a standard RDBMS like MySQL or Postgres.
  • Automated Reporting: The tool facilitates scheduling of daily, weekly, or monthly reports and sending alerts for data anomalies.
  • GitHub Integration: Changes made to the modeling layer are traceable, allowing seamless collaboration among multiple developers.

Looker Studio Pricing

Looker Studio offers a free tier, suitable for basic BI needs. For more advanced features and capabilities, pricing is available upon request and is tailored to the specific requirements of the business.

GCP Looker Studio ETL Tutorial

Users new to looker can complete this interactive tutorial to discover how to use Looker studio with BigQuery. Users can also integrate Looker with the BigQuery Cost Dataset for monitoring their GCP costs.


Tableau

Tableau has firmly established itself as a top-tier data visualization tool, compatible with a wide range of databases. Renowned for its advanced capabilities, Tableau is particularly well-suited for creating detailed and interactive visualizations. Despite its multitude of features, Tableau does have a steep learning curve, and some features may go unnoticed due to the complexity of its interface. Users can also integrate Tableau with the BigQuery Cost Dataset for monitoring their GCP costs.

Tableau, BigQuery Data Visualization Tool, BI, GCP

Key Features

  • Highly-Interactive Dashboard: Tableau’s dashboard is known for its interactivity, allowing users to engage deeply with the data.
  • Metadata Support and Visual Library: It offers extensive metadata support and access to a rich visual library, enhancing the visual representation of data.
  • User-Level Permissions and Drag & Drop Features: Tableau provides different user-level permissions and is famous for its intuitive drag-and-drop functionality, simplifying the process of data integration and visualization.
  • Notification on Data Connection Failures: The tool alerts users if there is a failure in the data connection, ensuring continuous data flow and reliability.

Tableau Pricing

Tableau’s pricing is set at $70 per month for the Creator tier, while the basic tier is free.


PowerBI

PowerBI, developed by Microsoft, stands out in the BI industry, especially for businesses deeply integrated with the Microsoft ecosystem. Its capability to support a vast array of data sources makes it an invaluable tool for centralizing data. PowerBI’s integration with a variety of data sources and its user-friendly interface make it a preferred choice for businesses already accustomed to Microsoft products.

PowerBI, BigQuery Data Visualization Tool, BI, GCP

Its powerful data visualization and modeling capabilities cater to both basic and advanced BI needs. However, one of the tool’s limitations is its steep learning curve, particularly due to the necessity of understanding DAX (Data Analysis Expression) language for full utilization.

Additionally, PowerBI’s data modeling is Windows-centric, which might restrict collaboration and agility for users on other operating systems like Linux or Mac.

Key Features

  • Extensive Data Source Support: PowerBI can handle data from numerous sources, including cloud services like Redshift and offline files like Excel.
  • Advanced Data Visualization Capabilities: Known for its robust data visualization features, PowerBI offers a range of basic to custom visuals, which advanced users can enhance using Javascript libraries.
  • Frequent Updates and Innovations: The PowerBI team consistently introduces new features and updates, ensuring the tool stays at the forefront of data visualization technology.
  • Strong Data Modeling Capabilities: PowerBI is recognized for its mature approach to data modeling, providing a solid foundation for data analysis.

PowerBI Pricing

PowerBI is priced at £15.10 per user per month, making it an accessible option for individuals and businesses looking to leverage its powerful BI capabilities.


Hevo Data

Hevo Data is a comprehensive no-code data pipeline platform, offering seamless integration and transformation of data for businesses relying on BigQuery and other BI workflows.

Hevo Data, BigQuery Data Visualization Tool, BI, GCP

The platform’s secure, fault-tolerant architecture, combined with features like schema management, scalability, and incremental data load, ensure efficient and reliable data handling. The minimal learning requirement, coupled with its interactive UI, makes Hevo a user-friendly option for businesses of all sizes.

Key Features

  • Automated Data Pipeline: The tool’s automation ensures real-time, lossless data transfer from source to destination, greatly simplifying the ETL process.
  • Efficient Schema Management: It automatically detects and maps incoming data schema to the destination, removing the hassle of manual schema management.
  • Minimal Learning Curve: The platform’s user-friendly interface makes it easy for new users to navigate and manage data operations.

Hevo Data Pricing

Hevo Data offers a basic plan for free, making it an accessible option for small-scale data operations. For more extensive needs, the Starter package is priced at $239 a month, for businesses requiring advanced data pipeline capabilities.


Holistics

Holistics is a new self-service BI tool that offers a powerful visualization layer catering to non-technical users. It is particularly known for its user-friendly interface and efficient data modeling layer, which allows for streamlined data transformation in BigQuery and other SQL data warehouses. Its ability to simplify SQL query visualization and reporting, coupled with a user-friendly drag-and-drop interface, makes it a valuable asset for any organization looking to enhance its data-driven decision-making.

Holistics, BigQuery Data Visualization Tool, BI, GCP

Key Features

  • Customizable SQL Queries: Holistics allows querying BigQuery databases with customizable SQL queries, delivering fast results with its cache layer.
  • Analytics As-Code: Utilizes a custom-built DSL layer (AML) for flexible and customizable mapping between database tables and business logic.
  • Git Version Control: Tracks every change with Git integration, allowing for branching, code reviews, and ensuring an accurate analytics workflow.

Holistics Pricing

Holistics is priced at $150 per month for the Entry tier, making it an attractive and predictable option in the BI landscape, especially for small to medium-sized businesses.


Conclusion

Selecting the right BigQuery data visualization tool is crucial for maximizing your data’s potential. Fortunately, most tools offer a free tier, allowing you to experiment with your data workloads before making a commitment. This approach enables you to find the best fit for your needs without initial investment. It’s wise to explore these options in depth to ensure the chosen tool not only meets your current demands but is also scalable for future requirements.

How we can help

Economize offers a comprehensive suite of solutions to help you navigate GCP’s vast billing environment and make data-driven decisions for a more cost-efficient cloud journey.

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