I got this question often: which is the best Data Visualization product? Lets compare some DV platforms such as Spotfire, Qlikview, Tableau Software and the Microsoft BI platform (PowerPivot, Excel 2010, SQL Server with its VertiPaq, SSAS, SSRS and SSIS). 2 key factors for tool selection are
which makes it easy to comprehend the data,
Because modern datasets are huge (or growing very fast!), they are usually best comprehended using Data Visualization (DV) with an ability to interact with data through visual drill-down capabilities and dashboards. There is NO a single best visualization product. Each has its place. For example, Spotfire has best web client and analytical functionality. On the other hand, Qliktech may be the best visualization product for interactive drill-down capabilities. The Microsoft BI platform provides better price-performance ratio and good as a backend for DV (especially with release of SQL Server 2012) or for people who wish to build own (that will be a mistake) DV. Tableau has the best ability to interact with OLAP cubes etc. We put into a summary table the comparison of 4 Platforms to help you to evaluate DV products, based on your needs.