Test 1 of Tableau Vs Power BI: Topographic Mapping | @3danim8

Test 1 of Tableau Vs Power BI: Topographic Mapping

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 by 3danim8 (aka Ken Black)


Introduction

While Ben is off learning about Microsoft Azure and implementing PBI on actual project work, I have decided to run a number of test cases that compare Tableau to Power BI using data that I happen to have on-hand.

One of my goals is to keep the evaluations concise, while at the same time demonstrating software performance, features and capabilities.  Although I am not explicitly including Alteryx in this particular evaluation, there is a nice workflow shown in this article (in the included video) that I developed tonight to reduce a big geospatial data set down to a more manageable size for this testing.

The Topographic Mapping Example

I recently began doing some volunteer work for Path.org (for more info on Path, please see this article). As part of this work, I was given topographic data from Zambia, Africa. The high-resolution topographic data set originated as a shapefile, which my friend Dudley and I have transformed into various forms for different reasons.

Through the magic of Alteryx and some fancy computational mathematics via Dudley, this non-uniform data set was transposed into a triangulated interconnected network (TIN) that represents the mathematically optimized topographic surface as shown in Figure 1. This surface will be used to visualize water flow across the land surface.

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Figure 1 – The mathematically optimized topographic surface, which was written out as 68.4M interconnected triangles. This is just the southern region of Zambia.


Using Alteryx, I cut-out a fairly small section of the data along the southern boundary  (390K triangles out of 68.4M triangles) to compare the graphical rendering abilities of Tableau and Power BI. This region was provided to me by one of the best Tableau mappers, Mr. Allan Walker (aka, Walker Texas Ranger). Although Chuck Norris might have been a more accomplished actor than Allan, Allan definitely has the best Scottish accent of the two!

This test was performed to visualize the topographic surface of the region shown in Figure 2.

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Test 1 of Tableau Vs Power BI: Topographic Mapping

While Ben is off learning about Microsoft Azure and implementing PBI on actual project work, I have decided to run a number of test cases that compare Tableau to Power BI using data that I happen to have on-hand. One of my goals is to keep the evaluations concise, while at the same time demonstrating software performance, features and capabilities.

 

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Eric Axelrod

President & Chief Architect at DIGR
I have helped companies bring new data driven products to market, drive efficiency out of their supply chain, execute strategic plans, and drive top line and bottom line growth by enabling every business function with actionable analytics. I can transform a business which is lacking critical insight into an agile, strategic, data driven organization.

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