Power BI Vs. Excel

Microsoft Excel is an Office 365 product of Microsoft. It was originally launched in the year 1985 under Microsoft Corporation and the current version is Excel 2018. Excel is a type of spreadsheet that captures information in the form of rows and columns. The recent version of Excel is enhanced with a wide variety of features and applications. You can transform information into insights. 

On the other hand, Power BI is a business analytics tool from Microsoft. Power BI is a collection of software services, apps, and connectors that work together to turn your unrelated sources of data into interactive insights, meaningful and visually appealing. Power BI conveniently links to various data resources of any type of size.


Enabled and enriched with Knowledge, Excel understands your patterns, organizes your data, and aids in conserving your time. Excel gives various templates that help you to develop spreadsheets and carry out calculations and modern-day formulas. Excel will assist you to obtain a better visual of your data. There are wide ranges of charts, graphs, pictures that assist you to present your data engagingly with sparklines, format, and tables to better understand your data.

Power BI

Power BI can connect to excel spreadsheets, cloud, relational data sources, NoSQL databases, Data warehouses, flat files, Big Data tools, and others. Power BI is extremely robust, simple, fast, and enterprise-grade, ready for extensive modeling, customized development, and real-time analytics. Power BI remains in 3 forms, for Windows application, it is Power BI Desktop, as Software as a service (SaaS) it is Power BI service while third is Power BI apps for phones, tablets, and Android devices.

Head to Head Comparison between Power BI and Excel 

Below are the top 19 differences between Power BI and Excel:


Key differences between Power BI and Excel

Let us discuss some of the vital difference between Power BI and Excel:

  • Power BI is a Business Intelligence (BI) and Data Visualisation tool for developing customized and interactive dashboards from various data resources while Microsoft Excel is a software application from Microsoft that is used for data analytics, mathematical operations, data organization, and various other functions using a spreadsheet.
  • Power BI is quite fast in processing when compared to Microsoft Excel.
  • Power BI can efficiently handle a large quantity of information while Microsoft Excel is limited to some extent of information.
  • Power BI can manage Big Data while Microsoft Excel is not efficient in handling Big Data.
  • Power BI can connect with different varieties of resources while Microsoft Excel can connect to limited sources.
  • Power BI dashboards are more interactive and customizable while Microsoft Excel dashboards are not much interactive.
  • Power BI is easy to use and flexible while Microsoft Excel is not so convenient to utilize.
  • Power BI is mainly utilized for data visualizations and dashboard sharing to a multitude of users while Microsoft Excel is mainly used for comprehensive driver analysis.
  • Power BI is a much more powerful tool contrasting Microsoft Excel.
  • Power BI is friendly with mobile phones because of iPhone, Android, and Windows applications while Microsoft excel is not mobile-friendly.

Power BI and Excel Comparison Table

Below is the topmost comparison between Power BI and Excel.


Power BI and Excel both are Microsoft products. Excel is an older product of Microsoft while Power BI was launched a couple of years ago. I believe 95 % of customers who worked on Windows have used Excel at some point in time. Excel is a widely known product. Power BI is entirely an analytics and data visualization tool from Microsoft. Many firms who are working with analytics use Power BI. Excel and  Power BI are almost 80% similar in terms of development time. Power BI allows you to move the complete data model from Excel reports to a Power BI desktop with a just click. Power BI and Excel both have their benefits and drawbacks for data visualization. Power BI pros are into online features and visualizations while Microsoft Excel is excelled right in Data analysis, data exploration, and also Pivot tables.

We now understood that Power BI is a fairly new topic and more things are still unknown to most of us. There are professional courses that aim towards delivering detailed information about this topic from experts who have learned it. ZaranTech is one such place that offers a mentor-led online training program on Microsoft Power BI. Make sure you learn it right the first time. For that, enroll with us today!

Also, if you’re looking for more tools comparison articles visit our website, you’ll find many. Happy learning!

These are the related articles that you can check

  1. Five Reasons to Shift Reporting from Excel to Power BI 
  2. Key Benefits of Microsoft Power BI 
  3. Encyclopedia on Microsoft Power BI 
  4. Various Power BI Solutions and 7 Reasons to Consider Power BI 

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