Splunk vs. Tableau: What Are The Differences?

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Splunk vs. Tableau: What Are The Differences?

In today’s digital world, computers and the Internet have made it pretty much easy for organizations to acquire endless amounts of data with just a few clicks. As a digital business owner, you can always take advantage of this information to understand your customers’ behavior and make better decisions that’ll help improve your business.

In case you don’t know, data analysis plays a pivotal role in the success of every digital business. Apart from helping to predict your customers’ trends and behaviors, this technique can also boost your business productivity. Without a doubt, tons of data analytical tools exist out there that you can choose for your business. However, Tableau and Splunk stand out, as they are both widely used and reliable.

Data visualization tool Tableau helps us analyze data to find new ways to solve business problems. It offers more features, making it easier to use and set up. On the other hand, Splunk is a tool that organizations utilize to search, monitor, analyze, and visualize machine-generated data.

There’s no denying that both Tableau and Splunk are two analytical tools that can be utilized to achieve excellent results. However, to find out the differences between the two, one needs to fully understand their functions. In the rest of this article, you’ll find out everything about the two data visualization tools, including their strengths and weaknesses.

Everything You Need to Know About Splunk

What is Splunk?

To understand what Splunk means, you need to first understand the term “machine data.” 

By definition, machine data or machine-generated data is digital information that’s designed by the activities of networked devices, such as computers and mobile phones. Furthermore, machine-generated data is raw and based on facts; It’s automatically created either as a response to an event or by a fixed schedule.

Unfortunately, machine data only comes out in an unstructured format, making it pretty much complex to understand and unsuitable to use for visualization. Here’s where Splunk comes into the scene.

Splunk software makes it pretty much easy for users to acquire, search, monitor, analyze, and visualize machine data generated from different sources, such as sensors & devices, networks & web traffic, as well as applications and operating systems.

Strengths and weaknesses of Splunk


There are tons of benefits attached to using Splunk to search, analyze, and visualize machine-generated data. First, the software packs a search processing language, which makes it easy for users to search through large amounts of data to get specific information.

Another benefit of Splunk is that it’s capable of accepting all kinds of data. The software is highly scalable and can assist its users in generating various reports, such as graphs and charts (pie, bar, etc.). That’s not all; Splunk also has alert capabilities for log management.

Furthermore, Splunk is capable of offering enhanced GUI and real-time visibility in the dashboard in several different formats. That’s not all; finding real-time logs with the software is pretty quick.


As with every software product, Splunk also has its weaknesses. One of the issues with this analytical tool is that it’s not open source. With that, it means the software is a little bit behind the latest developments in data science.

That’s not all; another drawback of Splunk software is that it can be very expensive to use, especially if you have a large amount of data. In case you don’t know, the software is a proprietary tool that has its pricing based on how much machine-generated data you’re trying to analyze. What that means is that – the more data you utilize, the higher you’ll get to pay.

Everything You Need to Know About Tableau

As earlier defined, Tableau is a powerful data visualization tool that organizations utilize for reporting, analyzing, and visualizing large amounts of data. It offers several amazing features, making it easy for users to take advantage of for their businesses.

Pros and Cons of Tableau


One of the unique features of Tableau is that it offers support for powerful data discovery and exploration. The benefit of that is it enables its users to answer essential questions quickly, to be precise – in seconds.

Furthermore, Tableau packs a drag and drop interface, which enables its users to visualize all kinds of data. That’s not all; the offering also makes it easy to explore different views and combine multiple databases. What that also means is that you don’t necessarily need any prior knowledge of programming to start creating visualizations.

Another great feature of Tableau can be seen in its ability to provide a centralized location to manage all published data sources within your company. 

To sum it up, Tableau software has remarkable visualization capabilities. It helps its users to convert all kinds of unstructured statistical data into understandable logical results. Also, the software is pretty much easy to use and reliable overall performance.

Tableau vs. Splunk: The Key Differences Between Them

Now, let’s go back to the burning question regarding the key differences between the two visualization tools; Tableau and Splunk.

  • Purpose

The primary function of Tableau software is that it helps its user to make proper decisions based on past data. On the other hand, Splunk mainly focuses on receiving, searching, monitoring, analyzing, and visualizing machine-generated data.

  • Implementation cost

Another difference that exists between the two data visualization tools can be seen from their implementation costs. I earlier mentioned that Splunk is very expensive to use. That’s so because the pricing of the software can go as low as $1500 for 100GB. On the other hand, Tableau is pretty much inexpensive to implement for your business.

  • System compatibility

Tableau is capable of offering support for major devices, such as web-based apps, iPhone applications, and Androids. However, Splunk is only capable of supporting web-based apps.

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