Can Superset or Redash replace Tableau?

Balachandar Paulraj
3 min readSep 5, 2021

I guess the introduction of Apache Superset makes everyone little confused on. Hopefully, I have chosen a right topic for my blog during the peak of summer season. If you are also one among the person evaluating different visualization tools for your project, this should help you.

Before diving deep, let us understand a bit about the latest player entering into podium i.e Superset. Apache Superset is an open source data visualization tool built out of AirBnB’s hackathon project in 2015.

In this post, Superset will be evaluated with Tableau first and then with another open source, Redash.


  1. Data Sources: An important characteristic, which plays major role in choosing visualization tool is supporting number of data sources. Superset supports any database supported by SQLAlchemy, since Superset has been built using SQLAlchemy dialect. Though Superset supports more databases like AWS Redshift, Big Query, Snowflake, Apache Druid, MySQL, SQL Server, MariaDB, SQLite, Oracle, Postgres, ElasticSearch; Tableau holds an upper hand by supporting diverse data sources like File types (JSON, PDF, CSV), database connectors, ODBC and JDBC, different cloud service providers like AWS, Google, Microsoft…etc
  2. Operating Platform: Most of the days, we check the status of Tableau dashboard using Mobile. It’s really convenient to take a quick look a the report in Mobile while traveling. Also, we can embed Tableau dashboards into web pages, blogs, wiki pages…etc. Being said this, Tableau supports different platforms including Desktop, Mobile, Embedded document and Web. However on the other hand, Apache Superset works only through on-premise or on the server.
  3. Security and Authentication: In Tableau, access permissions can be set at more granular level. Permissions can be granted at site, project or individual dashboard level. This level of granularity for permissions are not supported in Superset at this moment.

Like the ones mentioned above, though there are lot of challenges available in Superset, it has it’s own advantages.

Apache Superset is completely free compared to pricey Tableau. It’s an open source and you have complete visibility on the code and it’s behavior. The community is getting bigger and the contributions from open-source community are likely to influence its growth in Data Visualization.


If you are looking for open source tool, then your options should boil down to Superset and Redash. Nowadays, a large number of startups are using open source visualization to query, collaborate and visualize, since it’s easy to learn and implement even for newbies.

Both tools provides rich set of features that includes SQL Editor, interactive visualization dashboards and real-time data displaying chart types. However, the tools have been differentiated using the below features.

  1. Integration with other environments: While exploring the capabilities of tools with respect to integration with cloud service providers like AWS and other cloud platforms, Redash takes less time in setting up connection and querying the data from AWS S3 compared to Superset. Also, Superset doesn’t have enough documentation at this stage to provide clarity on dealing connection issues with other environments.
  2. UI & Visualization: Superset has thrown lot of frontend UI errors while reading and visualizing data. On the other hand, Redash is pretty stable with it’s UI related features. Though Superset has it’s upper hand by supporting lot of different visualization types, the erroneous UI feature making it bit complex to visualize data and to perform transformations.
  3. Security and Authentication: Superset has extensive high granularity security model by supporting LDAP, OPENID and DATABASE connections. This helps admins to utilize this high granular security model in granting access to different categorical users.

As Apache Superset is in it’s earlier stages, it has lot of issues in UI, documentation and integration with other environments, albeit access control list granularity helped everyone to meet their high security expectations of a data visualization tool.

Enjoy your summer holidays, happy learning.