Superset vs Redash vs Metabase - Selecting Right Open Source BI Visualization Dashboard

Data visualization dashboards (aka BI tools) are an essential piece for the success of every data analytics project - whether it is using big data technologies or traditional data warehousing approach. Earlier this space has been populated primarily by paid BI (Business intelligence) tools like Tableau, Micro Strategy etc, but lately lot of open source alternative are arising with noticeable ones of Redash, Superset and Metabase (Another notable tool is Kibana, but its backend support is limited to Elasticsearch and hence not a general purpose BI tool)

It is still early days for these open source dashboards, but they provide a very attractive proposition for internal dashboards already. Here is a quick comparison of Superset vs Redash vs Metabase.

Please note that lot of startups have already been successfully using these 3 dashboards :)

We evaluate these 3 open source BI tools (dashboards) on 4 broader features - 1) Data backend support, 2) Authentication / Authorization support, 3) Support for Scheduled reports by email and Alerts, 4) extension support.

Superset vs Redash vs Metabase - Data Backend Support

All three tools now support all major sql backends used for data analytics workloads - e.g., Amazon redshift, Postgres, MySql, SQL Server, MongoDB and Oracle. Only few support big data processing backend like Presto, Hive, SparkSQL, Google BigQuery, Elasticsearch currently, but soon all three of them should have support for all these popular backends.

Data Backend Redash SuperSet Metabase
MySql Yes Yes Yes
PostgreSQL Yes Yes Yes
Oracle Yes Yes Yes
SQL Server Yes Yes Yes
MongoDB Yes Yes Yes
Amazon Redshift Yes Yes Yes
Cassandara Yes Yes ?
Presto Yes Yes ?
Hive Yes Yes ?
Impala Yes Yes ?
SparkSql ? Yes ?
Google BigQuery Yes Yes Yes
Graphite Yes ? ?
ElasticSearch Yes ? ?
Vertica Yes Yes Yes
Druid No Yes Yes

Superset vs Redash vs Metabase - Authentication support

Currently Superset supports much richer authentication backend compared to Redash and Metabase who only support Google Oauth for authentication and single sign on.

So if you need to integrate with your in-house ldap or database based authentication backend, currently the only solution is SuperSet.

Authentication Backend Redash SuperSet Metabase
Google Oauth Yes Yes Yes
Oauth No Yes No
OpenID No Yes No
LDAP No Yes No
Database No Yes No

Superset vs Redash vs Metabase - Authorization / Access control support

All three tools supports a decent permission (authorization) model to allow group of users access to particular data and queries. This allows organization to restrict data access based on different user roles.

Please note that in all three data access granularity is primarily based on database table level and can't be go beyond that. Though it is typically sufficient for most practical use cases. If not sufficient, existing data need to be split between tables to ensure different access level.

Both Redash and Metabase supports concept of users and groups and then allow one to control what level of database and SQL access those groups should have. A user can be a member of multiple groups.

Superset supports concept of Admins and Gamma users. Gamma users can be assigned multiple roles each controlling access to particular data and queries. Roles can be made quite intricate to who can access individual features and which. dataset

Superset vs Redash vs Metabase - Support for Scheduled Emails and Alerts

Scheduled Emails with summary reports and Alerts are another very useful feature of Data dashboards.

Alerts Redash SuperSet Metabase
Summary Email (Scheduled) No No Yes
Alerts Support Yes No No
Slack Integration Yes No Yes

Currently only Redash supports alerts based on certain parameter crossing a particular threshold.

Superset vs Redash vs Metabase - Extending platform

Being open source, one can easily extend these tools if one need to.

Tool Tech
Redash Python
SuperSet Python
Metabase Clojure

Redash and SuperSet are developed in Python while Metabase is developed in Clojure. If you have a particular technology talent in-house, then this also can be a plus point in deciding the right tool for your organization.


This article is still in progress and we will update this article as these tool make progress. (+ add comparison on more features)

All three tools have been providing a decent dashboard experience and we are extremely thankful for their developers for creating a much needed open source BI visualization tool.