Jira vs Airtable: Which one is right for your team?

Jira is a project management tool designed for software development teams, while Airtable is a flexible database tool that can be used for a wide range of data management. Which one is right for you?

Jira and Airtable are both powerful tools that can be used to manage and organize projects, tasks, and team collaboration. However, they are designed for different purposes and have different features, which can make it difficult to decide which one is the best fit for your specific needs. In this article, we will compare Jira and Airtable in terms of their features, pricing, and use cases to help you determine which one is the right tool for your team.

Overview of Jira

Jira Kanban Board vs Airtable
Jira Kanban Board

Jira is a project management tool that is primarily used by software development teams. It is designed to help teams track and manage tasks, bugs, and issues related to software development projects. Jira's main features include:

  • Task and issue tracking: Jira allows you to create, track, and assign tasks and issues to team members. You can also set due dates, priorities, and add comments to tasks and issues.
  • Agile boards: Jira's agile boards allow teams to easily visualize and manage the progress of their tasks and issues. You can create custom boards and use them to track your team's progress in real-time.
  • Dashboards and reports: Jira has a variety of pre-built reports and dashboards that allow you to track the progress of your projects, team members, and tasks.
  • Integrations: Jira integrates with a wide range of other tools, such as Confluence, Trello, and Slack.

The pros and the cons of Jira

Although Jira software is a pioneer in project management tools, with most apps being modelled on it, it has its pros and cons.

The pros:

  • Atlassian’s Jira is an expert at capturing bugs in your product that can then be assigned to members, prioritized and tracked to completion.
  • Jira software lets you add story points to each issue to quantify the work required to be done and also group related issues using its Epic issue type
  • Jira software has agile capabilities that supports frameworks such as scrum and kanban with features like scrum and kanban boards.
  • Jira is flexible and has a workflow builder that enables you to customize your workflow by setting up rules to define how a work item should move from one status to another.
  • Advanced configurations help you control who can view what work items in which kanban columns.
  • Roadmap functionality aids in a quick overview of the entire project and to track overall progress.
  • A huge collection of more than 2000 third-party apps for use cases ranging from CRM to code review, and more.

The cons:

  • Jira software’s design is not a developer’s favourite as it appears to be streamlined on the outside but leads to micromanagement when you dive inside.
  • Most developers also hate this app for its slow speed.
  • Jira software’s primary unit of work is an issue and not a task which is terrible as you’ll only think of tickets and not features.
  • Jira’s agile capabilities lack finesse when it comes to implementing frameworks like scrum. You don’t get the elegant Sprints view that has built-in agile reports such as burnup and burndown charts. So, check out alternative scrum tools if it is your priority.
  • Jira software’s learning curve is steep, making onboarding new members a living hell.
  • If you fail to set advanced configurations right, miscommunication and lost productivity within your squad can occur.
  • Even though you can create customized workflows, creating it becomes a nightmare due to its complex design.
  • The pricing plan limits onboarding to only 10 members in the free plan and it comes with certain functionality restrictions.

JIRA Review on Capterra

"Advanced Project & Task Management Features...But How It's Configured is Key to Success.

Pros: I've been using Atlassian products, JIRA in particular, for over 12 years. It's come a long ways in this span in terms of advanced functionality and additional configurable content, and it's consistently proven itself as a market leader in project and task management services. JIRA reporting, dashboard, task tracking, and project development activities are comprehensively impressively designed, easy to use, and highly collaborative for internal teams.

Cons: The success an end user will yield from the software is highly dependent on it being configured in a manner that aligns with the business needs of the customer organization. For example, I've experienced instances where there are growing pains in how internal teams learn to standardize the way they tag tickets for project and task tracking and then use these identifiers to develop reports, create dashboards, and track schedules. If not setup properly by System Administrators then the ROI will be delayed, making it essential for teams to be properly educated and trained on the system. JIRA provides a wealth of content for training & education but worth noting the difficulty an organization can face if not approached strategically and with strong design plans during the discovery phase of implementation.

Overview of Airtable

Airtable vs Jira Task list
Airtable Task list

Airtable, on the other hand, is a flexible database tool that can be used to organize and manage a wide range of data. Airtable's main features include:

  • Customizable templates: Airtable comes with a variety of pre-built templates that you can use to create and manage different types of data, such as contacts, events, and tasks.
  • Spreadsheet-like interface: Airtable's interface is similar to that of a spreadsheet, which makes it easy to navigate and manage your data.
  • Collaboration: Airtable allows you to share and collaborate on your data with team members in real-time.
  • Integrations: Airtable integrates with a wide range of other tools, such as Google Drive, Slack, and Zapier.

Major Cons of Airtable

Airtable is marketed as a versatile tool for a wide range of use cases, however, some users have raised concerns about its depth of functionality and whether it can truly replace a dedicated solution.

  1. Project Management: The tool may fall short in terms of project management features. Compared to purpose-built project management software, Airtable may lack features such as project budgeting, expense management, and critical path analysis, which may require a team of developers to implement. Additionally, while Airtable offers a project planning template with Gantt view, this feature is only available on certain paid plans. Some users also find it difficult to make connections among tables and create the customized project management features they need.
  2. Bases Collaboration: Another limitation of Airtable is the segmented collaboration between bases. The tool offers real-time collaboration and unlimited commenting, but each database has its own set of collaborators and comments. While a sync functionality is available, it only syncs tables within the same database. This can make it difficult for teams to collaborate across different bases.
  3. Premium Integrations & Extensions: Lastly, Airtable's extension features may also be limited. While certain work views like Gantt view and timeline view are only available on higher-priced paid plans, the number of extensions per base is also limited on lower-priced plans. This can make Airtable less affordable for note-taking, wiki, content creation, or project reporting.
Airtable automation vs Jira
Airtable automation

Jira vs Airtable: Pricing Comparison

Airtable Pricing vs Jira
Airtable Pricing
Tool Plan Price per user per month
Jira Jira Software $7
Jira Core $10
Jira Service Desk $20
Airtable Free Free
Plus $10
Pro $20
Enterprise Custom pricing

It's also worth to mention that Jira pricing is based on the number of users and the duration of the subscription. Airtable pricing is based on the number of bases (databases) and the level of access you need. Jira's free trial is also available for 7 days while Airtable has a free plan that allows you to create unlimited bases with a limited number of records and features.

Jira pricing vs Airtable
Jira pricing

In terms of pricing, Jira is available in three different plans: Jira Software, Jira Core, and Jira Service Desk. Jira Software starts at $7 per user per month, while Jira Core and Jira Service Desk start at $10 per user per month. Airtable, on the other hand, is available in four different plans: Free, Plus, Pro, and Enterprise. The free plan includes basic features, while the paid plans start at $10 per user per month.

Jira vs Airtable: Usecases Comparison

Jira is primarily used by software development teams to track and manage tasks, bugs, and issues related to software development projects. Jira's main features include task and issue tracking, agile boards, dashboards and reports, and integrations with other tools such as Confluence, Trello, and Slack. Jira is best suited for teams that need to track and manage tasks related to software development, such as feature development, bug fixing, and testing.

On the other hand, Airtable is a flexible database tool that can be used to organize and manage a wide range of data. Airtable's main features include customizable templates, a spreadsheet-like interface, collaboration, and integrations with other tools such as Google Drive, Slack, and Zapier. Airtable is more versatile and can be used for a wide range of projects, such as project management, event planning, contact management, inventory management and more.

Kanban boards in Airtable vs Jira
Kanban boards in Airtable

In summary, Jira is best suited for software development teams who need a tool to track and manage tasks, bugs, and issues related to software development projects. Airtable is more versatile and can be used by a wide range of professionals and teams for a variety of projects and data management.

What customers say about Airtable

On Capterra:

It adds several new dimensions to your traditional spreadsheet. Linked cells are a game changer and different views are interesting. Collaboration is very easy with peers.

If Airtable is trying to disrupt spreadsheets, it should make the transition from Excel as seamless as possible. Certain keyboard shortcuts are missing/different and the program feels clunky in its overall iteration.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Jira and Airtable are both powerful tools that can be used to manage and organize projects, tasks, and team collaboration. However, they are designed for different purposes and have different features, so it's important to consider your specific needs when choosing which one to use. Jira is best suited for software development teams, while Airtable is more versatile and can be used for a wide range of projects and data management.

Ultimately, the choice between Jira and Airtable will depend on your team's specific needs and workflow. If your team primarily works on software development projects and needs a tool to track and manage tasks, bugs, and issues, then Jira is likely the better choice. However, if your team needs a more flexible tool that can be used for a variety of projects and data management, then Airtable may be the better option.

It is also worth considering the integrations that each tool offers and how well they integrate with your existing tools and systems. This can help streamline your workflow and improve collaboration among team members.

In terms of pricing, Jira and Airtable both have a range of plans to suit different budgets and needs. Jira Software starts at $7 per user per month, while Airtable's paid plans start at $10 per user per month. Keep in mind that while Jira is designed for software development teams, Airtable can be used by a wider range of professionals and teams, so it might be more cost-effective if you have a diverse team with different needs.

In summary, Jira and Airtable are both powerful tools, but they are designed for different purposes. By understanding the features, pricing, and use cases of each tool, you can make an informed decision about which one is the best fit for your team's needs. With the right tool, you can improve your team's workflow, increase productivity, and achieve better results.