Tableau Software Review

Tableau Software
Product:
Vendor:
Founded:
Headquarters:
Tableau
Tableau Software
2003
Seattle, WA
Ownership
Customers:
Deployment Model:
Free Trial:
Public
57,000+
Cloud, On-Premise
Yes
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Tableau At A Glance

Good: Robust drill-down and visualization tools make data approachable for all types of users.
Bad: Customers have mentioned a steep learning curve for executives and the high cost for smaller businesses.
Bottom Line: Tableau offers intuitive business intelligence tools to enhance data discovery and understanding.

Product Overview

Everything Tableau does is fueled by one simple mission: Help people see and understand their data.

Tableau provides all types of users with intuitive business intelligence (BI) tools to enhance data discovery and understanding. With simple drag-and-drop features, a user is able to easily access and analyze key data, create innovative reports and visualizations, and share critical insights across the company.

Tableau has three main products for robust data discovery:

  1. Desktop – Desktop is used to connect and analyze disparate data, and create highly innovative reports in just a few clicks.
  2. Server – Server allows users to securely collaborate and share critical insights and information through comprehensive dashboards created in Tableau Desktop or directly in Tableau Server. .
  3. Online – Tableau Online is a cloud-hosted version of Tableau Server. It not only saves time and money by skipping hardware setup, Tableau Server also supports mobile access.

In addition to the tools above, Tableau has other products to make your BI efforts simpler:

  • Mobile – Tableau Mobile is a free companion app for Tableau Server or Tableau Online that allows for streamlined access to analytics stored in either solution.
  • Public – Tableau Public is a completely free version of Tableau Desktop and Tableau Online for data intended to be shared publicly.

Features

Tableau offers robust visual analytics and data drilling tools across all of its products. We’ve listed the main features that make this possible:

Numerous data connections – Tableau can connect to hundreds of data sources, both live and in-memory, without any programming. Notable connectors include: Redshift, Cloudera Hadoop, SQL Server, Salesforce, Google Analytics & Google Sheets, MongoDB, PDF files, spatial files, Dropbox, Amazon Athena and more.

Live and in-memory data – Easily switch between extracted data and live connections, set up automatic extract refreshes and be notified when a data connection fails – all though the Tableau platform.

Secure collaboration – Use Tableau Server and Tableau Online to securely share and collaborate on key insights.

Mobile optimized designs – Device Designer is a tool that allows users to design, customize and publish dashboards that scale for desktops, phones and tablets.

Embedded dashboards – Embed dashboards into your existing applications, such as Salesforce, SharePoint and Jive, for quick analytics where you need them most.

Drag-and-drop integration – With drag-and-drop abilities, easily integrate data and create visuals to pinpoint patterns with a few clicks.

Unlimited data connectors – Tableau can connect to any data source on-premise or in the cloud.

  • Ad Hoc Analysis?
  • Online Analytical Processing (OLAP)?
  • Predictive Analysis?
  • Profit Analysis?
  • Trend Indicators?
  • Ad Hoc Reporting?
  • Automatic Scheduled Reporting?
  • Customizable Dashboard?

Target Market

With over 57,000 customer accounts, Tableau serves a variety of industries, including major corporations and banks, educational institutions and healthcare providers.

Below is a list of some of its major clients:

  • LinkedIn
  • Deloitte
  • Accenture
  • MillerCoors
  • Wells Fargo
  • Unilever
  • Honeywell
  • PepsiCo
  • The Texas Rangers
  • Lufthansa

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Implementation/Integration

Tableau provides a variety of implementation and consulting services. For enterprise-level deployment, there’s a four-step process:

  • Phase 1 – This phase involves IT planning, architecture consulting, pre-install checkup, server installation and verification, and validation of security configuration.
  • Phase 2 – Phase 2 involves working with data and data migration, including data modeling, data mining, data extraction, data sources and business workflow.
  • Phase 3 – In Phase 3, there’s a two-day classroom training covering Tableau Fundamentals, hands-on advanced coaching, and building and formatting visualizations.
  • Phase 4 – This final phase helps companies expand Tableau usage across their business. It includes implementation workshops where topics such as evaluating action plans and defining measurable outcomes are discussed.

Regardless of your company’s size and deployment method, Tableau offers a Quick Start Service for your needs. Examples include:

  • Server Rapid Start – For small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), Tableau plans, installs and implements its server in a four-day time frame.
  • Server Kick Start – In two days, Tableau helps companies plan, install and implement out-of-the-box deployments of its server.
  • Desktop Kick Start – In two-hour increments, companies can use Tableau’s phone sessions to help them implement its Desktop version.

Customer Service & Support

Tableau provides four levels of support services to its customers: complimentary, technical support, elite program and OEM program.

Complimentary

Tableau offers a number of free resources to its customers, including access to the Tableau community and Knowledge Base repository, on-demand training, live weekly web training, and on and offline product documentation. Complimentary support is good for non-critical issues like defects with the software, installation, activation and downloading assistance, basic questions about configuration, and access to major and minor releases.

If you’re not sure if your case fits in the Complimentary category, contact the Tableau support team by submitting your case online.

Technical Support

The Technical Support Program is automatically included with a one-year license purchase. It includes all the benefits of the Complimentary level, as well as multiple location support, multi-channel communication and an escalation process for critical issues. An annual renewal is required for ongoing software support and maintenance.

Elite Program

In Tableau’s Elite Account Management Program, your company is assigned a technical account manager to ensure your support cases will be prioritized appropriately. Along with all the benefits of the Technical Support level, you’ll also have 24/7/365 access to Emergency Priority 1 Support.

OEM Program

The OEM Technical Support Program is for customers who have integrated Tableau into their current software suites. In addition to the benefits of Technical Support, you’ll be able to access Emergency Priority 1 Support, 24/7/365. You’ll also be assigned a Partner Support Engineer to help with critical issues related to your integration.

Tableau provides quick links and FAQs on its support page, along with information about consulting services and training.

Pricing

Tableau offers pricing for each of its available products:

Tableau Desktop

  • Personal: $35/user/month, connects to files like Excel and Google Sheets
  • Professional: $70/user/month, connects to hundreds of data sources like files, databases and web applications

Tableau Server

  • $35/user per month with a 10 user minimum

Tableau Online

  • $42/user/month

Shortcomings

Some customers have mentioned that Tableau has a steep learning curve for executives. Others have mentioned that its products are expensive for smaller businesses looking for analytics and visualization tools.

If interested in alternatives, we’ve compared Tableau with other top BI solutions, such as IBM Cognos, Power BI and Domo.

Screenshots

Tableau Software Screenshot 1
Tableau Software Screenshot 2
Tableau Software Screenshot 3

About

Tableau Software focuses on business intelligence and data analytics products that both liberate data and empower people. It was founded in 2003 by Chris Stolte, Pat Hanrahan and Christian Chabot, and it’s headquartered in Seattle. Tableau is consistently ranked as one of the “Leaders” in the business intelligence marketplace by Gartner in its annual Magic Quadrant Survey.

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Send feedback or corrections to feedback@betterbuys.com.

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User Reviews

  • User Rating
  • Rated 3.5 stars
    3.5 / 5 (2 )
  • 70%
  • (2)

Rated 3.5 stars
3.5 / 5 (2 )

70%


  • Features
  • Ease of Use
  • Ease of Implementation
  • Support


Samuel
Rating: 2
2 /5 stars

  • Features
    User: 50%
  • Ease of Use
    User: 50%
  • Ease of Implementation
    User: 50%
  • Support
    User: 50%

Too complicated

on 2017-10-11 09:59:23

Tableau used to be easy to use but now it’s packed with too many features and confuses everyone. We had to switch from Tableau because of usability and cost.



T Biskup
Rating: 5
5 /5 stars

  • Features
    User: 90%
  • Ease of Use
    User: 95%
  • Ease of Implementation
    User: 95%
  • Support
    User: 95%

Quick and Easy

on 2014-08-19 13:43:06

Getting set-up, connecting, importing data, analyzing data and visualizing data is fast and easy with Tableau. The speed of processing 8-digit data sets is amazing and hard to believe at times. Tableau is also one of the few I tools I have used that handles calculations distinctly as discrete or aggregate. It is keenly aware of doing the calculations at the right level throughout the process. When doing calculations on calculations it keeps track of which are discrete vs. aggregate and won;t let you build a calculation mixing the wrong types at the wrong levels.

We had Tableau desktop and server up an running inside a day, and it takes only minutes to connect and extract large datasets.

The main drawbacks are that it sometimes tries to overthink what you are doing … if you bring in a measure that is numeric to be a row, it automatically assumes you want to create a a plot and switches from chart view … in order to avoid this you have to create a new calculation that makes a string of the number and make that a dimension … it’s only an annoyance as it is doing what should be done, it just doesn’t allow for shortcuts at times. In addition, the licensing structure is a bit off … developer license is too big and expensive and the interactor license dos’t allow power users enough flexibility to make quick changes to calculations and groupings. Either increasing allowed functions for interactors or creating a super-interactor (or junior developer) license would help make the process a it more efficient and agile.



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