Tableau Pricing: Features, Costs and Top BI Alternatives

What is Tableau?

Tableau is a business intelligence solution that provides users drag-and-drop functionality for preparing data, creating dashboards and visualizations, and sharing insights with other users. It has three main products: Desktop, Server and Online. Tableau has recently debuted Tableau Prep, a new platform that allows analysts to clean and prepare data more efficiently.

We’ve reviewed Tableau in the past, but this post will focus on its pricing tiers, as well as the prices of its top BI alternatives.

Tableau BetterBuys Review

How Much is Tableau?

Tableau’s pricing is available in three subscription options: Tableau Creator ($70/user/month), Tableau Explorer ($35/user/month), and Tableau Viewer ($12/user/month). Each account includes maintenance, product upgrades, and support in one cost, so there are no surprise fees.

  • Tableau Creator – Tableau Creator is designed for individual analysts and power users, and costs $70 per user, per month (billed annually). It includes access to Tableau Desktop and Tableau Prep, as well as one Creator license for either Tableau Server or Tableau Online. Note that the Creator price is the same, regardless if Tableau is deployed in the cloud or on-premise.
  • Tableau Explorer – Tableau Explorer is designed for users that want to explore governed self-service analytics. For example, users can explore available data to answer their own questions, rather than having an analyst do this for them. It costs $35 per user, per month (billed annually) if deployed on-premise and includes one license to Tableau Server. If deployed in the cloud, this plan costs $42 per user per month (billed annually) and includes one license to Tableau Online.
  • Tableau Viewer – Tableau Viewer is designed for users that just want to access – but not have to create – dashboards and visualizations. When deployed on-premise, it costs $12 per user, per month (billed annually) and includes one viewer license to Tableau Server. When deployed in the cloud, it costs $15 per user, per month (billed annually) and includes one viewer license to Tableau Online. Note that Tableau requires a minimum of 100 viewers for this tier.

There’s also an add-on data management feature to Tableau Server that costs $5.50 per user per month (billed annually). It requires a minimum of 100 users for all Creators, Explorers and Viewers on a Server deployment. Tableau offers an add-on server management feature for $3 per user per month (billed annually). The data management feature is also available to Tableau Online at the same price point ($5.50 per user per month), and Tableau also offers Resource Blocks for running concurrent Prep flows. Each Resource Block costs $250 per month (billed annually).

Finally, Tableau provides an Embedded Analytics platform for companies that want to share analytics with their clients but don’t have the resources to build them. Pricing is not publicly available, so you’ll want to contact Tableau directly for a quote.

Top Alternatives to Tableau

While Tableau is a major player, it’s one of the many BI solutions available in the market. For companies that want to compare prices between Tableau and another solution, we’ve come up with three alternatives.

Power BI: Microsoft Power BI is a cloud-based business intelligence and analytics service that provides a full overview of your most critical data. Connecting to all your data sources, Power BI simplifies data evaluation and sharing with scalable dashboards, interactive reports, embedded visuals and more.

Power BI comes in three levels – Desktop, Pro, and Premium. The Desktop level is free for individual users, while the Pro plan costs $9.99 per user, per month. The Premium plan has two pricing levels: per-user and per-capacity. The per-user level costs $20 per user, per month, while per-capacity pricing starts at $4,995 per month per dedicated cloud compute and storage resource.

Qlik Sense: Qlik Sense is a self-service data discovery tool that has two main editions. First, there’s the Qlik Sense Business edition that costs $30 per user, per month (billed annually). It includes many of Qlik Sense features in addition to up to 5 shared spaces, up to 50 data reloads per day, 250 GB cloud storage and 1.25 GB in-memory app size limit.

Then, there’s the Qlik Sense Enterprise, a multi-cloud edition, that includes unlimited shared and managed spaces, total cloud storage starting at 500 GB, in-memory app size limit starting at 2.5 GB and at least 100 scheduled data reloads per day. Qlik Sense Enterprise is broken down into Professional User and Analyzer User. Professional User costs $70 per user, per month and Analyzer User costs $40 per user, per month (billed annually).

Alteryx – Alteryx offers subscriptions for its licenses that must be paid annually. The pricing covers product updates and support. The Alteryx Designer costs $5,195 per year, while the Alteryx Server costs $78,975. Additional capabilities for Alteryx Designer includes a location insights data set (for $11,700 per user per year) and business insights data set ($33,800 per user per year).

Additional capabilities for the Alteryx Server includes Alteryx Connect ($39,000 per year) and Alteryx Promote (contact vendor for quote).


Tableau’s pricing strategy can be a great fit for companies that want their own employees to access data themselves but not have to do any of the prep work involved that falls to a data analyst. This is where the Tableau Viewer subscription falls in. However, this subscription requires at least 100 subscribed users, so for a company with less than 100 employees, the Creator or Explorer plan is the better option.

Even with the individual pricing tiers, Tableau may be too expensive for small businesses. Therefore, the free plan that Power BI offers may be the sensible choice.

These four solutions aren’t your only options in the BI marketplace. Check out our business intelligence reviews page, where we’ve reviewed more than 50 BI solutions for companies of all sizes.

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