Tableau Review

It lets power users like engineers create visuals on their data without waiting on a longer IT project timeline.

Valuable Features:

Geo Spatial maps and Time Series animation with Storyboarding. The easy to use interface has really accelerated adoption. 

Improvements to My Organization:

It lets power users like engineers create visuals on their data without waiting on a longer IT project timeline. The downside is you really need some SQL skills to take full advantage of it.

Room for Improvement:

For Tableau, R is just a script interface. It is missing the R-style Plot area the data scientists want to use. They really want to overlay pieces on the plot and derive new graphs.

They need to provide a Folder hierarchy for organizing content and setting security. Creating 900 sites takes way too much work and limiting. As a result, we have hundreds of Worksheets in one long list—not good.

Deployment Issues:

We had no issues with the deployment.

Stability Issues:

Performance has issues when you get too many users. The latest upgrade made it worse and had to be backed off.

Scalability Issues:

The above issues brings into question how scalable it really is.

Other Solutions Considered:

I am most familiar with SAP Business Objects Web Intelligence, but have been to classes on Tableau, Power BI, and Qlikview as part of our internal efforts to help the business choose which is right for their needs.

R and SAS are under our heading of Advanced Analytic tools in the BI space and will be evaluated in phase 2.

Other Advice:

Plan how you need to organize and secure content up front. It’s too much work later when it becomes popular. Be sure to plan and budget for more client license bundle purchases as user growth approaches critical mass. Otherwise, you’ll be putting them on a wait list and waiting for management to approve more spending. Managing a lack of licenses is not fun.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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