The ability to connect multiple data sources, build data extracts, and display said data in an automated, graphical, format is the key driving factor insuring I continue using Tableau. While there are plenty of other tools on the market, such as Report Builder or Crystal Reports, Tableau is the first I have used that allows for such wide spread data integration and presentation in a visibly pleasing format. Moreover, the data extract function of Tableau has hooked me into using their tool over any other. Specifically, the ease of extracting and automating report generation from these extracts.
Improvements to My Organization:
Tableau has allowed us to build automated weekly dashboards that explain our organisation's pipeline. Moreover, these dashboards have resolved long standing time sinks which have freed up resources to focus on ever larger and more interesting BI projects. Additionally, we have used Tableau to increase the range and width of reports we are able to generate on a weekly basis.
Room for Improvement:
Tableau development has an increasingly large learning curve. It is marketed as an upper management tool that anyone can dive into. However, trying to develop even simple tables within Tableau is an exercise in frustration and patience. The end results cannot be denied, but the path to getting there is not for the lighthearted.
Use of Solution:
I have used Tableau now for 2 years.
Tableau customer service has been incredible. Not only do they have an active community forum, but their account managers have been very pleasant to work with.
Out of five, I would rate technical support a solid 4.
I have used Report Builder and Crystal Reports. Switching wasn't really my decision, as the other tools used were at different organisations. Since then, I have tried to move back to other reporting tools, but found them lacking in functions I hadn't even realised I had come to rely on!
Setup of Tableau was the easiest of any reporting environment I have used.
We implemented Tableau through a vendor team who were helpful in getting us off the ground. That being said, any reporting tool is dependent upon the data set it connects to. As such, real value has only appeared from Tableau after long usage and learning of how to use its myriad of functions.
Stick with the development process, try a report over and over, and use Google to search out answers to those questions you think have no answer. Take it from me, if you can build it in Excel, then you can build it in Tableau. It just takes time and effort. Also, it may not look EXACTLY the same, but you can get it pretty close. In some cases even better.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.