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Tableau Review
Excellent for visually exploring data with unknown questions.


Valuable Features:

Ease of use, polished visualizations, all data elements are treated as discrete, the story-telling feature, self-service, excellent for visually exploring data with unknown questions.

Improvements to My Organization:

Tableau is used in our Platform-as-a-Service offering for data visualization/exploration, seeking to retire a larger BI platform using it, good customer adoption/feedback.

Room for Improvement:

Metadata/reuse, performance/scalability at high data volumes + high user concurrency, disparity between desktop vs. web versions – need to address enterprise requirements in general.

Use of Solution:

I have used Tableau for two years.

Deployment Issues:

No issues with deployments/stability.

Scalability Issues:

It does not perform well when you cross into TBs+ of data and thousands of users.

Technical Support:

Technical support is very good.

Previous Solutions:

For our PaaS data discovery needs at the time, we reviewed MicroStrategy 9.4 Visual Insight, which was not up to the capabilities/ease of use that Tableau had at the time.

Initial Setup:

Initial setup was straightforward, it is not a complex system to install.

Implementation Team:

We implemented it in-house, limited to no need for external assistance.

ROI:

The ROI is unknown.

Cost and Licensing Advice:

Licensing costs continue to increase in Tableau and in QlikView, which we also use, forcing us at some point to consider consolidating to one and/or turning some existing/owned MicroStrategy licensing inward to replace, if the upward pricing trend continues.

Other Advice:

Pick the right tool for the job/consumers of the products. There is not a single product that can cover all personas/use cases well or there would be only one product out there commanding the world – and there’s simply not just one. Tableau is great if the targeted users want highly polished visualizations of the data and from an exploration use case, the question(s) for the data are unknown.

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

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