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Tableau Review
With quick querying and ad-hoc visualization, we have automated processes.


Valuable Features:

It helps me deliver a tool to my clients that can be easily customized according to their business needs. Also, it provides great insights and analytics on huge volumes of data coming from disparate sources, which has helped my clients and managers make sound business decisions.

The most valuable features of the product are:

  • Most importantly, flexibility
  • Visual features
  • Filters
  • Actions
  • Parameters
  • Interactive dashboard building

Improvements to My Organization:

It helped my organization by winning more client work, as clients love interactive visualization.

Tableau has also helped our managers make better decisions and, more so, quick decisions. With Tableau's quick querying and ad-hoc visualization features, many important processes have been automated and thus Tableau has provided a quick turnaround time for product/project delivery.

Example: My company's auditors historically audited financial statements and transactions from the customer's ERP system via sampling methodology, which did not encompass the entire transactional data and thus did not provide 100% assurance to our clients. With Tableau's advanced data analytics features, we were able to build a tool that is tailor-made to the auditor's needs and thus provides 100% assurance over the entire data set.

Room for Improvement:

The most important feature that Tableau must introduce is to provide 'reference hints' for every dimension and measure. For example: When working with numerous dimensions and measures, it's difficult to debug and back track to determine whether a certain dimension was used in a visualization, tool tip, filter, parameter, or action. It would be great to debug and back track already developed Tableau dashboards.

I’d also like to see the following features introduced or improved:

  • Auto-Save or Backup feature. There have been quite a few instances when Tableau crashed after substantial dashboard development and I had to start over from the scratch because the work was not saved. The best workaround for this is to be diligent and create manual backups and save as work is progressing.
  • Performance with 32-bit computers. There have been numerous instances when Tableau threw an out-of-memory error when working on a 32-bit system.
  • Performance in general. Tableau works best with light data sets. Although extract optimization is a good way to improve performance, it can be better.
  • I feel the user interface for adding actions is complicated. It can be made simple and intuitive.

Use of Solution:

I have used it for two years.

Technical Support:

I like the online community.

Previous Solutions:

I have previously used Excel and SSRS. Tableau provides more flexibility than these tools and is very intuitive to learn.

Initial Setup:

Initial setup was very simple.

Implementation Team:

It is best suited for in-house development, as it provides on-demand customization.

Cost and Licensing Advice:

A bit costly, but worth investing.

Other Advice:

It totally depends on the requirement of the client/user. One should research the following tools before investing - Spotfire, Tableau, SSRS, Excel, SAS, SAP Lumira, etc.

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

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