Tableau Review

Presents analysis results in a visual manner, though improvement needed in filters when applied on large data sets


What is most valuable?

The most attractive feature for our users is the ease of visualizing data in a meaningful manner. The ease of experimenting with different visualizations is also very useful.

The ability to load and work with large volumes of data without requiring very high level of system resources is also valuable for us.

How has it helped my organization?

Key users of Tableau are from the Internal Audit team. Introduction of the tool has allowed the team to move away from data sampling to working with the entire data population in most cases. More importantly, the ability to present the analysis results in a visual manner to stakeholders, which has enhanced the ease of communicating the impact of the audit findings.

What needs improvement?

Improvement is required in the way filters operate when applied on large data sets. Having the ability to select and deselect filters without having to retrace the original path would make it easier to demonstrate the results.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The maximum volume of data we have connected is approximately six million records each having about 130 data fields. We did not encounter stability issues when connecting to a pre-downloaded copy of the data. However, on trying to access the live data (a flat file system), the operation was very slow.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No.

How is customer service and technical support?

With reference to the issue stated above, we noted that Tableau did not attempt to provide any resolution for the issue. We felt that they just left it with the local vendor to sort out the issue (which was never resolved).

Which solutions did we use previously?

We have used (and continue to use) ACL for data analytics. However for simple analytics, and in particular, data visualization, we prefer to use Tableau. We have also seen that users are able to understand Tableau faster than ACL.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was for the desktop version of the tool connecting to Excel files and stand-alone databases at the back end. We did not have any issues with this.

However, on attempting to move to the server version, we faced issues with data connectivity for our core ERP which were not resolved. Attempting to connect to the Oracle HRMS module went without a hitch, and within a few seconds, we were able to perform live data analysis without any degradation in performance. Connecting to our core ERP (Kerridge Autoline, now known as CDK Autoline) failed due to ODBC driver version issues (we presume).

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The Desktop and Professional version pricing is straightforward. Cannot comment on the Server licensing aspect.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Qlik Sense and ACL.

What other advice do I have?

Thoroughly test your data connectivity requirements to make sure everything works well.

From an end user perspective, it is a very easy tool to use.

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