Compare SAS Visual Analytics vs. Tableau

SAS Visual Analytics is ranked 19th in Business Intelligence (BI) Tools with 2 reviews while Tableau is ranked 1st in Business Intelligence (BI) Tools with 27 reviews. SAS Visual Analytics is rated 8.0, while Tableau is rated 8.4. The top reviewer of SAS Visual Analytics writes "Easy to create a forecast, discover insights, but visualization needs work". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Tableau writes "The visualizations bring out patterns buried under a mountain of data. The tool offers unparalleled flexibility in terms of the types of visualisation that one can create". SAS Visual Analytics is most compared with Tableau, Microsoft BI and QlikView, whereas Tableau is most compared with SAS Visual Analytics, Qlik Sense and Oracle OBIEE. See our SAS Visual Analytics vs. Tableau report.
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SAS Visual Analytics Logo
14,778 views|11,898 comparisons
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71,766 views|59,659 comparisons
Most Helpful Review
Find out what your peers are saying about SAS Visual Analytics vs. Tableau and other solutions. Updated: January 2020.
390,245 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Quotes From Members

We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use. Here are some excerpts of what they said:

Quick deployment to dashboards and analytics features (using SAS Visual Statistics and Enterprise Guide). Easy to create a simple forecast and discover business insights using segmentation tools.Simplifies report designs and quickly displays tables and graphs.The speed to display charts and react to users' choices is great.

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​Data is easily understood at all levels of the company.Business insights are shared across various departments.Its ease of use and ability to convert drag and drop gestures into queries.The ability to create complex calculations.​Its ease of use and ability to convert drag and drop gestures into queries.Tableau's support could improve.Partner support is very good.This solution has improved insights into quantitative data.

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Better connectivity with other data origins, better visualization, and the ability to create KPIs directly would all help.There are scalability issues. It depends on the data volume and number of end-users. VA requires a lot of hardware resources to move volumes of data.The charts and tables could use better sorting, primarily using other variables than the ones on the figure. If they could implement views like in the older version (previous to Viya), it would be very nice.

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​Conditional formatting could be an interesting feature to provide to final users.The data preparation/blending options are very basic. They could be improved.Tableau is a company that does not respect partners.Reports should be downloadable as PDF files.I would like Tableau to handle geospatial data better in terms of multiple layers and shapefiles.The SQL programming functionality needs to be improved.Licensing and pricing options could be made better so that more users would be able to use it.The performance could be better.

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Pricing and Cost Advice
Licensing is simple.

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Tableau's licensing is pretty straightforward and simple.ROI is very high, but it requires a data preparation/blending tool.The cost of the solution should be improved.Be careful with the Tableau Viewer's licenses, and stay with the right number of users.The initial cost that is set according to CPU cores is expensive.We always consider pricing when considering a new solution. We are a non-profit and price is a huge concern.Tableau is an expensive solution, though it comes with its advantages.The price could be higher for the quality of software, so they revised the pricing in this version, and I agree with the price for top version. The top version costs about $70 per month, and the price is cheap for the quality.

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Answers from the Community
Nurit Sherman
author avatarVice President at a tech services company

From my perspective, SAS is very rich but its origin lies in the programming. Therefore, knowledge in setting up programming use and direction is somewhat implied. Targeted to a more technical data science audience.

Tableau, on the other hand, is focused on a visual end-user perspective. Therefore, the target is a business analyst who focuses on what the data implies - somewhat agnostic to the statistical techniques focus.

author avatarLluis Piqueras

I have more experience with SAS VA not with Tableau. Weak points and strengths


- Probably one of the best visualization analytic tools for final users

- Cloud or on Premise

- Quickly to deploy

- Some specific functions to predictive analytics out of the box (linear regression, etc.)

- Connectors to Big Data, etc.

SAS Visual Analytics

- See new features with Cloud SAS Viya (new architecture and integration with other SAS Solutions)

- Powerful vision of analytics and statistics with SAS Visual Statistics in the same framework

- You don’t need a Data Scientist people to develop predictive or advanced analytics models

- Deploy a powerful analytics model in few moments

- It supports a Big Data and a lot of connectors. Some payments

- No needs code as easy to use

- You can use and specific and free App for mobile users

- Price: Pay for cores, not users.

Weak points

It needs a lot of machine resources (RAM and CPU)
Very complex to install. You need specific SAS partner support
Poor graphics vs Tableau or Qlik Sense
Normally you need the Enterprise Guide or other ETL solution to data prepare

author avatarJohn Laws
Real User

Selection of a tool depends on your tech environment and the intended use of the tool. If you have a strong staff with a data mart, data warehouse or data lake in place then a number of tools would work. Tableau is the 500 lb gorilla, but it isn't as nimble as Qlik, Yellow Fin, Looker or Sisense. If you don't have a large team and want an automated data mart then look at Birst. It isn't as "beautiful" as others, but does a good job of delivering what the customer requires with less work on the back end. Good luck!

author avatarUser

Tableau over SAS.

Flexibility, speed in execution.

Shallower learning curve.

Talks to a very large set of databases and file types.

author avatarVikas Monga
Real User

I am not the expert in SAS and Tableau.
SAS being the market leader may have better standing over Tableau.

Tableau being one of the most popular Visual analytics software might not be too far from SAS.

author avatarstudent

Tool or platform selection is not often as clear-cut as we would like. We have to consider the existing platforms, skills, biases, org size, the maturity of data governance and budgets!

Both Tableau and SAS VA are powerful tools. I like them both. Skilled users can achieve comparable results using either toolset. The licensing models are very different and may be the first cut at product selection.

I think one way to compare them is to consider the average user (report creator, not report consumer) and the data organization.

If your average user is more classically trained (methodological, disciplined), then SAS VA may be a better choice. That is, if you are looking for more execution and less innovation with a lot of structure then SAS VA is probably the stronger candidate. However, discipline and methodology is also very important to long-yet success with Tableau.

If the (predominant) user is more innovative and needs to be quickly responsive to lots of stakeholders, Tableau is the best candidate in most cases.

For me, the behind-the-scenes issue is really data governance. Tableau is so flexible in terms of how sources are admitted and configured that it is easy to find yourself with competing data in the boardroom. So if you go with Tableau you must strictly control which source data are used and keep everyone in synch on versions.

SAS shops generally are more methodological and disciplined. Using a single set of source data would be natural. Taking more time to get new reports built is also typical of SAS shops.

In short, nimble, agile and disciplined teams may be more successful with Tableau. More traditional shops may find that SAS VA fits the culture better.

In general, if the client is not already running SAS, I will probably turn to Tableau. The learning curve is more shallow and talent is cheaper in most markets.

If the client is a SAS shop, SAS VA is probably the winner. SAS is its own animal.

author avatarFilip Stoop


As both tools are in use in a lot of companies and do the job, the answer is: I would recommend both tools. These are the points to further take into account.

Both Tableau and SAS VA are no corporate BI tools, like SAP Business Objects, MS Power BI or Qlikview. These are more analytical tools, which enable to create nice visualizations and dashboards in a Self-Service way. To make it even more complex other tools like Spotfire or Qliksense can be considered as well

Pros for Tableau are:

- More and nicer visualizations

- Easier to Use

- Lighter product to administer

Pros for SAS Visual Analytics

- More advanced analytical capabilities (Visual Statistics, Forecasting, Decision Trees)

- In Memory technology (LASR or CAS for SAS Viya is in-house technology vs integration with Spark for Tableau)

- SAS has in most countries a good local support team. In case of issues the consulting team will help you out, where Tableau will be more sold off the shelve, in case you go for Tableau ensure a good support from reselling partner. In case you have no SAS at all in the company, consider a cloud version. Administration can be quite difficult.

In case you have a SAS platform in use for other purposes, I would consider VA as a tool as a natural extension of the platform. If you are looking for a light solution, to make nice dashboards and visuals, go for Tableau.

Price will be comparable

author avatarPaolo Minervino

A choice you should see beyond Tableau is Qlik Sense

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Also Known As
SAS BITableau Desktop, Tableau Server, Tableau Online

SAS Business Intelligence package offers business owners an all-in-one tool for data analysis. It is mainly comprised of analytics software that can handle all of the statistical analysis that a company requires. Functions include mining and managing to fetching important information from a variety of sources and even adapting that information, all for the purpose of analyzing the data for future use.

The SAS Business Intelligence software allows users to handle, understand, and analyze their data in both past and present fields, as well as influence vital factors for future changes. Users can also create and publish reports based on their findings so that others in their field can share the information and input suggestions. The graphic presentation is another benefit that many businesses find useful when presenting their findings to others.

Tableau helps people and organizations become more data-driven as the trusted leader in analytics.

The Tableau platform provides the breadth and depth of capabilities to serve the needs of even the largest global enterprises in a seamless, integrated experience. Tableau is designed to fit, not dictate your data strategy, and adapts to your environment with unmatched flexibility and choice, while meeting the toughest governance and security requirements.

People love using Tableau because it is both powerful and intuitive—and offers a fundamentally different user experience by empowering people of all skill levels to explore and analyze data using visuals and natural language. Tableau has become the standard language of analytics for modern business users and continues to lead the industry with the most passionate and engaged user community in analytics, a customer base with millions of users at more than 80,000 organizations, and a deep commitment to customer-focused innovation

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Sample Customers
Staples, Ausgrid, Scotiabank, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, Oklahoma Gas & Electric, Xcel Energy, and Triad Analytics Solutions.Accenture, Adobe,, Bank of America, Charles Schwab Corp, Citigroup, Coca-Cola Company, Cornell University, Dell, Deloitte, Duke University, eBay, Exxon Mobil, Fannie Mae, Ferrari, French Red Cross, Goldman Sachs, Google, Government of Canada, HP, Intel, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Macy's, Merck, The New York Times, PayPal, Pfizer, US Army, US Air Force, Skype, and Walmart.
Top Industries
Financial Services Firm20%
Insurance Company10%
Transportation Company10%
Software R&D Company24%
Financial Services Firm9%
Comms Service Provider9%
Financial Services Firm14%
Healthcare Company8%
Manufacturing Company8%
Software R&D Company21%
Financial Services Firm13%
Comms Service Provider8%
Media Company8%
Company Size
Small Business25%
Midsize Enterprise13%
Large Enterprise63%
Small Business25%
Midsize Enterprise20%
Large Enterprise54%
Small Business27%
Midsize Enterprise8%
Large Enterprise64%
Find out what your peers are saying about SAS Visual Analytics vs. Tableau and other solutions. Updated: January 2020.
390,245 professionals have used our research since 2012.
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