Tableau Desktop vs. Tableau Prep

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
Tableau Desktop
Score 8.3 out of 10
N/A
Tableau Desktop is a data visualization product from Tableau. It connects to a variety of data sources for combining disparate data sources without coding. It provides tools for discovering patterns and insights, data calculations, forecasts, and statistical summaries and visual storytelling.
$70
per month
Tableau Prep
Score 8.4 out of 10
N/A
Tableau Prep enables users to get to the analysis phase faster by helping them quickly combine, shape, and clean their data. According to the vendor, a direct and visual experience helps provide users with a deeper understanding of their data, smart features make data preparation simple, and integration with the Tableau analytical workflow allows for faster speed to insight. Tableau Prep allows users to connect to data on-premises or in the cloud, whether it’s a database or a…
$15
per month billed annually per user
Pricing
Tableau DesktopTableau Prep
Editions & Modules
Tableau Creator
$70.00
Per User / Per Month
Viewer
$15
per month billed annually per user
Explorer
$42
per month billed annually per user
Creator
$70
per month billed annually per user
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
Tableau DesktopTableau Prep
Free Trial
NoNo
Free/Freemium Version
NoNo
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
YesNo
Entry-level Setup FeeNo setup feeNo setup fee
Additional DetailsAll pricing plans are billed annually.
More Pricing Information
Community Pulse
Tableau DesktopTableau Prep
Considered Both Products
Tableau Desktop
Chose Tableau Desktop
When we first looked at getting a visualization software for analytics we looked into two options Microsoft Power BI and Tableau Desktop, and even though Power BI is more cost-effective we decided to go with Tableau Desktop as it had more options that we are looking for such as …
Tableau Prep
Chose Tableau Prep
Before Prep, we had to do all the data joining and connecting in a Tableau Workbook. Not only did this cause workbooks connected with live data to run frustratingly slowly, a new connection and set-up had to be established every time a new workbook as created, even if you were …
Chose Tableau Prep
We use both Tableau Prep and Alteryx and, although Tableau Prep integrates better with Tableau Desktop, I find that more often then not I open up Alteryx to do most of my data prep prior to bringing my data into analysis as it is just so much more robust. Not that this makes Tab…
Chose Tableau Prep
Tableau Prep is covered in our license whereas Alteryx required additional fees and a separate license. Tableau Prep is similar to Tableau Desktop which a lot of our team is comfortable with so it wasn't difficult to get a feel for Tableau Prep. However, Alteryx would have been …
Chose Tableau Prep
Tableau Prep is a good tool to use in tandem with Tableau. You can use Tableau by just plugging in an excel sheet or other form of dataset, but the tools that Tableau Prep has specifically makes the data set work better with Tableau. The extra time to optimize is worth it.
Top Pros
Top Cons
Features
Tableau DesktopTableau Prep
BI Standard Reporting
Comparison of BI Standard Reporting features of Product A and Product B
Tableau Desktop
8.5
167 Ratings
4% above category average
Tableau Prep
-
Ratings
Pixel Perfect reports8.5139 Ratings00 Ratings
Customizable dashboards8.9166 Ratings00 Ratings
Report Formatting Templates8.2145 Ratings00 Ratings
Ad-hoc Reporting
Comparison of Ad-hoc Reporting features of Product A and Product B
Tableau Desktop
8.9
164 Ratings
10% above category average
Tableau Prep
-
Ratings
Drill-down analysis9.1159 Ratings00 Ratings
Formatting capabilities9.1162 Ratings00 Ratings
Integration with R or other statistical packages8.1122 Ratings00 Ratings
Report sharing and collaboration9.3157 Ratings00 Ratings
Report Output and Scheduling
Comparison of Report Output and Scheduling features of Product A and Product B
Tableau Desktop
8.6
158 Ratings
3% above category average
Tableau Prep
-
Ratings
Publish to Web8.7149 Ratings00 Ratings
Publish to PDF8.3149 Ratings00 Ratings
Report Versioning8.6116 Ratings00 Ratings
Report Delivery Scheduling9.2123 Ratings00 Ratings
Delivery to Remote Servers8.473 Ratings00 Ratings
Data Discovery and Visualization
Comparison of Data Discovery and Visualization features of Product A and Product B
Tableau Desktop
8.6
156 Ratings
7% above category average
Tableau Prep
-
Ratings
Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.)9.0154 Ratings00 Ratings
Location Analytics / Geographic Visualization8.7149 Ratings00 Ratings
Predictive Analytics8.7126 Ratings00 Ratings
Pattern Recognition and Data Mining8.02 Ratings00 Ratings
Access Control and Security
Comparison of Access Control and Security features of Product A and Product B
Tableau Desktop
8.8
142 Ratings
3% above category average
Tableau Prep
-
Ratings
Multi-User Support (named login)8.9139 Ratings00 Ratings
Role-Based Security Model8.3119 Ratings00 Ratings
Multiple Access Permission Levels (Create, Read, Delete)8.8129 Ratings00 Ratings
Report-Level Access Control9.03 Ratings00 Ratings
Single Sign-On (SSO)8.977 Ratings00 Ratings
Mobile Capabilities
Comparison of Mobile Capabilities features of Product A and Product B
Tableau Desktop
8.3
135 Ratings
4% above category average
Tableau Prep
-
Ratings
Responsive Design for Web Access8.5124 Ratings00 Ratings
Mobile Application8.097 Ratings00 Ratings
Dashboard / Report / Visualization Interactivity on Mobile8.8117 Ratings00 Ratings
Application Program Interfaces (APIs) / Embedding
Comparison of Application Program Interfaces (APIs) / Embedding features of Product A and Product B
Tableau Desktop
8.8
64 Ratings
11% above category average
Tableau Prep
-
Ratings
REST API8.856 Ratings00 Ratings
Javascript API8.651 Ratings00 Ratings
iFrames9.149 Ratings00 Ratings
Java API9.346 Ratings00 Ratings
Themeable User Interface (UI)8.553 Ratings00 Ratings
Customizable Platform (Open Source)8.746 Ratings00 Ratings
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User Ratings
Tableau DesktopTableau Prep
Likelihood to Recommend
8.9
(194 ratings)
9.0
(7 ratings)
Likelihood to Renew
8.9
(39 ratings)
8.0
(1 ratings)
Usability
8.6
(63 ratings)
7.0
(1 ratings)
Availability
8.0
(10 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Performance
6.1
(9 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Support Rating
6.9
(56 ratings)
5.3
(3 ratings)
In-Person Training
9.4
(4 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Online Training
8.0
(4 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Implementation Rating
8.0
(34 ratings)
6.0
(1 ratings)
Configurability
8.1
(2 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Ease of integration
10.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Product Scalability
7.0
(3 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Vendor post-sale
10.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Vendor pre-sale
10.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
User Testimonials
Tableau DesktopTableau Prep
Likelihood to Recommend
Tableau
Tableau Desktop is one the finest tool available in the market with such a wide range of capabilities in its suite that makes it easy to generate insights. Further, if optimally designed, then its reports are fairly simple to understand, yet capable enough to make changes at the required levels. One can create a variety of visualizations as required by the business or the clients. The data pipelines in the backend are very robust. The tableau desktop also provides options to develop the reports in developer mode, which is one of the finest features to embed and execute even the most complex possible logic. It's easier to operate, simple to navigate, and fluent to understand by the users.
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Tableau
If your data sets are coming in without much stewardship then Tableau Prep can help to clean the data before you start trying to create visualizations for your end users. You will save a lot of time this way - rather than seeing problems once you are creating dashboards. If you don't have large data sets or your data is relatively simple, then Tableau Prep may not be needed.
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Pros
Tableau
  • An excellent tool for data visualization, it presents information in an appealing visual format—an exceptional platform for storing and analyzing data in any size organization.
  • Through interactive parameters, it enables real-time interaction with the user and is easy to learn and get support from the community.
Read full review
Tableau
  • Display the raw data coming in from the data warehouse
  • Point out situations that might be erroneous
  • Show the distribution of raw data figures
Read full review
Cons
Tableau
  • Formatting the data to work correctly in graphical presentations can be time consuming
  • Daily data extracts can run slowly depending on how much data is required and the source of the data
  • The desktop version is required for advanced functionality, editing on [the] Tableau server allows only limited features
Read full review
Tableau
  • Use of Macros within Workflow (and more types of automation)
  • Join Editor also giving a SQL Update Query
  • More types of visuals
Read full review
Likelihood to Renew
Tableau
Our use of Tableau Desktop is still fairly low, and will continue over time. The only real concern is around cost of the licenses, and I have mentioned this to Tableau and fully expect the development of more sensible models for our industry. This will remove any impediment to expansion of our use.
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Tableau
It is a valuable tool for generating and cleaning files for multiple purposes.
Read full review
Usability
Tableau
Tableau Desktop has proven to be a lifesaver in many situations. Once we've completed the initial setup, it's simple to use. It has all of the features we need to quickly and efficiently synthesize our data. Tableau Desktop has advanced capabilities to improve our company's data structure and enable self-service for our employees.
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Tableau
It works well and is user friendly for the basics but needs more options for bring in data (using SQL queries for example) and export format options.
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Reliability and Availability
Tableau
When used as a stand-alone tool, Tableau Desktop has unlimited uptime, which is always nice. When used in conjunction with Tableau Server, this tool has as much uptime as your server admins are willing to give it. All in all, I've never had an issue with Tableau's availability.
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Tableau
No answers on this topic
Performance
Tableau
Tableau Desktop's performance is solid. You can really dig into a large dataset in the form of a spreadsheet, and it exhibits similarly good performance when accessing a moderately sized Oracle database. I noticed that with Tableau Desktop 9.3, the performance using a spreadsheet started to slow around 75K rows by about 60 columns. This was easily remedied by creating an extract and pushing it to Tableau Server, where performance went to lightning fast
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Tableau
No answers on this topic
Support Rating
Tableau
I have never really used support much, to be honest. I think the support is not as user-friendly to search and use it. I did have an encounter with them once and it required a bit of going back and forth for licensing before reaching a resolution. They did solve my issue though
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Tableau
I have not really had to reach out for any kind of customer support for Tableau Prep, so I can't really say. However, the support that Tableau has given for their other products has been great, so I would assume it would be the same here. They are also constantly adding new features and providing software updates, and that is always a plus.
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In-Person Training
Tableau
It is admittedly hard to train a group of people with disparate levels of ability coming in, but the software is so easy to use that this is not a huge problem; anyone who can follow simple instructions can catch up pretty quickly.
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Tableau
No answers on this topic
Online Training
Tableau
The training for new users are quite good because it covers topic wise training and the best part was that it also had video tutorials which are very helpful
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Tableau
No answers on this topic
Implementation Rating
Tableau
Again, training is the key and the company provides a lot of example videos that will help users discover use cases that will greatly assist their creation of original visualizations. As with any new software tool, productivity will decline for a period. In the case of Tableau, the decline period is short and the later gains are well worth it.
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Tableau
Live connections to cloud services (Google Sheets for example) and cloud hosted databases (cloud hosted SIS for example) for scheduled flows are not supported
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Alternatives Considered
Tableau
If we do not have legacy tools which have already been set up, I would switch the visualization method to open source software via PyCharm, Atom, and Visual Studio IDE. These IDEs cannot directly help you to visualize the data but you can use many python packages to do so through these IDEs.
Read full review
Tableau
Before Prep, we had to do all the data joining and connecting in a Tableau Workbook. Not only did this cause workbooks connected with live data to run frustratingly slowly, a new connection and set-up had to be established every time a new workbook as created, even if you were working with the same data. The extracts produced by Prep allow several workbooks to be working from the same data set-up without any additional work, saving time and stress.
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Scalability
Tableau
Tableau Desktop's scaleability is really limited to the scale of your back-end data systems. If you want to pull down an extract and work quickly in-memory, in my application it scaled to a few tens of millions of rows using the in-memory engine. But it's really only limited by your back-end data store if you have or are willing to invest in an optimized SQL store or purpose-built query engine like Veritca or Netezza or something similar.
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Tableau
No answers on this topic
Return on Investment
Tableau
  • Tableau was acquired years ago, and has provided good value with the content created.
  • Ongoing maintenance costs for the platform, both to maintain desktop and server licensing has made the continuing value questionable when compared to other offerings in the marketplace.
  • Users have largely been satisfied with the content, but not with the overall performance. This is due to a combination of factors including the performance of the Tableau engines as well as development deficiencies.
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Tableau
  • Quicker data sets for online reports
  • More efficient data cleaning Ad Hoc reports
  • Costly if using data management to schedule data pull and cleaning (priced per viewer accounts not creator accounts)
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