Strong visualization capabilities. Good for SMB.
November 26, 2012

Strong visualization capabilities. Good for SMB.

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Software Version

Tableau Server 7.0

Modules Used

  • Tableau Server (report publishing engine) • Tableau desktop (report builder) • Tableau Reader (report viewer)

Overall Satisfaction

  • In some ways, this depends on company size. For a mid-sized company like us, this is a very good solution. But if we were a large enterprise, it would certainly make more sense to use something more appropriate to a large organization like Business Objects.
  • Tableau is a huge improvement over what we had. It’s now easy to drag and drop elements to create very compelling visual reports. It’s also quite easy for users to create powerful reports without having to know SQL.
  • Distribution of reports company-wide (by publishing to server and having users view reports through desktop or reader) is also great, and a huge improvement to the very manual process we had before.
  • The data engine does an extract every morning from our data warehouse to update the data sets . This automatic data sync and report refresh capability is extremely helpful.
  • Being able to connect different data sets – so some direct to our data warehouse, some in spreadsheets (like budgets) has been very helpful.
  • The converse of the automatic data sync mentioned as a plus, is that it was a little difficult to set up. Initially we could not make Tableau sync with our data warehouse and we needed help from them, which they wanted to charge us for. It turned out that the problem was on our side – we’d done the installation incorrectly, so not their fault – but this was painful.
  • Tableau does not work well with cubes that were used to speed up reporting in our DW. We have a columnar database, Vertica, for some parts of our DW as well and it remains to be seen how those will integrate with Tableau, although I don’t expect any issues here.
  • Some features that are natively available in SQL are not available in Tableau (temporary tables)
  • They release a new version every three weeks, which creates some management overhead for us. In particular, we have experienced some versioning problems where different versions of the product do not talk to each other correctly.
  • Easier to see business trends than ever before. Visualization is very strong.
  • Since all reports are now housed in the Tableau dashboard, far fewer people are running ad-hoc SQL queries which often led to support issues for us.
  • Forecasting and budgeting teams can use Tableau data alongside their own data to produce much better insight.
Tableau allows disparate parts of the organization to download their own data from other applications and import it into Tableau for department-specific analysis. For example, the web analytics team uploads data from Omniture, and the Budget/Finance teams upload various data sets from Excel spreadsheets to gain specific insights. Being able to marry all of these with data direct from our data warehouse in one online interface is tremendously helpful.

Product Usage

35 - We now have 35 licenses for Desktop.

Tableau Server is used by entire company, although its mostly our marketing and corporate teams that take advantage of it.
5 - Three administrators with super-user rights

One each from the data warehouse and the IT teams. However, not much of their time is consumed by Tableau.

Evaluation and Selection

We were using Microsoft’s native SQL Server Reporting Services. European offices were also using a custom solution based on Cold Fusion.


Implementation was over the phone with the vendor, and did not go particularly well. Again, think this was our fault as our integration and IT oversight was poor, and we made errors. Would they have happened had a vendor been onsite? Not sure, probably not, but we probably wouldn't have paid for that either.


  • Online training
  • In-person training
Several team members took in-person training which was very effective.
There are many online training options. Everyone who uses Tableau has taken at least one on-line class and these have been very useful.


We did not do very much in the way of configuration. We set up security and some other basic things and there were no real issues.

The only other set-up was setting up the integration with our data warehouse, which did not go particularly smoothly.


They have been quite responsive, apart from the initial data sync problem where they were a bit less helpful. However, the problem did turn out to be on our side and not a shortcoming of the product, so really hard to criticize them too much for this.
No - Not required.


The application is generally very easy to manipulate both for administrators and users. However, we do have some setup on individual desktop versions (setting up filters, etc) which takes some time.


  • Our data warehouse.
This now works, but we still have a timing issue. The data warehouse restores every morning at 9:15 and Tableau syncs with it after that has occurred. However, sometimes the sync timing is off and Tableau syncs before the data warehouse has been restored