Interactive Data Visualization Shared on the Web
July 28, 2013

Interactive Data Visualization Shared on the Web

Bonnie Holub | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Software Version

Tableau Personal

Overall Satisfaction

  • It works easily with Excel (.xls Excel 97-2003) format workbooks (see the related negative comment below).
  • It allows quick and easy reformatting of visualizations and charts.
  • It facilitates chart building because you can see which charts' input requirements are satisfied by your data, without leading you, lock step through a "chart building wizard" or other nonsense.
  • Modern (.xlsx) workbooks are not accepted in the free (public version). The public version accepts only a limited number of inputs from Microsoft Access and Excel (.xls 97-2003 format).
  • It seemed unable to read an Excel workbook with more than three pages.
  • You MUST post your results to the web. No confidential data here!
  • Quick visualizations.
  • Clean design. If you are a fan of Edward Tufte or Stephen Few, then you favor a lean, clean look. That seems to be Tableau's default. I appreciate that.
It's free, right? I'll keep using the free version. So the real question to ask is this? Will I pay $999 for the Personal version or $1,999 for the Professional? Yikes! That is a big stretch. I'm not sure about that. The product comparison chart is at:
I was RELUCTANT to learn Tableau. I got a book about it. I saw the types of visualization that it produced, and, as an advanced Microsoft Excel user who is well versed in charts and graphs I was able to do just about all the visualizations I wanted to do there. I saw no need to change.
....until I saw that Tableau visualizations on the web were INTERACTIVE! That blew me away. That was the "killer app" for me. Then, when I learned that my visualizations were AUTOMATICALLY shared on the web, that was icing on the cake.

Product Usage

  • Tableau helps me to quickly visualize my data and report on it.
  • Tableau public lets me (in fact requires me) to post the results in a public forum.
  • Tableau allows my viewers to "slice and dice" the data visualization interactively.

Evaluation and Selection

Previously I would have done data visualization in Excel, where I consider myself to be an expert user.


It is easy to download and install
  • Don't know
I installed it, so none of the choices apply...


  • Online training
  • Self-taught
I found it sufficient, and fast. I could easily "kick the tires" with Tableau on my data so I got up and running fast.
Yes, it was easy to learn with a little online training (how to view the interface, what do the buttons mean, how do you load data). I would recommend the approach.


I haven't needed any technical support, so I toyed with the idea of rating this 10, since it is well designed, and there are sufficient videos on their site to help me learn it.