Visual Intelligence and Analysis (VIA) that is the name of our company & what you can expect from Tableau
Updated November 11, 2015

Visual Intelligence and Analysis (VIA) that is the name of our company & what you can expect from Tableau

Larry Keller | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Software Version


Modules Used

  • All

Overall Satisfaction with Tableau Desktop

Tableau 9.0 Desktop - Comments by Larry Keller VIA Insights, LLC.

VIA is a Tableau Training and Consulting firm with eight (8) years of experience with Tableau Desktop. Having published the first Tableau Training Manual in the world which is now current with version 9.0. This version has greater appeal for the user who is more of an analytical person. With the addition of Level of Detail Expressions and In-line calculations, Tableau continues to add more user classifications than in the early days. At one time the by line was " Tableau - a product for the under-served business user". While that tag line is still true, the fact is that Tableau's addition of connectors to R and other sources along with 9.0 additions, more sophisticated users are signing on as customers

One slightly nagging question is what will become of Tableau Desktop users who find versions 8.2 or 8.0 sufficient for the the data and the analysis required? Having authored and published manuals in both hard copy and digital formats, these manuals are now in use in 55 countries. There will be a version 10 one day - but will we see the product line bifurcated so there are two tiers and both have access to support?
  • Tableau is as popular today as it was 5 years ago for use by the average and under-served business user. Richer analytic capabilities now open doors for the audience that requires "R". Smartly, Tableau is not wondering into the space that a SAS dominates.
  • TCO - total cost of ownership - Our firm created a 150 question survey for a client that wanted to contract with one of the top three data visualization and analysis vendors for an OEM contract. Written with total objectivity the three vendors were: Spotfire, Qlik-View and Tableau. All the questions were weighted - The outcome and contract went to Tableau - among a number of reasons for the award was the lowest cost of ownership which is often not considered.
  • Future Direction of the product - This is a challenge for this writer and contributor. Tableau does need a process that enables it to deal with data blending in a more complete and simple manner with emphasis on simplicity. I would eliminate the waste of space and thus clutter with repetitive instruction sets - example - there are five ways to create a new sheet. We also hear from clients and they ask for easier ways to connect to SAP
  • Support - Tableau support has now gone the extra mile. We now get telephone calls directly from support on the same day that a case is submitted. Further, case escalation is rapid if the first person cannot provide the fix.
  • There is no need to to have small features like "create new page" enabled in five ways. It results in clutter for the new user who seeks to grasp fundamental features in one or two places max.
  • Time series data - The options for rendering time series date are confusing for the new user. Once the time dimension is placed on the columns, the options for how time is rendered are confusing for the new user. Time options are shown in classic time options (Year - Qtr - Mth) but the user can see time in a more continuous for (green) with the options below a poorly marked line. Tableau should render the continuous options in green to provide a visual clue and some text to tell the user
  • Story Points is a nice feature - In this world of PowerPoint addiction, it is not a knock-off and I am sure it was not intended to be such. It does help the user who is faced with presenting content in a process to the inevitable Friday, 9AM senior staff meeting.
  • Presentation of the calculations backing up quick table calculations
  • An abbreviation list for states in the US and countries when using geo coded data
We evaluated QlikView and Tableau for a Fortune 500 corporation 15 months ago in full disclosure. To be all too brief we found QlikView to be a very good tool but more IT dependent than Tableau. Newer features and functions may offset some this one significance.

Spotfire is rarely heard from when clients seek best of breed DV

Excel - Not in the same space.
The releases of Tableau since 8.0 I would describe as incremental unless you are a MAC user. As of June of 2014 Tableau claims to have 17,000 unique customers, a statistic I accept to be true as they are a publicly held company. The unique company name count now exceeds 20,000. Tableau delivers an excellent product. Beta tests are thorough, due dates are met and client acceptance is high.
When first released Tableau stated that the software was purpose-built for the under-served business user. From a worldwide perspective that remains true today. Yes forecasting has been added but one must have a formal education in statistics to use this feature....not your average business user but helpful to a select audience.

Tableau Server has emerged as a true enterprise enabler - that brings with excellent collaboration functionality and a question. What role does governance play when sensitive information is published? How are workbooks vetted? How are data sources systemically reviewed? How are charge backs managed when thousands of Interactors are in play? Much more to hear on this.

Tableau Desktop Feature Ratings

Pixel Perfect reports
Not Rated
Customizable dashboards
Report Formatting Templates
Drill-down analysis
Formatting capabilities
Integration with R or other statistical packages
Report sharing and collaboration
Publish to Web
Publish to PDF
Report Versioning
Report Delivery Scheduling
Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.)
Not Rated
Location Analytics / Geographic Visualization
Not Rated
Predictive Analytics
Not Rated
Multi-User Support (named login)
Role-Based Security Model
Multiple Access Permission Levels (Create, Read, Delete)
Responsive Design for Web Access
Dashboard / Report / Visualization Interactivity on Mobile

Using Tableau Desktop

  • Sr Business Operations Analyst, Finance -Strategic Market Research Sr.
  • Corp Strategy Data and Market Analysis
  • Program Managementt, Director
  • Decision Support Director, Finance
  • Decision Support Consultant, Finance
  • Finance Analyst, Finance
  • Manager Decision Support, Finance
  • FP&A Manager, CTSB - Revenue Management
  • Pricing Manager, Finance
  • Director, Market Analysis
The skills to support Tableau Desktop touch one several key areas. In acting as a support person he or she should be Tableau certified at least at the Associate level. Said person should bring subject matter expertise to the support role and be capable of asking the next question.
  • Serious use of Tableau should include Tableau Server. - This is key for sharing content creation with the content consumers
  • Moving Tableau up to strategic use from tractical
  • Revenue Management
  • Workforce planning
  • Use of Tableau in our project management office
  • Geo-coding

Evaluating Tableau Desktop and Competitors

Yes - Qlik- Tech - Too IT centric and not truly business
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Product Reputation
Time to benefit - One can buy and download the product and start see benefits the same day
No - If there is a better mouse out there we do not know it

Tableau Desktop Reliability