Overall Satisfaction with Tableau Desktop
- Blending data from a variety of different sources such as SQL Server and CSV and Excel files. Allows you to get up and running quickly, without waiting for data integration, loading, etc.
- Ability to designate a column of data to be a dimension or a metric. Enables a whole new level of flexibility versus a pivot table!
- Drag-and-drop detail for pop-up text. Great way to annotate visual without extra work or consuming screen space.
- Linking filter actions across objects on a dashboard significantly enhances visualization and interaction for the user.
- Cannot put multiple metrics on the secondary vertical axis. Some workarounds available, but less than ideal.
- Wonderful feature of floating containers in dashboards, however, "No Fill" for background color is white, not transparent, which limits where you can float the containers.
- Metric calculations are SQL based, so more complex joins and formulas require custom SQL coding.
- Increased productivity: ability to automate recurring reports and speed creating new reports. Decreased error rate. Reduced days of effort to hours.
- Increased client satisfaction: better visuals; more flexible, deeper exploration available; faster, higher quality delivery
Tableau was (is) a great solution for our situation, but you will want to evaluate your needs and cost trade offs. While a bit dated, the Gartner Group Research Wave Q3 2012 on Advanced Data Visualization Platforms, could be a good starting point in the process. It has many criteria to consider and a summary of major players.
Using Tableau Desktop
5 - Analytics (including time series modeling), Reporting/Dashboards, Data Systems
1 - Tableau has a healthy user community online and knowledge base. Support person would need to be able to search those resources to answer questions, actively participate/vote on development priorities. Support person, as the designated 'subject matter expert' (SME) should be comfortable with every aspect of the tool and how to apply it. That person does not need to have a technical background, per se.
- KPI trending.
- Model evaluation (model fit along with independent variables).
- Data QA (recapping back to client).
- Gantt view provided an excellent way to visualize promotional events.
- Custom grouping of dimension values enabled additional flexibility for attributes not already built in the data.
- Identify data holes between data sources by blending them into a single chart.
- Publish and Deliver through Tableau Server.
- Faster onboarding for new hires.
- Data integration assistance.
Tableau Desktop Implementation
Install very easy and works every time; don't have to worry about conflicts or setting PC variables. Also nice that it is independent of previous versions so that you can run multiple versions in case some people haven't upgraded yet. Just a little counter-intuitive to have to go to a 'Download Trial' to get the software, then when you open it, type in the product key. Seamless to continue working on existing workbooks, files.