Tableau Desktop Drives Analytic Efficiency
Updated March 18, 2015

Tableau Desktop Drives Analytic Efficiency

James Martin | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Software Version

Version 8

Modules Used

  • Desktop
  • Server

Overall Satisfaction with Tableau Desktop

We use Tableau within the Integrated Analytics portions of our organization, to provide a variety of reporting solutions to external clients and internal users. It has helped to address the need for more efficient and automated reporting, from consistent data sources. Tableau's various filtering and data connectivity capabilities allow us to create standardized reports that can cover a wide portfolio of products, without requiring the time and resources to manually enter data, and build each report separately. This allows us to spend more of our time and resources on the deep analysis and insights that our clients need to optimize their marketing.
  • Data Connectivity. Tableau Desktop supports an incredibly vast array of data sources, and does so very efficiently. Everything from Excel Data Sheets, to advanced databases to your online Google Analytics account.
  • Data Visualization. Tableau's built in data visualizations follow and even suggest best practices for all kinds of data types and cuts. It also has a superb dashboard capability which becomes more versatile with each release.
  • Data Filtering. With the simple use of consistent data points and parameters, Tableau allows for a report to be filtered based on any data dimension. This allows for efficient and easy report automation and duplication.
  • Dashboard Formatting - while the dashboard capability is robust and easy to use, it can be difficult at times to do some of the finer detailing, like formatting, coloring and highlighting. Once mastered, it is again very versatile, but is not as intuitive and there is a learning curve.
  • An Undo Button! Tableau current does not include an 'undo' button which can be extremely irritating if you make a mistake that is difficult to reverse.
  • Table Joining - the interface/wizard used when attempting to join tables and connect different data sources is not as intuitive as it could be, which makes it difficult to perform some of the incredible data connectivity that is available.
  • Adobe Analytics,Google Analytics
Tableau is the most powerful and easy to use of the alternatives, as long as the data sources are properly connected. None of the other tools have allowed us to connect and integrate data into one report in the way that Tableau's data connectivity allows us to. Then the ability to create endless variety in dashboards, following visualization best practices far bests the alternatives which present data in their own style, that does not adhere to best practices. The alternatives also leave you in a situation where data usually has to be copied or exported into another tool like Microsoft Excel in order to create reports, while with Tableau you can do analysis and create reports and dashboards almost simultaneously.
It is an investment that the organization is willing to make, as it drives efficiency that no other tool can. It also becomes more powerful, the more you use it and learn about it, so maintaining a consistent standard with it makes great sense to our organization. The reason it is not rated at 10 here, is that it is more expensive than many alternatives, but it is certainly worth the investment.
Tableau is a fantastic tool, but it is best suited to the following circumstances, where it's potential can be maximized:

  • An organization or team with a skilled data architect, that has a strong collection of clean and well built databases and data sources
  • A client who is open and excited to utilize Tableau Server to view reports electronically, as this allows for the analyst to utilize the tools fantastic drill down, filtering, interactive dashboard capabilities.
  • Somewhere where high volumes of reports that require large amounts of data - small scale reporting may not justify the investment
  • Organizations focused on analytic and data visualization best practices

Tableau Desktop Feature Ratings

Pixel Perfect reports
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
Not Rated
Report Delivery Scheduling
Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.)
Location Analytics / Geographic Visualization
Predictive Analytics
Multi-User Support (named login)
Not Rated
Role-Based Security Model
Not Rated
Multiple Access Permission Levels (Create, Read, Delete)
Not Rated
Responsive Design for Web Access
Not Rated
Mobile Application
Dashboard / Report / Visualization Interactivity on Mobile

Using Tableau Desktop

12 - We rely on data architects to create meaningful database tables that connect and integrate various different sources and channels of data. The people need database skills and SQL programming ability in particular. They work closely with website tagging and implementation specialists to ensure consistent and clean data gets fed into the Tableau system. These people need strong skills in tagging implementation, tag plan development, and website coding to some extent. Then the primary user of the tool is the analyst who uses it to create dashboards and perform analysis. These users require statistical skills, analytics experience, interface design and dashboard design skills as well as a little formula writing and coding ability and a dash of creativity.