Do you even Tableau?
June 21, 2014
Do you even Tableau?
Score 10 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with Tableau Desktop
As a Data Management solutions company Teknion is heavily engrossed in all things BI/BD/BA related. This includes doing assessments for enterprises that are considering Tableau as a solution to their business reporting and analytic needs. I am one of many accredited trainers of Tableau Desktop at Teknion Data Solutions and spend much of my time traveling from company to company to deliver onsite hands-on training and mentoring. In addition I also use Tableau for clients who need reports created or assistance fixing a their analytics. I am heavily involved in our sales cycle surrounding all things Tableau as well.
- Tableau is designed around cognition of data and visualizations; this gives it the distinct edge over any other tool in the BI space by allowing the tool to almost disappear, from a technical usage standpoint opening up the door for non-technical users and regular business analysts to do what they do best without limitations of SQL or other DB proficiencies.
- Due to its very intuitive nature Tableau unlocks the power companies have traditionally been limited in access, their employees. Because Tableau is easy and intuitive any user at every level of the organization can find a reason to use Tableau and make day to day business better thought better understanding of said business. Anyone can be a data explorer in Tableau.
- The scalability of the software is formidable. Not only are there free options for usage and distribution of reporting and analytics but using all of the Tableau products correctly creates an unlimited scalability for any enterprise to have ON-DEMAND Business Intelligence. That is one of the most powerful elements of the suite.
- Tableau is a community driven software, and in this regard they do very well; however, more is always better as it will continue to open the tool up to new industries and new ways of doing analytics in those industries. Often there are industry specific features and functions that could be further developed. Things like stats capabilities and regression right in the tool.
- If I had one feature that could be upgraded it would be parameters. Giving more flexibility around parameter usage in Tableau is really going to open up what users can do with the tool and delivery of their analytics.
- Tableau desktop is an incredible tool with many robust years of use and development ahead, another area I would love to see improved is formatting. A format painter for example would be great when you are consolidating reports together and need to apply a formatting theme to everything.
- Positively, decreased the timeline for decision making abilities of upper management.
- Increased visibility into data governance and management practices throughout the organization.
- It's fun and is the most enjoyable visual tool I've ever used, making me more efficient at my business analysis work.
I will choose Tableau every time over Cognos because I can do everything myself. I'm not required to go to IT and have them build an ETL process to populate an inflexible cube of data that I then can build a report off of. I have the ability to connect right to the data-warehouse pull the data from the tables I need and begin visualizing the data immediately.
As long as I'm in an analysis role of any kind I will continue to use Tableau. It is my tool of choice for reporting and is the one I know best. The company as a whole is dedicated to their user base. Releasing minor versions almost every 6-10 months and major versions every 12-18 months it is apparent that they truly want to please the users and create the number one most powerful and easy to use analytic platform suite.
Tableau excels at doing analytics on focused business sectors. Simple, straightforward reporting. One area that might be less appropriate is massive volumes of data being interactively visualized. I find companies attempting this quite often and it is not necessarily the most advantageous way to utilize Tableau. Things like mapping very large quantities of data can be ill performing while ARC GIS and SHP files are still further ahead in this regard, it is possible to utilize elements of said data in Tableau that goes beyond standard features. In these cases I always recommend the community and forums for question and answer. It is a great place to get more info on a feature or assistance on building a report and dashboards.