Tableau - helping you to tell your story ....
October 07, 2016
Tableau - helping you to tell your story ....
Score 9 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with Tableau Desktop
Tableau is currently our standard tool for self-service reporting. We have a predominantly SAP and Microsoft environment, with many different SQL databases all over the place. A few years ago our users expressed the need that they wanted to explore data for themselves, without involving the IT department first, and that they would only come back to us if they needed more help. We evaluated the tools available and chose Tableau for this purpose.
- It guides you through the types of visualisations that are possible given your data sets.
- The interface is simple and uncluttered, it easy to access data, manipulate it and it shows immediately.
- There are many different types of visualisations available, and even the browser version is very good.
- Our users complain that it takes a lot to sometimes get their data ready for Tableau. The process is not too complicated but could be simpler.
- Time series data is difficult to deal with. Might have something to do with using time formats from different geographies.
- The geographic capabilities could be improved. Work with geo-info is still difficult and requires pre-work before it works. The MapBox integration looks promising.
- This is not easy to quantify. Evaluating Tableau vs. nothing it has a real impact as you need to be able to see your information before you can truly make any good decisions.
- We have been able to use Tableau in areas of HR, Engineering, Production, and a multitude of smaller engagements.
- The cost of Tableau Desktop and even Tableau server is significant given you also need to invest in databases, or warehouses but the value in seeing and understanding your data far out stretches the cost of deploying the tools
We also looked at Qlikview and Microstrategy at the time of making the decision to go with Tableau Desktop. Tableau came out tops in terms of it's ability to connect to a variety of sources out of the box, it's usability, the ease of deployment, and other non-functional requirements. In a number of other areas it was on par with the other tools.
If you have specific questions, and you have a reasonable understanding of your data set Tableau Desktop works well. I found that there are things where I would rather go to Excel for a simple graph, but the moment I want to do something more challenging, or to process more data or bring sets of data together, something like Tableau is important to have.
Tableau Desktop Feature Ratings
Using Tableau Desktop
These users are from a variety of business functions including HR, Finance and Operations. At an operational level we have users in production areas, engineering and maintenance, supply chain and business improvement. We use Tableau Desktop for simple analysis tasks inside specific departments as well as for more complex activities which takes data across departments for comparisons and scorecards.
2 - We have a permanent team of 2 people to do Tableau Support, and a variety of mostly contracted developers who can also lend a hand. Generally we use a train the trainer approach meaning new users learn the tool and can support themselves. Experts are available on call, and Tableau offers a lot of help when necessary.
- Our operating model control charts - custom developed
- Data analysis by subject matter experts
- Development of scorecards and dashboards per function
- Building an autorefresh page that cycles various dashboards
- Creating control charts linking to point by point annotations
- Continue with using Tableau against more sources. We are formalising some of our data sources and giving them an accreditation status to make it simpler for end users to consume the data.
- Planning to use Tableau with big data soon, we are starting our journey with Microsoft Azure
Our use of Tableau Desktop is still fairly low, and will continue over time. The only real concern is around cost of the licenses, and I have mentioned this to Tableau and fully expect the development of more sensible models for our industry. This will remove any impediment to expansion of our use.
Tableau Desktop Support
Account management seems to be a bit slow. Invoicing etc. takes a lot of effort from us, and makes it feel like this is not a product that is good for the entire enterprise. I have raised this and I am expecting different results in the future - good indication that this will happen.
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
No escalation required
Immediate help available
Support understands my problem
Support cares about my success
Quick Initial Response
During a recent Tableau User day we got treated to a preview of Tableau 10. It had just been released but the guys were able to demonstrate it live and to answer any questions we had to ask. Those at the user day were extremely flexible and knowledgeable and it made for a good interaction.