Getting up and ready with a great data visualization platform in a few days with Tableau Server
January 24, 2019

Getting up and ready with a great data visualization platform in a few days with Tableau Server

Mathieu Gaouette | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Tableau Server

Tableau is being used mostly by marketing to get a good view of their customer base. It covers the present footprint in terms of product ownership and the trend in usage of services.

Tableau is used by data scientists to present data to managers and executive. It has a storytelling approach that facilitates the understanding of data and eases the decision-making process.

Pros

  • Tableau server's portal and general look is really convenient and pretty. Users feel comfortable using it.
  • The learning curve of Tableau Server from an end-user perspective is really short. For the creator of content, it is a little more complex but easy to learn. Tableau has really succeeded in creating a user-friendly software.
  • From an administration point of view, Tableau is great. Installation and housekeeping are really easy and quick.
  • Visuals are really appealing and will help "sell" your presentations.
  • Tableau allows connectivity to a huge selection of data sources and data formats.
  • Online training for software is free and of very good quality.

Cons

  • Tableau doesn't (at least when I used it) have custom widgets or elements in the creation of dashboards. Its main competitor, Power BI, allows this. Because of that, some visualizations are challenging and need the use of advanced tricks that most users don't know about.
  • Tableau logs a lot of information, and sometimes, getting the right information from these logs when something goes wrong is challenging.
  • Tableau support is not the quickest. This sounds bad, but I have to specify that I very rarely had to contact them. However, when I did, the answer took a few more days than with other providers.
  • ROI wasn't really measured but the time to market was really quick. Within a few days, the Tableau server was installed and fully usable by analysts. The installation process of this software is really well documented and easy to perform.
  • An administrator should be appointed to manage the platform. In our case, we went with an existing administrator of a different platform as this was not a full-time job. A few hours a month is generally enough to manage the platform.
  • Tableau creates really dazzling reports and dashboards. I suggest establishing upfront the targeted audience for the consumption of data if you want to keep the license count under control. It is very tough to achieve that if you grant one to anyone who asks for a license.
Tableau Server should be considered in organizations where you have several consumers of data and fewer creators. The licensing of the server will make you save and allow you to have some governance over your dashboards.

In an environment where you have a lot of creators, the use of a server might not bring a lot of benefits, because creators using the desktop version can open and modify other people's dashboards.

Tableau Server Feature Ratings

Customizable dashboards
9
Report Formatting Templates
9
Drill-down analysis
10
Formatting capabilities
10
Integration with R or other statistical packages
8
Report sharing and collaboration
10
Publish to Web
9
Publish to PDF
9
Report Versioning
10
Report Delivery Scheduling
10
Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.)
10
Location Analytics / Geographic Visualization
10
Predictive Analytics
5
Multi-User Support (named login)
9
Role-Based Security Model
9
Multiple Access Permission Levels (Create, Read, Delete)
9
Single Sign-On (SSO)
9
Responsive Design for Web Access
9
Mobile Application
9
Dashboard / Report / Visualization Interactivity on Mobile
9
REST API
Not Rated
Javascript API
Not Rated
iFrames
Not Rated

Using Tableau Server

100 - Marketing (mostly), HR and asset management.
In these groups, analysts use Tableau to get insight on data.
1 - Supporting Tableau server requires and IT person with a general OS knowledge (installing softwares, updating, ...) and some Tableau knowledge (always better to understand how users work with the tool).
Unless there are several hundreds of users, it's probably better to have someone to do that in addition to another role. This is not a full type job (usually).
Tableau being so easy to install and maintain as a software, I recommend keeping the software install "inhouse" and not outsource it.
  • Creating dynamic dashboards on customer buying trends
  • Follow evolution of customer base through time based on several criteria
  • Market share analysis with graphical representations (heat maps)
  • Use of command lines functionalities to allow automated ETL process to prepare data, refresh datasources and Tableau object all without any intervention.
  • Use with mobile for executives
It simply is used all the time by more and more people.
Migrating to something else would involve lots of work and lots of training.
The renewal fee being fair, it simply isn't worth migrating to a different tool for now.

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