- author: Susan Bayers
Tableau is one of the most commonly used business intelligence platforms that aids businesses in visualizing and understanding their data better. The company offers three variants of the product: Tableau Online, Tableau Server and Tableau Desktop. If you already have a Tableau server or online setup, then data migration and flow to your Tableau desktop will be seamless. It has been trusted by businesses of all sizes since it first gained worldwide recognition.
Plans and Pricing
Tableau Desktop has two different pricing plans for users to choose from: Personal Edition and Professional Edition.
It costs $35 per user per month and is billed annually. With this package, you can integrate with Excel files and Google Sheets, create visualizations, stories, and dashboards and make use of advanced analytics features.
The professional edition costs $70 per month per user and is also billed annually. Along with all the features of the personal edition, it allows users to integrate with hundreds of different data sources including databases, web applications and files etc. Using this package, you can also send your data and dashboards etc. to Tableau Server and Tableau Online.
Tableau Server has only one pricing plan and it can be set in-house as well as in the cloud. It costs $35 per user per month. Again, it’s billed annually. With the server, you are able to manage all your workbooks and dashboards centrally. You can also analyze your data using a mobile device or a web browser.
Tableau Online is the fully-hosted SaaS variant of Tableau server and costs $42 per user per month (billed annually). You get free maintenance, security, and upgrades completely managed by the Tableau team.
Tableau provides a rich set of features in almost all of its available packages and the pricing policy is also reasonable.
Features & Functionality
Tableau allows you to work from your own machine and also be able to transfer your data to a local or remote server. The Tableau Online SaaS service is also a very beneficial feature to have.
Tableau Desktop has a wide range of analytics and visual features. Here are few of the best ones:
Ease of Use
Tableau Desktop has a very intuitive interface where you can easily toggle between the data and analytics sections to work your magic. The design is very simplistic and user-friendly. You can drag any category of data on to your dashboard and see different views and analytics by making a few effortless clicks. If you are a complete newbie to the BI scene, then you can feel a slightly steep learning curve at the start, but within a few hours of usage, Tableau can start feeling very simple even to the novices.
Tableau Server is also a fairly amazing tool when it comes to usability. You can easily toggle through the content, users, groups, schedules, tasks, status and settings sections or use the search to perform a tool-wide search. Under each section, you get multiple sub-sections like the projects, workbooks, views and data sources’ sections under content. Once again, there will not be any sort of learning curve if you have used a BI tool before.
Tableau Online is as simple as Tableau server and it also has a very simplistic interface. It provides everything Tableau Server has to offer along with the luxury of doing everything online. The web interface is similar to Tableau Server’s interface and is simple to use and effortless to navigate.
Reporting and Integrations
Tableau Desktop comes with excellent reporting features. You can customize using drag and drop features as you please and can share your work with your colleagues and friends. It’s only available for Mac and Windows operating systems and integrates seamlessly with the following applications: Amazon web services, Azure, Google Cloud platform, Excel and Salesforce etc.
Tableau Online and Tableau Server have the same reporting features of the desktop variant and they can also integrate with any of the third-party applications mentioned above. Importing data and exporting dashboards is only a matter of clicks away.
Pros & Cons
- Highly intuitive interface
- Can connect with many different data sources.
- Multiple layers of security and easy integration with security standards
- Can share dashboards with anyone without the need for a VPN
- Learning curve for newbies – need variety x 2
- Learning curve for newbies
- Learning curve for newbies
Tableau’s customer support is available via email, phone number and via their knowledge base. They also offer company-wide training services. Be aware, however, that customer support is better for higher-priced plans. Standard support allows for only online contact during business hours, whereas premium support provides both phone and online contact options and 24/7 service. There are also many guides on the Tableau website in addition to video tutorials to help you learn how to use Tableau.
24/7 Help & SupportYes, for premium customers
Phone SupportYes, for premium customers
Video TutorialsYes, video tutorials are available.
Community ForumThere is a community forum on the company site.
Tableau is one of the market leaders when it comes to business intelligence platforms and the three different product variants are a testament to its versatility and flexibility. The rich analytical and visualization features along with the ability to share, collaborate and communicate seamlessly give it a strong competitive advantage over the other BI tools available on the market.
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