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SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform vs Tableau comparison

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Comparison Summary
Question: Tableau vs. Business Objects - Which is a better solution for visualization and analysis?
Answer: I agree with Larry Keller's first comment that you should not be comparing Tableau with BusinessObjects - it is like comparing apples and oranges. BusinessObjects is a fully mature Business Intelligence suite which includes powerful analysis and data visualization tools. You could certainly compare Tableau to Lumira but Tableau would probably come out ahead since Lumira is still new and catching up.
Featured Review
Find out what your peers are saying about SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform vs. Tableau and other solutions. Updated: January 2022.
564,643 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
"If I were to compare it with Power BI and I wanted to build proper well-formatted reports, BusinessObjects Business Intelligence does that much better. Power BI is just getting into that space. They've concentrated more on visualization, which is what the SAP Lumira does. With Web Intelligence, you are able to build reports that users can interact with. They can also do a lot of querying themselves. It is robust in terms of security and integration. It is also quite scalable.""We are using SAP BusinessObjects because its scheduling capabilities are more powerful than those of other tools.""The planning and dashboarding features have been useful. Additionally, the fixed-format reports are good.""One of the most valuable features of SAP BusinessObjects is that it's not a dashboarding solution. It's a real product. You can create operational reports and publish it to anyone. You can create schedules. You can create a Universe, semantic layers. There's also a security configuration. It's a huge product, so if there is a business need, SAP BusinessObjects can cover it.""The platform uses a lot of Java technologies so the performance and system-level management are tricky because it needs a lot of resources.""It provides flexibility for creating reports. It is very good for creating highly-complex reports. I like this solution because when I buy BusinessObjects, it comes with many components, such as reporting, dashboard, and data visualization tools. Its performance is good. It is running on top of SAP BW and SAP HANA.""It is stable and robust. It has pretty direct integration with SAP ERP. It is easy to use.""The setup is pretty easy. It's not hard at all."

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"The number one thing was just the ease of getting something up quickly. The other thing that was good about it was that it was fairly fast for decent-sized data sets in terms of performance and run time.""It is very easy to implement and to use.""It is very easy to create dashboards, charts, and graphs.""Good data flow and management.""It is easy to use, and it can handle a large amount of data.""The solution allows for the possibility for end-users to do their own reporting.""Tableau is very flexible and easy to learn. It has drag-and-drop function analytics, and its design is very good. It is a very good tool, and it basically brings life into data with good design. We have been creating a lot of interactive visualizations and dashboards. It has a public version. There are public communities from where you can get a lot of examples for practice.""Its ease of use and ability to convert drag and drop gestures into queries."

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"It would be good if they could integrate the possibility for end users to create end models for themselves that they can use, especially for site operators, and if they could provide the end user not only the self-service BI, but also the self-service analytics, based on a predefined model, the same way that Oracle did.""I don't like the fact that I have to use two tools. Web Intelligence is good for reporting and all kinds of stuff, but I would rather have one product. All the reporting features of Web Intelligence should be developed within Lumira. A lot of predictive abilities have been brought into the cloud version of SAP Analytics. It would be nice to see a lot of newer technologies and AI. Predictive capabilities are becoming a little more standard. Instead of having to get another model, we are just looking for one solution to deal with analytics including predictive.""The self-service area, or dashboard, needs some improvement. While the reporting itself is great, the dashboard and Analytics Cloud are not user friendly.""Tableau was easier for me to use because the interface is more similar to Excel which I was used to using.""It needs to be more flexible for the end-user.""The interface could be slicker and more user-friendly.""Most of the Apps right now are into dashboarding. This tool, for the Crystal Reports in the phase I'm primarily working on, does not have those dashboarding capabilities, like in the other advanced tools like Power BI or ClickView, and compared to them the dashboard generation is not that great.""Its price should be better. It is expensive and not cost-effective. It should also be improved in terms of end-user experience. It requires further improvements for usability and ease of use. It should have more dashboarding metrics and much faster integration with ERP so that when you double click, you can instantly see the scenario-based result."

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"It should have more integration with different tools and technologies. Its licensing cost should also be improved.""Could have more integrations with different platforms.""People are migrating to Microsoft BI due to the speed, which is quite slow to load, and the lack of visualization options.""It would be nice if we could export more raw data. Currently, there is a limit as to how much data you can export.""An advanced type of visualization is a bit tricky to create. It has something called a Calculated field, and that sometimes gets a bit difficult to use when you want to create an advanced type of visualization.""The charts in Tableau are quite limited.""Tableau is a company that does not respect partners.""The solution does have scalability issues."

More Tableau Cons →

Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "Its price is fair."
  • "It is not cost-effective. It is expensive."
  • "I have always found SAP BI to be expensive. It is expensive even when you compare SAP BI Cloud with Microsoft Power BI. Power BI is probably around $9.99 per month, and the cheapest SAP BI is around $20, which is double. In terms of price, Power BI is definitely a lot better. If you have budget issues, you may want to go for Power BI."
  • "We purchase licenses through Epic. So, we get an Epic price as opposed to the SAP price. If we were going to use other products like Webby that they offer or exclusively use BI Launch Pad, it would cost a lot because half of our employees would touch it in some fashion. So, we use Epic-Crystal integration to keep the licensing cost down. I believe the BI Launch Pad licensing is something like $800 for each, and the Crystal Report licensing is something like $500 for each, but that's not what we pay."
  • "The price and the pricing model are fine. We find the solution does not give us a lot of additional value."
  • "SAP is losing market to its competitors because of its costly user license and licensing model. They can do much better on the licensing side. That's what Microsoft has been doing, and that's why Power BI is gaining market share at the moment. SAP needs to relax a little bit on the licensing part. If Microsoft is giving people a solution that is half of the cost of SAP, people will definitely go with Power BI."
  • More SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "The company chose to purchase a creator license for me, which was $70. With that license, you can also be an administrator. We also have 20-25 extra licenses and they cost around $20-$35 each. Those are for normal users who will be viewing the dashboards. Those are monthly charges."
  • "Tableau's licensing is pretty straightforward and simple."
  • "ROI is very high, but it requires a data preparation/blending tool."
  • "The cost of the solution should be improved."
  • "It is reasonable and cheap as compared to other major tools. It has a good price, and people go for it because of its pricing."
  • "Pricing is not bad. It's competitive."
  • "At $70 per month, I think the price is a bit scary. I have a small consulting firm in Ghana, working in about 15 different African countries, and when it comes to our part of the world, $70 a month is a lot of money for software."
  • "The professional version of Tableau is quite expensive."
  • More Tableau Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Comparison Review
    Guillermo (Bill) Cabiro
    I do use both Tableau and QlikView. Although very different, I really like both solutions. They belong to the new BI generation known as Interactive Visual Analytics. In my opinion, QlikView has a more intuitive interface for regular users or executives that are not technical experts but the development side is a little more complex. Up to version 12 QlikView did not provide drag & drop features. If a user wanted to see something not included in the application the new object had to be created by a power user or developer because Qlikview's scripting has somewhat of a learning curve. On the positive side, QlikView's scripting is a great asset as it functions as an ETL allowing the integration of hundreds of different data sources into the same visual app. Another feature that’s extremely useful is Qlik’s proprietary Associative Model that allows the users to visualize data relationships that exist as well as those that do not. Tableau on the other hand is a lot easier to use for developers, analysts or power users who need to connect, manipulate and visualize data rather quickly. While this makes Tableau a better fit for the more analytical crowd, it may not be as appealing or intuitive to the regular or casual business users as QlikView is. Tableau has full pivot, drag & drop and drill down capabilities that are great for developers or power users. They can rotate measures and dimensions and graph them instantly using visualization best practices as suggested by… Read more →
    Answers from the Community
    Anonymous User
    author avatarStephan Schaumburg-Lippe

    In my opinion, Tableau is "best of bread" answering "one type of question" perfectly, while BO is a suite of tools answering "many types of questions" well. If you're looking for SQL based pixel perfect reports go for BO. If you're look for reports, dashboards, analysis in one suite go for BO. If you have a lot of analytic questions and like to visualize them, go for Tableau. If you want to compare them directly, then compare Tableau with Web Intelligence (Component of BO) or compare Tableau to SAC (SAP Analytics Cloud). 

    author avatarPaul Grill
    Real User

    Since at least 45% of BusinessObjects customers in North America also use Tableau, you would be a good company using both tools. BusinessObjects is used primarily for BI reporting and Tableau for power users wanting to do data discovery and visualization. Tableau is superior for visualization but really has no built-in BI reporting capability.

    You should always choose the best tool for the job which is why so many BusinessObjects customers exist in a state of happy co-existence. There are also third party tools that allow you to integrate BusinessObjects and Tableau so you can leverage your BO investment in Tableau.

    I would not advise even looking at Lumira since SAP announced its end of life a while back in preference to their new cloud based analytics platform SAC.

    Full disclosure : I work for a BI solutions company that has partnered with BusinessObjects and SAP for 23 years and is also been a Tableau partner for 3 years.

    author avatarPaul Kellett
    Real User

    If doing a technical comparison, Lumira (SAP's visual tool) isn't bad but the market share in this space is going to Tableau and Qlik both of which are strong in the visual side of BI.

    Most Business Objects sites do the bulk of their reporting using Web Intelligence, which is stronger at the more traditional reporting side with the ability to create interactive dashboards and the like but it tends to be harder to do this well than in Tableau. So, to answer the headline question, Tableau is better at visualization.

    You imply that a key driver to considering change is to provide the users with greater autonomy and to support increased self service and the failure of the current approach. The majority of BI initiatives fail because of issues having nothing to do with the products but these are convenient scapegoats when there is failure thus the idea that changing products will fix everything. If one doesn't change what caused the existing implementation to fail then there is high probability of repeating the exercise. I challenge the assumption that better visualization is the solution to the current issues. It might be the trigger for change to be fair.

    The Nirvana of self service for users is one of the most areas of failure in BI and will rarely work without a supporting environment of product training, training in the data, user understandable data, serious commitment of time from the key users (or specialist report/dashboard writers embedded in user departments) and ongoing support from IT.

    The concept of using Business Objects in combination with a Tableau or Qlik is a reasonable one and I have seen these work and I personally like it when done properly. It is unlikely to free up IT resources, however. It typically changes how and what is delivered not how much effort will be required.

    author avatarit_user75519 (BI Expert at a tech services company)

    I think you have quite convincingly answered your question. IT made an
    investment in Business Objects but has seen limited use/acceptance. Your
    department went with an agile solution that meets your needs for quick
    turnaround and excellent visualization and you want to expand that solution
    much to the chagrin of IT. How dare you business users go around IT or even
    think about not using the

    Make friends with IT and have them buy and host/administer the Tableau
    server; and if they don't agree use the hosted version in the cloud!

    author avatarJhornber
    Real User

    I'm reiterating what has been said in one way or another but: We currently use BO for end user generated ad hoc reporting, which it works well for, but I wouldn't even consider it for use in the way one would utilize Tableau or other similar data visualization/exploration/dashboarding tools (though admittedly I've never looked into Lumira). Likewise, I wouldn't use Tableau as a primary canned and/or ad hoc reporting tool as this is not where it shines.

    author avatarH.Emre Arıkan
    Real User

    Sure, if you have the desktop, you need the server product to publish your results. Then considering Tableau server is absolutely legitimate.
    Using Tableau desktop should be able to free up IT-resources already. You can ask the BO fans in the company, - in the case of choosing BO as the only platform- if they are ready to adopt the work on Tableau-desktop, and are they going to be able to provide on the fly reports/analysis as your team does with Tableau at the moment.

    author avatarit_user85368 (Business Applications Manager at a construction company)

    If your HR team feels happy with Tableau and at the same time you can get their active involvement and their promise to develop and support it today
    and future managers of information systems, go for the Tableau server solution. My past experience is that using Tableau at the users side, we as an IT team had no change request, users were self-serviced and happy. This was not the case at the same time with some other user communities at the same company using Business Objects. The second community never managed to be self-serviced. Engage IT Team in the areas of Tableau server to all
    other Applications servers you need to get your data automatically (eg
    HRIS , ERP) and leave your "specialists" and experienced HR users in the
    areas of reporting. They know, they "feel" the data better

    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer: 
    There are many...It would rather depend what System BI architecture or Enterprise legacy you have at your end...I would recommend as follows:  1) If you have legacies of SAP, Oracle  - look for SAP… more »
    Top Answer: 
    Both tools have their positives and negatives. First, I should mention that I am relatively new to Tableau. I have been working on and off Tableau for about a year, but getting to work on it… more »
    Top Answer: 
    We are using SAP BusinessObjects because its scheduling capabilities are more powerful than those of other tools.
    Top Answer: 
    It depends on the Data architecture and the complexity of your requirement. Some great tools in the market are Qlik Sense, Power BI, OBIEE, Tableau, etc. I have recently started using Cognos… more »
    Top Answer: 
    Tableau is easy to set up and maintain. In about a day it is possible for the entire platform to be deployed for use. This relatively short amount of time can make all the difference for companies… more »
    Top Answer: 
    Although Tableau isn't the best for us when it comes to processing and working on live data, it is very good at extracting data for analysis.
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    Also Known As
    SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform, SAP BusinessObjects, Business Objects
    Tableau Desktop, Tableau Server, Tableau Online
    Learn More

    The SAP® BusinessObjects™ Business Intelligence (BI) platform is a flexible, scalable information infrastructure that helps you more easily discover and share insights for better business decisions. The integrated, unified infrastructure enables scalability from one to many tools and interfaces on premise, in the cloud, or as a hybrid approach.

    Tableau helps people and organizations become more data-driven as the trusted leader in analytics.

    The Tableau platform provides the breadth and depth of capabilities to serve the needs of even the largest global enterprises in a seamless, integrated experience. Tableau is designed to fit, not dictate your data strategy, and adapts to your environment with unmatched flexibility and choice, while meeting the toughest governance and security requirements.

    People love using Tableau because it is both powerful and intuitive—and offers a fundamentally different user experience by empowering people of all skill levels to explore and analyze data using visuals and natural language. Tableau has become the standard language of analytics for modern business users and continues to lead the industry with the most passionate and engaged user community in analytics, a customer base with millions of users at more than 80,000 organizations, and a deep commitment to customer-focused innovation

    Evaluation Guide: How to choose the right BI & analytics platform

    Redefining the role of IT in modern BI world

    Learn more about SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform
    Learn more about Tableau
    Sample Customers
    SRAM, Kennametal, Fairfax Water, British American Tobacco, Velux, and FedEx.
    Accenture, Adobe, Amazon.com, Bank of America, Charles Schwab Corp, Citigroup, Coca-Cola Company, Cornell University, Dell, Deloitte, Duke University, eBay, Exxon Mobil, Fannie Mae, Ferrari, French Red Cross, Goldman Sachs, Google, Government of Canada, HP, Intel, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Macy's, Merck, The New York Times, PayPal, Pfizer, US Army, US Air Force, Skype, and Walmart.
    Top Industries
    Manufacturing Company19%
    Healthcare Company14%
    Energy/Utilities Company9%
    Computer Software Company27%
    Comms Service Provider16%
    Financial Services Firm8%
    Financial Services Firm13%
    Computer Software Company10%
    Healthcare Company8%
    Energy/Utilities Company7%
    Computer Software Company25%
    Comms Service Provider14%
    Financial Services Firm10%
    Company Size
    Small Business30%
    Midsize Enterprise18%
    Large Enterprise52%
    Small Business21%
    Midsize Enterprise16%
    Large Enterprise63%
    Small Business28%
    Midsize Enterprise20%
    Large Enterprise52%
    Small Business27%
    Midsize Enterprise15%
    Large Enterprise58%
    Find out what your peers are saying about SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform vs. Tableau and other solutions. Updated: January 2022.
    564,643 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform is ranked 5th in Business Intelligence (BI) Tools with 25 reviews while Tableau is ranked 2nd in Business Intelligence (BI) Tools with 93 reviews. SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform is rated 7.8, while Tableau is rated 8.0. The top reviewer of SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform writes "Integrates very well with SAP ERP, allows you to scale up or down anytime, and is absolutely trustworthy". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Tableau writes "Lets me train new users quickly, easily, and intuitively". SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform is most compared with Microsoft BI, Oracle OBIEE, SAP Analytics Cloud, MicroStrategy and QlikView, whereas Tableau is most compared with Microsoft BI, SAP Analytics Cloud, MicroStrategy, ELK Kibana and Qlik Sense. See our SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform vs. Tableau report.

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