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Manager BI/Analytics and Data Management at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
A stable solution which provides good visualizations, but the architecture should be improved to better handle the data
Pros and Cons
  • "The most valuable features are the visualizations, the way they show the combination charts."
  • "The architecture should be improved to better handle the data."

What is our primary use case?

We use the most recent version. 

We use the solution to engage the field teams and we integrate that with the data warehouse data and build the dashboards for them.

How has it helped my organization?

It is helpful that the solution provides access to one's own data. It allows a person to get insights out of the data provided by his tool, based upon the KPIs that the person wishes to look at. It all depends upon different use cases. We have dashboards for marketing people, field teams and executives. It all depends upon which insights a person wants, in which case he can prep the data accordingly. This is good. 

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are the visualizations, the way they show the combination charts. This allows a person to jointly put in different measures in different axes and greatly facilitates the user in understanding the data better.

What needs improvement?

There should be a focus on memory data, which is the concept of Tableau. This is where they squeeze the data into their memory. Because of that, we see performance issues on the dashboards. The architecture should be improved in such a way that the data can be better handled, like we see in the market tools, such as Domo, in which everything is cloud-based. We did a POC in which we compared Tableau with Domo and performance-wise the latter is much better.  

As such, the architecture should be improved to better handle the data.

We are seeing a shift from Tableau to Power BI, towards which most users are gravitating. This owes itself to the ease of use and their mindset of making use of Excel. Power BI offers greater ease of use. 

For the most part, when comparing all the BI tools, one sees that they work in the same format. But, if a single one must be chosen, one sees that his data can be integrated at a better place. Take real time data, for example. I know that they have the live connection, but, still, they can improve that data modeling space better.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been working with Tableau for almost seven years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution has pretty good stability. It's a robust tool, even though it has a steep learning curve. But, still, I feel that from the stability perspective, it's a leading BI tool in the market. It's pretty stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I personally don't like any BI tool to have that scalability. What we usually do is integrate scalability into our warehouse layer. We know how to scale up and down and we handle it there. We don't rely much on the BI tools to do that.

I am talking about the scalability of a program in general, be it in its relation with users or as it concerns dashboards. 

We recently started working with Tableau online and that particular solution is scalable. It ingests the hardware, the server capacity by itself. So, if users go from, let's say... 100 to 500, we don't see a dip in performance. It still behaves the same. Because of this new integration technology with the cloud, they are scalable in that regard.

How are customer service and technical support?

We are in contact with technical support. One service we have is Tableau online. If we see a dip in performance, we raise a ticket to the Tableau support team, work with them and make certain they address our issues. I would rate my experience with them as three out of five. 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We used Tableau from the get go. 

How was the initial setup?

While I was not directly involved in the setup, I know that it's not that easy. There is a need for a proper administrator who has experience in that field.

What about the implementation team?

We used an integrator from Tableau when implementing.

Our experience was good and we were assisted with our implementation requirements. They were able to make notes to match our use case and answer all of our questions, including those concerning the number of users we have and how to set up the server.

I'm not part of the administrative group which handles the setup. I am mostly a consumer and responsible for building the desktop. I use the desktop version to build the dashboards and am not responsible for the server health check or maintenance. As such, I am not in a position to provide information about the staff required for maintenance, updates and checkups. There are a couple of people who are responsible for this, one from the customer side and another from our team. Both parties are in sync when undertaking these activities. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I have no knowledge concerning the licensing costs of Tableau. 

What other advice do I have?

The solution is mostly deployed on-premises, although we have also done cloud-based deployment. 

We have around 500-plus users making use of the solution and mostly 90 percent are viewers. We have very few creators or explorers. Creators comprise seven percent and explorers three percent. 

My advice to others would vary depending on their use cases, what they're looking for and the level of competency they have within their organization to use it. Tableau has a steep learning curve. So, it depends upon one's use case, the reason the person is going with that specific BI tool. The procurement department would need to evaluate the use cases very carefully, because there are so many BI tools available in the market. One's focus should be more on a centralized tool when bringing a new one to his organization. It should address all the answers to one's users, like what they're looking for. Definitely Tableau is good in the data discovery part and it can handle large data sets. So, all of these things should matter when one is trying to evaluate a tool.

I rate Tableau as a seven out of ten. This is because we are using it and it has a steep learning curve. It's not user-friendly. One must build a competency in creating the visualization and then support it. All of these things matter when one is evaluating a tool. That's why a shift is going towards Power BI.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Vice President & Head at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Good support, seamless integration with Microsoft solutions, and perfect for Microsoft infrastructure
Pros and Cons
  • "It gives you an edge if you are on the Microsoft platform. If you have been using Microsoft products for a long time or if you have the Microsoft infrastructure, this is the right tool for you. It has seamless integration with Microsoft SQL Server and other sources, and you get the best of the three things (SSIS, SSAS, and SSRS) in one suite."
  • "It should be more user-friendly and simple."

What is our primary use case?

My team uses it. They majorly used to work on SSRS and SSIS.

What is most valuable?

It gives you an edge if you are on the Microsoft platform. If you have been using Microsoft products for a long time or if you have the Microsoft infrastructure, this is the right tool for you. It has seamless integration with Microsoft SQL Server and other sources, and you get the best of the three things (SSIS, SSAS, and SSRS) in one suite.

What needs improvement?

It should be more user-friendly and simple.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for almost five years.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their technical support is good.

What other advice do I have?

Companies that are Microsoft shop do prefer using this solution, but non-Microsoft companies or customers generally go for solutions such as Tableau and Domo. Companies that want to go really cheap without any tool costs generally go for an open-source solution. In terms of reporting, data visualization tools such as Tableau and Domo are its competitors. 

The pricing of all these tools will vary depending upon the licenses that you are using and the contract that you have, but from the ease-of-use perspective, Tableau is very easy to work with. A lot of work is being done on Tableau.

I would rate Microsoft BI an eight out of ten.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: partner
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