Tableau Room for Improvement
I attended a Tableau conference recently, and a quick improvement came to mind. When I am training people how to use it, I've come across situations where I've found it difficult to explain relationships. For example, when you want to blend data or when you want to show relationships, like when linking multiple tables; well, if you're an IT guy, that's easy. But if you are not an IT guy, you don't know anything about entity relationships, and it becomes a bit difficult for others to follow along.
It takes me a long time to get people to understand, even up to the point where I feel that this is the lowest level that I can go in terms of explaining it. I realized that many people don't really have any experience or knowledge about relationships between objects, and it makes it hard for me to get my teaching across.
So I was suspecting, and I think I made this recommendation, that Tableau could find an easier way to introduce relationships. For now, if you want to build relationships in Tableau, or even in Excel, you have things like Access modules and Sheets. But how do I know that I need to use one object with another for the relationship. And if you then put in a table, what do you do after that? You have to double click, but people don't know that you have to double click.
I was hoping that there's a way that they can make that process a bit easier, though I don't know how they will do it. Perhaps when you load Tableau and connect to a data source, there would be a prompt that asks you if you want to link two tables together. So if you want to link two tables together, maybe you do A, B, C, D.
That might help with the self-service idea. If you're talking about self-service, then it should be easy for people who do not have the time, or who do not have that IT background, to pick the data and use it correctly.
In addition, and more generally, what I would like to see more support for is predictive analytics. When you're doing descriptive analysis, Tableau is excellent, and it's easy to do. But when you are trying to predict something, like in Tableau's forecasting feature, it seems to require date fields, or it won't work.
But I can forecast something without relying on date fields; maybe I want to predict that a branch has to close if it doesn't want to make something soon. I don't need dates to do that. For this reason, I'm using Alteryx for predictive modeling instead of Tableau.
Overall, the only major frustration that I have had so far is with Tableau Public. I first used Tableau Public when I was building capacity, and when there was a later release to download and you wanted to upgrade, all your work would have to be manually re-entered. I don't know how they can solve that. I was expecting that they might make a release on this upgrade, and then I can hit upgrade and it will install over what ever I have already.
Otherwise, for now I think they are doing well and I know they're still adding a lot of features. But it does sometimes make our work difficult, for those of us who are building capacity, and who are regularly changing people around. It means you have to keep learning all the time.
Another small detail for improvement is that when you draw bar charts, the default color could be something more neutral like gray. Instead, the default is blue, and I don't exactly get why this is the case.View full review »
When it comes to visualizations, Tableau has a limitation as compared to Power BI. It has a limited set of visualizations. Power BI has the entire marketplace, so you can connect and import many visualizations and use them, whereas Tableau has only 10 or 15 visualizations. There should be more visualizations, and there should also be data integration with more cloud providers.
Tableau has recently launched a paid version for the documentation. So, documentation has become a little bit challenging when it comes to Tableau development because we do not have any tool to export the data out of it. It is a license-based feature that you need to purchase to prepare documentation. So, on the documentation front, for preparing clear documentation for any dashboard, it would help if we get an embedded option, rather than buying a license for each user for the documentation. To document anything, if I have to connect to each workbook and see what has been written as a formula and then document in the Word document, it is pretty time-consuming.
We have the Microsoft stack, and we are currently evaluating Power BI because Tableau has a limitation of 50 columns for a drill-down report. If we want more than 50 columns, we have found a hack, but there is no ready-made option for doing it. So, we have to use another tool in case we need a drilled report with more than 50 columns. There are many instances where users need 80 or 90 columns for their analysis, and switching between two technologies becomes a challenge. It is not a cost-effective approach for us.
Their support should be improved. We are not happy with their support. Whenever we raised queries, we were pointed to a few blogs, and we didn't get a proper solution from them.
Their licensing should also be improved. They want us to purchase a Tableau Creator license for business users, whereas Power BI Desktop is free for business users. They should come up with a basic license with one or two connectors that our business users can use for preparing their visualizations. Tableau also charges us per user for users who want the data only through email.
Global Head of Professional Services at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
From a downside perspective, some of the more advanced modeling techniques are actually fairly difficult to do. In addition, I just fundamentally disagree with the way you have to implement them because you can get incorrect answers in some cases.
One of the key challenges is that you never know whether it is how your developers developed it or whether it was the tool. We did find that once we got into more complex models, the ability to keep objects that should tally the same way but didn't became more and more difficult. That was probably the big thing for me. I don't know enough about how the tool was developed to know whether that was because they didn't follow a recommended practice. That was probably the number one thing that I found frustrating with it.
When we started to try and get into some very granular data sets that had some complex relationships in them, the performance on it degraded pretty quickly. It did degrade to such an extent that we couldn't use it. We had to change what we were trying to do and manage its scope so that we could get what we wanted out of it or reduce the scope of what we needed out of it. It doesn't have a database behind it, per se. So, while doing some of the more complicated things that you might otherwise do on a database, we started hitting some pretty significant challenges.View full review »
I would like to see the inclusion of a template to create a speedometer chart. I can understand that Tableau doesn’t have it as one of its default chart types because it’s not a good way to represent the data. Indeed that’s true, but speedometers are quite popular and once we had a client who was insistent on having highly-customizable speedometers and I had to spend a good amount of time to create them via multiple workarounds. In my experience, I've seen many customers who do not want to consider alternatives to speedometers.
I’ll address these two points:
- Speedometers/dial charts are a not-so-good way to represent data
- I had to resort to multiple workarounds to create a speedometer in Tableau
First, I’ll give you a few reasons as to why speedometers are not considered to be a good way to visualize data:
- Low data-ink ratio: ‘Data’ here refers to the data that you want to show on your chart/graph and ‘ink’ refers to the aesthetic elements of the chart such as lines, colors, indicators or any other designs. A low data-ink ratio implies that the quantity of ‘ink’ on the chart is very high relative to the small quantity of ‘data’ that is present on the chart. What does a speedometer or a dial chart do? It shows you the current state (value) of any system. Therefore, the data shown by the chart is just one number. Let’s come to the ‘ink’ part. Needless to say, there is a lot of ‘ink’ on a speedometer chart – so many numbers all around the dial, the dial itself, a needle that points to the actual number etc. The fundamental principle of data visualization is to communicate information in the simplest way possible, without complicating things. Therefore, best practices in data visualization are aimed at reducing visual clutter because this will ensure that the viewer gets the message – the right message – quickly, without being distracted or confused by unnecessary elements.
- Make perception difficult: The human brain compares lines better than it does angles – information in a linear structure is perceived more easily and quickly than that in a radial one.Let's say I’m showing multiple gauges on the same screen. What's the purpose of visualizing data? It's to enable the user to derive insights - insights upon which decisions can be taken. The more accurate the insights, the better the decisions. So, its best that the visualization does everything that helps the user understand it in the easiest possible way. Hence, the recommended alternative to a dial chart is a bullet chart
- Occupy more space: Assume that there are 4 key process indicators (KPIs) that I need to show on screen and the user needs to know whether each KPI is above or below a pre-specified target. If I were to use dial charts I’ll be creating 4 dials – one for each KPI. On the other hand, if I were to use bullets, I’ll be creating just one chart where the 4 KPIs will be listed one below the other and each one in addition to showing its actual and target values, will also show by how much the actual exceeds/falls short of the target in a linear fashion. As real estate on user interfaces is at a premium, believe me, this is definitely better.
Now, let me come to my situation where my client would not accept anything but a speedometer. As I’ve mentioned in the review, Tableau doesn’t provide a speedometer template by default. So when I was going through forums on the Internet I saw that people usually used an image of a speedometer and put their data on top of that image and thereby creating speedometers in Tableau.
This would not have worked in my case because my client wanted to show different bands (red, yellow and green) and the number of bands and bandwidths varied within and between dials. For example, one dial would have 2 red bands (one between 0 and 10 and the other between 90 and 100), 1 yellow band and 1 green band while another would have just one yellow band between 40 and 50 and no red or green bands. Also, these bands and bandwidths would be changed every month and the client needed to be able to do this on their own. Therefore, using a static background image of a dial was out of the question.
So, here’s what I did: I created an Excel spreadsheet (let’s call it data 1; used as one of the 2 data sources for the dial) in which the user would be able to define the bands and bandwidths. The spreadsheet had a list of numbers from one to hundred and against each number, the user could specify the band (red/green/yellow) in which it falls. The other data source (data 2) was an Excel sheet containing the numbers to be indicated on the dials. Then, in Tableau, I created a chart which had 2 pies – one on top of the other. Both the pies had numbers from 1 to 100 along the border, providing the skeleton for the dial. The top pie used data 1 and had the red, yellow and green bands spanning the numbers from 1 to 100. I then created a calculated field having an ‘if’ condition: if the number in data 2 matched the number in data 1, the field would have a value ‘yes’. Otherwise, it would have a value ‘no’. This will produce only 1 ‘yes’ and 99 ‘no’s’ because there will be only 1 true match. I put this calculated field onto the ‘Color’ shelf and chose black for ‘yes’ and white for ‘no’ – this formed the content of the bottom pie. So the bottom pie had 99 white colored slices (which looked like one huge slice) and just 1 black slice (which looked like a needle). I made the top pie containing the red, yellow & green bands more transparent and this gave the appearance of a needle pointing to the KPI value, also indicating into which band the number fell, thereby enabling the client to gauge their performance.View full review »
Tableau is an end-to-end analytics platform, and it is doing a pretty good job in terms of connecting to the data and analyzing it. It can, however, do better in terms of data management and the ETL features, which are not on the advanced analytics or machine learning side. Tableau Prep is where users would want to see more advancements. They can improve Tableau Prep, which is an analytic platform tool for data cleansing. People who work with data spend most of their time curating the data. Cleaning up the data and getting it ready for analysis is what takes the most time. If Tableau can invest more time in improving the Tableau Prep platform, it would be great.
Previously, Tableau didn't have the functionality for writing to a database. So, you couldn't really alter the database tables and write to your database, but they fixed that in one of the very recent releases. However, it isn't really advanced and should be improved.
The licensing costs of Tableau are on the higher side and probably if you wanted more adaptability in usage across business divisions you need to have more reasonable pricing of licenses of Tableau. Tableau is a standalone product. That is a disadvantage.
Due to the fact that it is a standalone product, it has to extract the data from other ERP systems or other bespoke systems and other data systems, etc. If you have big data systems and you have got other informed decision-making tools and the data is being extracted into Tableau it is dependent on many other platforms.
In contrast, if you use SAP vertical data systems and you have SAP's Data Hub, etc., then everything is vertically integrated. The whole data pipeline is vertically integrated and there is a visualization screen right there as well. Therefore, you don't normally have to go for a separate integration process altogether or need a data extraction solution.
In the end, Tableau has got two or three disadvantages in the sense that it is not a seamlessly integrated platform, end-to-end platform. It's purely a standalone reporting tool. On top of that, the licensing cost is extremely on the higher side. Thirdly, IT divisions probably are a little bit hesitant to use Tableau due to the fact that separate training is required, and separate skill sets are needed to develop everything.
The cost of owning the solutions from Tableau is much higher compared to any other analytical solutions.View full review »
An area needing improvement involves the complexity of the product should you need to alter a lot of parameters.
Definitely speaking, it's straightforward and it's very easy. Implementation problems can be dealt with by the client, in place of the user consultant. Let me give you some examples of things that could take long in a Tableau implementation. Suppose you have five different business areas in your company: marketing, supply chain, finance, HR and procurement. Let us suppose that access to HR salaries is not company-wide but is limited to only a select number of people in HR, such as the manager or the director of the department. Yet, I want people in the supply chain to be able to see and access different data from different areas. While this would not be technically difficult it would be time consuming if the businesses are very particular. There may be many policies involved in access authorization, in data availability and the like.
This can involve a very strict security process using an outside identity provider. Instead of just logging in your username and password, you may have different technologies which are more safe and secure that need different providers to interface in Tableau. Depending on the need, this will be time consuming. For instance, while I don't know how this would be in your country, suppose you have an identity provider, in Brazil, marketing in Tableau. If you go to Asia, you may sometimes have a bio-metric identity that your hand or fingers employ which is going to get back at you. In that circumstance, they are going to send you a number or a code in your cellphone, requiring two steps, one to enter the bank and the other to withdraw your money. So, these things we call an outside identity provider, meaning a different vendor or different companies who manage the servers of managing identities. These would entail an integration with Tableau and these outside companies for security purposes. This would involve them sending me files and me sending them back in order to authenticate the user into the Tableau server.
This can be time-consuming because they involve or require a different partner. Tableau is made for basic needs, such as requiring a user and a password to log in to the server; an unsophisticated architecture; or use of a single instead of a cluster of servers. If you have non-specific data security needs or you just want to analyze and sell data, that can take less than a day. But if you have technical servers, many interfaces, different providers and more serious processes, that will be time consuming.
While Tableau does integrate with Arc server and Python server, the integration process is slow and the information is integrated in a protracted fashion. Sometimes your data will vary. You may have a vector of data. You may have a matrix of data. For some algorithms we do not use regular data, but a different data structure. Tableau does not work with these different data structures. As such, interfacing with Arc server and Python server, which are still languages that are widely used in machine learning, all happen slowly. It does not happen by a matrix of data and data vector.
Director Consultoria at tecnoscala consulting
There were a lot of dashboards everywhere in the organization, however, when the company wanted to get the operational databases they were not connected.
The solution needs to improve its integration capabilities.
The performance and security could be better.
Many people saw Tableau as a silver bullet and it isn't. It's good for small things, however, not for an institutional way of doing things.
I'd like to see better integration with SAP.
I'd like an integrated ETL or some sort of data preparation capabilities.View full review »
There is another ETL tool for Tableau that is new. It takes time to reach some level of experience. IN Power BI, they have Power Query. I find it easier to convert the information in Power Query with a single shortcut key. That's not an option in Tableau.
You have to prepare your data. It will take a lot of time to clean the data.
There's no mature ETL tool in Tableau, which is quite a negative for them. They need to offer some built-in ETL tool that has a nice and easy drag-and-drop functionality.
There needs to be a bit more integration capability.View full review »
Manager BI/Analytics and Data Management at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
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.
I would like to have the product be more flexible in terms of creating online shared dashboards. When I need to publish a public dashboard, I use Tableau Public. However, I don't find it flexible compared to Tableau Online, which is the paid version. Tableau Public is a free Tableau portal in which I can publish my data, however, Tableau Public doesn't provide the flexibility that I find in Tableau Online. If we compare this with other tools, such as Zoho Analytics, for example, publishing web-based shared dashboards is more flexible, in terms of publishing web-based shared dashboards.
If they can add the feature of machine learning and the predictive analysis to Tableau, it would be very helpful. After Salesforce acquired Tableau, they have been merging Salesforce with Tableau, in terms of machine learning. That said, in this case, I need to use two products - Salesforce and Tableau. I want to have the Einstein tool, which is available now in Salesforce, be integrated into Tableau, so I don't have to use Salesforce for machine learning, to use the Einstein tool, and I can use Tableau for the product. If the Einstein tool for machine learning is integrated into Tableau, that would be very good for us.
Solution Architect at a computer software company with 201-500 employees
I also work as an SME on the platform side. Tableau is very nice and jazzy for the end-users, but there are pain points for the admins. Performance is something about which we hear a lot of complaints, such as the dashboard doesn't open in time. It performs well on the desktop but not on the server. I know that there is always a limitation when it comes to a huge amount of data or the complexity of the calculations, but we often hear from end-users about the performance on the server side. It is easy to drag and drop all the columns and do what we want, but if it is not going to load better on the server, users are not going to like it.
Their standard support is not good. They should improve it. I don't know if it has anything to do with the acquisition, but lately, their support has not been great.
Their upgrades have always been an issue. They never work.
Tableau is a little bit costlier than other tools such as Power BI.
They should make it easy to integrate with tools like SharePoint, Teams, OneDrive, etc. Its integration with Office 365 should be improved because most of the users already have tools like Outlook, Teams, and SharePoint, and they want to integrate a reporting tool or a visualization tool with their existing tools.
It is very easy to integrate scripting in Spotfire. We can do a lot of changes in the UI by writing some scripts. That could be something that Tableau can look into. They can also consider providing APIs, but most of the people who work with Tableau do not really work much on the scripting side. So, I am not sure if it is feasible or required technically.View full review »
Most of the problems in Tableau Online that I have noticed have to do with performance or weird, inexplicable bugs that I can't pin down. For example, you might try unloading some data, and you'll be waiting for a long time without anything happening.
These bugs always seem to happen when we perform big upgrades or do maintenance work, and we have had to send a lot of tickets for unexplained issues during these times. It doesn't seem to be a problem only for us, but also for customers all over the world, such as in Ireland, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and the US, too.
As for future features, I would like to see major upgrades in Bridge and the Flow Tool, allowing us to do more data engineering work. I think it would give Tableau a big edge in the market to look into how to incorporate more data engineering tools into their product.
Besides that, I would also like the charts to be more realistic and easier on the eyes.
Tableau would be really good if we could have predefined templates. I was doing a POC another newer tool, Einstein Analytics. They have predefined templates already set up. These predefined templates do the heavy lifting for the initial dashboards. We don't have to build them from scratch. Our dashboards look really good and 20 to 30% of the look and feel of the dashboard completes with the predefined templates. If Tableau works on the predefined templates, that would be so helpful to a lot of companies. It would save time for the developers.
The pricing is a bit higher than the competition. They'll need to lower it to stay competitive.
They need to move more into machine learning AI. Right now, in a POC that I'm doing with Einstein Analytics, they are more into machine learning and AI. Tableau is lagging as of now. If they want to have a long run in the market, they need to integrate machine learning and AI. It has to be very robust.View full review »
I think predictive analytics is the main driver of business decisions and hence Tableau should strengthen the ability to make predictions.
The forecasting feature in Tableau in my view is too limited because it must have dates but I should be able to predict the outcome of an event without having a date as part of the input.
In situations where you are analyzing or using just one measure such as Sales, Tableau does not create the header for you. Furthermore, it is not straightforward as to how to create it.
I would like to have the ability to perform multiple pivots and creating different variables. For example, if I have the regional population for six regions and branch offices, together with the number of clients per branch, all as a record or observation, then I should be able to pivot them separately resulting in the Region, Population, Branch, and Clients.View full review »
The product could be improved with more features in data analytics. Tableau is not currently a good database for handling built-in models for data science in order to test, train and run the models. It's not currently an AI tool or a tool for machine learning. Right now it's more for non-expert users. If they could improve their analytical capabilities for data science tasks, it would be a better product. In order to carry out data science tasks now, we have to use Vertica for big data projects to discover and run machine learning models. It would be very good if they had their own machine learning capabilities built in. I'd like to see more features in data analytics, AI and machine learning capabilities.View full review »
DATA STRATEGY at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
The attention we receive from the partner manager would be an issue for us. The use case to have them is a bit niche. Not everyone wants a cookie-cutter analysis and it ends up being plain and not very specific. It's nice sometimes to do that. The expert analysts work on the solution once or twice or three times, and they get to a final dashboard. However, if you use a Tableau final dashboard, you can feel that it was not designed to just be used as a dashboard. Playing with that dashboard is not the end-game. It is not the final objective.
There are two types of users. There are those that are smart and proactive and constantly discovering new cases. Those are the ones that will benefit from Tableau. The others tend to just want to use dashboards, and they won't get as much out of the experience.
The data entered into Tableau must be clean. Otherwise, it won't work properly.
The support for vendors could be a bit better. There isn't much helpful communication happening.View full review »
I have used Power BI as well as Tableau. There are a couple of interesting features that I like in Power BI, but they are not present in Tableau. For example, in Power BI, if I am looking at country-wise population, I can type and ask for the country that has the maximum population, and it will automatically give an answer and address that query. This kind of feature is not there in Tableau.
Similarly, in Power BI, for integrating with the latest ML algorithms, we have decision trees and primarily multiple machine learning algorithms. The decision tree essentially visualizes the patterns in the data. We don't have such a feature in Tableau. If Tableau can integrate with the machine learning algorithms and help us to do visualizations, it would be a wonderful combination. Most of the people are going for Tableau primarily for visualization purposes. However, in the data science industry, users want to do model building as well as tell a story. As of now, Tableau is fulfilling the requirements for visualization purposes. If they can bring it up to a level where I can use it for machine learning purposes as well as for visualization, it would be very helpful. Many people who want to do data science don't want to write a code. Tableau is anyway a drag and drop tool, and if they can provide those options as well, it will be a powerful combination.View full review »
Digital Strategy Manager at a energy/utilities company with 10,001+ employees
Tableau is good, however, it lacks a bit on the integration side if you compare it to Power BI, for example. Power BI has quite a good amount of connectors. Even though Tableau does have some, Power BI works well with the Microsoft environment and most of the firms are in granular detail. That's where Microsoft shines. Maybe Tableau can collaborate with other bigger, well-recognized solutions in order to get an edge in the market the way Power BI does with Microsoft.
The pricing is a bit expensive.
There's a bit of a learning curve for those new to implementing the solution.
An improvement would be changing the design of the layout of the dashboard from the business side. Sometimes there are requests for the possibility to enhance the performance and the data depending on what they need more of. It depends on the situation.View full review »
- Conditional formatting could be an interesting feature to provide to final users. It is a long-term request of our users.
- The data preparation/blending options are very basic. They could be improved.
- More willing to hear customer/user suggestions.
IT Manager of Integration at a non-tech company with 1,001-5,000 employees
The product needs to allow for better ways to drill down more effectively on the information at hand. Users should be able to dive into the information in an easier way. Right now, it's a bit too difficult.View full review »
Business Intelligence at a tech services company with 5,001-10,000 employees
In the last year, I haven't really used Tableau much. Therefore, I don't really know what new features there are currently or if there are fixes or improvements that have occurred in the last year.
Maybe the price could be a bit cheaper, especially if you're a personal developer that uses Tableau just to explore smaller data sets and you're not a company or something like that. Specifically for learning purposes, it could be cheaper. I know there is a student license, however, there could be a cheaper option for people who are maybe just starting to explore data and to use data visualization tools.View full review »
I'm not sure if the solution needs any improvements. It's the best solution we have here right now.
The pricing is high. I'm using a student license, however, I know that even this license is very expensive. I've tried to have this product in our organization, however, it's quite expensive. We don't have the internal budget.
If you're looking for other kinds of data, for example, non-structured data, they could make it much easier to use this kind of data. Tableau could create other features just for data visualization and non-structured data. It's a beautiful solution when you've got frames and tables. It's structured. However, if you don't have this kind of information on the data, it's quite difficult to use Tableau. I would say that if you have any feature that opens the opportunity to work with non-structured data, it would be excellent. For example, we do end up creating a lot of word clouds. With unstructured data it just doesn't translate quite right.
If you could use non-structured data to count the frequency of important words to find which word is more important, for example, that would be useful. I don't see Tableau doing this - counting the frequency of important words in a specific kind of text.
It would also be great if there was statistical modeling for non-structured data.View full review »
Its price is a concern. It is more expensive than Power BI. The other thing that I never liked about Tableau is its ability to handle large sets of data. To present the data in the dashboards, we have to stage it up exactly like it is going to come into the dashboard. We use another tool called Alteryx that does that for us. So, we manipulate the data, get it staged, and then push it into Tableau. Tableau is terrible at handling large data sets, and we knew right away that we couldn't use Tableau to do data manipulation.View full review »
Assistant Manager at a consumer goods company with 10,001+ employees
Many things have to be improved in Tableau. Right now, we make the calculation, and then we get that information. It would be better if business users could do that. I would ask the people at Tableau to provide that option to business users to get that information in one click.
It would be better if they automated some calculations. There should be more automation in Tableau. However, there are many things in automation mode, but it is very limited at the moment. We need automation for people who do not know much about Tableau. It would also be better if there were good community support like in Alteryx.View full review »
Managing Partner at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Tableau's automatic insight could be improved. It has some predefined capabilities to understand the data, but I think they need more. Customers need more insight automatically from data—they don't want to discover them, they want to get the forecast automatically.
The data preparation should also be improved because it's not easy.
Tableau tries to focus on the business side, but the backend side has not improved much. They also have an ETS solution, but it's limited.View full review »
Business Analyst at a media company with 10,001+ employees
The price is definitely a point that can be improved because smaller firms, like my bank firm, don't use Tableau because it's an expensive tool. If there were an option that catered toward smaller firms, that would be great because Tableau does in fact help with a lot of different kinds of data sources. For instance, it lets you upload CSV on Excel. However, other tools that we currently use, such as Looker, do not let you upload Excel files for ad hoc analysis. So, definitely, this is something price-wise that can be catered toward smaller firms.
Creating variables, creating new fields in Tableau during analysis, actually adds columns to the data. That's something that could potentially give us an option. Do you want it as a column added to the data set or do you want it ad hoc in the visualization sheet? So if you create a measurement or a dimension, that creates a new column, but if you try to create a new filter directly on the visualization, it doesn't let you rename it. Basically what you see is just the calculation that you put in there. If you wanted to create something without making it an extra column in the data set, you can't just rename it to a more user-friendly short name. An improvement would be adding the ability to rename ad hoc creations if you do create a mark or a filter on the visualization. That doesn't really get added to the actual data fields.View full review »
Data Management Team Lead at a energy/utilities company with 201-500 employees
Truthfully, this solution offers pretty much everything that I need for my everyday tasks.
It seems that power BI is more targeted for report creation while Tableau is more of just a dashboard. If you need to have something report-like, or downloadable to share outside of the dashboard, that's where Tableau is lacking some features.
Users would like to be able to export an Excel file when they see a table or something like that. That's not an out-of-the-box feature for Tableau.
If you mainly need a tool for BI reporting, it's not the best option. Tableau needs better abilities to generate simple reports, integrate, create databases, and work with data lakes.
Director of Product Management at a computer software company with 11-50 employees
There is a lot more that can be done with Tableau than what is actually happening within Juniper. The company is not getting the answers to the questions directly from the Tableau database, for example. Of course, Tableau can be extended to answer those questions.
What is happening, with so many tools coming up in the market, is that people have to continuously get educated in order to use some of the more advanced features. What's happening with Tableau is that, except for the dashboard view and all the filtering and that's happening from a dashboard perspective, it doesn't seem to be very good in making me understand the trend insights. For example, if I saw that the average sales price for Product A was lower than the average sales price for Product B, I'm not saying that B is inferior to A or anything. I'm just noting what I found and I cannot give more details. It doesn't go deeper into the analysis. I'd like more analysis to better understand what a trend might mean, and not just a report that a trend is happening. Right now, Tableau is not so good at providing that extra bit of insight.
What happens is Tableau data is used very often. From the quarterly business reviews, et cetera, the executives have direct access to the Tableau dashboard. More than anything else, they're able to do all this filtering. They could probably improve the user interface response times. When it comes to slicing and dicing of data viewing the results, it needs to be just easier in general as executives are using it and looking at it, and they are not very technical.
When executives look at the Tableau dashboard, they want to know why, for example, Product A bringing in less than Product B. Those kinds of key questions, which come from executives for reviewing the Tableau data need to be addressed and in a simple to understand way. I think Tableau has to work a little more in terms of the business insights aspect of it, where it communicates to the user and answers their questions. That intelligence part needs to be developed in Tableau.
Something great would be, if, for example, like in Google, if you asked a question, it could feed you back potential information. I don't want to compare everything to Google, however, it's so easy to find the answers you need in the way Google is set up. If Tableau could do something similar to showcase answers to questions, that would be ideal. It needs some sort of smart dashboard.View full review »
This solution has some features which really needs to be improved. For example, the sorting feature, If we compare it with ClixSense, ClixSense has a direct sorting feature available to users. Wherein Tableau, we have to go and create a parameter, make it dynamic, force users to click somewhere else on the filter, and then maybe you can sort it. Tableau is really new for sorting features.
With performance tuning, it generates a pretty complex query when it is not required. We do not actually write 100 lines of code for a single KPI indicator. What we do is run the performance tuning model which will give 100-200 lines of code for a single KPI. That is not exactly an optimized query. While running performance tuning on the query, it should be pretty optimized, but it does not seem to be doing this.View full review »
SAP BusinessObjects has some semantic layer designs that give the flexibility to do ad hoc reporting or dashboard designing. If that can be brought into Tableau, it would be great. We have the data in the database, but we should also be able to bring something between the database and the dashboard and do some semantic layer modeling for ad hoc reporting requirements.View full review »
Associate at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
I have noticed that Tableau is not very compatible with ClickHouse. There's no direct connection to ClickHouse; you have to set up an ODBC connection.
Tableau's performance takes a hit if you have huge data. The stability and scalability could be improved.View full review »
Its documentation can be improved so that a user can get a good hands-on experience. Tableau is well documented, and on their website, there are a lot of tutorials that are available for free. I started my learning process through those tutorials, but there are certain loopholes in those tutorials, which only got filled through a couple of good YouTube channels that talk about Tableau. YouTube helped me a lot. So, the documentation could be better, I understand that it is evolving day by day, and with more usage, there would be more such documentation.
There are a couple of features that are only available in the cloud version, and I would like to see them in the hosted version. We can only use them in a demo or temporary account for 10 or 15 days, but I would love to see those features in the hosted version that I am using, which is Tableau Public.View full review »
Project Manager at a local government with 51-200 employees
Personally, I have not extensively used it, and therefore it's hard to think of areas that might need improvement as I haven't fully experienced every aspect of the product.
I'd like to see more advanced forms of charting, if possible.
There should be more widgets that would help less trained individuals create charts with less difficulty.
Tableau probably does not have advanced big data analysis features. It's not in the same category. It doesn't have those features to the same degree as R. You do this recreational; kind of modeling and analytics. It does have some predictive items, however, it's very simple. You can't customize much.View full review »
The solution requires a lot of user training before reports can be created. That can make things difficult and require us to have Tableau specialists. It's difficult for a newbie to start developing reports.
Tableau queries and analytics, as well as development could be improved. The solution could also include an option to incorporate more open source libraries. I know Tableau has this closed loop so they might not want to provide that but if they did have integration capabilities with open-source libraries, I think that would be great.
Associate Director at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
While my experience has been mostly positive, there are certain limitations, as every tool has.
If I have to develop any, for example, pie charts, I can develop them just fine. However, if I have to develop a donut chart, that I cannot do it in a simple way. There are tricks that I need to use if I have to design a donut chart. It should be more flexible and provide more visualization options.
It does not provide detailed reporting like other reporting tools such as Microstrategy or Cognos, or other enterprise reporting solutions.
If they could provide better reporting as well as visualization, it would be a perfect product.
Pricing is a major thing. If someone has to use it within an organization, it is not that cost-effective, especially when a competitor like Power BI or some other reporting tool comes almost free along with their cloud solution. If someone is opting for any cloud solution, any cloud platform, especially if I talk about Microsoft, they will give you Power BI almost free of cost, or at a minimal cost. In such scenarios, people would prefer using Power BI or a similar kind of tool rather than using Tableau. That is a major concern which Tableau should look into.View full review »
Research & Development Expert at a energy/utilities company with 11-50 employees
The integration with other program languages, like Python, needs to be better. I know the capability is there, however, there needs to be better integration. There needs to be integration for machine learning and AI. That would help data analysts and data scientists quite a bit.View full review »
Senior Manager.Marketing Strategy & Analysis. at a marketing services firm with 10,001+ employees
There is a lack of visualization in Tableau which could be improved. For example, if you want to do a Sankey in Tableau, you have to do a lot of work to do it. Sankeys are available, they are for sale for a minimum of $400, which is out of the question. Whereas if I wanted to do a Sankey, it is simple for me to use a free visualization and put in the data, and from what I already have, receive a fancy Sankey.
Whenever it comes to specialized visualization, Tableau is an absolute failure.
The integration between Tableau and our statistics software or other software, such as Python is very loose and undefined. If they improve that it would be a benefit.View full review »
The forecast instrument. I still use my primary software (that is Quantrix Modeler) to build my financial models.
I’m not saying that is a “static” platform at the moment, it’s dynamic due to the fact that you can build parameters, however it's not the same as a spreadsheet in which you can write formulas and algotythms that are more and more complex.
Scalability for large amounts of data needs improvement, as well as its performance.
From a scheduling perspective, if there is a sync up of the desktop dashboard into the server that we can publish as a web version, in an accessible way, that publishing scales and keeps on executing for hours. This can go on for eight to nine hours, but you have no indicator, you don't even see that it is processing. For example, there is no spinning wheel and all I see is a black screen.
The interface can be improved, in part because there is no indication that something is running or that it's processing. I would like to have some kind of indication that there is something processing on the interface.
Technical support could be faster or if they have any limitations of the product, they should openly communicate it. They could also just tell you that this product is intended for small volumes of data and may even suggest another solution.View full review »
Its price should be improved. Its price is much higher than Power BI and QlikView.
Tableau Public, which is a community version, doesn't allow you to save your work on your desktop. They should allow it. Currently, you can only upload it in the community.View full review »
DW/BI Architect at a retailer with 10,001+ employees
Tableau had some issues with parameters. In particular, prior to version 2020, they did not have dynamic parameters.
Tableau cannot work with cubes or MDX (multidimensional expressions).
For enterprise-level users that are computing millions of records, they need to improve the features.View full review »
Senior BI Manager at a comms service provider with 10,001+ employees
They must have a write-back solution. You must have the ability to write back into the database, otherwise, it prevents full automation.
That's one reason why people still need their own Excel sheets and other tools where they can interact with data that's already in the database. You win completely the moment you load that in, in a central way. You could say that you are completely automated.
They need a write-back; that is what is missing. If they get the write back to the database, they will be fully automated, but for the time being, they are not.View full review »
Lead Data Scientist at a financial services firm with 11-50 employees
It will be good if the server could be more stable, and I would like to have the technical service to be more reliable.
I would like a better response time without having to wait for a week just to get feedback.View full review »
Manager at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Data cleansing and data transformation functionality need to be improved. Tableau is not a full-stack BI tool, like Sisense. Including this type of functionality would add flavor to the tool.
The main point is that Tableau requires the data to be in a certain format for the end-user, in order for them to create charts. If it's not in a certain format, or in a certain structure, then the user will have to manipulate it.
The charts in Tableau are quite limited.
The extraction, transformation and loading of data in Tableau takes a lot of time and we do not have confidence that Tableau is showing all the data we need. This is due to limitations on data extraction which needs to be improved.
We experience user restrictions using Tableau and require a more dynamic setup for extraction of data, configuration of reports and providing access to users.
Tableau useful for dashboard reporting, however, there are limitation on the number of rows of data you can view in a report. It is for this reason that we use Tableau alongside other reporting solutions. Tableau does not support any HTML coding in the same way Power BI does.
There is a maximum number of tables we can use in Tableau. This could be improved in a future release.View full review »
I think Tableau could be improved with cheaper or more flexible licensing, though this is a generic improvement and applies for any product. It would be better if they had more flexible payment and licensing plans so that they could suit small- and mid-sized organizations.View full review »
Principal Partner at a tech consulting company with 51-200 employees
With Tableau, when you're dealing with very large datasets, it can be slow so the performance is an area that can be improved.
The security can be improved.View full review »
Performance and Business Intelligence Specialist at a transportation company with 1,001-5,000 employees
All of the BI tools have graphical interfaces but when it comes to the learning environment, not every tool has everything. To be the best in the market, Tableau has to improve its user interface and also look into developing implementing the best machine learning algorithms.
Including data storage capabilities would be helpful.
During the data crunching phase, it takes time for Tableau to connect, integrate, and download the data. In general, it takes a lot of time for the ETL process.
Increasing the trial period to six months would allow people to better learn and assess the tool to determine whether it suits their needs.
Given the price of BI tools, Tableau should consider giving a scholarship to people so that they can learn how to work with the tool. It would be helping some of the people who lost their jobs during this pandemic. If the users learn and become certified on Tableau, it would help to get more people interested in the tool.View full review »
Senior tech architect at a computer software company with 1,001-5,000 employees
One thing I would want to change for Tableau is to have a lower-cost model. It's pretty high for enterprise deployment.
In the next release, I would like to have the capability to call machine learning models within Python while I'm building a dashboard. The value calculation should be a machine learning model, which is running somewhere else, on say, Amazon. These tools give good outputs, like calculated fields and all. But today the outputs are not straightforward. In simple terms, I need machine learning on the fly. That is not there.View full review »
Manager at Accenture
When you're working on a dashboard, you can't select multiple components at a time and align them, so you have to go one by one. This is very cumbersome if you're floating, and it loses in comparison to Power BI, which does allow multiple selections. In the next release, I would like to see an enhancement of the prescriptive analytics features.View full review »
Technical Lead at a computer software company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Its integration with Microsoft products such as Teams should be improved.View full review »
I'd like it to work without the workflow or pushing options from the build, every time you need to do a refresh. We need a workflow for pushing the data to the cloud or to the server when you are using the pre-built application, the new application.
In the cloud sometimes the performance is a little bit slow.View full review »
MBA, MS Business Analytics at a consultancy with 1,001-5,000 employees
It's a little more complicated than Power BI.
More visualization options, but not the same as in Power BI, where there are simply more options. I see very few options here. Many of these must be customized and custom-built, which is a lengthy process.
I would like to see more options in visualization customization.
People are migrating to Microsoft BI due to the speed, which is quite slow to load, and the lack of visualization options. There are a few default options in Power BI that Tableau does not have.
I would like to see the added visualizations and possibly an easier way to process data, which are useful now that we all have Power BI, there is a whole power query interface that directly links to Microsoft BI, whereas with Tableau, I would have to go through an entirely different process for it.View full review »
Lead Data Architect at a computer software company with 201-500 employees
It should have more integration with different tools and technologies. Its licensing cost should also be improved.View full review »
Owner at a consultancy with 11-50 employees
I am not a frequent user of this solution, so I am not sure what they've been doing recently. The last time when I used it, I had to use other tools with it for data extraction and cleansing.
Its price should also be improved. It is more expensive than Power BI. In terms of training, there is generally better online training for Power BI, but I am not sure of that. It would be helpful to know from where to access its training.View full review »
The price could be better. The overall scalability can also be improved. I would like to see more machine learning components to do predictive analytics. It should be simple for our customers to use. Tableau should include an automated machine learning feature in the next release.View full review »
Senior Consultant at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
The process of embedding the dashboards on external portals and websites could be improved. We also experienced challenges with integration with analytics.
In an upcoming release, if the capabilities of Tableau Prep are improvised and expanded, that would be an added advantage.View full review »
Director - Technology Operations at a educational organization with 10,001+ employees
There are no significant improvements needed.
It would be nice to include more features on each dashboard.View full review »
Some of the functionality of the dashboard can be difficult to operate and the color pallets are limited. They need to improve the icons and the filters, because they look too old, resembling Excel from 1997. It would be helpful if the solution was less difficult to use.View full review »
They currently don't have a great Workday connector. Right now, Tableau can connect to more than 80 different types of databases or data sources, but it's challenging to connect with a few types, like Workday. So if they can come up with a better version or a connector for Workday, it will solve a lot of problems.View full review »
I would look at Tableau's security and performance. I take a long time to process the hundreds of thousands or millions of records that must be processed every day. I am hoping that it can be improved very soon.
Data Management and Analytics Manager at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employees
There could be improvements on the mobile application, it is lacking features.View full review »
BI technical analyst at a government with 11-50 employees
The data preparation could integrate better with Tableau.View full review »
Manager, Business Intelligence at a healthcare company with 5,001-10,000 employees
We need big servers to perform the operations that we are doing. They should probably relook at its architecture.
There are limitations to the data source that we are building. We can put only 32 tables in a data source, which means we have to transfer some of the workload to a database.View full review »
The customization requires a lot of effort and should be simplified. The performance could be better. When comparing the performance of Tableau to other solutions, such as Microsoft BI, they are not as good.View full review »
Ratna Sekhar Aradhyula
Architect at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
I am a BI consultant. I have worked on different reporting tools, such as Power BI and MicroStrategy. As compared to other tools, Tableau lags behind in handling huge enterprise-level data in terms of robust security and the single integrated metadata concept. When we connect to large or very big databases, then performance-wise, I sometimes found Tableau a little bit slow.
It can have the single metadata concept like other tools for the reusability of the objects in multiple reports.View full review »
An issue that is common to both Tableau and Power BI is with large data sets. When it comes to large datasets, the data should be extracted faster.
Tableau should offer the end-user a desktop version that is free where they can go in and practice. There are other solutions that offer it for free such as Huawei, and the desktop version of Power BI is also free.
People tend to know if they want to learn visualization. They don't have a proper tool in place, they don't know how to or where to go to learn. If you give them the tool to learn and let them explore when they want to go into production, people are able to purchase the license. A 14-day trial version would not be enough time.View full review »
The data processing in Tableau is pathetic compared to Qlik.
In Qlik, I can replace my ELD layer for an application. This can't be done in Tableau.
The initial processing of data in Tableau takes a lot of effort.
If there could be a feature that a particular visual can be exported or just the data behind the particular visual can be exported in one single click, just one button on a visual and it exports the relevant data out to Excel or a CSV output, that would be good.View full review »
Expert Analyst at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
When you create new fields in Tableau and you enter the formulas, there is a new small window that is there in the interface. You can enter the calculated fields, it could be more user-friendly. At this time it is limited and hard to understand at the beginning. The fields should be easier to use, such as in Microsoft Excel. You can have a difficult time understanding what to do in the fields, you end up doing trial and error to figure it out.View full review »
The charts need to be improved. The drawings and the visualization need to be more accurate.
I would like to see the visualization improved.View full review »
Business Intelligence Analyst at a government with 10,001+ employees
There are more than a powerful tool in the market, such as Microsoft BI.View full review »
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.View full review »
Senior Manager Analytic & Insights at a hospitality company with 10,001+ employees
It would be nice if we could export more raw data. Currently, there is a limit as to how much data you can export.View full review »
Lead of Business Intelligence at a energy/utilities company with 10,001+ employees
The Hyper Extract functionality is not as strong as that provided by Microsoft SQL.
Tableau is not as strong as Oracle OBIEE in some regards.View full review »
Some of our clients are looking for better UI when using Tableau as they often work with this solution directly.
The solution could be improved by facilitating integration with data lakes such as Google Cloud Platform. Some of our clients have around 1 billion lines in their tables and usually we need to scale them from MySQL to a Google Cloud Platform.
Data Analyst at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
I'd like to see a greater ability for customization because there are certain things that are lacking in that area.View full review »
Operations Manager at iWantGreatCare
The cost of the solution should be improved.
Reports should be downloadable as PDF files. Emails containing images of dashboards can be scheduled, but there is still demand for creating printable PDF snapshot views of dashboards. UPDATE - In fairness to Tableau, with the right design, dashboards that are downloadable can be created ad-hoc.View full review »
Founder at a tech services company with self employed
When I've done presentations in the past, I've had issues with uploading the cartography.View full review »
Senior Product Manager at a retailer with 10,001+ employees
Areas for improvement would be visualization and augmented analytics. In the next release, I would like to see automated insights from the data added to the dashboard.View full review »
Data Analyst at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
I would like Tableau Prep to be integrated with Tableau Desktop. I would also like more customizations for tables.
Its setup should be simple. It is complex to deploy if you work in a test environment.View full review »
Senior Data Analyst at a consultancy with 10,001+ employees
When compared to Power BI, it is less user-friendly.
The interface needs a major overhaul.View full review »
Presidente at EDR
A strict security measure is needed. I believe it is weak in terms of security.View full review »
Project Manager at a government with 51-200 employees
There should be more GIS features, such as location analysis, which is quite limited. There are very few location-based functionalities.
I currently have to use another Tableau solution that allows me to combine different data sources and do the data cleaning. I think they should combine these solutions together.View full review »
Fleet Reporting Specialist at a pharma/biotech company with 10,001+ employees
Tableau would be difficult to implement without training or the in-house technical support we have.View full review »
The customization in the front end is a bit difficult. If they provide any utility or UI feature, where a user can do their own customization it would be great.
I would like to see an option to customize your own reports. Not being able to customize is a pain point for the developers.View full review »
The development part should be better. We are putting a lot of effort in during development, so if we face any struggles, we have to find workaround solutions on the internet. It would be nice to have new workaround solutions and other options. Every customer has different expectations, so sometimes it's hard to find the right solution.View full review »
Solutions Engineer at a computer software company with 201-500 employees
The solution is integrated reasonably well but I'd like to see some custom connectors and more integration with different platforms.View full review »
Director of Professional Services, Analytics at a computer software company with 5,001-10,000 employees
With Tableau, there is a gap in its ability to handle very large-scale data. I would like it to be similar to the rest of the solutions, which can handle terabytes of data.View full review »
The charting is overly complex in comparison with Power BI's
The calculations are harder, as the focus is on a little level of detail instead of on making a column. Power BI and Tableau are a bit more detailed when it comes to creating calculations. It's not possible to merely add two columns together, but there is a need to build a calculation. Simply put, calculations can be a little more complex in Tableau. I'd like to see the ability just to add and subtract columns, to make it like a wizard.
It should offer better features for customization. It would be nice to have features such as border design.View full review »
In the next release, there should be more information describing each chart because users have a difficult time telling them apart. They should also include the animations/videos, similar to Power BI.
I also think that the trial period should be extended. It is currently only twenty-one days which is a short amount of time to get acquainted with the solution.View full review »
Vice President at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Tableau has so many functions, so sometimes it's hard to find the right solution quickly. I have to search multiple menu bars to find the right command.View full review »
Head of Data Architecture at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
I would like the solution to have certain features allowing the delivery of reports to the email. For example, publishing Pixel Perfect reports.View full review »
The user story model is the most deceptive part of Tableau. It is a big marketing option, however, the reality is that it is not enough.View full review »