IT Central Station is now PeerSpot: Here's why

I'm looking for real info about licensing, ease of setup and other costs involved. Can you help?

PeerSpot user
Business Analyst at a tech services company with 51-200 employees

I am doing a visualisation/reporting product evaluation for a startup company.  Through various criteria I have zeroed down on two visualisation solutions:

  1. Tableau
  2. Sisense

The question I have is about transparency of costs, especially with regard to Tableau (Sisense is rather guarded about this), I have been in touch with a reseller who blows all roses about pricing. I have also done research and seen differences.

Could you kindly help me out with real info about licensing. I am leaning more towards the desktop version.

Also, what is the ease of setup and costs involved? (Including any training that you might have encountered with your projects.)

Kind regards,


PeerSpot user
1111 Answers

it_user137202 - PeerSpot reviewer

Thanks everyone for the great input... I have zeroed down to Tableau; and will shortly post my reasons for doing so. I DO hope they will help future products selectors.



it_user73638 - PeerSpot reviewer

I was in the same boat. Sisense said if you have any single table of more than half a billion rows, its big data and costs are 25k plus for server version. Though Sisense said they would offer discount later, I was put of by their price for 10 licenses. Tableau scored better when we try to weight average the features for our requirements.

it_user137202 - PeerSpot reviewer

Dear Peter,

Your analysis is so ever helpful. The imaginary TCO as broken down is quite helpful too. Will definitely incorporate your insights into my final analysis.

Thank you.

it_user109818 - PeerSpot reviewer

I work with a competing product, QlikView, but the rules are similar. Tableau and QlikView are 1 and 2 respectively in the Gartner Leadership quadrant and are similar in design, hence my answering specific issues as follows:

Licensing costs are normally your outright purchase plus 20% for annual maintenance, and then 20% of the purchase price going forward. There should be nothing "hidden" in the licensing costs.

Where you do have the potential to have cost creep is with the models required. It is obviously not feasible to put all information for all areas of a company in a single model, so what you might find is that as the product gains traction in the organisation, more models are required. to use an example:

You buy a Small Business edition with 10 license at $20,000 incl 1st year maintenance. Year two will cost you $4,000 assuming no price increase.

You have one model created at $8,000. Then you need a 2nd, third, and 4th to cater for different needs. All of a sudden you have spent R20,000 on the licenses and $32,000 on models. There is some backwards compatibility with new versions, but assume maintenance on those models of $2,000 per model in say year three. Year three then costs you $4,000 annual maintenance plus $8,000 model maintenance.

Next scenario, the data source - lets say an ERP or Accounting system, releases a major upgrade. fields are changed, and you need to do changes on all your models another = $8,000. the key then is to try to ensure you align both source and BI software upgrades to minimise costs.

Obviously each implementation is different, and these numbers tend towards a worst case scenario, but have occurred with many companies.

My final thought though is you mustn't be focused solely on the costs. You are using BI because it adds value to the business either through increased profit margins or reduced costs - either of which should cover the BI costs many times over.

it_user133629 - PeerSpot reviewer

We are using Tableau and satisfying our more than 250 clients. Its easy to handle & strong product in the manner of BI.

it_user120558 - PeerSpot reviewer

Regarding Tableau 

There are 2 versions of the software Desktop and Server 

The Desktop version may be licensed in Europe at 1600 euro per seat and the server has an initial cost of 6250 euro for 10 seats , after the initial 10 seats the server licences are 625 euro per seat 

Desktop provides a full blown analysis and design and visualisation capability for analysts 
Server provides report and dashboard scheduling and distribution capabilities and allows visualisations created in desktop to be shared in a web portal.

Most organisations require both types of licence and to understand  the best fit for your organisation means that you should understand the needs of your business and analytical users.

You can obtain a trial licence for 14 days form the tableau website that will enable you to evaluate the capabilities of the product. 

Regarding training, lots of online training resources are available on the tableau website and it is a very intuitive tool and so IU would highly recommend hat you give it a try before you buy. 

I hope that this helps

Kind Regards
Andrew McSwiggan

it_user91872 - PeerSpot reviewer
Real User

I'm in the middle of a Tableau implementation going from desktop to server. It's a great product and our team went through a review of several products for about 8 months before deciding on this one. Very easy to install and use. We conducted an end-user test with one of our managers who is not very tech savvy. With outlined tasks he was able to complete all tasks in independent visuals with limited support in about 20 minutes. In 10 additional minutes was able to gather those visuals into a dynamic dashboard. The R site integration was perfect for our I/O analysts to conduct predictive analysis. If the start up company ends up moving this from desktop to server the costs are low in comparison to the other options out there. No signs of upcharging and costs are spelled out clearly in their quotes. Good luck with your selection process!

it_user136791 - PeerSpot reviewer

I forgot to mention-
Tableau Desktop Installs by clicking setup.exe - very easy and fast. To show your already made visualization you can use Tableau Reader - it is free of charge -
To publish your visualization you can use Tableau Server ($999 per user, but at first you should buy license for 10 user min) or Tableau Online - it is cloud service by Tableau - $500 per year per user.

it_user136791 - PeerSpot reviewer

Hi, Tableau Desktop - $1999. You can use one license key for two PCs. Your PCs, I think, should have 4 CPU and 8 Gb ROM for feeling you comfortable during working with Tableau Desktop. About trainings - a lot of free online training sessions. Also they have online trainings from $200 to $600 depends on level (you will get a certificate:)). Classroom - $1390 -

it_user137202 - PeerSpot reviewer

Thank you for your insights. I have done some due diligence. I am however averse to "cost creeps" once my client has gone either way. The less the setup costs for instance the best for me. Or even if present, I would rather have an upfront cost estimation than one that gradually creeps up on my client.


it_user4008 - PeerSpot reviewer

Self service Visual Intelligence left the station some time ago. Tableau became the standard years ago but more importantly since going public Tableau's investment into R&D as a % of revenues is always north of industry standards thus Tableau reinvests for the future consistently. Do not base your assessment on "feeds and speeds" (read features) only.

Pretend that you are the owner of the company picking a vendor and base you selection on business issues and reference calls to clients

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