It's really easy for business users to point it at a database and get started on their own, exploring the data. It feels like it has a much lower barrier to entry than many other reporting tools.
And once you win the hearts of executives, that's kind of the end of that discussion. It's a really sticky product.
I was in Corporate Strategy, and one of the C-level execs saw it. They realized that I could add new reports in a few days by myself instead of going through IT, and within a year they'd hired a new manager to run my little group and three others developers - who weren't technically developers, because we weren't part of IT.
For another ~3 years, the company's primary reporting tool for front-line operations employees lived on a repurposed desktop being used as a server that was plugged in under my desk. We did get a nice, beefy SQL Server and a decent UPS, so it wasn't a complete shoestring project.
I left shortly after IT discovered they'd been cut out of the loop on a critical business process and demanded that the whole system be rewritten in C#.
been there, done that. you have to get them on the phone early and do the whole "oh you're so great" song and dance to prevent ego bruising.
The software team was then tasked with putting the fancy graphs that guy did into our web application with the following constraints:
- the Tableau server can't be exposed on the public internet
- our UI can't indicate that it's using Tableau anywhere (i.e., use an iframe or something)
This turns out to be tricky. Tableau doesn't really like to be embedded in 3rd party applications, it leaks information about itself in a number of places. It requires that every person looking at the graph be a user according to Tableau's definition of user. Synchronizing authentication to Tableau server and workbook authorization gets tricky.
The next task coming up is that they want users to be able to ad-hoc schedule an email to themselves with the fancy graphs attached as a pdf, so we've got that to look forward to.
This is the endgame of every OLAP tool. But execs really love this feature.
1) An effective tool for people to explore data (with a relatively low barrier to entry - some training required).
2) An effective dashboard authoring tool (i.e. to make small specialized data reporting apps) which are simple enough to be used by anyone without training. These dashboards typically give some sort of situational-awareness for key performance indicators (KPI) such as sales, inventory, etc and are highly specialized for a specific use or role.
>This change in approach could be equated to going to individual airline websites to check routes, dates, times and fares of flights as opposed to just going to a website like Orbitz or Travelocity – punching in where I want to go and when, and it pulls in a report of all the flights that meet my criteria. I can then narrow those results down by a number of criteria – time of day, number of stops, price, etc. It’s self-service reporting in the truest form.
Also MS has been improving it like crazy over the past few years. They clearly want to maintain their dominance in the data analysis space, but see the winds shifting away from Excel and are not waiting to become irrelevant.
But I haven’t met databiz people who switched from tableau to PBI. I’m not sure why as they look pretty similar on paper.
I think Tableau’s mental model is about exporting and storytelling while PBI is about reporting.
Personally, I find it harder to work with PBI because it’s the only license model more confusing that Tableau. And there’s no Tableau Public equivalent.
No copy-paste visuals
No styling multiple visuals
No auto generation of reports
No option to add comments / more text around graphs (this one is ridiculous)
They also do a good job at seeding it in visible places. Alot of newspapers are using Tableau for infographics, etc.
(That being said, I think a lot of teams are quick to reach for heavyweight tools like Tableau when Redash would be perfectly good for what they need at far less cost)