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Are you sure your scripts and web server costs less than Tableau?

Probably not. From his comment I doubt he's even used Tableau (and I say this as a programmer who worked on something similar - https://perspective.finos.org - and yet I still find myself turning to tableau pretty often).

We were getting ready to do a tableau api/integration with our software and the licensing came out to about $100k for two server dev licences and six client licenses.

Yeah, Tableau is very expensive. Way more than a few weeks of dev time.

Ah of course. Just a few few weeks of dev time to build the same thing a multi-billion dollar company sells. Then after a few weeks of dev time you find out you're missing about 80% of the features that makes tableau useful. After that few weeks your manager asks you how the project is going and you just mutter something about how you should probably just buy looker or tableau.

Nah, these sorts of folks are far too obdurate and prideful to ever willingly admit defeat. More likely they would keep telling the manager that they just need a few more weeks time to finish it while they frantically keep rolling that Sisyphean boulder up the hill.

> Way more than a few weeks of dev time.

Except it's not just a few weeks of dev time that makes up the overall cost. Consider infrastructure, maintenance, updates, support, training, etc,. Those things start to add up and you don't get the benefit of scale/community if you do it on your own. There's also the opportunity cost of building your own system when you could buy something existing and use that time to work on other things.

True I'll give you it depends on the situation and might indeed be the better option. For a startup I wouldn't recommend it at least

Tableau is $850/yr per seat. Very expensive might be overstating things a little.

So how many seats are needed to hire somebody who creates a custom shiny + R app that does exactly what you want? How big is the average company that makes use of tableau etc.? Let's do the math ...

It’s 2019. Are we seriously still trying to argue that homegrown solutions are overall more cost effective than SaaS? Are we still of the opinion that developing tooling outside of your company’s core competencies is somehow adding value?

Absolutely. There are tons of people I encounter every single day that seem to think it is cheaper to build everything inhouse. I think it comes from a complete misunderstanding of how business delivers value coupled with RMS-like distrust of anything they cannot completely crack the lid open and mess around with. Mostly the former, some of the later.

Well it's probably a question of perspective and problem domain. Also my main concern is precision and correctness. Quite often you can choose between (1) customized tools that achieve almost what you want them to do, but often the people who implemented or customized them didn't fully understand the problem and did things wrong without anyone noticing for a long time, or (2) custom tools that do exactly what you want, that were tested by somebody who cares.

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