Tableau – Pros and Cons

In our previous post in the Business Intelligence (BI) series, we looked at the basic definitions, features and advantages of BI, in general. In this article, we look at the Tableau BI tool, in particular, and discuss its pros and cons.


  • Excellent user interface: Tableau customers report among the highest scores in terms of breadth and ease of use along with high business benefits realized. Tableau is the leader in BI tools when it comes to user interfaces and is recognized as the gold standard for its visual-based data discovery. Gartner’s “Market Share Analysis: Business Intelligence and Analytics Software” report ranked it as the fastest growing business intelligence and software vendor of 2013, noting the year’s growth rate of more than 80 percent!
  • Integration: Tableau integrates well with third party big data platforms, including Hadoop. Tableau also offers support for Google BigQuery API– a plus for organizations that want highly detailed analytics.  Tableau provides an extensive roster of native data connections allowing easy integration with data from many sources.
  • Mobile Support: The excellent user interface is carried further onto mobile devices. and dashboard reports are automatically mobile optimized. As compared to other vendors, BI users show the most adoption of mobile features, primarily due to the easy adaptability of the mobile user interface.
  • User Forums and Customer Service: Tableau has a very active user and developer community where queries are answered quickly. Tableau also receives excellent reviews in customer service. As per the Gartner report, despite Tableau’s exceptional growth, it has continued to deliver stellar customer experience and business value.  The fact that they have maintained that level of service points to their level of commitment to the customer.
  • Low cost: Compared to its big data counterparts such as Business Objects and Qlik, Tableau is comparatively low cost solution.  Having a SaaS option allows organizations to choose a lower initial cost ownership model as well as being able to scale licensing quickly and easily.
  • Easy to upgrade: 9 out of 10 Tableau customers are using the latest release of software, which hints at the fact that the upgrades are easy to be carried out.


  • Initial Data Preparation:  Companies need to have strong technical skills to build the initial structure.  This is typically done by IT or a consulting organization.   Once the integration with the data source is done, though users with no or very little SQL knowledge can also access the tool create the dashboards and analyze data.
  • Features: Some argue that not all statistical features are provided by Tableau. Business–centric solution such as Tableau are used broadly throughout the organization, though they do have narrower set of capability.
  • Financial Reporting:  Although great for analytical purposes, Tableau and other BI tools cannot replace Financial Reporting applications.   This does require financial analyst to be proficient in a number of reporting tools and to use them interchangeably.

As per the Gartner report, customers place high value on ease of use, satisfaction with product features, sales experience, support, product quality, upgrade experience, user enablement, achievement of business benefits and supporting a range of analysis for all users. Tableau is gaining momentum because it is excelling in delivering on all these areas.

Computer Technology Resources is proud to announce the company’s Alliance partnership with Tableau, a leader among BI tools. Please contact Dick Kenny at 714-912-9719 or email to know how BI/Tableau can better your business.


Welcome to Tableau Version 10

Tableau is known for ease of use and speed to insight, allowing business customers to take the data they know best and identify both opportunities and threats.  Now with Version 10, Tableau carries this over to IT by adding new enterprise features that returns data governance and oversight back to IT while adding in a number of key features for business users.

1.  Cross-database joins. 
Tableau currently has over 50 native data connectors and now you can join data from multiple different sources at once using a simple point-and-click interface to create a single joined data source for your worksheet.
2.  New Enterprise Management features.
Improved authentication tools, license administration and application upgrade tools are all reasons why your IT department will appreciate Version 10.
3.  Custom Territories.
Do your sales regions not align with traditional geographical areas?  Now you can build your own custom territories with a point and a drag to easily group data to be relevant to you.
4.  Improved mobile functionality.
Tableau has built a new Tableau Reader for Android and has developed a Device Designer to allow you to optimize your dashboards for mobile consumption.

CTR Specializations

Data Warehouse Design
CTR has certified experts to help you design and implement your data warehouse solution.  Whether you elect to use on-premise hardware or move to the cloud we can aid you in making your project a success.

Tableau Dashboard Development
If you want early ROI on your Tableau program CTR can help by building the dashboards you need to be effective.

Tableau Training
Accelerate your Tableau adoption when CTR trains your team on Tableau functionality and dashboard best practices when designing visualizations for your industry.

Enterprise Management
Our Tableau experts can show you how best to implement and configure your application as well as help with performance tuning of your infrastructure.

The Data Visualization Revolution

The transition from traditional Business Intelligence to modern Data Visualization is happening at more companies every year as they seek to make decisions based on data instead of instinct. Gone are the days where IT writes reports for the business using technical resources in niche Business Intelligence applications.

The transition from traditional Business Intelligence to modern Data Visualization is happening at more companies every year as they seek to make decisions based on data instead of instinct. Gone are the days where IT writes reports for the business using technical resources in niche Business Intelligence applications.

Instead, we now see a collaborative environment where both IT and the business do what they do best. IT returns to managing the access and governing the data sources while the business takes ownership of the data and of the analysis to get the best insights from the data collected.

There are three essential components of any modern Business Intelligence program:

  • Data Management
  • Data Analysis
  • Data Sharing

Data Management

One of your IT department’s core competencies is managing the data in your business systems. There are two parts to this, access control and governance.
Access is the simpler of these two items to manage. Much like how access to applications is granted within organizations, similarly, access to the data should also be enabled. IT has a long history of understanding who should or should not have access to applications and data and can be trusted with this responsibility.
Governance is much more complicated. The core of this is that to make good decisions using data you must have good data. Your data needs to be consistent, accurate and complete. How you get there is a much longer conversation but in a nutshell, it is cleansing, profiling, and monitoring for anomalies within a data warehouse or database.

Data Analysis

In this new world of Data Visualization, the business has taken responsibility for analyzing and presenting the data the manner they find most effective. Traditionally IT would be required to help build reports and dashboards for their customers but didn’t truly understand the data they were working with. This caused delays and frustration for the business as often the information required to make a good business decision would arrive after the decision needed to be made. Now with the business being hands on and able to analyze the data on-demand, the information is now available to help support decisions made at the speed the business needs.

Data Sharing

Sharing is where the real revolution has happened in Business Intelligence.
In the past, information provided to decision makers has been in the form of static reports, generally in typical row and column format. With this new generation of data visualization tools, decisions are now being made using shared information in visually pleasing and intuitive formats that also allow the user to ask questions of the dynamic data by drilling down and shaping the data as they like.
Data consumers are no longer restricted to their office computers to see their dashboards and reports. They can also receive this data through their mobile devices, giving them the information they need at their fingertips. What this leads to is a culture where more people are asking questions of their data and identifying a greater volume of unexpected opportunities not possible with conventional tools.
By transitioning to a modern Data Visualization platform you create a collaborative environment where IT and your business organization can work together to provide your decision makers with the information they need when they need it.