Excellent tool for Data Visualization with simplicity
I have worked on domains like Telecom and Network where in I have been using Tableau. Its really liked by senior management as it shows each and every bit very clearly to relevant stake holders. For example, Marketing head likes region wise revenue sale dashboard which gives region/sales manager/product wise sale.
There are many features which lot of users would have liked:-
1. Connection to almost all database
2. Many types of Charts can be created including Sankey, Doughnut, Maps etc.
3. Its has the feature of data blending and data extraction
4. Dashboards can be viewed on multiple devices like tablet, mobile and laptops.
5. Its really fast while drilling down or filtering out from any dashboard.
Its a bit expensive tool as compared to other data visualization tools however its a value for money.
A very intuitive business intelligence tool
I started using it while I was making my MBA and I was amazed at the easy of use and the possibility to make chart in a very powerful way beyond excel. Later on, when I was asked to do some complex representation of many parameters, Tableau has been the best and easiest option, beyond other 3 options I have tried from major sellers
- Very intuitive way o assemble data, no need for programming or special commands
- Easily change data from numeric to alphanumeric
- The most common and useful charts are available
- Easy to breakdown data into several clusters
- I once plotted 6 parameters in a 2 dimensional chart: X, Y, bubble size, color, name, icon
- You can build special read-only docs with the functionality to be read by Tableu Reader (as in acrobat reader)
- You can customize label, axis, trend and references lines
- Eventually some very specific charts are not there as chord, tornado, tree maps, nodes, gauges, alluvial diagram, dendograms
- Even with all the clustering, it lacks statistical analysis as Anova, hypothesis test between two set of data, normal probability plot
Best Data Visualization Tool
Tableau by far is the best visualization tool I have worked with and there is no comparison with other tools. I have never felt that Tableau lacked anything and have discovered things I wouldn't normally do with the data if not for its Tableau functionality. This has helped me create robust dashboards and stories with a lot of unstructured and confusing data. I have been using Tableau for more than 2 years now and never get tired of its interesting interface and ease of use and the best part is that the developers of the software keep updating it to new versions with new functionalities and features.
I love each and everything about working with Tableau . It is by far the best tool for visualization and none of the other tools is a match for its versatile uses. I like the ease of use and step by step guidelines. What I like most about Tableau is its integration with a vast number of Softwares, platforms, and databases which I do not think are offered by a lot of other visualization Softwares. Tableaus ability to handle customized calculated fields, create stories and dashboards and animations are some of its strongest points that make it a market competitor in Viz
There are a lot of features on one single interface as Tableau wants to maximize the user experience. But because there is so much on the one single interface that tableau has, a lot of features go unnoticed and unused. Also since there are so many features and functionalities, it sometimes is difficult to locate a particular functionality. Being an avid user, I have noticed that sometimes, arranging pills in a particular order on rows and columns, changes and undoes the entire visualization to a backtracked point which undoes important steps at times and leads to rework.
A Review of Tableau
I have been using Tableau in the office for over 2 years now. It is a product that continues to develop and evolve to better serve as a data visual and analysis tool.
Tableau is a great data visualization tool. If you need to make charts, graphs, tables or other types of data visuals, Tableau can get it done. You are able to upload files or connect directly to data sources on a server. After data is loaded, it is literally a drag and drop interface.
Tableau is great for creating visuals but is not so great as a data analysis tool. It lacks the ability to analyze and manipulate data that uses complex formulas and calculations.
Easy Analytics Tool
It is one of the grate tool that is saving my bunch of time. I can utilize more timings to make attractive visualizations rather than spending time in Organizing and Cleaning of data, It has everything like calculations, Maps, Filters and lot more very cool functions.
So Easy to Clean and Reorganize data , data cleaning takes forever via database or Excel, Tableau makes it easy to load and clean before its ready for analysis
Takes to much time at first load or update large amount of data. Once it load successfully then you are good to go
Great for dashboards, but training is required
I generally use tableau to show sales data on dashboards to executives. Overall experience is great now that I have enough skill to operate and manipulate the data to generate what I want.
I like that you can merge different data sources to generate new views of data. for example, overlay a census report above your sales data and have a demographic profile of sales for the country. Also the hundred different graphs and charts to choose from. this scores me high points with the executives when I show them a fancy graphic in meetings.
We had some trouble with tableau speaking to our servers and applications which took longer that we wanted before we could start using live data to run reports. You must clean your data before you upload to tableau. the data scrubbing system on tableau needs work. This makes it difficult when using live data. I usually just use and extract, clean and upload.
Better than Excel
So far so good once you understand the logic of the software makes easy to create a report
Easy way to create reports, graphics and play with your data if you take in consideration all the formulas you have to create in Excel and the knowledge you need to have to be able to work with Excel, This software it's good for people who know how to read data but don't know how to use excel.
sometimes it's a little bit complicated create some specific reports from scratch special in the early stage of use and start having doubts about the software and you start thinking to go back to Excel
Tableau, powerful visualization tool.
Overall, I love the software. It always great ability to develop great, interactive, dashboards for the Directors of multiple divisions in our company.
The software is user friendly and easy to figure out by reading books (manuals) and watching tutorial videos.
The company's customer support is lacking. The statistical analysis part of the software is weak. It will get you by the minimum types of calculations.
Tableau - Connect, Build and Visualize your data!
Tableau helps to quickly connect with data sources and build eye-pleasing visualizations. The ease of use of the tool helped me to build dashboards and we were up and running in no time.
Tableau is an excellent to create dashboards and reports in quick time and user-friendly way. The visualizations are attractive and intuitive. The 'Show Me' option to cycle through possible visualizations is very useful. Connecting to various data sources like Oracle, Snowflake and fetching data has been very easy. Data modelling is a breeze too. Publishing to Tableau Online or Tableau Public is very easy and is available from the Tableau Desktop menu. Publishing dashboards and data sources to the server is a smooth experience.
Tableau could definitely improve on where row level security is concerned. Any options out of the box would help.
Overall a strong experience with the system and it's a software that serves it's purpose though there does seem to be a lack of software updates/capability updates.
The interactive interface is easy to manipulate once information is ingested into the program as long as the data is following the rules-based parameters that you've set up. The labelling of data enables an easy story to be compiled when sent around to internal stakeholders.
There is a lack of diversity and modelling that can happen as the system is not used to cross-data sourced systems. The speed of the system can be slow. Not to mention there is a lack of plugins or API into other systems.
Easy to Perform Complex Data Analysis and Visualisation from any type of Datasource
Using Tableau has been a great learning, discovering and analytical experience, the tool has been easy to use and effective
Tableau has a good community support, almost any question that you get has been already answered,
Tableau supports any type of datasources, it supports data from a simple spread sheet to any modern time Databases (such as Snowflake , AWS Redshift , psql, mysql etc...)
Dataset can also be a query or joining multiple tables etc, which gives us a flexibility to compute required datas in the initial stage itself so that worksheet creation becomes simpler,
Tableau has a wide set of functions and operator that can be used for data processing and has verity of visualisation options from a simple table to complex charts, histograms, etc ..
We have a option to use live datasource or schedule the data refresh on the extracted datasource to improve the performance of the dashboard,
has good verity of filter support using which data can be drilled down slice and diced, supports column level sorting etc ..,
the dashboard can be created using set of worksheet, worksheets are easy to create with the help of drag and droop support, most of the things here is drag and drop which makes it more easier to use
Tableau server maintains all versions of the dashboard, it kind of ensures version control
Tableau desktop application can perform slow when we are dealing with large data set, especially when dragging and dropping KPI's on switching from one worksheet to another, can reduce the development speed, so to avoid this use a small data set for development.
When we are using Extracted Datasource the publishing to server and importing to desktop works really slow, since it is transferring the extracted data along with the tableau logic,
Editing the alias of table columns are quit tricky not flexible,
In filters the Dropdown listing are hard coded strings, it wold have been better if we could us a dimensions or values and and also if it supported chain filtering
use of functions like TP90, Average etc , require the data set to be extracted , will not work with live data.
Tableau- Comprehensive Business Software with Advanced Reporting and Analysis Tools
Tableau has been a great asset for analyzing various reports and data sets. As a data analyst, I found it to be an invaluable tool for keeping my critical reports organized and easily accessible. I highly recommend Tableau as a business platform for both report designers and users as it provides unmatched flexibility in developing and using data sets in ways that will meet your complex business requirements.
Expansive functionality that allows the user to both manipulate and export data in a wide variety of formats. Export as an image, excel workbook, PDF file, Powerpoint or more. Multiple custom filter options that allow you to sort to the data that is most important to your needs. Easy to navigate through reports and convenient features such as adding favorites that will show up on your dashboard. Clean and professional interface that helps with organization of projects. Sharing reports within your organization is simple and there are restriction features which will allow you to determine who has access to the data sets as you see fit. Software gives information on when data was last refreshed, if the report is in real-time, or when the data is scheduled to refresh again.
Inactivity will cause you to have to refresh the page and remove any applied filters which will require you to wait again for the filtered data to load. This can be a little frustrating especially when pulling very large data sets that take a long time to load before you can pull them and then forgetting to export the data before the page refreshes. However, this is a rare occurrence as the refresh time is pretty generous, at least a couple of hours in my experience. Nevertheless, something to note for improvement in future versions.
On the fly BI tool with rich visualizations and Dashboard features
We used Tableau for Visualization BI apart from having Business Objects for reporting. We have created a story for a given subject with all the related information to present to the user. It gives a quick glance on what is happening on the sales of drug for a pharma company that I worked. Migration from non-prod to prod is very easy (unlike other BI tools). Cost of the project reduces a lot with Tableau for BI projects
Tableau has changed the BI world a lot. It has brought in a software, using with business user can create dashboard & reports on the fly and can check what is there inside. It allows the user to read through the data and derive the insights without much technical analysis. First it can connect to any database (I know about 44 database it connects) and you can set the data, slice the data needed for current analysis and then you can do quick reporting. It provide multiple features, like different charts, graphs and tables and mathematical and statistical functions for analysis. Once you have create multiple visuals you can put them onto one dashboard or multiple dashboards into a story and present the same to business
Even though it has rich features but it can support the Enterprise BI needs like business object or Cognos does. It does not provide all the feature for E L T (extraction, load and transform) which requires complex transactions. As data gets huge the graphs and charts become unreadable. also, this software is more useful to the business user for personal purpose than company wide reporting etc. The administration part of it needs a lot.
Tableau Lets You Become Productive in Minutes
Tableau and especially Tableau server has helped our business share data much more efficiently and accurately than the old method of emailing spreadsheets and presentations around. The ability for anyone to manipulate the data and answer their own questions allows analysts to concentrate on the truly difficult and unique problems instead of cranking out a never-ending series of custom reports. Having the data connected to live source or warehoused data means everyone is up to date all the time.
Tableau is exceptionally easy to pick up and be productive, and has the ability to connect to almost any data source you can imagine, including REST APIs (though this is a pretty advanced process).
Cross database joins are an amazing feature that allow you to mix data from Excel, Oracle, MySQL and others on a single dashboard.
There are a ton of online resources available from Tableau, and the broader user community which help you in the event that you get stuck on a thorny issue.
Tableau also supports the Tableau Public desktop software which allows anyone to create and share visualizations for free on the web (though data sources are severely limited with Tableau Public).
Price is an issue, particularly if you're an individual or a small business. Woe be unto you if you're a small business and you'd like to set up a Tableau server.
There are some functions which we've all grown accustomed to in Excel which new users will expect to be in Tableau but just aren't--robust Conditional Formatting, for instance. However, in most cases there are workarounds and other ways of accomplishing the same task.
While it's easy to become quickly productive, most users will outgrow the easy stuff pretty quickly as they attempt join new data sources, or produce more complicated visualizations.
Overall, Tableau is a fantastic program for getting automated reports created, published, and off your plate! The visuals are amazing and the subscriptions and alert system are my absolute favorite. The software has its quirks but I've yet to have a problem I couldn't logically program my way around with a little time spent on web forums. Amazing software, very useful, exciting to use!
I love Tableau because, to me, there is almost nothing else out there that does data visualization so quickly and so effectively. I love that you can import almost any kind of data source (I only use SQL or Excel as sources, but there are hundreds of other options). I love that you can then add your own calculated fields, group data into custom buckets, and create parameters which the user can input on the published workbook. I love that you can visualize the data so quickly and in so many ways (with color and shape/size as further attributes). It's like a pivot chart in Excel but so much more agile to use! Finally, I love that you can then build dashboards with these individual reports/worksheets that you create, publish them onto the web, and essentially "set it and forget it," thereby providing your end users with future reporting that is automatic and requires no further work on your end! The real beauty is the creation of alerts and subscriptions, which can email users on a schedule or depending on certain conditions. That's when life really gets exciting--it's like having a full-time robot managing your processes!
I definitely wish Tableau could write back to a database. That would be amazing. I've heard it's in the works, but for now, it's still just on my wish list. I dislike various aspects about Tableau that can make it quite tricky to use. When you publish a data source, you should really publish it first before creating any calculated fields, groups, or parameters. Otherwise, it becomes much more difficult to edit these fields later as you have to re-download the published data source to make your edits to those fields, and then republish your data source, which results in my having to ask IT to re-input the server refresh password to get the data to refresh on a schedule again. This is a tremendous headache. So it's best to create and save new fields at the workbook level, not the data source level. There are also a great many bugs I still run into with Tableau from time to time. Strange behaviors that show me it was created by a human being, as all software is. There is usually a way to figure out a workaround but you have to get creative. Tableau is quirky, for sure. Some actions in the local program work great but don't necessarily translate to the web form. For example, if you create a calculated field that depends on data from two different sources, that works great locally, but it doesn't work well once you publish those data sources to the Tableau Server, because, for some reason, it does not allow the calculation to draw from the separately published data.
The future of Big Data visualisation and processing
It took me some time to understand the scope and approach of Tableau. During this time i was confused and sometimes frustrated as It was hard to get static reports out of tableau. Once however I understood the magic behind it (well actually it wasn't Tableaus fault, but just me being stubborn) a whole new world of analyzing data opened up. A Magnificent, splendid, dynamic and playful way of getting answers from data and a completely new way of thinking questions to ask from my data. If you do not have to create static reports which you want to mail daily to a bunch of people but want to explre the secrets your data holds This is THE tool. Definite recommendation.
Tableau is centered around you as a user asking questions to your data. It is as simple as that and it works in ways not imagined before. Via graphical user antierface and drag and drop you combine aspects of your data and visualize relations. The coolest thing is that Tableau supports you without pushing or distracting. The process is emergent and makes it possible to walk the line from coherence to causality and have fun along the way. The End results look great and can be reformated by a couple of clicks in order to shift perspective or look from a different angle or with a different point of interest towards your findings. Tableu picks you up where you are and you can run it as SAAS or on premise, depending on your preferences. Also the API is simple and powerful, making the integration as a dedicated reporting and statistcs module, or more precise data visualisation playground to your existing product easy and convenient. By doing so you can add tableaus product-versatility, ease of use and beauty to a product and participate from its user friendly and open aproach to data analysis.
The licensing was a bit of a hassle as we started in the early days of tableau. Also Sales were very eager and pretty actively tried to support us. This never was a bad thing, just a bit too much. Also Tableau introduced support for document based databases rather later than earlier so we had a slight wait there. Then again, every time the did include a feature it was just bug free and worked like a charm so this was allright as well.
Two things are especially important when evaluating Tableau, from my point of view: The data you whish to process with it must adhere to a minimal standard (or you will have to do a lot of conversion before you can enjoy it within tableau). So older datasources might become somewhat bothersome or at least require a preprocessing step. Most important is that you understand what tableau is for: You will have a great time when dynamically and actively exploring data, even rapidly changing data or real time streams. If you use a tool for creating static reports you waste the potential of this great piece of human engineering and might run into issues.
Tableau: all-in-one data visualization and organization software
I have tried many ways to organize my files, especially my data for work. I had tons of trial and errors with different software. I tried Tableau and I have been using it ever since. Tableau lets me store my files and so much more. Tableau allows me to view my data in a way that I wanted it to be shown, organized and sorted. I can access different files using cloud and data warehouses. No other software allows me to merge two different data and viewing them as one except for Tableau. And because my data are to be shared with most of my co-workers, it allows me to do just that. It is amazing how easily everyone in my team can access the files through online and server. Another great thing about Tableau is its availability on iOS, Mac and windows, which increases the ease of my team’s accessibility.
My work requires me to review different trends on different topics and with a simple drag and click; I am allowed to review what I need with Tableau. It seems that Tableau is really created for my needs; it is just amazing that this software can be of so much help.
Tableau is great but it really was confusing at first, especially without any help or tutorial, the software had too many functions that it can take time to be able to learn a single task in it. A helpful solution is that Tableau has a help area where frequently faced difficulties can be answered and since many has already been using it, asking for help from others was not that hard. It was not that difficult to learn the functions of Tableau.
Tableau Desktop is my must-have software. I couldn't do my job without it (nor would I want to)!
Tableau has allowed our office to look at data in new ways. Whether we're using it for data exploration or dissemination, it makes the information easy to understand and use, even for newbies. In the past, we used spreadsheets and PDFs to share data with various constituents, but they were dense and only offered a static view of the data. Now, with interactive dashboards, end-users can not only search for the exact information they need, they can also see how it fits into the big picture. This capability has led people to ask more questions and actually get excited about data and assessment. Tableau allows us to answer those new questions quickly and accurately than before.
I have been using Tableau Desktop for over five years now and I still get excited about it. First, Tableau is so easy to learn and use--the intuitive interface allows even first-time users to create amazing visualizations. Second, Tableau is a time saver. What used to take me weeks now takes days and what used to take days now takes minutes. Third, Tableau is versatile. There are many different chart types available, and with the ability to tweak everything from size to font to color, your imagination is the only limit. Fourth, Tableau is always evolving and improving. With each update, Tableau adds new features and capabilities that continuously make my job easier to perform. The software is capable of connecting with data in many different formats from spreadsheets and SQL to PDF's and spatial files, making it useful for any field or company that works with data. I could go on and on about the benefits of using Tableau, but the best way to understand my enthusiasm is to try the product--it speaks for itself!
Sometimes large data files can take several minutes to load. Tableau allows for the creation of extracts to speed up the process, but the initial upload still takes time. Tableau also does not have an auto-save feature, which has caused me to lose work on several occasions.
Great software for data visualisation, not so great on data manipulation side
Really satisfied with Tableau, performed some great stuff over these 2 years of using it. Created over 100 workbooks with huge data sets, also created some extensions and never had a bad feeling about Tableau.
It's pretty easy to use Tableau, it's really intuitive, colourful and self explanatory. The overall design of this software comes in hand with charts and pretty neat visualisation tools. The charts are really user-friendly and have some default values that are subject to formatting, painting, resizing, etc. to fit your needs.
Has some great built in functions on Server that allow users to pull the raw data directly or in some form that they need the report. Subscription option on server is a great feature that allows you to get daily/weekly or monthly reports on your email address.
Also data source feature of this software is a fantastic part of this tool, as you'll able to connect almost anything on the market, from SQL queries and excel files on OneDrive to Tables on Azure or lists on SharePoint.
Performance is a little bit tricky, as in any other software. When you use big chunks of data, it can cause some troubles in speed and charts loading. If you add some joins, blends or multiple data source dashboards, and you have data sets of multiple million rows, that will cause some headaches, but just until you learn to manipulate the data and prepare the data for your charts.
A flexible and powerful tool
I am an analytics consultant and used to work mostly with SAP BW (Business Objects, Business Explorer, etc), Lumira, and Qlik Sense. My first contact with Tableau was very good, I've learned many things in a few days, it's very easy to use and also very powerful. I'm happy in working with this project because Tableau makes my experience much better, I'm liking it.
The easiness on creating simple reports don't obfuscate its power on creating complex dashboards. If you want to create a simple bar graph that shows your sales amount, you can do it easily and quickly, but it doesn't take out the tools and mechanisms that allows advanced users and consultants to do more, like creating complex non-existent (not ready-available in the tool, but possible) charts like exploded bar charts. It supports formulas and also have a very good engine for it, as you can define one and reference it by its name wherever you need.
As an analytics consultant, I've seen many other reporting tools, like Qlik View (and Sense), Power BI, SAP Lumira and so on, so I can tell that Tableau is a major competitor in segment.
A common problem that takes place inside large companies lies on the difference between how we think Tableau looks for data and how it actually does. At one of the cases we have SAP Hana as a database with its views as data source and Tableau as the reporting tool. Some of our dashboards have been stated as "slow", but we figured out that the problem was not on the columns that was available and being used by Tableau, but in the other columns. The Tableau doesn't ever create the same SQL as we are expecting for a situation, it has a complex way to determine the better SQL for the best user experience.
This slowness is known wherever you ask for "Tableau main problems".
So the problem was not entirely on Tableau, but in the way we created the views.
This is a very light con that has the main purpose to aware software buyers instead of saying "don't buy".
In short, the slowness may lie on data source instead of Tableau's engine. You should care about how data is delivered to it.
Great BI Tool - Lovely Friendly Pretty!
• Anyone will be able to make Pretty visualization without much prior experience and can decipher stories underneath data.
• It was really easy for me to pick up the tool and get on the speed. Really like this BI Tool but it does have its limitations.
• Great for visualizations but if you want a BI Tool for numeric/tabular reports especially for financial reports - you should probably consider some other tool. With that being said, its totally worth the money for all other BI needs and seriously the best BI Tool available!
• Awesome BI Tool
• Very User-friendly
• Pretty visualization
• Easy to ramp up. Even new users can get to the speed really fast
• Tableau Reader is free - so developers can make it and anyone can view it for free
• Creating Interactive Dashboards and Storyboards is an awesome way to tell a story with the data - Great for presentations!
• While you can have only limited developer licenses but pretty much anyone in your organization can view or even interact with Tableau reports on the server - which is very nice if your audience is huge. Easy to export data/reports in Excel and PDF.
• Not much flexible for numeric/tabular reports, if you need a BI Tool for Finance reports - you really need this part!
• If you are building a tabular report with numbers you will miss few very basic and must have things - assigning row numbers. There is no such feature to append row numbers.
• In tabular reports, your hierarchy will remain fixed for every section. You can't have 2 rows in section and 3 in other. All secitions will be rigid.
Technical people to business people, this software caters to all
I started with this product as a curiosity and later in an academic setup. From then on, I have used this for my internship and at my work. This provides amazing insights to the higher level managers and as well as customers. Things can be tracked with the help of visualization without being boring.
How easily it can retrieve the data from worksheets and sql server is really amazing. Once done it is easy to publish or put this into production. I like the capabilities it has to offer on how to visualize data with simple chart techniques. Also hover over option helps to provide more details for a data point either by calculated field or with an picture.
Fewer time it becomes difficult to process larger amount of data and it does not offer support to google big query. So manual extraction or an intermediate source has to be used.
Tableau is my go-to tools for quick, nicely looking dashboards and data visualization
I get real-time data visualization from Tableau Software and a platform for posting cool and useful data visualizations without having to purchase a server.
Tableau is the software I use most (outside of Excel). The software's visualization tools are nice, at times amazing. Tableau connects with every data source I've ever needed (with the exception of one problem). The interactive capabilities and Tableau Public make for a perfect fit for a beginner to intermediate data visualizer. Advanced data visualizers probably find the functionality somewhat constraining, but that's one of the benefits of the software. Tableau is more than just a supped-up Excel graphics system. The analytical capabilities, although not best in class, offer all the basic calculations that most users will ever need.
Tableau is limited in its analytical capabilities. Tableau is working on making its use of R script more user friendly, although this requires the user to know R. Tableau's graphs are also somewhat limited at times, and Tableau for some reason takes pride in limiting its options (it apparently knows better than the user on what graphs are useful).
Educator who uses Tableau to analyze and display network-wide student achievement data
I'm a K-4 public educator who uses Tableau to analyze and display network-wide student achievement data. As the literacy director for six elementary schools, I analyze scholar data on a daily basis. I primarily use Tableau to display English quiz results for each of my schools to compare and contrast performance by question and by standard. I appreciate the ability to categorize data (by school, by section, by question, by standard) and to easily sync it with our data uploading system (we use Illuminate). Displays are easy to read and easy to implement -- overall a pleasant user experience. I really like how you can create workbooks on Tableau that will auto refresh whenever you open them. This is SUPER helpful to me considering I analyze data daily. Given that I work with multiple schools across multiple grades, the filtering options that Tableau offers are also very helpful to my work. I also appreciate that it's free, even though I'm not the one making all the high level budget decisions.
It took me about 2-3 hours of perusing the internet to feel comfortable using Tableau. Perhaps they offer user support resources but I did not have any access to them. It's definitely not the most self-explanatory software out there, and I wish there was an easier way to either train myself on how to use it or read articles/watch videos that could quickly help me learn how to use it efficiently.
Visualize your data with Tableau
Truth be told, our company was only given a trial period for Tableau so I did not have an opportunity to fully explore the software as much as I would have liked. However, during the duration of the trial, I was able to quickly build some useful analytics. An example was an interactive map of the United States which allowed me to show location based data along with sales information for the line of business I support. The map displayed color coded regional information which could be easily drilled down to mortgage branch locations with hover boxes showing production data. Although the trial was for evaluation purposes for the time being, in the short amount of time I had to use the software, I could tell that Tableau would certainly be a viable application to significantly improve and streamline the way our department does reporting.
Tableau makes creating visually stunning dashboards and info-graphics relatively easy. You start by connecting to a data source (SQL database, Excel flat file, etc.) and then using various tools to present your information and analytics in a graphical way that's easy for your audience to understand. It supports a great deal of data input formats and offers a lot of flexibility in how to analyze and display information. Plus, the visualizations you create can be static for delivery via a rendered format like PDF or PowerPoint or published on the web for an interactive experience. You can present information at a high level and let your report audience drill into to the details.
There is a bit of a learning curve. I am a fairly good self-learner and when I first start using new software. I like to tinker and experiment before diving into documentation and manuals. Tableau is not difficult by any means, but some of the tasks you want to accomplish are not going to be obvious in terms of how they function. For example, I struggled at first with figuring out how to add subtotals to some data I had brought in. Of course I was able to readily do so once I researched via help files but that's the sort of thing I would have thought to be more intuitive and easy to figure out on my own first.