We are happy to offer some insights on Tableau drawn from our latest Value Index research, which assesses how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements. Earlier this year we published the Ventana Research Value Index: Analytics and Business Intelligence 2019, the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. We then developed three additional Value Indexes on Analytics and BI focusing on mobile, embedded and collaborative capabilities. Because each is a critical aspect of modern business intelligence, we developed specific criteria for each in order to provide an in-depth look at features geared specifically to mobile, embedded and collaborative use.
In all of our Value Indexes we utilized a structured research methodology that includes evaluation categories designed to reflect real-world criteria incorporated in a request for proposal (RFP) and vendor selection process for analytics and business intelligence. We evaluated Tableau and 14 other vendors in seven categories, five relevant to the product (adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two related to the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each category to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on our experience and on data derived from our benchmark research on analytics and business intelligence.
Tableau Software’s products use an in-memory architecture that delivers highly interactive analyses with good performance. To achieve this performance, data is generally loaded into an in-memory database that the product manages. There is also an option to access data directly in third-party/commercial databases. The product is available on-premises and as a public cloud service. The company recently added data preparation capabilities to its product line.
Tableau’s products performed best in the Capability and Reliability categories, in both of which it ranks eighth. Tableau is known for its user interface and excels at interactive analyses, including interactive visualization for use by analysts.
MOBILE ANALYTICS & BI
Tableau Software offers native mobile applications for iOS and Android. These applications offer a clean modern interface and include some offline access capabilities via snapshots, which are images of selected displays of data.
Tableau is known for its user interface and excels at interactive analyses, including interactive visualization for use by analysts. Bringing more of these visualizations to mobile devices along with support for more native mobile capabilities such as location awareness and better collaboration would improve its overall ranking in our assessment.
EMBEDDED ANALYTICS & BI
Tableau Software’s products use an in-memory architecture that delivers highly interactive analyses with good performance. To achieve this performance, data is generally loaded into an in-memory database that the product manages. Users also have the option to access data directly in third-party commercial databases. The product is available on-premises and as a public cloud service.
Tableau ranks 11th overall in this Value Index. Better capabilities to integrate and customize the product would improve its overall ranking in our assessment.
Tableau has recently launched a developer program to provide more tools and APIs for developers, but this was after our analysis was completed.
COLLABORATIVE ANALYTICS & BI
Tableau Software’s products perform well in informing participants in the analytics process; they can provide output in a variety of different formats and deliver those documents on an automatic or subscription basis. Tableau also does a good job personalizing individual interactions with the analyses, for example, users can make notes associated with documents. In many of the other subcategories Tableau scores near average among the vendors we evaluated. Tableau ranks 11th in the Capability category and 12th overall in this Value Index.
Tableau lacks some of the capabilities we expect in a collaborative analytics environment. Additional social media-style interactions such as wall postings, broadcasting and social recognition along with the ability to assign tasks and track them to completion would improve Tableau’s collaborative capabilities. Better scorecarding and strategy management capabilities would also be valuable to help better coordinate an organization’s progress toward its goals and strategy.
More capabilities to communicate information in fixed formats (which are often easier for novice users to consume) and more collaboration capabilities would improve its overall ranking in our assessment.
Also, the interactive nature of Tableau makes it less adaptable to other business processes; better integration capabilities would help improve its rankings in this category. The assessment also finds that Tableau has scant information readily available to validate the value of its products such as case studies and information on services.
This assessment was based on Tableau 2018.2. Since our evaluation was completed Tableau released version 2018.3. The new version and further releases this year include enhancements to visualizations and navigation, additional data connectors, new data preparation features, Ask Data to interact with data using natural language processing, next-generation mapping support and other new features for interactivity across the web. Tableau recently announced that cloud computing and CRM giant Salesforce intends to acquire the company.
This research-based index is the most comprehensive assessment of the value of analytics and business intelligence software in the industry. Technology buyers can learn more about how to use our Value Index by clicking here and included vendors that wish to learn more can click here. Read the report here.