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Tableau Deployments and Resources

Resources specific to the Tableau software.

Gartner 2015 Business Intelligence Platforms Magic Quadrant Report


Quoting from the Gartner report:



Tableau offers highly interactive and intuitive data discovery products that enable business users to easily access, prepare and analyze their data without the need for coding. Since its inception, Tableau has been sharply focused on enhancing the analytic workflow experience for users — with ease of use being the primary goal of much of its product development efforts. Tableau's philosophy has been proven to appeal to business buyers and has served as the foundation for the "land-and-expand" strategy that has fueled much of its impressive growth and market disruption.

Tableau is one of three vendors positioned in the Leaders quadrant this year. Despite increased pressure in 2015 from a growing number of competitors, Tableau has continued to execute and expand in organizations and win net new business to maintain its growth rate. Tableau's efforts to build product awareness and win mind share globally have contributed to its Completeness of Vision, in addition to an increased focus on smart data preparation and smart data discovery capabilities on the product roadmap.


  • Tableau continues to execute better than any vendor in the BI market and its land-and-expand sales model has performed extremely well, resulting in a dramatic increase in large enterprise deals — many of which started out as small desktop deployments that grew organically over time within organizations. Tableau has the third-largest average deployment size of all the vendors included in this Magic Quadrant — at 1,927 users — driven by 42% of organizations reporting average deployments of more than 1,000 users (which probably reflects the approach that Tableau has taken of leveraging an underlying data warehouse if one exists).

  • A core strength of Tableau is its versatility, both in terms of deployment options across cloud and on-premises as well as the use cases it can be deployed against. According to the reference survey, there are as many deployments of Tableau supporting centralized BI provisioning as there are for decentralized analytics. Some organizations prefer to use Tableau to empower centralized teams to provision content for consumers in an agile and iterative manner, while others adopt more of a hands-off approach and enable completely decentralized analysis by business users. In response to best practices to strike a balance between the stability and consistency that comes with centralization and the agility offered by decentralization, Tableau continues to promote its Drive methodology — which probably contributed to the high percentage of governed data discovery use cases cited by its survey references.

  • Tableau's focus on making its customers successful is evident in its top overall rating for customer enablement. Tableau offers a vast array of learning options — including online tutorials, webinars and hands-on classroom-based training — to educate and empower its users, which has increased the number of skilled Tableau resources available in the market. Attendance at Tableau's user conference topped 10,000 attendees in 2015, nearly double the 2014 attendance and an increase of more than 50 times the 187 attendees at its inaugural user conference in 2008. In addition to directly enabling its customers, Tableau has built an extensive network of Alliance Partners with expertise in its implementations.

  • Tableau's core product strengths continue to be its diverse range of data source connectivity, which is constantly expanding, as well as its interactive visualization and exploration capabilities. This combination delivers on Tableau's mission of helping people see and understand their data by enabling rapid access to virtually any data source, which nontechnical users can immediately begin interacting with — through an intuitive visual interface — to iteratively ask and answer questions and discover new insights.


  • While expansion continues to be strong for Tableau, pricing and packaging is being more heavily scrutinized because larger deals typically involve IT and/or procurement. When asked about limitations to a wider deployment, 44% of Tableau's survey references cited the cost of software as a barrier. With increased price sensitivity in this market, new lower-priced market entrants — coupled with Tableau's reluctance to respond with a more attractive enterprise pricing model — have probably affected its sales execution survey rating this year and contributed to the drop in its position on the Ability to Execute axis compared with last year (where Tableau dramatically outperformed the competition).

  • Reference survey input suggests that Tableau is experiencing the growing pains that often accompany rapid growth — as vendors struggle to scale to meet support demands for more complex deployments (as indicated by Tableau's overall support score from its client references, which was below the vendor average for this Magic Quadrant). The reference survey also suggests that buyers of Tableau have encountered some software limitations as they attempt to scale their deployments (to meet the demands of more users trying to solve more complex problems) and govern those deployments (as they continue to expand within its customer organizations).

  • Tableau's client references ranked it in the bottom third of all Magic Quadrant vendors for complexity of analysis. As customers reach the limits of Tableau's current capabilities, this may dampen customer enthusiasm.

  • Despite efforts to improve its data preparation capabilities in version 9, Tableau still has weaknesses in the area of data integration across data sources. Tableau supports a diverse range of data connectivity options — spanning relational, online analytical processing (OLAP), Hadoop, NoSQL and cloud sources — but offers little support when it comes to integrating combinations of these sources in preparation for analysis. In order to compensate for this weakness, a growing number of Tableau customers have turned to vendors specializing in self-service data preparation that offer an option to output to Tableau's native Tableau data extract (TDE) format. This is a concern for Tableau, because it creates the need for its solution to be deployed with another tool — which magnifies the TCO concerns that already exist within its customer base. Of greater concern, is that the shifting of data preparation to a separate product could potentially marginalize Tableau as the front-end visualization space becomes increasingly commoditized and more difficult to differentiate.




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