Benefits and Insights

Why use Tableau Online?

Key differentiators & advantages of Tableau Online

  • Harness the Cloud: Because it is hosted fully in the cloud, Tableau is accessible any time, anywhere and from any mobile device or internet browser. It enables users to easily share analytics with others both inside and outside of their organization, enhancing collaboration.
  • Ease of Use: With its user-friendly UI, Tableau allows users to analyze their data through intuitive drag and drop actions and natural language processing. 
  • Fast Implementation: Users can skip the long setup that comes with an on-premise solution like Tableau Desktop and get started right away. Tableau Online can be ready to roll out in hours and doesn’t require users to configure servers, manage IT needs or perform upgrades or any other administrative tasks. 
  • Scalability: Tableau provides the flexibility for companies to buy exactly what they need and scale up or down with user licenses as needed.
  • Tailored To Your Team: The platform meets users’ varying needs and helps everyone do their jobs better with the proper access to data according to their role and user license. Organizations pay only for the functionality they want for users while allowing everyone to ask and answer business questions with data as they need.
  • Data-Informed Decision Making: With artificial intelligence and machine learning, the platform uncovers trends and patterns in data and highlights it for analysts to examine. Through statistical data models and data visualizations, it guides users to insights visually and helps them make decisions driven and backed by data. 
  • Self-Service BI: Tableau encourages data literacy among all members of an organization, not just analysts. It empowers all users to get more from their data through a self-service model where they can drill down, filter and blend data through interactive dashboards to dig deeper for answers.
  • Everything in Real-Time: Users can enjoy low wait times when running analytics processes. Data can be set to refresh manually or on an automatic schedule to ensure that all information is up-to-date. Users can share insights with others at the click of a button, keeping everyone in the loop. 
  • Direct Web Authoring: By allowing users to work directly with data on a site through web authoring, the solution provides analyst teams with a centralized workspace, enabling users without Tableau Desktop to connect to data sources and create visualizations. It also offers administrators extensive projects and content permissions to ensure strict data governance and more accurate oversight of what users are doing with the platform and how they are doing it.
  • Hassle-Free Upkeep: Because the solution is fully hosted in the cloud and delivered as a service, all updates roll out automatically so that all subscribers have the latest version and features. Tableau provides the data security and IT staff to maintain the platform and servers, saving users valuable time and money by taking care of all the hardware and maintenance. By moving to the cloud, it reduces the number of computers and Tableau Desktop deployments a business needs to manage.
  • Free Trial: Users can try out any of Tableau’s deployment options, including Online, through a free 14-day trial that includes the data management add-on. 

Industry Expertise

Tableau offers a versatile suite of business intelligence solutions for customers in all industries, including financial services, IT, healthcare, retail, government, higher education, insurance, manufacturing, travel, energy and resources, the automotive industry and more.

Key Features

  • Data Connectivity: Users can browse published data sources on their site, upload Excel or text-based data sources directly to their browsers, use connectors to connect to data in a cloud database or server, or make use of dashboard starters to connect to common enterprise solutions.
  • Dashboard Starters: Instead of creating data visualizations from scratch, users can connect their accounts to Tableau and in just a few clicks, retrieve their data from the enterprise solutions they already use to automatically populate pre-designed dashboards. Tableau currently provides Dashboard Starters for Salesforce, Oracle Eloqua, Marketo, LinkedIn Sales Navigator and ServiceNow.
  • Tableau Site: Tableau Online comes with a private workspace on the web where users can publish workbooks and collaborate with colleagues. Tableau sites integrate with Tableau Desktop so that users of the desktop solution can publish their insights to their site when they want to share them with others. 
  • Role-Based Permissions: Managers can set role-based access to individual dashboards or the system as a whole to ensure users can only view, edit and interact with dashboards they are cleared to access. A user’s license, site role and content permissions all factor into determining what they can see and do with the platform and site.
  • Web Authoring: Users with access can create and edit workbooks directly on the server. Explorers can edit workbooks, utilize published data sources to create new workbooks and create and edit views, dashboards and stories. Creators can do all that and more; they can also create new workbooks, connect to new data sources, prepare data and use Ask Data and Dashboard Starters to jumpstart analysis. 
  • Ask Data: Users can quickly build data visualizations by typing their analytical questions in natural language, interacting with their data and receiving answers in the form of automatically generated graphics. From there, users can customize and adjust the fields and visualization types to their preferences. 
  • Geo Visualization: This feature lets users view data geographically to gain location-based insights and improve transparency into business operations. Users can connect the solution to Google Maps for exact positioning or utilize its built-in geographic features to plot data on a map.
  • Multi-Table Data Analysis: With Relationships, Tableau allows users to combine data from multiple tables for analysis. Unlike joins, relationships ensure more accurate analysis by preserving values and the native level of detail in users’ data, instead of duplicating data. Automatic, dynamic and context-aware, relationships create custom, flexible data sources that can be easily defined, changed, used and reused for data visualizations or analytic flows. 
  • Data Exploration: Users have a variety of tools at their fingertips to dig deeper into their data; they can drill down, focus on particular regions of dense data, hone in on a group of outliers and view underlying data sources. Hovering over selected marks triggers tooltips that allow users to do more with those data points.
  • Present Data Your Way: Users can communicate their data insights however they choose with whatever data visualizations they want to utilize. They can customize and format almost every component of a workbook, build an interactive dashboard, or create a story sheet that tells a visually compelling narrative. 
  • Metrics: Users can create metrics that track changes to data over time and monitor KPIs like daily sales numbers. 
  • Share Content: Users can share projects, workbooks, views, flows and more with other users directly through their Tableau site or by sending them a direct link to their content. Users can also embed a view into a web page or for offline usage, download a view as an image, .csv file, PDF, PowerPoint or Tableau workbook. 
  • Updates by Email: Users can subscribe to a view or workbook and receive an emailed image or PDF snapshot at regular intervals in their inbox, without needing to log-in to the platform. They can also set data-driven alerts that trigger and send an email notification if data reaches certain defined conditions or thresholds. Tableau Online checks these alerts every 60 minutes. 
  • Comments: Comments allow users to engage in conversation about insights with colleagues and other Tableau Online users with @mention tagging and interactive snapshots.
  • Tableau Catalog: Users with the Data Management add-on have access to complete data governance with Tableau Catalog. This tool automatically indexes all Tableau content on a user’s site, gathering metadata. Its wide range of functionalities enable users to quickly search for specific data, identify stale or deprecated data, better understand the data that powers published visualizations and to trace the source of data and impact of changes to that data.
  • Developer Resources: Developers can extend the capabilities of Tableau with resources from the Developer Portal, including APIs, data connectors, documentation and examples, as well as discussions on the Tableau developer community forums.
  • Mobile App: Via a native mobile app for iOS and Android systems, users receive their own personal window into their organization’s Tableau site. With curated data headlines, users see the most significant KPIs first. Offline sync enables users on-the-go to stay connected, keeping their data visualizations in their back pocket. With controls optimized for touch, users can interact with their data from the comfort of their mobile device. 


At the time of this review’s publication, these are the limitations of Tableau Online based on user feedback:

  • Functionality is lacking compared to Tableau Desktop.
  • Keyboard shortcuts for web authoring are different from those used in Tableau Desktop.
  • Ask Data doesn't support multidimensional cube data sources.
  • Users say that data filtering and data refreshing can be slow.
  • Licensing costs and pricing models can be too expensive for smaller organizations. 
  • Users report issues with the mobile app’s user interface and security features.

Suite Support

Access to Tableau’s standard support package is included in all subscriptions and is available for the duration of a subscription. Tableau also has extended and premium support programs available that offer accelerated response times and additional contact options.

Targeted response times vary based on the user’s support plan and the case’s priority level on a scale of P1 being critical, P2 being high priority, P3 medium priority and P4 low priority. Standard support is available online during Tableau business hours, which are Monday through Friday 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST for customers in the Americas. Extended support adds 24/7 coverage for P1 issues, while premium support extends 24/7 coverage to P1 and P2 issues.

Premium Support for Tableau Online includes a service-level agreement that guarantees services monthly availability of 99.9% and entitles customers under this SLA to a unique service credit on their account in the event availability falls short. Premium Support also includes the dedicated support of a technical account manager with recurring status calls and service reports, access to a senior support team, case escalation and oversight and more.

mail_outlineEmail: Only license support queries are processed through email and accessed through the customer portal. Users do not typically email Tableau directly, but submit a web form or customer portal request, as detailed below.
phonePhone: Live phone support is only offered to premium support package subscribers. Those subscribers can call support 24/7 for both priority 1 and priority 2 issues, as defined in Tableau’s technical support guidelines.
schoolTraining: Tableau offers its library of free training videos, how-to guides, manuals and community forums for users struggling with a small issue or seeking training. Users can also schedule classroom training sessions, attend conferences and enroll in role-based eLearning courses through the site.
local_offerTickets: To submit a service request, users can either use the web contact form or the customer portal. To start a case, users should go to either the “Contact Us” page on Tableau’s website or the product support page from the customer portal. Users can input a keyword that describes the nature of their problem (for example, “how to join tables”).

The query will search Tableau’s resource library and forums to see if the question has been answered elsewhere. If users don’t find an answer to the problem, they can move to the next step and select “continue to create a case.” In the description box, users should fill out the required information in as much detail as possible.

Cost of Ownership

License/Subscription Cost Based on the number of users and user-licenses. Subscription costs allow users to access Tableau over a set time frame both on-premise and through the cloud
Maintenance Cost

On-Premise: An additional cost over and above the upfront cost has to be paid for ongoing support and maintenance

Cloud-based/SaaS: There is no maintenance and support cost for the Cloud/Web-based solution

Installation/Implementation Cost

On-Premise: Typically charged over and above the license cost.

Cloud-based/SaaS: Included in the subscription cost

Customization Cost

Custom version cannot be requested — rather users can do limited customizations on their own, such as:

  • User can change the server name that appears in the browser tab, tooltips and messages
  • User can change the logos that appear in different server page contexts
  • User can control the language used for the server user interface and the locale used for views
  • Custom fonts can be installed for different clients
  • Administrators and project leaders can also add images to projects
Data Migration Cost/Change Management/Upfront Switching Cost

Data Migration is possible in Tableau Servers and can be done with the following tools:

  • Tabcmd Script
  • TabMigrate
  • Enterprise Deployment Tool by InterWorks
Recurring/Renewal Costs Renewal cost is equivalent to the fees paid annually based upon the number of users

Tableau Online Reviews

Average customer reviews & user sentiment summary:

3800 reviews


of users would recommend this product

User Sentiment i

Based on 3800 reviews:

Add your rating:

Top Competitors & Alternatives

These are the products most often compared to Tableau Online

Pricing for Business Analytics Tools

Your review has been submitted
and should be visible within 24 hours.
Your review

Rate the product

Company Details

mandatory fields