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Benefits and Insights

Why use Tableau Server?

Key differentiators & advantages of Tableau Server

  • Foster Organization-Wide Data Literacy: By enabling everyone within an organization to see and understand data, Tableau Server empowers all users to ask and answer their own questions with data in ways that suit their individual needs, from casual users looking to view insights at a glance to the data analysts who create complex visualizations to share with others.
  • Better Business Decisions: By analyzing data and turning it into actionable insights, the solution helps users make more informed, data-driven business decisions.
  • Fast, Flexible Deployment: Customers can install, configure and deploy Tableau Server in less than an hour. It allows organizations the choice to deploy the solution either on-premises on Windows or Linux for additional firewall control or in the cloud to leverage their existing data investments in technologies such as Google, AWS or Azure.
  • Data Governance Without Compromise: Businesses can manage all of their metadata and data security in one place, gaining greater visibility into the processes that power their analytics. Tableau Server allows for the perfect combination of flexibility and control over data and how users work with it.
  • Streamlined Management: With resource monitoring, workload optimization, and server management tools, Tableau Server helps users maximize their ROI and gain complete visibility into their workflows.
  • Effective Collaboration: Once users have created a visualization, they can quickly share it with team members, clients and board members through a number of tools or through the provided site. The system supports @mentions and comments on dashboards, so communication takes place directly on the visualizations rather than through a string of emails. 
  • Enhanced Security: Tableau integrates with any existing security protocols and allows administrators to manage permissions and access to content with a variety of controls and options.
  • Scalability: Tableau Server can support up to a hundred users per CPU core and scales linearly, allowing companies to scale as their needs and technology develop over time. 
  • Free Trial: Interested customers can try a free 14-day full version of Tableau Server that also includes the data and server management add-ons.

Industry Expertise

Tableau serves customers in all industries, including companies in retail, financial services, hospitality, healthcare, education, transportation, e-commerce, food and beverage, advertising, technology, entertainment, science and many more.

Key Features

  • Data Connectivity: Users can connect to data sources both on-premises or in the cloud, including enterprise sources like Cloudera, Oracle, AWS Redshift, Teradata, SQL Server and hundreds more via web data connectors and APIs. They can publish and share data sources as live connections or encrypted extracts. 
  • Data Visualizations: Users can create data visualizations with ease. They can drag and drop data points into dashboards through a smooth, intuitive user interface. 
  • Natural Language Processing: Through the Ask Data function, users can build data visualizations quickly by asking questions in natural language. The system will automatically generate graphics that answer those questions and then users can customize and adjust the visualizations to their needs.
  • Explore Data: Interacting with data, in ways such as highlighting or filtering, lets users look at it in new ways and uncover trends and insights by digging deeper and exploring for themselves.
  • Publish and Share Securely: Users can publish and share the custom views created in the Desktop version to the web. Others can view these dashboards through Tableau Server’s web interface, embed them on external websites, or share links to them via email. Permissions settings ensure that data access remains secure every step of the way.
  • Collaboration Tools: Users can comment on insights and engage colleagues and other users in conversation with @mention tagging and interactive snapshots.
  • Alerts: Users can elect to receive regular notifications in their e-mail inbox that update them on the views or workbooks that they subscribe to, via link or PDF snapshots. They can also choose to be alerted when data reaches certain defined thresholds. On Tableau Server, administrators can set the frequency that the system refreshes and checks alerts.
  • Role-Based Permissions: Server Administrators can monitor and maintain security as well as install, configure and upgrade the system. They can also manage access to individual dashboards or their server as a whole through role-based permissions that ensure users can only interact with dashboards that they have been cleared to access. 
  • Data Governance: Tableau Server grants users the peace of mind that all data remains governed, secure and accurate. With Tableau, metadata exists at the workbook level and allows for flexibility in working with enterprise data. Tableau Server validates and enriches data from the source and protects it via authentication protocols, row-level security, encryption and more. Tableau Catalog, available through the data management add-on, provides additional data governance by automatically indexing all Tableau content, gathering metadata and enabling users to quickly find the data they’re looking for, trace the source of data and understand the data that powers their visualizations.
  • Customization: Administrators can customize web pages for their company or group with options that change the server name, logos, language, custom fonts, notes, messages and more, that appear to users. 
  • Monitor Server Performance: Through email alerts and admin views, Tableau Server allows users to see the status of all running server processes and receive notifications if any processes fail. This helps users see exactly why tasks fail, take action and prevent future failures. The platform tracks load times and space utilization to help administrators understand usage patterns and manage capacity to improve performance.
  • Multi-Tenancy: Through Tableau Sites, Tableau Server supports multi-tenancy by allowing administrators to create sites for multiple sets of users and content and manage content on a per-site basis. Each site with its own URL provides users a private workspace where they can publish workbooks and collaborate with colleagues. 
  • Content Migration: The content migration tool helps users copy or migrate content between Tableau Server projects or installations. 
  • Workload Management: Through node roles, users can configure where certain kinds of workloads are processed, allowing them to dedicate resources to specific workloads
  • Developer Resources: Developers can extend the capabilities of Tableau with resources from the Developer Portal, including a suite of APIs, data connectors, documentation and examples, as well as discussions on the Tableau developer community forums.
  • Mobile App: Tableau has an app with native mobile support for iOS and Android systems, optimized for touch. Through this app, users get a personalized view of the data stored on their organization’s Tableau site and see the KPIs that matter most to them first. Users can stay connected on-the-go and even in the air with offline sync. 

Limitations

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

  • Slow start-up and processing speed, especially in loading large data sets and reports
  • Can be expensive, not suitable for businesses with smaller budgets
  • Server upgrade process is manual and can be cumbersome

Suite Support

Tableau offers a standard support package for the duration of all subscriptions. They also offer extended and premium support packages that promise accelerated response times and additional ways to contact support.

Standard support is available online during business hours, which are Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST for customers in the Americas. Extended support customers have 24/7 coverage for critical issues and premium support customers have 24/7 coverage for high priority issues in addition to critical ones.

Premium support customers are entitled to monthly availability of 99.9% or a service credit in the event that availability falls short. They also have the dedicated support of a technical account manager, access to a senior support team, the ability to escalate cases and more.

mail_outlineEmail: Only license support queries can be sent via email; all other tickets are accessed through the customer portal. To get the best response, customers should submit a web form or request through the user portal.
phonePhone: 24/7 phone support is available to premium support package subscribers for both priority 1 and priority 2 issues. Users can access this service through the user portal. Customer service (which does not provide technical support) can be reached by calling 1-206-633-3400.
schoolTraining: Subscribers can access a library of free training resources. Users can also enroll in both classroom and online training courses to receive live training courses at an additional cost.
local_offerTickets: Customers can register for one-hour live training sessions with a Tableau expert on server administration. Tableau also provides extensive online resources on getting started with the platform, installing and deploying the solution and becoming familiar with the features of the tool. Users can also schedule additional training sessions, attend conferences and enroll in role-based eLearning courses through the site.

Users can submit a ticket for support either using the contact form on the Tableau website support page or through the customer portal. Users can search Tableau’s library of resources and community forums to see if their issue has been addressed elsewhere, and if not, they should continue to create a case and submit the required information in as much detail as possible.

Cost of Ownership

License/Subscription Cost
    Based on number of users
  • Subscription costs allow users to access Tableau Server over a set time-frame on both on-premise and cloud
Maintenance Cost
  • An additional cost over and above the upfront cost has to be paid for ongoing support and maintenance
Installation/Implementation Cost
  • On-Premise: Typically charged over and above the license cost
  • Cloud-based/SaaS: Included in the monthly 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. This affects the name 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 Server and can be done with the following tools - Tabcmd Script, REST API, TabMigrate and Enterprise Deployment Tool by InterWorks
Recurring/Renewal Costs
  • Renewal cost is equivalent to the fees paid annually, based on the number of users
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