A High-Level Overview of Tableau: An Excerpt from Our BI Tool Comparison Guide

A scalable, visually impressive business intelligence (BI) tool like Tableau, especially in conjunction with a well-defined data warehouse, may be what your organization needs to vastly improve your data-based decision-making (and to wow company leaders).

Read through this post for a high-level overview of Tableau. We’ll share the key details of the tool, the situations for when Tableau may be the best fit for your organization, pros and cons of Tableau, and select tools and technologies to complement your Tableau reporting.


Overview of Tableau

Tableau is a highly scalable tool that produces sophisticated, well-designed visualizations. Role-based licensing can dramatically affect the price, but Tableau’s intuitive user experience and extensive features can make the cost worthwhile.

Why Use Tableau

If you have a well-defined data warehouse already in place, consistently up-to-date ETL, and a data-savvy team looking for data discovery across various source systems and applications, Tableau may be a good fit. Bar none, this is the tool to use for the most impressive visuals.

Pros of Tableau

  • Tableau offers quick, accurate, and flexible report building and analysis.
  • Tableau’s user experience is intuitive, including drag-and-drop reporting capabilities.
  • Tableau has a native function that analyzes performance problem areas, telling you which worksheets, queries, and dashboards are slow and even showing you the query text.
  • Tableau offers extremely flexible and beautiful visualizations that you can’t easily achieve with other tools.

Cons of Tableau

  • Users must shift from one desktop tool to another and then to the web to complete various tasks, similar to Power BI.
  • Also like Power BI, there is no parallel publishing capability, reducing dashboard collaboration.
  • You need to invest heavily in your data modeling and ETL to avoid performance degradation within Tableau.
  • Tableau performs much faster when executing large queries on extracts versus live connections.

Select Complementary Tools and Technologies for Tableau

  • Amazon Redshift
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Databricks
  • Fivetran
  • Google BigQuery
  • Snowflake

If you found this high-level overview of Tableau helpful, you may be interested in learning more about Tableau reporting or how other leading BI tools, like Looker and Power BI, may suit your organization. Get in touch to learn more.

The content of this blog is an excerpt of our Business Intelligence Tool Comparison Guide. Click here to download a copy of the guide.