I am looking for the best way to distribute interactive reports in an economical manner. I am weighing the pros and cons of using packaged workbooks/Tableau Reader versus Tableau Online. Details below.
Our company conducts customer satisfaction reports for the senior living industry. We have recently switched to using Tableau Desktop to create reports because it allows us to customize reports to our clients' needs more quickly. Prior to that we used Excel and VBA to generate PDF reports. I am looking into methods for distributing the reports to our clients. For the senior living communities we plan to distribute PDFs. The lack of interaction with the reports we feel is more than compensated for by the low cost and ubiquity of Adobe Reader. We want to keep the corporate reports interactive, however, and that's where I could use some help in finding the best method for distributing reports.
Packaged Workbooks and Tableau Reader
At first I thought we would e-mail packaged workbooks, since it would not cost us anything, though it would require our clients to download the latest version of Tableau reader each year. However, when I tried viewing our reports on a different computer the formatting was all messed up. Some fonts became larger than they were on my computer, scroll bars popped up all over the place, and things just looked squished together. So it seems like you may have to tailor the report to each person's screen size, which translates to my needing to ask around 10 people at each company what their screen resolution is and then create several versions of the report that will work with the various screen sizes. It also seems like the Microsoft Windows font setting can affect font size in Tableau, which would be another hurdle. I would really like Tableau Reader to be a viable option. If you feel I could make it work, could you point me in the right direction for figuring out how to do it?
Our company is considering using Tableau Online as an alternative. I did a brief test run of the product and it did not seem to have problems with the layout being affected by screen resolution. My primary concern with Tableau Online is the price. I understand the price is $500 per username? We do survey research for senior living companies and would like all the executives within a company (5-10 people) to have access to all the reports. Can all the executives within a company use the same username and password to view the reports to keep the cost at $500 per company? If so, can multiple people sign into the same account and view the reports at the same time?
I asked my account manager about this and got a rather strange response, which doesn't seem right from what I have read about and experience with trial of Tableau Online.
"In order to have your clients logging in you would need Tableau Server. Tableau Online is for internal use case for the company using Tableau Desktop. You can’t distribute Online access to the companies that you are working for.
With that being said with either product you will need each person consuming reports and dashboards to get a license."
I think she may be new and is mixing up Tableau Server and Tableau Online. I want to confirm that Tableau Online can be used by people outside our company and that they don't need Tableau Desktop or Server to view the reports.
Thanks for any advice.