13 Replies Latest reply on Apr 6, 2016 11:03 AM by Patrick A Van Der Hyde

    Is Tableau now behind the curve ?

    Mosin K

      I have been a fan of this product for nearly 7 years. However, the pace of innovation, at least the one visible to the end user, has slowed. There are incremental updates here and there and mostly folks hack their way through when faced with tableau limitations. But mostly, what has started to grow on me is;

      - Lack of a decent enterprise grade mobile solution( security, interactions etc.)

      - Primitive Dashboard authoring options

      - Arcane Table, Window and LoD calculations. How many intermediate users can do a nested table calculation and get what they want in first attempt

      - Inability to build and use custom stationary without hacking XML

      - Near absence of Tableau staff to support new users on these forums (flight of the giants whom I followed and learnt)

      - Absolute lack of natural language discovery; a winner with non technical teams

      - No data munging within Tableau

       

      Tableau has certainly made us a better shop and we are able to get quicker insights and make better decisions. That said, competitors have evolved and their offerings now compare or exceed tableau (just look at Power BI from MS) and I question if I am spending my analytics budget correctly to support the needs of ever evolving business and if this gap is going to widen even more.

        • 1. Re: Is Tableau now behind the curve ?
          Sriram Anantha Padmanaban

          I am eager to see the response from team - tableau on this post!

          Very Interesting feedback. I am a new learner and tableau developer and I agree with Mosin that support I have got so far is pretty average from tableau despite we have spent a huge amount.

          Looking forward for the response from tableau team on such post and what is their projected future plans? esp on Advance tableau trainings in their education offerings. I believe the training is very basic and it can get started but when it comes to advanced topics and best practises that information is not sufficient or no clarity on where to fetch it.

          More on demand videos on advance training should be very useful.

          • 2. Re: Is Tableau now behind the curve ?
            Shawn Wallwork

            I'm going to ignore most of what you've said, as it is mostly opinion. However this comment:

            - Near absence of Tableau staff to support new users on these forums (flight of the giants whom I followed and learnt)

            Is just plain wrong. While the names/faces may have changed, the volume of questions being answered by Tableau staff has increased substantially over the past couple of years. There are now at least 3 employees whose job it is to monitor the forums, answer questions, or get the appropriate Tableau staff member to answer the question. There is now a small Tableau logo after an employee's name, so it's easy to pick out who is and isn't an employee. If you page through the forums you'll see there are a whole lot of employees participating. Tableau Community might be able to provide some statistics about participation.

             

            Also in the 'good old days' many, many questions went completely without any reply at all. Folks needing help felt ignored. For more than a year now every single question on our forums has gotten at least one reply. Not only that, but the backlog of ignored questions has now been trimmed to only 3 weeks. This is mostly due to the tireless work of the Tableau Community staff members I mentioned.

             

            I think the forums have improved considerably over the last couple of years. More people are getting their questions answered than ever before.

             

            All I can say Mosin is: "You know not of which you speak!"

             

            --Shawn

            6 of 6 people found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Is Tableau now behind the curve ?
              Shawn Wallwork

              Here are countless hours of training from the TC15 conference:

              Content Not Available - Please Log In

              Obviously you'll have to login first. There is a link somewhere for all the TC14 videos that have content that is still relevant.

               

              --Shawn

               

              EDIT: Also there are hours of Think Data Thursday videos, some (most?) are on very advanced topics:

              The specified item was not found.

               

              Asking: "Where can I find more advanced training (for free)?" would have been a much better approach to this. As it is out there if you just look.

              • 4. Re: Is Tableau now behind the curve ?
                Jonathan Drummey

                Hi Mosin,

                 

                While I agree with some of your opinions, and others I don't have an opinion on, I agree with Shawn that your statement about the absence of Tableau staff is wrong. As far as I remember James Baker was the only Tableau staff person reliably on the forums in the early days, with Ross Bunker as an occasional visitor. Dustin Smith came on to manage the community and answered questions when he could and eventually Tracy Rodgers was assigned part-time. That's changed a lot since then, the staff of Tableau employees whose job it is to manage the community and monitor the forums now includes at least 4 that I know of, and a lot more Tableau employees are participating as well.

                 

                As for other people who were heavily involved back in the day such as Joe Mako, Richard Leeke, Alex Kerin, Shawn, and myself (and I'm sure I'm forgetting some from 3-5 years ago), we are all users, and over time our interests and responsibilities have changed. And there are a bunch of new folks who have come onboard the forums and are doing a great job answering questions and coming up with novel solutions to problems. My biggest beef with Jive as a forum platform is that finding those users and the great content that is being created here isn't as easy as I want it to be.

                 

                Also, if you're looking for more learning, I suggest you explore the world of the Tableau blogs, there are now easily over 100 different Tableau blogs out there. For me, at least, I used to get the majority of my "Wow, I really wanted to know more about that, thanks!"  content from the forums and some from blogs, nowadays the balance has switched and I'm getting more from the blogs.

                 

                Jonathan

                • 5. Re: Is Tableau now behind the curve ?
                  Toby Erkson

                  Behind the curve?

                  According to Gartner, Tableau is still doing quite well.  It's easy to compare products against each other, finding what you like with one and not finding it in the other.  How a product tackles the obstacles can vary, for better or worse to the end user, but it does so due to the product's ecosystem.

                   

                  What you want out of your dollar

                  Unless a dollar figure is given, comments about how much money is used for a product are meaningless as it's all relative.  I worked for a company that had another BI toolset with a cost over a million US dollars.  In comparison Tableau expenses are cheap!

                   

                  Free free free, everything for nothing!

                  Tableau provides a LOT of good training & help resources so I'm totally failing to find any sympathy in that arena.  I've been in BI for well over 15 years so I do have the experience to confidently make that statement.  I've had to deal with help and training for Cognos (post-IBM) and that was an exercise in futility.

                   

                  Other

                  Mosin K wrote:

                  ...

                  1. Lack of a decent enterprise grade mobile solution( security, interactions etc.)

                  2. Primitive Dashboard authoring options

                  3. Arcane Table, Window and LoD calculations. How many intermediate users can do a nested table calculation and get what they want in first attempt

                  4. Inability to build and use custom stationary without hacking XML

                  5. Absolute lack of natural language discovery; a winner with non technical teams

                  ...

                  I numbered your above points to make commenting easier for me for the items I have an opinion about.

                  1.  Agreed but it is improving, along with enterprise functionality in general (one of my complaints).

                  2.  Elaborate because I don't see it as primitive.

                  3.  Some things just aren't simple to construct for the environment they are being used in.  LOD makes sense to me but I have a programming background.  To a fresh-faced Business Administration college graduate it probably looks like the love-child of COBOL and calculus.  Okay, who just said, "What is COBOL?"

                  4.  Agreed.  Formatting has always been a challenge and source of irritation for all.

                  5.  Oh heck no!  I'm glad this isn't in there to muck things up and make life additionally frustrating for newbs and bloat the code base.  The current methodology of dragging & dropping still makes the most sense for ease of use.  You want "natural language" (wasn't that one of the original hopes for SQL?) then get IBM's Watson (it's pretty cool but as for pricing, if you have to ask... )

                  • 6. Re: Is Tableau now behind the curve ?
                    Rody Zakovich

                    Hello Mosin,

                     

                    While I agree with some of the points you made, I am in the same vein as Jonathan, Shawn and Toby.

                     

                    Like they mentioned, the one comment you made about Tableau Employees not being engaged in the community is simply just wrong, and quite frankly, a little insulting to the individuals who work specifically for this community.

                     

                    Another thing I wanted to mention was the comment regarding Incremental Updates. In the past, features took much longer to release, but (to my knowledge) Tableau's development team has migrated to a more Agile Methodology. Thus, we should be seeing new features/bug releases coming in more frequent intervals. Also, Tableau is making a lot of moves in hiring MANY more developers, as well as, acquiring cutting edge  Database technology to help bring Tableau to the next level.

                     

                    I'd suggest looking at the Developers on Stage from Tableau Conference 15. You'll see there just HOW much Tableau is working on to improve the platform.

                     

                    It will be MANY many years before a technology is released that requires absolutely NO TECHNICAL skills (IMO I doubt that day will ever come), but I'd say Tableau is leading the way in making it easier and easier for non-technical individuals to discover insights from there data.

                     

                    Regards,

                    Rody

                    3 of 3 people found this helpful
                    • 7. Re: Is Tableau now behind the curve ?
                      Shawn Wallwork

                      Yes Rody! I'm glad you mentioned this:

                      Another thing I wanted to mention was the comment regarding Incremental Updates. In the past, features took much longer to release, but (to my knowledge) Tableau's development team has migrated to a more Agile Methodology. Thus, we should be seeing new features/bug releases coming in more frequent intervals. Also, Tableau is making a lot of moves in hiring MANY more developers, as well as, acquiring cutting edge  Database technology to help bring Tableau to the next level.

                      At TC15 I had the opportunity to discuss this issue with many of the top folks in Tableau who think (worry) about the best way to both create, and roll-out, updates/new features. As far as I can tell, the management of the Dev teams made three major changes to their process:

                       

                      1. Only roll it out when it's ready
                      2. Go for it (even if it won't be ready for the next conference)
                      3. Go for it even if it (you/your team) might fail completely

                       

                      This seems to be the new 'agile' process that the Tableau Development Team has adopted.

                       

                      I heard several anecdotes at conference, which suggest that this new approach is working well. A manager related a story to me about a team who thought of a new very cool idea that would make the product much better (easier to use). But they were worried that they might not be able to get it to work; and they were even more worried that they wouldn't be able to get it to work in time for the next conference. So they were questioning whether they should take on the risk of failure. The manager told them to 'go for it'.

                       

                      This illustrates the 'new' thinking within the Tableau Development department. And why they've adopted this agile philosophy.

                       

                      We users want them to push their product further, we want them to come up with new/best solutions for our needs. We want them to be the best!

                       

                      Which means we need to give them the space to both succeed and fail!

                       

                      --Shawn

                      • 8. Re: Is Tableau now behind the curve ?
                        Mosin K

                        Love all the feedback especially coming from my heros. Thanks for sharing your insights.

                        There is a promise of better things to come. Really excited.

                         

                        As Shawn says, I probably know little of what I speak so shall wait patiently (anxiously).

                        1 of 1 people found this helpful
                        • 9. Re: Is Tableau now behind the curve ?
                          kettan

                          Reading  Tableau's Pace of Innovation  helps us to appreciate what is done in the past and gives us a feeling of what and how much to expect in the future.

                           

                          We can also influence Tableau by up-voting (and posting new) Ideas.

                           

                          I noticed that you didn't mention what I think is most important, namely the ability to join extracts.

                           

                          This new feature would:

                           

                          1) be such a time saver!

                          time better spent in other ways;
                          time is money (wage, value) in this context!

                          2) be such a space saver!

                          going from way too many extracts
                          to almost being able to count them on the fingers!

                          3) make things so much simpler!  .

                          less is more:

                          • fewer extracts are easier to learn, use, understand, load,
                            store, backup, maintain, teach, document, administrate etc;
                          • any extract combination is available whenever needed
                          • dashboard authors dependency on extract authors is minimized

                           

                          If you agree, please consider up-voting following ideas:

                           

                          188   Ability to JOIN Data Extracts

                          111   Dimensionally Modeled Extracts

                           

                          Lesson learnt: What is considered most important varies from user to user!

                           

                          Question:  If you could pick one thing, and one thing only, what would you want Tableau to improve or feature in their next release? Said differently, what do you consider to be most important/missing?

                           

                           

                          That said, competitors have evolved and their offerings (price?) now compare or exceed tableau (just look at Power BI from MS) and I question if I am spending my analytics budget correctly to support the needs of ever evolving business and if this gap is going to widen even more.

                          Besides joining extracts, I consider licensing the biggest issue of using Tableau and therefore suggested:

                           

                          117   Improved server license model for medium size companies

                           

                          I guess price is the area where Power BI from MS and others are better (less costly) than Tableau!

                          Leaders' prices go down - too late - when they are beaten by a new young company (such as Tableau) with a very good product.

                          If Tableau lower their prices while still considered the leader, it will be even more difficult to beat them!

                           

                          I do understand your point and would also consider if Tableau is the right choice - spending my analytic budget correctly - if still working with Tableau.

                           

                           

                          - Lack of a decent enterprise grade mobile solution( security, interactions etc.)

                          I don't have any experience with this and therefore without opinion.

                          In case an idea already exists, you could up-vote it and add a comment about why this is important to you.

                          If you can't find any idea, then you can post one yourself and thus influence Tableau to do it.

                           

                           

                          - Primitive Dashboard authoring options

                          In case you refer to working with  Layout Containers, we both agree that it needs to be improved!

                           

                          See also other ideas in the  Dashboard  ideas collection.

                           

                           

                          - Arcane Table

                          See many suggestions we can up-vote in  Text Tables

                           

                           

                          - Window and LoD calculations.

                          How many intermediate users can do a nested table calculation and get what they want in first attempt

                          I agree, but wonder what can be done to make this easier without loosing current flexibility and functionality ?!

                           

                          More and better learning material might be a way, but probably already done - it's just so difficult to find exactly what we need at the time we need it.

                           

                          The most helpful now is - in my opinion - to make it much easier to find relevant material and good recipes about various issues and solutions. A good start would be to improve this forum, so golden solutions and recipes are much easier to find!

                           

                          Here are some ideas to up-vote about  Learning Tableau

                          If you have other ideas, please post them in Ideas

                           

                          Just so you know, having a built-in automatic Tableau teacher is actually the most unwanted feature of all ~ 4000 ideas posted so far:  Mr. Clippy - Tableau Wanna Chat

                           

                           

                          - Inability to build and use custom stationary without hacking XML

                          You find many ideas to up-vote in this regard in  Dashboards : Re-use

                           

                           

                          - Near absence of Tableau staff to support new users on these forums (flight of the giants whom I followed and learnt)

                          Current feedback already covers this quite well.

                           

                           

                          - Absolute lack of natural language discovery; a winner with non technical teams

                          This doesn't attract me. That said, I don't know what it is    I guess it just reminds me too much about the most unwanted feature request - Replace show me with a talking paperclip - and therefore not something I expect value from. That of course doesn't mean that it is not valuable. Do you have any link that explains short and well the value of it?

                           

                           

                          - No data munging within Tableau

                          See (and vote!)  The specified item was not found. and more in same collection.

                          See also a small collection of such in  Extract children

                          3 of 3 people found this helpful
                          • 10. Re: Is Tableau now behind the curve ?
                            Rody Zakovich

                            I want to up-vote an idea in Jive to let an individual Like a response as much as they like, just for the sole purpose of Liking kettan's comment 1 Million times.

                             

                            This may not be the appropriate space to say this, but I'm going to do it anyway.

                             

                            kettan, the work you have done and continue to do for this community is simply incredible. We all owe you a thanks for your hard work. It is responses like this, that just shows how valuable you are to this community.

                             

                            Thank you, for everything!

                             

                            Regards,

                            Rody

                            1 of 1 people found this helpful
                            • 11. Re: Is Tableau now behind the curve ?
                              Mark Wu

                              Good questions and a lot of great answers. When I saw Gartner's magic quadrant for BI/Analytics 2016, I had that thought too. I read it a few times.  Here is my opinions and my two cents here:

                              Is Tableau behind the curve?

                              Not from new features perspective.  Tableau has speeded up its release cycles from one release per year to three releases 2015. Tableau also announced that there would be four releases in 2016. Tableau is going to spend more R&D $ this year than all the last 13 years of the company combined. I love the pace of innovation

                               

                              On the other side, Gartner 2016 does indicate that the execution gap between Tableau and Qlik/MS is smaller than last year although Tableau is still #1 in execution in 2016. Here is what Gartner says about it "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)". 

                               

                              My take is that Tableau has awesome products but needs to figure out better pricing model (not only mid-size customer server pricing model but also large customer Desktop pricing model as well). Here is what Gartner says about Microsoft pricing: "Microsoft has substantially lowered the price of Power BI — from its original $39.95 per user per month to $9.95 per user per month — making it one of the lowest-priced solutions on the market today, particularly from larger vendors. The lower price point, in addition to substantial product improvements, explains the strong uptake by 90,000 organizations (according to Microsoft)".

                               

                              "44% of Tableau's survey references cited the cost of software as a barrier" which I agree. My company has 300+ Desktops which covered most of 'Tier 1' self-service users. There are 2-3 times 'Tier 2' self-service users. However those 'Tier 2' users may not want to pay $2,000 for a Desktop license. How to put beautiful visualization Tableau tool to those 'Tier 2' user's hands?   I trust that Tableau will figure out a better pricing model soon.

                              • 12. Re: Is Tableau now behind the curve ?
                                Rody Zakovich

                                I have some "ideas" of what they may plan to do. But that is just me guessing based on current Tableau Architecture, and the research I did of HyPer.

                                 

                                Regardless of what the ultimate outcome is, it is really exciting to see Tableau making these moves. It shows they are looking for new and innovative ways of improving the technology.

                                 

                                Exciting days!

                                • 13. Re: Is Tableau now behind the curve ?
                                  Patrick A Van Der Hyde

                                  just seconding Rody's comments about Johan's work here in the community!!!!!

                                   

                                  Also know that we are reading/discussing ideas generated here related to Jive especially. 

                                   

                                  Patrick