Business Intelligence Solution: Tableau

June 1, 2017 | David Taylor

For decades, enterprises have made business decisions based on reports. Some of the first management reports had horizontal green bars, and readers flipped through reams of paper to decipher the underlying data. Nowadays, of course, that’s ancient history, and information analysts make decisions in real time using cutting-edge analytical software and compel decision makers with beautiful data visualizations. All the work takes place online, and nobody needs to wheel carts of paper around the office anymore! In this article, we present one technology solution and some of its most important attributes and benefits.

There are plenty of buzzwords to satisfy everyone: “Data Discovery,” “Big Data,” and “Cognitive Computing” are some of the latest. These all have merit, but, by and large, technology vendors are chasing the same goal: to provide more data and more flexibility to information analysts with less latency and less training. This goal proves wonderfully elusive because, even as technology advances, the business questions become more complex and enterprises hoard more data than ever.

A great success story in the modern technology landscape is the vendor Tableau Software. Tableau has helped thousands of customers and has rapidly risen to be a dominant player in the business intelligence landscape. Some of the advantages Tableau offers include:
  • Tableau offers an incredibly intuitive product; truly, Tableau can be used by someone with very little training. By simply dropping some data into the application, then double clicking a few things, a user can create interesting and informative visualizations. Dirty data can be automatically cleaned up with the Data Interpreter, fiscal date setup is just a few clicks away, and columns can be pivoted very easily.
  • Tableau does an excellent job of delivering fast performance to users. Nobody likes spinning hourglasses, so Tableau’s Desktop product transparently caches data on a user’s workstation. Even when analyzing data from server-based sources like Oracle or Teradata (or both at the same time), Tableau will generally bring that data to the Desktop and optimize it for incredibly fast performance. Furthermore, Tableau recognizes today’s chaotic data landscape and offers simple access to scores of business applications, both on premise and in the cloud.
  • Tableau makes mapping simple and straightforward— data points like zip codes, counties, congressional districts, etc. can be overlaid on a map with minimal effort. Tableau Public has thousands of public report samples available to anyone. Tableau offers adaptive design, such that visualizations authored on huge monitors still look great on iPhones. And despite its simplicity, Tableau still offers enterprise-class features for security, calculation complexity, server scalability, and embedding.
Clearly, Tableau has a lot to offer its customers. But in this crowded market segment, other vendors like ThoughtSpot, Qlik, Microsoft, and Cognos also offer stunningly fantastic features to their customers, too. With so many options, it’s easy to become overwhelmed.

At EKS&H, we pride ourselves on knowing this market landscape very well, and we welcome the opportunity to speak with enterprises about their goals and requirements and how those might map to various marketplace solutions. There are many ways to navigate an organization to realize its business intelligence goals, and we would be delighted to be a part of your organization’s conversation!

To learn more about Tableau or other business analytics solutions, please contact David Taylor at, or call us today at 303-740-9400.