The beauty of Tableau

Posted by jack on February 22, 2012

I recently introduced a client to the use of Tableau. The client is a niche global consumer brand, and to date have used Crystal Reports to provide all their information needs. Frankly, I was getting fed up with creating more and more variations on existing reports, and the number of information sources was exploding leading to an exponential increase in demands for new reports – and Crystal has pretty limited capabilities for visual representation. For some time I condiered using Excelsius for this client, and I did produce some prototypes – but in practice these were costly to code and expensive to update and modify.

Tableau is a very different tool – unlike Business Objects or Crystal, it is built from the ground up with a visual approach to both development and presentation of information. You can download a free limited version here , or a full but time-limited version from here.

Many of the illustrations in the press and TV use Tableau in their preparation ( see their Gallery for some funky presentations – and you can download them and investigate how they are put together using the free version of the client).

One of the strong points of Tableau is the capability it has to present data in maps Рthe new version 7 allows entire territories to be coloured to represent information  in an easy to grasp format. If your requirement is to present geographic data I strongly recommend investigating Tableau.




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Categories: Tableau