- Rapid Visualizations
Tableau is truly a best in class visualization tool. Once the basics of building a chart/graph is understood this process is fairly quick. This feature is particularly helpful if a user would like to test different ways to present data. In this area Tableau clearly has the advantage over Excel. In Excel a table is typically constructed first before the right visualization can be selected. In Tableau the process is a bit more streamlined and direct.
- Enables Higher Dynamic Integrity
I’ve built quite a few interactive dashboards in Excel using various techniques. Some are more favorable than others. One of the primary errors with building an interactive dashboard in Excel is mis-constructing a formula. Logic errors in formulas will lead to bad dynamic integrity and improper results. This issue can be circumvented with tools like Pivot Tables. However, in general the integrity built-in to Tableau is a plus.
- Distribution and Sharing
Analysis can be shared by distributing a Tableau file to other Tableau software holders. The other option is to save the viz on a server to be accessed through a browser. The ability to have a large population interact with the viz simply a browser is what makes Tableau so powerful.
- The Community
One of the great things about Tableau is the user community. The users of this tool are engaged in sharing best practices and sample visualizations. I have yet to see a forum as robust, engaging and visually engaging as Tableau public.
In my next blog I’ll share my concerns with Tableau compared to Excel.