Tableau. Yes, this is french for Table. It is also the most user-friendly, powerful, and amazing desktop visualization tool for consultants. Tableau is a company based out of Seattle Washington, founded in 2003 to commercialize work out of Stanford. Fast-forward 10 years, and it is a publicly traded company of 1,500+ employees, $232 million in revenue and traded under the ticker symbol of DATA. See their investor relationship pdf (2Mb) here.
No more Excel graphs. People on my teams who use Tableau no longer use Excel to draw any graphs. Let me say that again, they don’t use excel to draw graphs. My team mates list the many reasons they prefer Tableau:
- More flexible; it has “drag and drop” functionality like pivot tables
- More graphical and unique ways to show data
- Intuitive interface to link data sets
- It can be published and shared with clients
Gartner agrees. Gartner ranked it as a leader in its magic quadrant ranking of business intelligence and visualization tools here. This is pretty strong social proof, for those who care about the legitimacy and market acceptance of the tools.
Accenture uses Tableau. Accenture recently did some research on the rise of the market technologist function, and put their survey results on Tableau Public here. Click over to some of the tabs, and see how it visualizes simple bar and line charts. See how you can select different options and the graph changes automatically. This is the type of flexibility that it offers. If you are a consultant, and you can’t use Tableau, you might be in trouble.
Free trial. Of course they offer a free trial, which I have also done. Here it is. Even if you don’t join the train now, that is fine. I am only a beginner and rely on my teams to crunch data. Don’t be discouraged. You will see Tableau mentioned again in your professional life, I am sure. No question it is the future. I told you first.