As more companies like Jaguar Land Rover, Wells Fargo and Recruit choose to deploy Tableau as the standard for analytics across the organization, we see more customers developing models that can demonstrate the value broad use of Tableau brings to their organizations.

Quantifying value of an analytics platform includes quantifying the real costs of BI. This can span everything from license purchases to FTE labor costs, software training, and IT resources.

In an effort to help your organization measure the true cost of Tableau deployments, we turned to the International Institute of IT Economics (IIIE) to perform a study and develop a model for customers to use and apply to their own use cases.

IIIE was founded by Bill Kirwin, a former Gartner analyst who is acknowledged as the creator of the IT Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) methodology and corresponding models.

The key findings from IIIE’s report, “A Study of the Value of Modern Business Intelligence Implementations in the Real World” are:

  • Tableau’s three year TCO was 29% lower than alternatives.
  • Tableau’s easy to use functionality led to lower initiative development and training costs vs. the competition that offset Tableau’s higher licensing costs.

According to IIIE, Tableau provided significantly lower total cost of ownership, and higher business value, when compared to traditional in-place solutions because “software and infrastructure costs are actually the smallest component of business intelligence TCO. The time it takes people to accomplish tasks with the tool is by far the biggest factor of cost.”

"When you look at it, based off what you're investing and what you're actually going to get in return, Tableau really pays dividends.” - Global Director of Data and Analytics interviewed for the study.

How the study was conducted

To understand Tableau’s cost-benefit breakdown, from both qualitative and quantitative perspectives, the IIIE team interviewed a variety of Tableau customers with deployments ranging in size from 500 users to several thousand, and developed a comprehensive financial model that evaluated key metrics:

  • Value: the business value created by end users of the solution
  • Software: the cost of licenses, maintenance, and/or subscriptions
  • Infrastructure: the on-premises hardware or cloud services required to support the business intelligence deployment
  • Data Costs: the cost of data sources or connectors used by the solution
  • Labor: the effort associated with use of business intelligence tools, including that of Procurement, IT, and Training teams

Using this methodology, IIIE compared Tableau to the business intelligence solutions customers previously used. IIIE also compared Tableau to the customer’s traditional business intelligence that they had in place prior to adopting Tableau, as well as to another modern BI alternative.

How to apply the TCO model for your use case

IIIE’s report breakdowns the financial model used to produce the TCO analysis. This can be a useful tool for an organization to use as a base to develop their own TCO. Every case is unique and there are many factors that determine the full cost of a platform.

The report also provides advice and recommendations for an organization’s plans to strategically deploy business intelligence across their company. Learn more in the full report.

You can also join the webinar series with IIIE later this month for a walk through of their methodology behind this model and how you can apply it to your organization’s specific scenario.

We were happy to see both the value and low TCO of Tableau quantified, and hope this report will help you quantify the real value of Tableau as you empower more people in your company with data.

To learn more about IIIE, please visit their website.

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