Tableau Total Cost of Ownership

The complete analytics platform with no hidden costs

As the amount of data companies collect grows, so does the demand for analytics. From individuals to large enterprises, everyone wants to use data to make better decisions faster. You need to be smart about your investment in an analytics platform that gives all roles the access, agility and flexibility they need to uncover insights faster.

Why you should look at your solution's total cost of ownership

Software license cost represents a relatively small component of the overall cost of owning and maintaining a business intelligence (BI) platform. The complexity of licensing options and disjointed product suites make it difficult to fully understand the true total cost of ownership of BI.

When selecting a modern BI platform, buyers should consider the overall multi-year cost of deployment across the enterprise, relative to the value it delivers, including:

  • Additional Costs to Deploy Full Functionality

    When considering a BI platform, buyers must consider the multi-year cost of infrastructure, deployment, maintenance, and the IT full-time employees (FTE) required to deploy and scale the system. IT FTE cost is the most significant driver of total cost of ownership ( TCO) for most organizations, but because the Tableau platform allows end-users to ask their own questions of data, fewer demands are put on IT to create reports and dashboards. And even in “self-service” analytics, there is a range. With other products, a report developer can build in specific interactivity around anticipated business user questions, but questions that weren't designed into the report require technical resources to build something new. All of this adds to FTE and licensing costs quoted by competitors.

  • Future Scalability

    As more people start relying on your BI deployment over time, use cases get more complex, and the underlying technologies required to support them can change. For example, if you need to add additional infrastructure, external service providers, or additional headcount in order to scale and evolve, your costs can increase exponentially. Tableau is one integrated and extensible platform, whether your data is on-premise or in the cloud. Other products require you to rebuild BI content when you change infrastructure, but Tableau gives you flexibility to switch your deployment if your technical environment changes.

  • Time to Market and Adoption

    An often overlooked factor in TCO is the time it takes to build and deploy a solution to users across an organization. A BI platform is only impactful if employees use it. When everyone in an organization can find new insights in their data, the TCO is often offset, and far outweighed, by the benefits. Tableau is dedicated to customer success, offering training, forums, and a robust community, so employees can find more insights in less time. The TCO of a BI platform should always be evaluated relative to the value it delivers to the organization.

I can tell you that easily it runs into 10,000-20,000 man hours in terms of productivity generated because of the automation and standardization you get out of Tableau. But more than that, to me it’s the business value—and you cannot really put a price on it.

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Brown-Forman Scales Tableau to 1,000 users on the cloud

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Tableau provides more value, at a lower overall cost