The BI Survey 13: The Customer Verdict

BARC, Business Analytics Research Council

The Business Analytics Research Council (BARC) results from the world’s largest and most comprehensive survey of business intelligence end-users ranks Tableau as #1 of all 30 participating vendors in Business Benefits, Business Achievement, and Agility. Read this whitepaper to find out why.

We've also pulled out the first several pages of the whitepaper for you to read. Download the PDF on the right to read the rest.


The BI Survey 13 is based on findings from the world's largest and most comprehensive survey of business intelligence end-users, conducted earlier this year. In total, 3,149 people responded to The Survey with 2,298 answering a series of detailed questions about their usage of a named product. Altogether, 30 products or groups of products received a detailed analysis.

The BI Survey 13 examines BI product selection and usage among users in areas including business benefits, costs, proportion of employees using the product, competitiveness, recommendation, innovation, performance, customer satisfaction and agility.

One thing that all BI deployments ought to have in common is that they should deliver business benefits. We asked several questions that helped us measure how successful respondents’ deployments had been. The combined results were then used as a calibration tool that is widely used throughout The Survey to assess the correlation between many factors and project success.

Tableau customer responses

This is the third year that Tableau features in The BI Survey. It appeared this year with a healthy sample of 48 users.

Around 57 percent of participants said they were using Tableau version 8 and 36 percent version 7.

User and use case demographics

Tableau is a visual analysis product. The tool is strongly oriented towards business users who can create new reports or visualizations for themselves. But customers appear to be using the solution more broadly.

Analysis results produced in Tableau are used in dashboards and reports built with this solution. Especially interesting is the fact that Tableau is used for budgeting/planning yet offers no planning functionality itself.

The figures suggest that analytical insights (forecasting, etc) are also being used within planning processes.

Tableau is being pushed into the larger enterprises as a self-service BI tool. This means the technology is often looked upon as a departmental rather than an enterprise-wide one. Our user number results also reveal that demand for the product is coming from the mid market.

The product is often seen as an alternative to QlikTech.

Peer Groups

Peer groups are used to ensure similar products are compared against each other both in fairness to the vendor and for the benefit of the customer. The groups are essential to allow fair and useful comparisons of products that are likely to compete.

The peer groups are primarily data-driven and based on how customers say they use the product.

Tableau features in the following peer groups:

  • Dashboard
  • Ad-hoc Analysis
  • Visual Analysis and Data Discovery Vendor

The KPIs

The BI Survey 13 provides the reader with well-designed dashboards packed with concise information using aggregated KPIs, which can be absorbed at a glance. The KPIs all follow these simple rules:

  • Only measures that have a clear good/bad trend are used as the basis for KPIs
  • KPIs may be based on one or more measures from The BI Survey
  • Only products with samples of at least 20 - 30 (depending on the KPI) for each of the questions that feeds into the KPI are included
  • Each KPI is normalized so that the overall sample always has a value of 1.0
  • The KPIs are calculated so that better-than-average products always have scores of greater than 1.0, while less good products score less than 1.0. When viewing the peer group KPI charts, note that the average for each peer group will usually be either higher or lower than 1.0 because the peer groups are all subsets of the overall sample.

Tableau is top ranked in all of the peer groups in the business benefits KPI, an extremely strong result. This clearly indicates the additional value the product brings to customers post implementation. This is in line with vendor’s goal to deliver an intuitive self-service Discovery product which helps business people gain new insights by visually browsing and analyzing data.

Currently, Tableau is the fastest growing vendor and results later in this report explain this phenomenon. The company’s focus on the advanced visual representation of data - plus the easy interaction for the business user that comes with using the product - creates a set of capabilities which filter, visualize and integrate data. This functionality appears to be delivering business benefits.

Want to read more? Download the rest of the whitepaper!

Om författaren


Business Analytics Research Council

Business Application Research Center - BARC - www.BARC-Research.com - is a leading independent software industry analyst delivering information to more than 1000 customers each year.

For more than ten years, BARC has specialized in core research areas including Data Management and Business Intelligence as well as Enterprise Content Management.

BARC publishes the largest end-user survey on Business Intelligence products - The BI Survey - and the most comprehensive collection of in-depth BI product evaluations and market analysis - The BI Verdict (formerly known as The OLAP Report).

More than 30 highly-qualified professionals deliver 100% unbiased and well-founded knowledge about the software market with software evaluations, conferences, market research and consulting.

BARC has offices in the UK, France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and partners worldwide.