Business intelligence (BI) is not a single piece of software, but actually an umbrella term for a variety of apps that an organization uses to analyze its raw data. Instead of thinking of BI as a thing, it’s probably more accurate to think of it as a discipline. Consequently, as a discipline, it consists of connected activities like data mining and online analytical processing, as well as querying and reporting.

Although many companies make business intelligence software, Tableau is a name that’s frequently recommended. In many ways, Tableau is considered the king of business intelligence. In a way, it can be said that Tableau raised the bar and set the standards of what users expect from BI.

Before delving into what makes this product line — consisting of Tableau Desktop, Tableau Server, and Tableau Online — so remarkable, it’s important to recognize that alternatives to Tableau are also viable products. Many have specialized in unique ways to make better use of business data assets. Consequently, if you’re thinking of investing in BI software, it’s worth reviewing these as well, as they may provide your business with more relevant features.

Tableau: Elevating User Expectations

While there are many reasons why business users think so highly of Tableau, it’s most often held in high esteem because of its visually-based data discovery. As far back as 2013, Gartner ranked it as the fastest growing vendor in their “Market Share Analysis: Business Intelligence and Analytics Software” report.

Here are 5 reasons why Tableau has earned a great reputation among BI business users:

  1. Tableau Has an Affordable Price

Compared to other major BI companies, Tableau offers an affordable price. It’s relatively inexpensive to implement and upgrade when comparing it to other big names. Implementation is fairly straightforward and upgrading is so easy that it’s rare to find users who don’t use the latest version of the software.

  1. Tableau Makes Data Visualization More Intuitive

Tableau was one of the first vendors to create a user-friendly data visualization tool. Although data visualization can often be complex, Tableau has created a drag-and-drop tool that makes the data visualizations more intuitive and interactive. A user does not need considerable help from the technical staff or extensive training in BI software usage. For instance, it’s easy to view charts or to highlight key sections. This ease-of-use is one of the primary reasons why many business users favor Tableau over other software that often requires considerable expertise.

  1. Tableau offers Mobile Support

Tableau makes it easy for a business person to use mobile business intelligence. The software recognizes when a user is using a mobile application, and it’s easy to access and view data with touch-based controls.

  1. Tableau makes it easy to integrate

Compatibility issues can be frustrating, but Tableau works well with most types of data. It integrates with business and statistical languages like R, which many advanced users prefer for statistics and analytics. It also integrates with most big platforms, even ostensibly challenging ones like Hadoop.

  1. Tableau stands behind its products

No matter how good a product is, regardless of how intuitive it is to use, customers still need support. What is easily comprehensible to one person may be puzzling to someone else without the same experience or skills. Recognizing that it’s not enough just to make good software, Tableau has gone out of its way to create a robust customer service division to consistently help their buyers.

Besides getting help from customer service, users can also get help from forums, online trainings, guides, and other forms of online resources. This is possible because Tableau has formed a network of partnerships to build a large consultant base. In fact, there is something of a community spirit on support sites, with a large number of enthusiastic, experienced, and engaged fellow users eager to help out.

Tableau can help you take back control of your business because it provides a clearer picture of your most critical data. It will allow you to make far better decisions, in turn making it easier to attract the right customers.