Information Management: Tableau Online Brings Business Intelligence to the Cloud
Data analytics and data visualization company, Tableau Software today announced the general release of Tableau Online, the SaaS version of its Tableau Server.

Improving Data Management

While the demand for business intelligence (BI) grows, there is a concurrent need to make this technology more self-sufficient so that users can concentrate less on deciphering and waiting on reports from support teams and more on using this information to take action.

With this online version of the Tableau Server, users now have access to BI data, wherever they are. Tableau Online gives users a central location to share, edit and analyze data, as well as the ability to share dashboards with customers in a secure manner.

Data can be edited at any time and from any device or platform including in web browser, iOS or Android tablet. Information placed in a person's online workbook causes a notification email to be sent out, which will bring them directly to the data in Tableau Online. Data can be pulled from a variety of other cloud based solutions such as, Google Analytics, Amazon Red Shift and SnapLogic’s Snap for Tableau, as well as from internal data sources.

A Good Move, A Long Way to Go

This move toward the cloud is being seen by some as a show of the company’s investment in its clients and the future of business intelligence.

Users will no longer need to use a virtual private network to access the data visualization tool from Internet-connected laptops and tablets, which can save time for sales reps and other on-the-field workers,” wrote Michal Lev-Ram.

Although, as with any any product or service there is competition. According to Nancy Gohring, Tableau Software’s competition offer better solution since, for example, Tableau Online doesn't have a pay as you go option, only an annual subscription rate. She also notes that the online version currently works best when used along with the desktop client.

There are many other companies that offer purer cloud-centric solutions for business intelligence and data analytics, such as Jaspersoft for Amazon's cloud and startup Tidemark,” she wrote. “For now, Tableau still has some catching up to do.”

A Look at Tableau Software

With a mission to “help people see and understand data,” Tableau Software offers its customers a variety of products and solutions for this purpose. In addition to Tableau Online and Tableau Server there’s also Tableau Public and Tableau Desktop. Its individual solutions include data dashboards, survey analysis, GPC analysis and game development. Tableau Software released version 8.0 of its platform in March and partnered with Datashift to improve data integration in June.