Tableau Software, the data visualization company with 12,000 customers and a $3+ billion market capitalization, is launching an enterprise cloud service based on its Tableau Server software.
Tableau Online, priced at $500 per user per year, is in essence a Tableau-hosted version of Tableau Server. The idea is to make it easier to use Tableau for sharing sensitive data and analysis inside organization, without the need to install and maintain your own instance of the server. Tableau Online will connect with some other enterprise cloud data such as Salesforce.com, Google Analytics and BigQuery and Amazon Redshift.
Elite Brands and hedge fund Herring Creek Capital were among several customers beta testing Tableau Online. Elite Brands used the service to allow iPad access to sensitive data by the sales force while on the road, without having to log into the corporate VPN, according to the Tableau announcement released this morning. Herring Creek's 7 employees were able to use the service to publish and share analyses within three weeks, the statement said.
A Tableau Online user license will be required in order to view visualizations and dashboards, not just create them. In addition, since initial work to import data and generate a first visualization will still be done in Tableau Desktop, at least one licensed copy of Desktop is needed too. Once a dashboard is published to Tableau Online, however, other users can create their own views from the data within the dashboard. Tableau Desktop is $2,000 for a perpetual license.
Compared with the cloud cost of $500 per user per year, Tableau Server costs $1,000 per user for a perpetual license with another 25% of that per year for maintenance (support and upgrades).
Tableau has three major offerings besides the newly announced cloud service: Tableau Desktop dataviz software, Tableau Server for secure sharing of browser-based dashboards and its free Tableau Public software for creating visualizations that are shared on Tableau's public website.
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Sample visualizations in a Tableau Online account.