‘How’s it compare with Tableau?’

No matter what BI product Suzanne Hoffman mentions during needs-assessment meetings with business users at SMBs, she says, the question is the same nine times out of ten: “How’s it compare with Tableau?”

“No one ever asks how it compares with Power BI,” says Hoffman, an industry consultant with vast experience. She does mention Power BI as a “low cost alternative.” But it’s thrown out more often than not.

They want down and dirty and a low learning curve, she finds. The winners of that contest are things like Tableau and Domo. Ask for a line of code, such as in Qlik or Power BI, and it gets wiped off the whiteboard.

The market has taken note. Tableau lookalikes pop up, change, and disappear so fast it’s hard to keep track . “It’s like trying to compare drops of water on pavement,” she said. “They dry up before you get a chance to look at them.”

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