5 Reasons to Look for an Alternative to Tableau

DashboardFox - Tableau Alternative

Tableau is a BI data analysis tool that is considered by many to one of the best, particularly when it comes to data visualization. This tool is popular because it presents vital data in a way that is easier to understand for any professional, even those without a technical background.

But, while Tableau is incredibly useful, it’s not the only business intelligence tool out there. As more become available, many people are starting to look for alternatives.

Top Reasons People Are Searching for an Alternative To Tableau

We have to give Tableau kudos. It is undoubtedly one of the most powerful and fastest-growing tools in the industry.

But people value choices – and the bottom line is, Tableau doesn’t work for everyone. It may not be the best fit for all cases. Let’s go over some of the top reasons why organizations might be searching for an alternative.

Tableau’s Price

Price seems to be the #1 problem when it comes to Tableau. We broke down the starting price for Tableau Server in this post.

While Tableau for Individuals start at $840 per year, for a team, Tableau Server is needed, and that starts at over $17,000 a year. It can get expensive.

Related to this, we have heard from many that Tableau is very inflexible in adjusting terms and conditions and negotiating around licensing details. This is particularly important for companies that are looking for embedded analytics and trying reach an OEM agreement with Tableau. {Side note: Our sister product, Yurbi, provides white label embedded analytics with flexible pricing and OEM licensing terms.}

It goes without saying, if the price of Tableau doesn’t fit your budget, you’re looking for an alternative.

Tableau’s Architecture

While Cloud BI is on the rise and many organizations opt for a cloud-first approach, many are still not comfortable with their data in a 3rd party cloud. What is great about Tableau, they actually give users a choice, they have an on-premise version of their Server or you can opt for their Cloud service.

In either model, Tableau does have a few extra moving parts in their architecture. Not everything is done via the web, you need desktop tools to create visualizations to publish to the Tableau Server, there are App servers, VizQL servers, Data Servers, Gateways, and mobile clients.

That all adds up to a lot of maintenance required by the IT team, which adds to the overall cost of the solution. For teams looking for a simpler solution and not looking to move to the Cloud hosted version of Tableau, they look for an alternative.

Tableau’s Features

Let us start by repeating, Tableau is absolutely fabulous, and the industry leader when it comes to data visualizations. But if Tableau was perfect they wouldn’t continue to release new features and would have 100% ownership of the market.

The reality is, different use cases require tools that work best for them. While Tableau is a very mature, stable product, it doesn’t do everything.

New updates and features are released on a quarterly basis, but as with any large software company, the going is slow. And with the acquisition by Salesforce, a lot of the new features are geared toward a tighter integration with the Salesforce ecosystem.

If you have a specific feature request, there’s a good chance that Tableau will not be able to deliver it as quickly as you need it

For this reason, many people have begun to branch out, looking for products with more unique features or vendors who are more attentive to requests.

Tableaus Failure of User Adoption

Clearly there are a lot of organization succeeding with Tableau. We would even venture to guess that Tableau has a higher level of success when it comes to user adoption than most BI tools.

But when we speak to customers who are leaving Tableau, this is a reason that regularly pops up. They say that Tableau is loved by their data analysts, but barely used by their business users. They need something lighter and without as many bells and whistles that just does the job.

It’s part of the reason that we feel DashboardFox is complementary to many Tableau environments versus competitive. The data analyst team has Tableau and can do a lot of work, using integrations with R and python. And since the Tableau licenses are isolated to just that team, it’s cost effective. DashboardFox is used as the self-service BI presentation layer on top of the databases or data warehouses that existing within the organization.

The use of Tableau and DashboardFox is having the right tool in the toolkit for each specific use case the organization has.

For organizations that have a use case that goes beyond data visualization or for those that are looking for more self-service BI features, they are looking for an alternative to Tableau.

Tableau’s Anonymous Sharing of Data

Tableau has a service called Tableau Public, which is free but makes your data available to the world. For some companies, this isn’t ideal.

Sometimes you want to share data openly, but still discreetly. For example, maybe you want to share a live feed to a dashboard with an external partner or customer. Unfortunately, with Tableau, there is no way to do that without a paid license.

So we find that many users that love the features of Tableau find that moving away from the Public model and into the paid model cost prohibitive. So they look for an alternative to Tableau.

How Can DashboardFox Help As An Alternate To Tableau?

We mentioned above that we view DashboardFox as complimentary for many mid to large businesses. We are also an affordable alternative for many small to mid-sized organization.

Here are a few things that many Tableau organizations find favorable in DashboardFox.


DashboardFox has a no-subscription pricing model. You pay once and you can use the software for life. And you can start with just a single license and grow as needed. So DashboardFox provides a starting price point that works well for both small and large teams.

Plus as a small bootstrapped business, we’re always willing to find a win/win with other small businesses, so unlike Tableau that has a huge demand and doesn’t need to negotiate, we will happily consider your offers in an effort to meet and gain a new customer.


DashboardFox is self-hosted software. You install it on your server, behind your firewall. It is a 15-minute install, it’s a 15 sec upgrade process. And you just have to keep 2 Windows services running for the software to function. It’s easy for IT to manage (even if you don’t have an IT department).

For those organizations who have no desire to get into server management and flinch when they hear Windows Server, we also offer hosting services. So we can host and take care of all that Windows Server management stuff for you.

The benefit, you still own the DashboardFox software and all your data. You can move it to your own server anytime you want.


DashboardFox doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of Tableau. Let us repeat that again, Tableau has a lot more features than we have. But we don’t think that is necessarily a bad thing. We focus on a core set of features that the majority of businesses need and as such, we have a leaner interface that business users tend to like better.

We mentioned above, data analysts and BI developers are going to enjoy Tableau, and they will point to the fact we don’t have things like R integration or Spider and Polar charts. But if your business isn’t looking for that, DashboardFox is the best alternative for you.

Not be too modest, DashboardFox does have a lot like self-service scheduling, ad-hoc report building, 100% web-based interface, data governance and auditing, branding support, responsive mobile interface, and a lot of things that Tableau doesn’t have.

Public Viewing

We talked about Tableau Public above and that as their free service, everything is public, you have no security and the paid version is cost prohibitive to many.

DashboardFox has the best of both worlds. You have secured access to data, but we also include licenses for Public View reports with each user.

Public View Document licenses allow you to license a report or dashboard as guest-viewable and gives you a direct link to share or embed into any web page.

Consider Alternatives Today

Tableau is truly a useful tool – and it works for a lot of people. But just know that if you have any complaints, you’re not alone. And you have options.

There may be a platform out there that better fits your needs; it’s worth it to explore them. If you think that DashboardFox might be the one for you, we encourage you to contact us! Let’s discuss your requirements and see if there is a fit.

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