Tableau Consulting Services
Metric-X is a Tableau Partner.
We can develop analytics solutions in Tableau for you, or simply help you develop them yourself.
This page provides more information about Tableau so that property management companies can decide if Tableau is right for them.
The Technology Architecture
The diagram below is useful for understanding the rest of the content on this page. Note that Tableau, along with other similar tools, is used for presenting your data in a visual, useful format.
How This Page is Organized
Our Tableau capabilities are described on this page in the “FAQ” format. The content is divided into sections based on your familiarity with Tableau:
- Never Heard of Tableau (click here)
- Considering Using Tableau (click here)
- Need Some Tableau Help (click here)
Never Heard of Tableau
The content here will be relevant if you have not heard of Tableau before and want to learn more about it.
What is Tableau?
Tableau is the leading data analysis software on the market.
Using Tableau, you can create reports and charts, and also drill down into your data to understand patterns and relationships.
Tableau is used by companies of all sizes, from Fortune 500 companies to midsize companies to even a one-person consultancy. It is quite easy to learn to use Tableau.
Metric-X is a Tableau Partner. That means we sell Tableau licenses, and also provide Tableau development and implementation services.
Where can I see a demo?
See some of demos of real estate analytics we have created using Tableau on this page:
What are some things that Excel can do that Tableau cannot?
- Tableau isn’t meant to be a spreadsheet. That means you can’t type in data values into lots of cells and use them in calculations.
- Many people use Excel for managing lists. Tableau isn’t meant for that.
- Tableau does not handle very wide spreadsheets-like views with lots of columns. If you need to display more than about 16 dimension columns, you’re probably over-doing it.
- It is easy to copy/paste data from other Excel files and use the combined data for analysis and charts. While this can be done in Tableau, there are several “data preparation” to perform
What are some things that Tableau can do that Excel cannot?
In fairness to Excel, which can be used for almost anything from cooking breakfast to polishing shoes, Tableau was designed for only one thing: make data tell a story. So, it is the best product in its category, and it does little else.
- Tableau can connect to millions of rows of data, and process them very fast
- Tableau has built-in publishing features, that enable you to share your charts with co-workers. Microsoft put these in PowerBI instead of including them in Excel.
- Tableau offers a gallery of chart types, and can
Is Tableau the name of the company or the name of the software?
Both. Tableau Corporation (NASDAQ DATA) is the developer of the Tableau family of analytics products.
What are the negatives of Tableau?
- Tableau costs money.
- It takes time to learn (but, seriously, you don’t need to be a programmer or Excel guru to use Tableau).
- It can give you amazing insights if you use it right.
- It cannot do everything Excel can do, so you need to have clear expectations.
- If you want to use the full power of Tableau, you will need to spend time organizing your data.
We do all our data analysis in Excel. Why would we want Tableau?
- Where does your data sit? If you have bulky Excel files that you’re okay with managing, then you don’t need Tableau.
- Are your data sets almost a million rows? Tableau can handle larger volumes quite fast.
- If you are okay with not having interactive charts, then you don’t need Tableau.
- If you have to email an Excel file (or screenshots) in order to show your charts to others, and are tired of it, then take a look at Tableau.
Here’s an intro video about Tableau ….
We create reports in Excel. Why would I need Tableau?
- Excel has many strengths and Tableau is not meant to be a replacement of Excel.
- Some things are simply easier to do in Tableau.
- Tableau’s output (the interactive reports and dashboards) are visually stunning. They can be published online for your co-workers to view.
- You can have the reports automatically updated with the latest data.
- Tableau is designed for the data analyst who needs to do data exploration but doesn’t want to learn to write code or use statistical functions.
What skills are necessary to use Tableau?
The most important prerequisite is the need for and an interest in understanding your data
After that, if you are comfortable doing the following in Excel, you will pick up beginner to intermediate Tableau skills fairly easily:
- Date calculations (Adding, subtracting dates, the TEXT() function, Custom Date Formats, DATEVALUE() etc.)
- VLOOKUP(), including the purpose of the FALSE argument for “exact match”
- DCOUNT(), DCOUNTA(), SUMIFS()
- Good understanding of the IF() function, including nested IFs like =IF(a,IF(b,c,d),f)
- Logic functions like AND(), OR()
There are a lot of online resources available for help.
The Tableau Community Forum is very helpful and friendly (as long as you remember to upload your sample workbook J)
I am already an Excel power user. How long will it take me to learn Tableau?
- See the answer above about Excel knowledge.
- As an Excel power user, you will be able to make your initial Tableau report in the first 15 minutes. Becoming a Tableau power user takes time. Tableau has such an extensive set of features (Table Calculations, Level of Detail Expressions, Maps, Polygons, Parameters etc.) and these take time to learn.
- Take a few minutes to learn the fundamentals of Measures, Dimensions. Also Discrete and Continuous measures.
What kind of work has Metric-X done with Tableau?
Metric-X has been a Tableau Partner since 2013. We have built many interesting and useful analytics solutions for our clients. We have worked in many different industries. See the examples of our work here
Can I do a free evaluation of Tableau?
Click this link. It will take you to the Tableau website where you can download a free trial.
How is Tableau different from Power BI?
- Tableau is the leader in the data analysis category. Power BI is catching up.
- Tableau Corporation and Microsoft want to lead in this space and they are constantly innovating and releasing new features.
- When it comes to advanced types of calculations (for example “table calculations” and “level of detail expressions”), Tableau is further ahead. You’d think that most users don’t need such calculations, but when they are so easily accessible, they get used.
- The differences are in the licensing model. The ‘per user’ price for Tableau is higher. But “total cost of ownership” of the two products turns out to be very similar.
Which do you recommend, Power BI or Tableau?
We are neutral. We build most of our demo visualizations using Tableau because they are more powerful and visually attractive. They are also easier to build in Tableau. However, the same visualizations can also be developed in Power BI.
What do you mean by “Total Cost of Ownership”?
If you choose software based on the license prices for PowerBI, Tableau and Klipfolio, you will miss the bigger picture. Using analytics in-house costs more than just what you pay for the licenses. These costs add up over time. Here are the other components:
- Report development time
- Data extraction, preparation time
- Tech support
- Analytics report developer license subscription
- Analytics end user software licenses
- Data extraction and preparation software
- API and other data connection licenses
- Database server
- Network bandwidth
Is Tableau one software or several?
There are several Tableau products:
Tableau Desktop is the software used for creating the powerful, visual reports. If you spend time in Excel managing data and creating charts, you must give Tableau Desktop a try! Tableau Desktop is designed for the person wants to analyze data and share their analysis with colleagues.
Tableau Online is a cloud application for viewing the reports built in Tableau Desktop. Your co-workers can login to Tableau Online and view and interact with the reports you publish. Tableau reports are not static. Depending on how reports are built, users of Tableau Online can apply filters and drill down into the data. They can also enter comments about the reports.
Data frequently has to be organized before it can be analyzed. Tableau Prep helps do things like add columns, remove recurring text, change data column formats etc. This is also called “Extract, Transform and Load” (ETL). Essentially, with Tableau Prep, you will be able to combine, shape, and clean your data.
Tableau Server is for large companies that want to host and administer Tableau internally for their employees. Companies that don’t want their data on the cloud typically use Tableau Server.
Can I see a demo?
Absolutely! Here are some links to video demos: https://metricx.com/products/rentviewer-analytics-overview/real-estate-analytics-examples/
Also take a look at our Analytics Workshop. We will use Tableau to analyze your data and share findings: https://metricx.com/services/analytics-workshop/
If you have pressing questions that need to be answered by analyzing your data, let’s do the “Analytics Workshop”.
Need Tableau Help
This section contains content for companies that have committed to using Tableau and want to learn how Metric-X can help them get value from their investment.
I need an experienced Tableau consultant, how can Metric-X help?
We can provide you a Tableau developer who can build your reports and set up your Tableau data refresh and report distribution environment. Options include on-site / off-site as well as U.S. based and off-shore resources.
What does it mean to be a Tableau Partner?
- A Tableau Partner has to meet some standards of competency in product knowledge, both from a business and technical perspective.
- As a Tableau Partner, Metric-X is authorized to sell Tableau products. We have the backing of Tableau, Inc. and can also turn to their expertise to get answers for you.
Buying licenses from Metric-X or from Tableau, what’s the difference?
- You can buy the same Tableau products from Metric-X or from Tableau.
- Companies that buy directly from us do so because of the trust we have built prior to the sale. We provide product knowledge, conduct proofs of concepts and demos, and help our companies determine the best way to develop their analytics capability.
- We manage your license keys and will process any renewals and upgrades.
We already own Tableau. We need someone to organize our data for analysis. Can Metric-X help?
- We can create a reporting database or “Data Warehouse” for you. You can connect to it from Tableau and update your dashboards and analytics reports.
- This database can be connected to your property management system and other data sources.
- See our “Data Warehouse” page for more information