Tableau Moves BI Application to the Cloud

Mike Vizard

As a business intelligence application, Tableau Software has already signed up 12,000 customers for the on-premise version of its software. Now it’s looking to add hundreds of thousands more with the new version of its namesake software that runs in the cloud.

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By BI standards, Tableau has gained a broad number of customers because of its visualization capabilities. According to Dan Jewett, vice president of product management at Tableau Software, one of the biggest benefits of Tableau over a spreadsheet is that it makes identifying new patterns or outright mistakes in data much easier. That’s often critical for organizations working with a large amount of data or in industries that are heavily regulated.

Tableau Online is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) application specifically designed to allow end users to either use Tableau BI software in the cloud or as a seamless extension of the on-premise version of Tableau.

Jewett adds that there are no limits on the amount of data that customers can choose to store in Tableau, and the application is hosted in data centers managed directly by Tableau on behalf of its customers.

One of the primary benefits of Tableau Online, says Jewett, is that it makes collaborating across multiple departments and organizations a lot simpler by, for example, sharing dashboards. Rather than having to configure dedicated infrastructure to run the application, organizations can now choose to share access and permission with colleagues and associates in an instance of Tableau that is already running in the cloud.


While Tableau Online is not going to eliminate the tensions over BI applications that have existed for years between individual departments and corporate IT organizations, it does present a new deployment option that makes such software more accessible. One of the problems with BI software adoption in general has often been the complexity associated with setting up the application. Tableau Online should go a long way toward getting people to give up spreadsheets in favor of a visually oriented BI application that is readily accessible in the cloud.

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