Classic! On the same day as Qlik’s roadmap keynote and Power BI’s Summit in Ireland, Tableau decides to rain on both of those parades. Tableau stole the thunder yesterday with news of Project Maestro’s release now called Tableau Prep, pricing changes and a 2018.1 update. Big tech vendors usually play that game. Oh well…it is what it is. Let’s quickly explore these announcements before my MountainDew KickStart fades tonight and I literally fall asleep on my desk.

Tableau Prep

Tableau introduced Tableau Prep, the self-service data prep project formerly known as Project Maestro, today along with updated pricing. Good news – there is no extra cost for it if you own Tableau Desktop for the next two years. Tableau Prep was bundled into a new role-based Creator offering. More to come on that news in a bit… First let’s chat about Tableau Prep.

Tableau Prep Joins

Tableau Prep

Tableau Prep is a desktop tool for combining, shaping and cleansing data. Unlike most other self-service data prep solutions in the market, Tableau Prep applies a visual approach to data wrangling. Tableau did not copy what has already been made – they reimagined and built a better solution. The human-centered art and science behind Tableau’s UX design is what truly sets them apart from the crowd.

From testing Tableau Prep, I feel that they have created a UX once again that is powerful, practical, and enjoyable. I found the visual immediate gratification of “no-code” data wrangling workflows to be delightful. Tableau Prep intelligently optimized SQL statements in my pipeline with smart algorithms and automated common tasks with one-click operations. Next generation data prep simplifies complex tasks, saves time and best of all…the visual UX makes analytics “grungy work” fun.

Tableau Prep makes analytics “grungy work” fun.

Right now data science, analytics, ETL, cloud, big data and traditional BI mega-vendors are all expanding into the hot data prep space while new niche players are also getting into the game. Will Tableau Prep take share from Alteryx, Datawatch, Trifacta, Paxata and other data prep vendors? From what I saw thus far, NO. Tableau Prep only works with Tableau at the moment. Until Tableau adds other data export destinations and the offering matures, Tableau Prep’s market impact will be limited. Tableau Prep might expand the data prep market to less data savvy Tableau users doing data prep today in worksheets that would be overwhelmed by other data prep solutions in the market. We shall see.

New Subscription Offerings

In addition to Tableau Prep, Tableau also introduced new subscription offerings that combine existing and new Tableau capabilities into new role-based packages. Tableau’s new offerings, available on-premises, in the public cloud or via SaaS, and make it easy to start and to scale. For more information on the new pricing structure, see

Tableau Pricing

The line up includes Tableau Creator, Explorer, and Viewer. Tableau Prep is included along with Tableau Desktop at no extra charge in the new Creator offering. The Viewer pricing model makes visualizations accessible to more users at a lower price point.

Tableau Creator

Tableau Creator provides the full power of the Tableau platform. It includes Tableau Desktop, and, at no additional extra charge, Tableau Prep, a new data preparation product designed to help customers get their data ready for analysis. It also includes a license for Tableau Server or Tableau Online, allowing people to publish and share their work.

Tableau Explorer

Tableau Explorer is perfect for governed self-service analytics. It enables people to create new dashboards based on governed data sources, collaborate with others, and stay on top of data with subscriptions and alerting. This offering enables people to explore trusted data, create their own tailored content, share and collaborate with data, and stay on top of key data points with data driven alerts, all within the convenience of their web browsers.

Tableau Viewer

Tableau Viewer makes it possible for organizations to scale Tableau across their entire workforce in a very cost-effective manner. Customers will be able to view and filter dashboards, receive and manage subscriptions to dashboards, and receive data driven alerts, all via mobile and/or the web.

From the choice of SaaS, on-premises, public cloud or hybrid solutions, to enabling the individual analyst as well as the largest enterprise deployments, to a range of subscription choices, Tableau gives organizations the flexibility to buy what they need, when they need it.  Likewise, Tableau’s new tailored offerings allow people to leverage the power of analytics in a way that is flexible, easy to ramp up, and simple to scale. Entire organizations now have the flexibility to license the role appropriate to the capabilities each person needs at a price that makes sense for them.  This reduces the upfront investment and makes it easier than ever to scale best-in-class business intelligence across the organization.

In my opinion, the new pricing model should unblock large deals where cost previously would have been a show stopper. This is a good move to expedite scale out growth motions in existing accounts and also help Tableau get considered more often in larger scale deals. I’m glad they opted not to charge more for Tableau Prep. That should be a pleasant surprise for Tableau’s customers.

Tableau 2018.1: Complete Web Authoring Capabilities and Dashboard Starter Templates

Updates to Tableau Server and Tableau Online were also made available, including a new web authoring experiences all in the browsers. Although web authoring was available in the past, it was limited. Now authoring from connecting to data, to changing fields and dashboards with no desktop installations is truly possible. Organizations can offer a complete browser-based analytical experience for all their users. This new end-to-end web authoring flow, which is also included in the Creator subscription offering, enables organizations to scale Tableau deployments faster through a centralized and governed authoring experience.

Friction-free, browser-based deployments is now truly possible.

Like the Viewer pricing news, this enhancement should also unblock larger deals with groups that need friction-free, browser-based deployments. Having been a product manager of desktop product installs in the past, I know they are painful. Many organizations limit desktop level software installations, needed connectors, and so on.


Example Salesforce Starter Template

Last but not least, Dashboard Starter Templates are now available for Salesforce, Marketo, Eloqua and ServiceNow. Ironically, I would argue that Tableau has already had a bazillion Dashboard Starter Templates in their own sales libraries and also Tableau Online for as long as I can remember. They simply did not label them as template solutions. Sometimes a marketing label, logo and a link in the app make all the difference. I’m not 100% sure what makes the Dashboard Starter Templates different but it might help sales check the box on a RFP.

Easy-button, plug-and-play, prebuilt solutions are exactly what most customers really want. Think about a typical organization… most folks don’t have the time, knowledge or interest to explore data and build dashboards. They simply need insights to make a decision. My readers likely enjoy working with data but my audience does not represent the larger, general population.

Prebuilt solutions are exactly what most customers really want.

Notice a theme yet? I do. It seems like Tableau is addressing key issues that stall or kill large deals. They are also making moves to expand market growth potential with Tableau Prep, complete web authoring, lower pricing and prebuilt starter template solutions. Now, I need to sleep. What a crazy week! Sigh, it is not even Wednesday yet.