How much does it cost to publish Tableau dashboards to the cloud?

Have you ever wondered how much it costs to publish Tableau dashboards to the cloud?

Tableau is one of the best dashboarding tools on the market.  It has been around since 2003 and to be honest it does everything you’ll ever need in a dashboard, except for maybe a few tiny things.

Now Tableau is not cheap, but it’s not expensive either.  The desktop version of Tableau is USD$70 per month and you have to pay per year. So it’s going to cost you around about AUD$1200 a year for a Creator license. What this does though, is give you Tableau Prep and somewhere to securely post your dashboards online.

But how do I share my Tableau Dashboard?

Now you’ve built all your amazing business dashboards you want to share them with the rest of your business.

Just like Power BI you can send people a Tableau file, either as a Tableau workbook or as a Tableau package workbook. These are great but there no different to Excel in that, once someone has got hold of a file they could potentially modify it and make it their own, which means you lose control of the audience or what you’re trying to tell the audience.  You also have to share the data to a degree.

Can I publish Tableau to the cloud?

Yes, but how do you publish to the cloud so everyone can log on and look at your dashboards without having to worry if they can modify them as well.  Well, Tableau have Tableau cloud where you can securely publish your dashboards to your own version of the cloud and then give access to people within your organisation, or outside your organisation, and let them look at whatever dashboards you want them to look at.

You can also determine what level of security they have got.

How much does it cost per user?

Tableau’s publishing framework, or Tableau Server online is pretty good, however, it’s pretty expensive. Whilst it only costs USD$12 per use per month to share a dashboard with someone you do need to buy a minimum of 100 licenses.

So if you’ve got a small organisation of 20 or so people and you want to use Tableau you should expect to spend close to US$15,000 per year on Tableau viewer licenses so people can share the dashboards. Ouch!

What’s your ROI?

Now to be honest, Tableau is one of the best in my opinion but you do have to do the numbers to work out if it’s really worth your while and perhaps there is an alternate solution like Power BI, google data studio, click folio and so on.