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Tableau vs SAS Viya: A Comparative Analysis

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    Introduction

    Choosing the right business intelligence tool is crucial for effective data analysis and reporting. Tableau and SAS Viya are prominent platforms in this space, each offering unique capabilities and tools for data visualization and analytics.

    This comparison will highlight the key features, performance, and usability of Tableau and SAS Viya. We aim to provide an informative view on how they cater to different business intelligence needs.

    In our exploration, we'll also introduce Sourcetable, a contemporary solution that combines the simplicity of spreadsheets with real-time data syncing, serving as an alternative for tasks traditionally handled by Tableau or SAS Viya.

    Tableau

    What is Tableau?

    Tableau is a visual analytics platform that enhances data accessibility and analysis. Originating from a Stanford computer science project in 2003, Tableau has been pivotal in enabling a diverse user base to become more data-driven. By leveraging VizQL, a technology developed by Tableau's co-founders, users can visually manipulate data through an intuitive drag-and-drop interface. This functionality has positioned Tableau as a leader in business intelligence, streamlining the process of data exploration, management, and insight discovery.

    • Key Features

    • Visual analytics platform
    • Drag-and-drop data visualization with VizQL
    • Facilitates a data-driven approach for various user profiles
    • Accelerates data exploration and insight sharing
    • User Base

      Tableau is embraced by a wide range of users, from analysts and data scientists to educators and business professionals, underscoring its versatility and ease of use.

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    What is SAS Viya?

    SAS Viya is an AI platform designed to meet the demands of modern data science and AI applications. It provides an end-to-end environment that facilitates the entire data analytics workflow.

    • Key Features

    • Access to data of varying size and complexity.
    • Data cleansing and transformation with intuitive interfaces.
    • Creation of robust data pipelines.
    • Data trust through lineage and transparency.
    • Rapid construction of high-performance models.
    • Deployment of decision flows.
    • Automation of performance monitoring and model tuning.
    • Automatic model retraining.
    • Conversion of results into verifiable value.
    • Performance and Scalability

      SAS Viya outperforms open source and commercial alternatives by up to 30 times, scaling effectively with AI advancements and delivering enhanced value from data and AI investments.

    • Automation and Trustworthiness

      The platform automates machine learning processes and is uniquely positioned as the only tool that automates machine learning, reinforcing its status as a comprehensive and trustworthy AI platform.

    • User Base

      SAS Viya is tailored for data scientists and developers, offering advanced capabilities to streamline and optimize their workflows.

    Tableau

    Key Features of Tableau

    Analytics and Data Management

  • Tableau Accelerator enables quick deployment of dashboards for specific industries and departments.
  • Tableau Accelerator enables quick deployment of dashboards for specific industries and departments.

  • Bins help in grouping data into smaller, manageable segments.
  • Bins help in grouping data into smaller, manageable segments.

  • Tableau Catalog offers a comprehensive view of the data used within Tableau.
  • Tableau Catalog offers a comprehensive view of the data used within Tableau.

  • Explain Data provides automated explanations for data points within visualizations.
  • Explain Data provides automated explanations for data points within visualizations.

  • Forecasting & Predictive Modeling supports advanced data trends prediction.
  • Forecasting & Predictive Modeling supports advanced data trends prediction.

  • LOD Expressions allow for precise computation at different levels of granularity.
  • LOD Expressions allow for precise computation at different levels of granularity.

  • Metadata API enables integration and customization of metadata.
  • Metadata API enables integration and customization of metadata.

  • Quality Warnings identify potential issues in data sources and visualizations.
  • Quality Warnings identify potential issues in data sources and visualizations.

  • Workbook Optimizer assists in improving dashboard performance.
  • Workbook Optimizer assists in improving dashboard performance.

    Integration and Connectivity

  • ODBC Connector facilitates connections to various data sources.
  • ODBC Connector facilitates connections to various data sources.

  • Slack Integration allows for sharing insights directly within Slack.
  • Slack Integration allows for sharing insights directly within Slack.

  • Table Extensions expand Tableau's functionality through third-party applications.
  • Table Extensions expand Tableau's functionality through third-party applications.

  • Einstein Copilot for Tableau enhances data analysis with AI suggestions.
  • Einstein Copilot for Tableau enhances data analysis with AI suggestions.

  • Data Connect for Tableau Cloud provides seamless access to data in the cloud environment.
  • Data Connect for Tableau Cloud provides seamless access to data in the cloud environment.

    Data Visualization and Interaction

  • Data Stories automatically generates narrative explanations of visualizations.
  • Data Stories automatically generates narrative explanations of visualizations.

  • Geospatial Analytics incorporates location data into analyses.
  • Geospatial Analytics incorporates location data into analyses.

  • Image Role allows for the use of images within data visualizations.
  • Image Role allows for the use of images within data visualizations.

  • Unified Tooltip presents a consistent tooltip interface across Tableau products.
  • Unified Tooltip presents a consistent tooltip interface across Tableau products.

  • VizQL translates drag-and-drop actions into data queries without writing code.
  • VizQL translates drag-and-drop actions into data queries without writing code.

  • Year Over Year Growth visualizes comparative growth metrics.
  • Year Over Year Growth visualizes comparative growth metrics.

  • Zoom and Pan Controls provide interactive navigation of visualizations.
  • Zoom and Pan Controls provide interactive navigation of visualizations.

    Performance and Scalability

  • Hyper is Tableau's in-memory data engine that enhances large data analysis.
  • Hyper is Tableau's in-memory data engine that enhances large data analysis.

  • Resource Monitoring Tool helps in tracking and optimizing Tableau Server performance.
  • Resource Monitoring Tool helps in tracking and optimizing Tableau Server performance.

  • Prep Conductor schedules and manages data preparation flows.
  • Prep Conductor schedules and manages data preparation flows.

    Organization and Collaboration

  • Nested Projects support hierarchical organization of content within Tableau.
  • Nested Projects support hierarchical organization of content within Tableau.

  • Keep Only feature focuses on selected data points, filtering out the rest.
  • Keep Only feature focuses on selected data points, filtering out the rest.

  • Join Step simplifies data blending from multiple sources.
  • Join Step simplifies data blending from multiple sources.

  • Tableau Cloud offers a hosted solution for sharing dashboards and data sources.
  • Tableau Cloud offers a hosted solution for sharing dashboards and data sources.

  • Exchange is a marketplace for sharing Tableau extensions, dashboards, and data sets.
  • Exchange is a marketplace for sharing Tableau extensions, dashboards, and data sets.

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    Key Features of SAS Visual Analytics (SAS Viya)

    Data Import and Integration

    SAS Visual Analytics supports importing data from multiple sources including databases, Hadoop, Excel spreadsheets, and social media, streamlining data integration.

    Report and Dashboard Creation

    Users can rapidly construct reports and dashboards by dragging and dropping data files directly into the workspace, enhancing productivity.

    Data Quality and Management

    The platform provides essential data quality functions such as case changing, conversion, renaming, and column splitting to maintain data integrity.

    Custom Calculations and Code

    It facilitates the creation of calculated columns and custom transformations, offering flexibility for advanced analytics.

    Visualization and Charting

  • Offers a variety of graph objects including Bar, Pie, Donut, Line, Scatter, and Heat map for comprehensive data visualization.
  • Autocharting feature selects the most appropriate graph type to represent the data effectively.
  • Integrates geospatial data with Esri for location analytics.
  • Web Content and Multimedia Integration

    Enables embedding of external web content like YouTube videos and images, such as company logos, into reports.

    Collaboration Tools

  • Allows adding comments for collaborative report review and analysis.
  • Users can set up alerts for report objects to stay informed about critical changes.
  • Report Sharing and Distribution

  • Facilitates secure report sharing via PDFs or email.
  • Supports scheduling for regular report distribution.
  • Provides options to export reports to Excel for further analysis.
  • Template and Content Reusability

    Users can save pages as templates and share report modifications, promoting consistency and efficiency across reporting.

    Advanced Analytics

  • Includes advanced visualizations like box plot, animated bubble chart, and network diagram for deep insights.
  • Features decision tree and forecasting tools, with automatic generation of forecasts including confidence intervals.
  • Custom Visualizations

    Supports integration of custom visualizations from libraries such as D3.js, C3, and Google charts, allowing for personalized data presentation.

    Tableau

    Advantages of Tableau for Business Intelligence

    Interactive Data Visualization

    Tableau transforms textual and numerical data into interactive dashboards, enhancing the clarity and impact of reporting.

    Accessibility and Ease of Use

    With no need for technical skills, Tableau's user-friendly interface allows for quick adoption in any business setting, streamlining analytics tasks.

    Cost-Effectiveness

    As a low-cost solution, Tableau provides an economical option for businesses looking to leverage data for decision-making.

    Mobile Integration

    Tableau's mobile-friendly design ensures access to business intelligence on-the-go, facilitating real-time decision making.

    Customer Support and Resources

    Quality customer service and extensive resources contribute to a supportive user experience, aiding in problem-solving and skill development.

    Community and Real-time Analysis

    With a vast fan base, users benefit from shared knowledge and best practices, while Tableau's real-time analysis capabilities allow for immediate insights.

    Data Handling Capabilities

    Tableau excels in data blending, providing a robust platform for integrating diverse data sources for comprehensive analytics.

    Tableau

    Tableau Disadvantages for Business Intelligence

    Learning Curve and Training

    Tableau's steep learning curve and the need for significant training can hinder users from utilizing all its capabilities effectively.

    Cost Implications

    High cost of ownership and complex pricing structures make Tableau an expensive choice, particularly for organizations where cost is a major concern. Tableau Cloud also adds to expenses as it requires Desktop for full functionality.

    Customization and Integration Challenges

    Limited customization options for visualizations and formatting issues, coupled with inadequate integration with other business systems, can restrict flexibility in reporting and analytics.

    Performance and Administration

    Users face performance limitations and administrative challenges, impacting the efficiency of data analytics processes.

    Support and Functionality

    The decline in customer support quality, along with Tableau not being as effective as other ETL tools, can affect operational smoothness. Additionally, without tools like PowerQuery, extensive effort is required for data management.

    Collaboration and Scaling

    Tableau limits collaboration and faces scaling issues, which may impede growth and collective data analysis efforts within a business.

    Tableau

    Frequently Asked Questions About Tableau

    What is Tableau Reader and what can it do?

    Tableau Reader is a free application that allows users to open and interact with data visualizations built in Tableau. Users can open Tableau workbooks, revert them to original state, interact with views, and use it with presentations. The Reader can also be set to a preferred language but it cannot publish or export workbooks.

    What APIs does Tableau provide?

    Tableau provides several APIs including the Tableau Extensions API, Tableau Hyper API, Tableau JavaScript API, Tableau Metadata API, and Tableau REST API. These APIs allow for various interactions and integrations with Tableau services.

    Can I integrate Tableau with Python?

    Yes, Tableau offers the Tableau Python Server (TabPY), which allows for integration with Python, enabling advanced analytics capabilities within Tableau.

    What is the Tableau Developer Program?

    The Tableau Developer Program is designed for developers to build new tools and applications on top of Tableau. Members have access to Tableau's Developer Tools and can engage with the Tableau Community Forums.

    Does Tableau offer resources for developers?

    Yes, Tableau has a range of resources for developers, including the Tableau Connector SDK, Tableau Embedded Analytics Playbook, Web Data Connector SDK, Tableau Developer Tools, and Tableau GitHub for sharing and collaborating on projects.

    Use Cases for Tableau

    • Tableau

      Budget planning and spend

    • Tableau

      Sales/quota tracking

    • Tableau

      Helpdesk call volume/resolution time

    • Tableau

      Campaign engagement

    • Tableau

      Employee satisfaction

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    Advantages of SAS Viya for Business Intelligence

    Cloud-Based Analytics and Reporting

    SAS Viya is a cloud-based analytics platform that provides businesses with instant access to advanced statistical analysis and reporting applications. This enables users to access and analyze data from anywhere, facilitating remote and distributed work environments.

    Enhanced Data Analysis Tools

    With SAS Viya, users can leverage a wide variety of statistical methods and advanced tools for data extraction, formatting, and analysis. The platform's support for the latest statistical methodologies means businesses can stay ahead with cutting-edge analytics.

    Flexibility and Extensibility

    The platform's highly flexible and extensible 4GL allows for hundreds of language elements and functions to be utilized, improving programmer productivity and enabling a wide range of business intelligence tasks.

    Web-Based Programming and Visualization

    SAS Viya provides a web-based environment and uses web-based commands for executing statistical procedures, making it easier for users to create reports and analyze data. The inclusion of data visualization tools, such as 3-D relationship graphs, business maps, charts, and plots, allows for the creation of insightful and interactive reports.

    Integration and Collaboration

    SAS Viya's compatibility with various applications, including Microsoft Office suite and SharePoint, enhances collaborative efforts within organizations. It also allows data science to be integrated seamlessly into applications, promoting a unified approach to analytics.

    Scalability and Self-Service

    The scalable environment of SAS Viya ensures that businesses can handle increasing data volumes and complexity. Its self-service capabilities empower users to perform analytics tasks with less reliance on IT, fostering a more agile business intelligence process.

    Real-Time Analytics

    Organizations using SAS Viya can make real-time decisions thanks to its machine learning and streaming analytics capabilities. This timely decision-making is crucial for businesses that rely on up-to-the-minute data for reporting and analytics.

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    Disadvantages of SAS Viya for Business Intelligence

    Usability and Accessibility

    Due to its complexity and lack of user-friendly features, SAS Viya may not be easily adoptable by small to medium-sized businesses. The steep learning curve and insufficient tutorials for beginners can lead to a challenging user experience.

    Cost and Support Considerations

    SAS Viya's high cost could be prohibitive for many businesses. This factor, coupled with reported poor customer support, may affect the return on investment and user satisfaction.

    Technical Limitations

    The large installation file size of SAS Viya may pose a challenge for businesses with limited IT resources. Additionally, the lack of integration with popular open source tools such as Python, Julia, or R could limit the software's flexibility and the ability to leverage existing codebases.

    Functional Constraints

    The drill-down capabilities of SAS Viya, an essential feature for in-depth data analysis, could benefit from enhancements to meet the advanced needs of business intelligence professionals.

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    Frequently Asked Questions About SAS Viya

    How is SAS Viya priced?

    SAS Viya may be priced by users, core capacity, total revenue, transactions, and more. The pricing framework may vary by SaaS, on-premises, cloud, and others, and it may differ depending on the offering.

    What is the starting price for SAS Viya?

    SAS Viya pricing starts at $1500 per user for select offerings and at $10,000 for core capacity for select offerings.

    How much can the full implementation of SAS Viya cost?

    SAS Viya pricing can go up to multiple millions for a full implementation.

    Who can help me determine the best SAS licensing option for my needs?

    A SAS account representative can help determine the best SAS licensing option for your needs.

    Are there any discounts available for SAS Viya?

    Yes, students, educators, and researchers may get academic discounts for training and certification exams. SAS also offers a variety of discounts for training and certification exams.

    Use Cases for SAS Viya

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      Environments where SAS Viya and SAS Grid Manager provide complementary services in different steps of a project

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      Environments where SAS Viya feeds into SAS Grid Manager for enhanced data processing

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      Environments where SAS Visual Analytics customers benefit from the integration with SAS Grid Manager for business critical applications

    sourcetable

    Why Sourcetable is a Superior Alternative for Business Intelligence

    • Streamlined Data Integration

      Sourcetable offers a seamless solution for syncing data across multiple services, providing a unified view in a familiar spreadsheet interface. This contrasts with Tableau's approach, which requires connecting to various data sources.

    • User-Friendly Interface

      The intuitive spreadsheet-like interface of Sourcetable simplifies the user experience, making it accessible for users of all skill levels. This is an advantage over the visual analytics platforms of Tableau and SAS Viya, which may present a steeper learning curve.

    • Efficient Reporting and Analytics

      Sourcetable's streamlined reporting and data analytics capabilities allow users to quickly generate insights without the complexity often associated with advanced business intelligence tools.

    • Cost-Effectiveness

      By offering a simplified and integrated tool, Sourcetable may provide a more cost-effective solution for businesses looking to leverage their data without the need for extensive training or investment in complex software.

    Tableau
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    Tableau vs. SAS Viya Comparison

    Both Tableau and SAS Viya are prominent in the field of analytics, sharing several key similarities.

    Visual Analytics Platforms

    Tableau and SAS Viya provide visual analytics platforms, enabling users to see and understand data through graphical representations.

    AI/ML Integration

    Both platforms have integrated AI/ML capabilities, allowing for advanced data analysis and predictive modeling.

    Data Governance and Management

    Tableau and SAS Viya offer governance and data management capabilities to ensure data quality and compliance.

    Collaboration and Storytelling

    They facilitate visual storytelling and collaboration, making it easier for teams to share insights and make data-driven decisions.

    Cloud and On-Premises Deployment

    Both platforms can be deployed in the cloud or on-premises, providing flexibility for organizations with different IT infrastructures.

    Intuitive Interfaces

    Tableau and SAS Viya are designed with intuitive interfaces to simplify the user experience when interacting with data.

    Scalability

    Tableau and SAS Viya cater to organizations of all sizes, showcasing scalability to meet various data analytics needs.

    Tableau
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    Tableau vs. SAS Viya

    Deployment Options

    Tableau offers flexibility in deployment, including cloud, on-premises, and native integration with Salesforce CRM. SAS Viya also supports various deployment options, but Tableau's native Salesforce integration is a distinct feature.

    User Community

    Tableau boasts a community of over a million members, fostering a collaborative environment for learning and inspiration. While SAS also has a community, Tableau's is notably large and active.

    Intuitive Use

    Tableau is renowned for its intuitive interface and products designed for ease of use, making it accessible for users of all skill levels. SAS Viya offers advanced analytics but may have a steeper learning curve for new users.

    AI/ML Capabilities

    Both Tableau and SAS Viya have integrated AI/ML capabilities. Tableau's AI/ML integration is touted as fully integrated, enhancing the user experience for data analysis.

    Data Governance and Management

    Tableau emphasizes governance and data management capabilities, ensuring secure and efficient data usage. SAS Viya also provides robust data management features, but the approaches may differ.

    Visual Analytics and Collaboration

    Tableau's platform is centered around visual analytics, storytelling, and collaboration, which are key to its user appeal. SAS Viya also supports visual analytics, but Tableau's focus on visual interaction is a core aspect of its platform.

    sourcetable

    Tableau vs. SAS Viya vs. Sourcetable

    Deployment and Integration

    Tableau offers flexibility in deployment, including options for cloud, on-premises, or native integration with Salesforce CRM. In contrast, SAS Viya is a cloud-enabled, in-memory analytics engine providing a modernized analytics infrastructure. Sourcetable provides a spreadsheet interface that integrates with various data sources, focusing on ease of use without the need for deployment.

    Community and Support

    Tableau boasts a robust community of over a million members that facilitates connection, learning, and inspiration. This contrasts with SAS Viya's support, which is more traditional, relying on professional services and technical support. Sourcetable's community specifics are not as well-defined, focusing instead on collaborative features within the platform.

    Capabilities

    Tableau offers a comprehensive visual analytics platform with fully integrated AI/ML capabilities, governance, and data management, as well as visual storytelling. SAS Viya also provides advanced analytics with AI and automated machine learning capabilities but emphasizes a more statistical and model-driven approach. Sourcetable, while not explicitly detailing AI/ML capabilities, focuses on simplicity and accessibility for data analysis without the complexity of more advanced platforms.

    User Experience

    Tableau is known for its intuitive interface, designed to help users see, understand, and act on data without interrupting their flow of analysis. SAS Viya offers a powerful analytics platform, yet with a steeper learning curve due to its depth in statistical capabilities. Sourcetable aims to reduce complexity by offering a familiar spreadsheet-like interface, making it accessible to users with varying levels of technical expertise.

    Organizational Impact

    Tableau is utilized by organizations of all sizes to accelerate innovation, improve operations, and enhance customer service. SAS Viya's analytics solutions are geared towards organizations looking for in-depth data analysis and predictive modeling. Sourcetable positions itself as a tool for organizations and individuals who need a straightforward way to analyze and visualize data without the need for extensive training or infrastructure.

    sourcetable

    Frequently Asked Questions About Sourcetable

    What is Sourcetable and who is it for?

    Sourcetable is a spreadsheet application that replaces workflows typically done in Excel, Google Sheets, and Business Intelligence tools. It is designed for growth teams and business operations teams who need to centralize, analyze, and model data that updates over time.

    How does Sourcetable integrate with other applications?

    Sourcetable allows users to access and sync data from over 100 applications and most databases. Users can query this data and build live models without needing to code.

    How often does Sourcetable update data integrations?

    Data integrations update every 15 minutes on the regular plan and every 5 minutes on the pro plan.

    What are the pricing plans for Sourcetable?

    Sourcetable costs $50 per month for the starter plan and $250 per month for the pro plan. Additional seats beyond the first 5 included in the pro plan cost $20 per month each.

    Is there a trial period for Sourcetable?

    Yes, all plans come with a 14-day free trial period.

    Tableau

    Tableau Creator Subscription Cost

    Tableau Creator's pricing depends on the billing frequency. For annual billing, the cost is $75, €75, or £60 per user per month. Monthly billing increases the cost to $105 per user.

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    Cost of SAS Viya

    SAS Viya is accessible for purchase via the Azure Marketplace. This integration provides users with a streamlined acquisition process.

    Tableau

    User Reviews of Tableau

    • Cost and Pricing Structure

      Tableau is frequently mentioned in reviews for its high cost, with users noting the software's pricing complexity. The expense is particularly noted by smaller companies, as the cost can be prohibitive. Users often find that the full feature set of Tableau entails additional purchases, leading to costs that accumulate quickly, especially when scaling.

    • Functionality and Integration

      While Tableau is recognized for its ability to connect to large data sources and quickly build dashboards, users report mixed performance when connecting to other tools. The integration with the Salesforce ecosystem is a noted benefit, but the software's limitations in formatting, customization, and iterative data analysis require additional tools for a complete modern data analysis solution.

    • Learning Curve and Usability

      Users agree that Tableau has a steep learning curve and is challenging to learn. The large number of enterprise features, while beneficial, also take time to master, adding to the complexity of utilizing the software to its full potential.

    • Tableau Cloud and Tableau Desktop

      Tableau Cloud, as a fully-hosted, cloud-based solution, is mentioned positively in terms of hosting. However, to access full functionality, a purchase of Tableau Desktop is required, which adds to the overall investment in the software.

    Conclusion

    In summary, Tableau offers a user-friendly interface and robust visualization capabilities, making it suitable for dynamic data exploration. SAS Viya, on the other hand, provides advanced analytics and a powerful environment for data scientists.

    Sourcetable, as an alternative, simplifies business intelligence by integrating real-time data syncing across various services within an accessible spreadsheet interface.



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