Friday, 1 May 2015

Tableau Interview Question : What are the differences between Tableau Software, GoodData and Traditional BI?

Most frequently asked Tableau Interview Question:

Question: 
What are the differences between Tableau Software, GoodData and Traditional BI (Business Objects, etc.)?
 
Answer:
You could talk feature-functionality for days, but at a high level there are four major differences.
1. Speed.
How fast can you get up and running with the
system, answer questions, design and share dashboards and then change them? This is where systems like Tableau and GoodData are far better than old-school business intelligence like Business Objects or Cognos. Traditional systems took months or years to implement, with costs running to millions. Tableau has a free trial that installs in minutes and GoodData is cloud-based, so they are faster to implement by orders of magnitude. They are also faster to results: traditional BI requires IT and developers to make any changes to reports, so business users are stuck in a queue waiting to get anything done. Tableau and GoodData provide more of a self-service experience.

2. Analysis layer.
This is where Tableau excels.  It has a powerful and flexible drag & drop visualization engine based on some technology from Stanford. GoodData and traditional BI typically provide some canned reports but changing them requires significant time and money.

3. Data layer.
This is where the three options are most different:
GoodData requires you to move your data to its cloud.
Traditional BI typically requires you to move your data to its data warehouse system.
Tableau connects to a variety of existing data sources and also provides a fast in-memory data engine, essentially a local database. Since most enterprises have their data stored all over the place, this provides the most choice and lets companies use the investment they’ve already made.

4. Enterprise readiness.

Traditional BI and Tableau do well here, with enterprise-level security and high scalability.
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