Tableau’s New Pricing Model– and Why Small Businesses Should Care

Luke Komiskey Feb 22, 2021

On February 19th 2021, Tableau released a small revision to their subscription pricing model and it’s a big win for small/mid-sized organizations looking into enterprise-grade analytics capabilities.  The key revision from Tableau removes user minimums for key business user-focused licensing roles (Explorer, Viewer, and add-on products) meaning small businesses can start small with big functionality. 

Put simply, Tableau deployments are more cost-effective for organizations to begin scaling self-service analytics for end-users.  Tableau can now be deployed to small teams, departments, and leadership teams at a smaller scale with ease (and less upfront financial commitment).  This is a big win for small businesses looking to deploy data-informed decision making!

Tableau's Subscription Roles & Important Change 

Tableau has flexible ways to deploy within organizations depending on the desire to self-host a Tableau Server platform (on premise or in the cloud) or let Tableau host the platform using Tableau Online.  Most small businesses I have worked with lean towards using Tableau Online to avoid the administrative strain of hosting, upgrades, and tuning.

With either approach of deploying Tableau Server, there are three key roles

  •         Creator – This role is designed for the primary developers and power users who will connect to data sources and design beautiful, insightful visual dashboards leveraging Tableau’s flagship products – Tableau Desktop and Tableau Prep.
  •         Explorer – This role is intended for business power-users who not only want to consume content, but also create and edit dashboards within the browser.  Explorers have virtually all the benefits of Creators beyond setting up new data sources or data prep flows outside Tableau Server.
  •         Viewer - The final role of Viewer caters towards the report consumers.  Viewers can interact, filter, save custom views, download summary data, and receive email subscriptions of their reports.  It is a feature-rich role with an approachable price point.

Each Tableau deployment is unique and the mix of all three of the above-listed roles is dependent on the organization (and team) looking to deploy.  Prior to February 19th, named user purchases had minimums such as 5 Explorers or 100 Viewers which made it challenging for new customers of Tableau to determine the best investment.

Creator Explorer User Tableau Dashboard

Why It Matters 

Our DataDrive team has partnered with many small businesses and we know the importance of proving value quickly in fast-moving, lean organizations.  Investments in data initiatives, analytics capabilities, and software - like Tableau - are critical for growth and success in the 21st century.  Small business leaders in turn want confidence that analytics investments show a quick return in business value. When data is leveraged wisely, organizations can break through ceilings to new heights. 

Tableau’s new flexible pricing model – with no seat minimums – makes the initial steps towards becoming a data-driven organization much more affordable for small business.  Whether a handful of leaders require weekly executive dashboards or an entire company of less than 100 employees requires data-driven insights, Tableau’s new pricing model can now be optimized for each organizational need.

DataDrive is a Tableau Partner

What's Next 

Determining where to begin in an organizations’ journey toward data-driven can feel overwhelming; even as a practitioner who follows the analytics industry constantly, I find it hard to keep up at times.  Tableau’s new pricing model opens opportunities to explore one of the industry leaders in data visualization and analytics.  Our DataDrive team has witnessed first-hand the tremendous momentum a business has when data-savvy business users are equipped with the right tools – like Tableau - and are supported by leadership.

There are, of course, several options to explore and approaches to consider when determining how to enable data-informed decision-making into an organization – through software, frameworks, data strategy, and with a trustworthy analytics partner to guide the journey.  If you’d like to learn more about how Tableau’s latest pricing model could work in your organization or would enjoy chatting about small business analytics with a data-driven small business owner, feel free to reach out to me!


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About the Author

Luke Komiskey

Luke Komiskey

I’m Luke, the Founder and Managing Director of DataDrive. I’ve played in the intersection of data, business, and strategy consulting throughout my career which eventually led me on the adventure of a lifetime in building DataDrive with like-minded data nerds. I’ve found that amazing things happen when passionate people and data meet. Reach out and talk data to me!