As of today, with all due respect to QlikView and Spotfire, I would not know how else to:
In summary, if you need an “analytical dashboard” or visual discovery platform, an extension of your existing BI infrastructure that provides a superb interface to navigate through structured data (CRM, ERP….), you need Tableau.
I am of course dying to see the platform evolve further in terms of online data sources, connecting to Google Analytics, BigQuery or even Salesforce in a more reliable way. But it will eventually get there.
Of course, once visual discovery has been served, an additional need arises to deliver the fruits of Tableau’s impressive slicing and dicing capabilities, as well as provide a context for them that goes beyond structured data.
Information Delivery is precisely about meeting this need. And, as it happens in many orders, this is something that requires an ad-hoc, best-of-breed approach well differentiated from visual discovery. In particular, the following are essential to its success:
Most Sweetspot clients have understood this essential dichotomy (which leaves behind prior layers/stages such as Data Integration), and this is precisely the secret of their success at both levels:
Where Tableau brings rich discovery for structured data, Sweetspot brings unlimited connections to semi-structured and unstructured data (the case for much of our digital data sources) into a business friendly delivery-only layer.
Where Tableau gives you a never-ending playing field to present the many faces of data, Sweetspot distributes a single version of the “truth” across the entire enterprise, joined by analyst insights and comments, workflow scenarios, forecasts and a timeline of events affecting one or multiple metrics.
And also to bear in mind:
Sweetspot is as poor a choice for mere data visualization as Tableau is for digital performance dashboards or executive distribution. Trying to cover both needs with one single tool is the perfect formula for failure – and a severe waste of time and resources.
Of course there are strong alternatives to Tableau and it would not be fair to leave them without proper mention.
I am certain that QlikView and Spotfire are extremely powerful tools, and I have also had the opportunity to see some of our best (Sweetspot) clients working with them in impressive ways. I just happened to put more emphasis on visualization resources and ended up sticking with Tableau for now.
Not Another Dashboard.