ClicData vs. The Competition: Which BI Tool is best for your business? ClicData vs. Tableau

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    You’re in the market for a BI tool and ClicData is on your shortlist – along with a few of our competitors. That’s okay, we know we’re in good company! But how does ClicData differ from Tableau, Qlik, Klipfolio, Sisense, Power BI? Above all, which Business Intelligence (BI) software tool best meets your needs for infrastructure, connectivity, pricing and everything else that matters to the way you run your company and the health of your bottom line?

    Naturally, we think ClicData is best: it’s our baby. But in the interests of transparency (a principle we’re very much attached to), we want to let you compare our advantages with those of our competitors and let you decide whether we’re a perfect fit for your company.

    In a series of five blog posts, you’ll discover what we have – and what they have – in terms of infrastructure, data connectivity and storage, visualization, collaboration, pricing and white labeling – all the features and functions critical to BI. Let the comparing begin!

    Tableau vs ClicData

    Tableau is one of the most popular BI tools on the market, with more than two million users. It offers advanced custom visuals which are a necessity for some companies, but that means it can be difficult to master. ClicData is an intuitive, easy to use cloud-based BI solution with an in-built data warehouse designed to make performance tracking easy through dashboards.



    ClicData is an end-to-end 100% cloud-based Data Analytics platform accessible from any device and network.

    ClicData was built from the ground up to be multi-tenant software with all necessary BI functionality – connect datasets, add transformations, cleanse data, create temporary data staging areas – along with a built-in API capable of receiving data in real-time.

    ClicData features a simple yet powerful dashboard editor with over 70 visualizations; an automated data refresh and dashboard publication scheduling and alert system; a user management facility capable of displaying data on a per-user or per-team basis; and functions with Windows or Mac operating systems.


    Tableau Desktop is a Windows-only application to visualize data by transforming it into appealing graphs and representations. It can connect directly to your data sources, but is mostly used to connect to a database that serves as the data warehouse.

    To connect to external data, you need an ODBC driver for the databases. If it’s an API, you need to write custom scripts to extract data or create a Web Data Connector (WDC).

    Tableau Public: this free version of Tableau can be used to create visualizations, but your work must be saved in the Tableau Server, which can be accessed by anyone. > This version lacks most features and connections offered by Desktop.

    Automation & Sharing


    ClicData offers live links which are simple URLs that can be password-protected to securely share your dashboards with customers, clients, or teams. You can choose between three types of permissions to ensure the level of privacy that fits your needs:

    • Private: Only the owner of the dashboard and the people in the associated security list can access the link
    • Public: Anyone can access the link 
    • Password: Anyone can access the link, but they will be asked for a password

    There’s no limit to the number of links you can share.

    ClicData, in addition to automated data refreshes, allows you to automate when you want to publish your dashboards and schedule notifications and alerts based on when your custom criteria are met. These automation features can be applied to any data source and any calculation.


    Tableau Server: Tableau Server allows dashboards built with Desktop to be shared with other users. This is a requirement for any serious implementation of BI. Server also lets you automate certain tasks and centralize data connections.

    Tableau Online: Tableau Online is a hosted version of Tableau Server. It performs just like Tableau Server, but is managed by Tableau in the cloud and in virtualized machines.

    Disadvantages: Proper Tableau deployment requires a Tableau Server – either on-premises or hosted on Tableau’s servers – plus multiple Tableau Desktop sites, which need to be either Windows-only or virtualized sessions on Windows desktops.

    Connectivity & Storage


    ClicData offers a built-in data warehouse as well as native connectors to business applications—marketing, sales, HR, project management, time tracking, etc.—and to cloud-based or on-premises databases such as SQL Server, MongoDB, PostgreSQL, MySQL, and Amazon Redshift.

    ClicData connectors are built in such a way that anybody can plug their data sources into the ClicData platform.

    This means that, in addition to not having to rely on your IT staff, you empower your employees to add or remove data sources according to their reporting needs. ClicData provides your company with a federated, intelligent data warehouse where you can store, manage, and share data with your company employees.


    Tableau offers native data connectors built and optimized for many types of files, but the fact that you have purchased Tableau licenses doesn’t mean that you can easily import all your data from wherever it exists. You’ll also need to purchase a database, such as Oracle or SQL server, that can store the data as a data warehouse that Tableau can connect to. This approach will require some technical knowledge to configure and maintain a data warehouse and ensure the data is refreshed at the right frequency

    You’ll probably have to incur additional costs to do all that – even more if you don’t have the technical skills in-house.

    In addition to the database, Tableau Server and Tableau Desktop will be needed to implement a full BI solution.

    Data Cleaning & Management


    ClicData offers you Unified Data Flow and Drag-and-Drop ETL Tools.

    With ClicData, you get a clear view of:

    • where your data is coming from
    • the type of dataset it is, (flat files, views, datasets directly extracted from source)
    • who created it and when
    • who has access to it
    • which version of the data is displaying
    • which schedules are applied to the data
    • the history of data refreshes

    You also have access to the Data Flow module (available in all plans) which allows you to create new and enriched datasets from multiple input tables and generate multiple output tables.

    platform overview data flow
    ClicData’s dataflow tool


    Tableau’s tools for ensuring clean, secure, reliable data are Catalog and Prep Builder. Tableau Catalog is an index of all the data and metadata across your organization. It gives you information data source, ownership and version, etc. Tableau Catalog also warns you about the impact of changes on your data.

    Tableau Prep Builder lets you transform data to use it for reports. But first, you need to build a data warehouse, extract the data from all your applications and systems, and plug it into your Tableau account. Otherwise, you’ll only be able to work with flat files from your cloud storage applications or extract data directly from your databases.

    Tableau Prep Builder has features like data merge, combine, and cleansing. It works as a flow of transformations that you apply to your data. It gives you an instant preview of the changes in your table, but the list of transformations available might vary depending on the version of the product installed.

    >This is one of the disadvantages of an on-premises tool.

    tableau prep builder interface

    Data visualization


    ClicData instead offers a drag-and-drop approach to dashboard design. The easier, the better, because data visualization plays a huge role in user adoption and ultimately facilitates the spread of a data culture within your company.

    Once you’ve set your dashboard’s fully-customizable color palette and chosen your format – e.g., desktop, mobile, tablet, TV, or custom size – you simply drag-and-drop visualization widgets right into the canvas.

    ClicData’s widgets are fully interactive, and you can add even more interactions in their settings. If desired, you can customize their shape and size, set conditional visibility, and link charts to each other.

    To see how our dashboard designer works, watch a live demo by one of our product specialists here


    Tableau allows you to create great visualizations – maps, tables, charts, scatter plots, heatmaps, etc. – that you can use with multiple datasets in your dashboard. You can add interactions among charts to dig into the data. Building a dashboard with Tableau requires two steps:

    1. Build your visualizations individually in worksheets
    2. Assemble visualizations in a dashboard. You can use either the Tile or Float options to arrange your visualizations. The Tile option works with blocks, while the Float option lets you place your charts wherever you want.

    With Tableau, you get a lot of options to format and visualize your data in a classic developer view.



    ClicData gives you the ability to share dashboards, not only with people within your company but with others who might need to see them. And you don’t need to purchase any extra licenses.

    The easiest way to share dashboards in ClicData is through live links. People with access to the link can view and interact with the dashboard. It’s easy, free, and works on any browser and device. For example, you can access the dashboard below through this link.

    If you need to share dashboards that contain sensitive data you can set up live links to be password-protected, and users won’t need a license to access them. This is the same for users internal or external to your company.

    You can also distribute dashboards via email to users or teams and schedule them to be sent every day, week, month, or quarter. For example, it’s a really reliable way to send your financial reports to your stakeholders.


    A reminder: either Tableau Server or Tableau Online is required to secure and share dashboards with Tableau.

    The best way to collaborate in Tableau is by adding users to your account and giving them access to your workbooks or dashboards. You can also embed your visualizations into your company portal, website, or ERP if you purchase the Embedded Analytics add-on.

    Tableau users can share dashboard views via a link. However, these links aren’t public and require a Tableau user login from a paid license to view the dashboard.

    Tableau Online offers four different ways to collaborate: subscribing to views to get dashboards by email, sharing data sources, embedding dashboards, and sharing dashboards with other Tableau users who are on a paid license.

    Pricing Models


    ClicData likes to keep things simple and transparent, and that includes our price list. It’s based on the volume of data you want to store, the connectors, and the level of services you need.

    Using the same example as for Tableau, let’s say our sales team consists of 15 people. The Entreprise plan is well suited for their objectives and is priced at $500 per month. This provides unlimited dashboards, 10GB of data storage, all web application connectors, and twenty users, who can be Admins, Editors, or Viewers.

    With ClicData you don’t have to purchase extra licenses if you want to add additional viewers since you can easily share dashboards with non-ClicData users for free via live links.


    Tableau has different pricing tables for teams and organizations.

    • Tableau Creator = $70 user/month, billed annually (every deployment requires at least one creator).
    • Tableau Explorer = $42 user/month, billed annually
    • Tableau Viewer = $15 user/month, billed annually.

    Tableau for a team of 15 people, including:

    • One or two super-users to have access to all features (Creators)
    • two analysts to create data connections and workbooks (Editors)
    • and a dozen users to just use the dashboards (Viewers),

    will cost $4,782 per month, plus tax with the Tableau-hosted option (Tableau Cloud), or $4,190 per month if you host the application yourself with Tableau Server.

    You also have to factor in the expense of servers, licenses, and maintenance features, even if your team has fewer than 100 users. The Resource Block is also required for every deployment project, adding another $250/month. In all, this will cost you a minimum of $7,782 per year for the Tableau Server version or $7,190 per year for the Tableau Cloud version.

    The complexity of Tableau’s pricing model is due to the interdependency between their different tools.

    ClicData’s pricing model would leave you with an extra $4,250 in your annual budget. Imagine what you might do with that…

    A word about White Labeling

    White labeling allows a company to publish a dashboard that displays its business name, logo, and other branding information. Agencies and consultants that want to offer an analytics tool to their customers without having to own it or maintain it find great value in white labeling. Both ClicData and Tableau offer a white label option, however, Tableau doesn’t offer the possibility to white label their mobile app, which can add another hidden cost to your BI project.

    ClicData includes the white label option in the Team plan and everything above it at no extra cost. It is also available as an add-on to the Team plan for $60 per month.

    Conclusion: Test drive both

    As the makers of ClicData, we’re a little biased about which BI tool we think is best. But to get a feel for which one is right for your business, check out our BI Buyer’s Guide, which comes with a handy checklist template to make sure you’re not missing anything important in your review process.

    Tableau and ClicData each have their own strengths.

    Tableau is a powerful data visualization tool with AI-powered data explanations, which can make it easier for businesses that need to analyze large volumes of data.

    On the other hand, ClicData is a fully integrated BI solution with an extensive collection of data connectors to databases, business applications, advanced data management tools, automation features: data refreshes, alerts, and tasks; a drag-and-drop dashboard designer; several options to securely share your dashboards with internal and external users.

    Want an outsider’s opinion? Read this testimonial from the CEO of Insighters for Decision.

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