Business intelligence blog

    Phocas vs. Tableau in BARC’s The BI Survey 18

    Learn how Phocas compares to Tableau in the world's largest independent review of business intelligence products.

    Tableau is one of the most well-known business intelligence (BI) solutions and a competitor that is frequently considered alongside Phocas in head-to-head bids. It’s also one of the solutions with the most glaring contrasts when results from BARC’s The BI Survey 18 are compared against each other.

    BARC’s The BI Survey 18 is the world’s largest survey of BI software users. In this year’s survey more than 3,000 users shared their experience with 36 BI products across 30 Key Performance indicators (KPIs). Given the size of the survey and the breadth of solutions, BARC’s The BI Survey has become one of the most trusted sources for objective feedback, helping companies determine what BI solution is best for them.

    In every KPI Phocas outperformed Tableau, and in some cases, Phocas finished as the top ranked software and were double what Tableau received.  The following blog post provides a comparative review of the scores that helps differentiate the two applications based on the experiences of actual users.

    Product Satisfaction

    The KPI with the widest margin of difference between Phocas and Tableau in this year’s survey is product satisfaction. This KPI is based on the frequency of problems encountered with the product (i.e., the more problems encountered, the lower the rating).

    In the 2018 survey, Phocas scored a 9.5 while Tableau scored a 2.3. Phocas finished as the top-ranked software in the data discovery-focused product peer group, while Tableau finished second to last. The peer group average was 5.3.

    For Phocas, product satisfaction is critical to our success. We work hard to develop and maintain a solution that customers will use and then share their experiences with peers. When customers are happy with the software and can rely on its performance, the results are product satisfaction scores and reviews such as those revealed in The BI Survey 18. On the other side, when customers give you a score well below the peer average, trust and reliability can become a significant factor.

    Phocas has become an integral part of Morelli Group, an automotive supplier with 200+ employees and more than 4,000 products, integrating seamlessly with the company’s MAM ERP and warehouse management system.

    “The whole software solution has improved us as a company and it would be a different situation if we didn’t have all of those systems working so well together,” said Michele Laybourn, commercial director at Morelli Group. “If you need to analyze your data in a structured way, get Phocas and use it!”

    Price to Value

    Phocas achieved a variety of perfect scores in BARC’s The BI Survey 18, including in the categories of Price to Value, Recommendation and Project Success. Of the three, the one with the widest margin between Phocas and Tableau was Price to Value, which is a KPI based on how users rate their BI software in terms of the value of the solution for the price that was paid.

    Phocas was the top-ranked solution across all three peer groups in this KPI, scoring a perfect 10. Tableau finished last in the data discovery-focused products with a score of 4.3, scoring well below the peer group average of 8.2.

    BARC wrote, “Phocas has always had reasonable subscription pricing. Recently, Phocas added a view-type user for those that only need to consume dashboards. This will help customers increase business penetration and reduce unnecessary spending on users that don’t need to build dashboards or analyze data in a tabular format. Affordable pricing combined with an expert consulting team has yielded a favorable price-to-value ratio.”

    In the other KPIs that Phocas received a perfect 10, Recommendation and Project Success, Tableau scored a 5.5 and 6.5 respectively.

    Mobile BI

    In 2017, Phocas received a rating of 9.2 while Tableau scored a 4.4. In BARC’s The BI Survey 18, Phocas once again beat Tableau with a score of 9.3 compared with 5.4. The Mobile BI KPI is a measure of how many survey respondents are using the BI solution on their mobile devices. The ability to access data is important to many business roles and functions, and Phocas’ emphasis on mobility has further distanced its technology from competitors.

    Team members and executives need access to information regardless of where they are working from or the devices they are working on. More of today’s workforce is mobile and are active on mobile technology so they need access to real-time, critical data to make informed business decisions without having to be at a desk in an office. 

    Since its inception, Phocas has embraced the need to provide access to the mobile workforce. BARC wrote in its analysis, “Phocas is built entirely on HTML5, which means it can be accessed from any device with a web browser and will have the same functionality as the web client. Tablets offer the best view of Phocas visualizations, but standard smartphones still enable business users to keep a finger on the pulse of their organization.”

    Tableau has aggressively marketed its software’s mobile capabilities, but while the results may have improved slightly year over year, its 5.4 score is still below the peer group average of 6.0. Tableau users either don’t use mobile technology or they continue to struggle with the software, while Phocas customers consistently express how important it is that they can access data whether they are working from home, at a coffee shop or from a customer’s location. 

    Early on in this blog, we mentioned that Tableau is one of the applications most frequently compared to Phocas in competitive bids. For the Competitive Win Rate KPI, which measures the percentage of wins in head-to-head evaluations, Phocas scored a 7 while Tableau scored a 2.7. In other words, Phocas will win comparative reviews significantly more frequently than Tableau.

    Other notable KPI scores included Business Benefits where Phocas scored an 8.6 while Tableau scored a 5.2; and Implementer support, where Phocas scored a 9.4 and Tableau scored a 4.9. For a more comprehensive review of how Phocas compared to Tableau in The BI Survey 18, download our overview.

    To download a your full report of how Phocas compares to Tableau, click here or on the button below.


    Written by Phocas Software
    Successful Business Intelligence - Phocas Software
    Successful Business Intelligence - Phocas Software

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