No need to say I couldn't disagree more. After reading the actual interview I understand that the statement has to be read in the context of previous declarations by Christian Chabot, CEO and co-founder of Tableau Software when he said that visualization is key when presenting data to an end-user. But it's still a very very wrong headline.
While reading this two articles, there are some situations where I could almost directly quote Tableau or QlikTech's words. But I work only with Pentaho, so what's the catch? A few things, actually.
Self Service BI is a Myth
No matter what vendors try to tell you, this is a myth. For the simple reason that BI is a very vague word. You can definitely have "self service analysis" on a well defined datawarehouse, "self service reporting" on a predefined metadata model, even go a bit further ahead on a vertical market scenario but jumping to the generic terms is wrong. And this is pretty obvious to anyone that actually worked on implementing a real BI project.
You can't streamline good Visualization
Both Tableau and QlikView have great features in terms of usability. It's easy to work with, and you can do some interesting things with it. But on it's own it does nothing, and you can't just give users a bunch of dials, bullet charts, maps, 3d charts and call the result "good visualization".
It's all about the consumer
This is the million dollar question. Who's gonna use it? I divide BI "consumers" in two categories:
- End users (CEOs, CFOs, operational users, everyone else except the first bullet)
It's all about the implementation
No tool does anything without a full blown implementation. This is what makes a BI project expensive. And in order to do a good implementation (substance and style) we need flexibility to do what the customer asks - and he'll ask for *a lot*. And this is why we're working with Pentaho over anything else. It's an amazing platform- great to see Quentin's not changing that strategy - on top of what we were able to develop the Ctools and, so far, we've been able to fulfill nearly all the requirements customers asked us. And in terms of final product and visualization, when you compare one implementation done with insert BI tool here, well.... see for yourself ;)