Tableau pricing: What it costs and your options for a discount

A look at what you can realistically expect to pay for a Tableau subscription

Aimee Manning | NOV 28, 2023

8 min read

Data visualization platform Tableau powers business intelligence at some of the world’s foremost tech companies, supporting analysis and decision-making for the likes of Verizon and Lenovo. Now under the Salesforce umbrella, the vendor has been recognized as a Gartner Magic Quadrant leader every year for the past decade — reflecting its strong performance and innovation in the analytics software market.

Across review boards such as G2, users praise the platform’s robust visualization capabilities, intuitive interface and emphasis on customer satisfaction. But if you’re looking to join the ranks as a Tableau customer, you might have some questions that need answering.

First of all, how much will it cost you?

Here, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about Tableau pricing plans, your options for a discount and how you can minimize your SaaS spending as software prices continue to climb.

How much does Tableau cost?

With all product costs publicly listed on the vendor’s pricing page, Tableau is one of the few software providers that is entirely transparent with its pricing, simplifying the quotation process for prospective customers and making it easier to inspect which kind of plan is within your budget.

But with that in mind, what exactly does each Tableau pricing edition entail?

Tableau pricing plans

Tableau offers three different pricing options suitable for teams and organizations with different data needs. Prices start at $15 per user per month, though a free trial is available for users to experiment with the feature set across tools like Tableau Desktop, Tableau Prep Builder and Tableau Server. Each type of license is billed on an annual basis.

These are your options:

Tableau pricing

Tableau Viewer

Tableau Viewer licenses cost $15 per user, per month, providing basic access to dashboards, visualizations and analytics tools, enabling users to view, interact and download visualizations. License holders can leverage detailed data insights for decision-making with features such as visualization summaries, data quality warnings and basic collaboration functionality.

Tableau Explorer

Tableau Explorer is a more advanced Tableau license, costing $42 per user, per month. Explorer enables users to leverage self-service analytics with governing capabilities, a range of collaboration tools and some basic data flow functionality.

Tableau Creator

Creator is the most advanced kind of Tableau license, costing $75 per user, per month. Creator supports teams with a powerful suite of data visualization tools, including Tableau Desktop and Tableau Prep Builder. Each Tableau deployment requires the purchase of at least one Creator license.

Naturally, this tier of Tableau’s pricing model could increase your yearly Tableau cost substantially. The total material cost that you’ll end up paying for your organization’s plan is calculated according to the numbers and types of license required by your workforce.

For example, if your organization needs 20 Viewer licenses and 10 Explorer licenses, plus the minimum of one Creator license necessary for deployment, your cost breakdown will be as follows:

  • 20 x Viewer ($15 per user per month) = $300 per month, yearly billing of $3,600
  • 10 x Explorer ($42 per user per month) = $420 per month, yearly billing of $5,040
  • 1 x Creator ($75 per user per month) = $75 per month, yearly billing of $900
  • Total billing of $9,540 per year

Subscriptions to eLearning courses to help users learn how to use Tableau Creator and Tableau Explorer are also available for an additional fee, priced at $10 and $5 per user, per month, respectively.

The bottom line is, the exact price that you’ll end up paying for a Tableau subscription will vary according to your licensing and training needs. But before you enter into discussions with the Tableau sales team, are there any alternative ways to obtain a ballpark figure of what you should expect to pay as an enterprise?

Searching the internet for customer comparisons

Your first port of call may be to scour the internet for anecdotal information about how much other companies pay for their Tableau subscription.

After running a quick search we found a PeerSpot thread where users had commented on the price their organization is paying.

Back in January 2022, for example, one user wrote that an enterprise-level license costed their organization approximately $150,000 – $200,000 per year.

Tableau pricing example

It is, however, unclear whether this figure is representative of the average cost that an organization pays for a Tableau subscription. Elsewhere on the same thread, another user claims to pay $1,400 for their annual license, a marked difference from the previous figure – although it has to be noted that the comment was left back in 2021 and with prices increasing by an average of 12% year-on-year, this user’s cost may have increased significantly since then.

Tableau annual cost example

But while these numbers can provide a ballpark figure of Tableau’s costs, it’s worth taking the varied pricing insights you find online with a pinch of salt. After all, neither example above provides any real context into the number of licenses that were purchased and there’s clearly a significant amount of variation in the prices that different companies are paying for their plans.

The question is, how can you get a realistic idea of how much companies similar to your own are actually paying?

In short, with Vertice. But we’ll get to that shortly.

How to get a discount on Tableau pricing

Even when product prices are listed online, almost every SaaS company offers a discount. In fact, our data on Tableau shows that the vendor has a pricing parity score of 69 out of 100, indicating that some customers don’t always receive identical pricing for similar subscriptions.

But just how much of a discount you could secure will largely come down to your purchasing power and negotiation strategy.

So, what are the best tactics to deploy if you’re vying for cheaper Tableau pricing?

These are our top recommendations.

Allow sufficient time for negotiations

Whether you’re purchasing a Tableau license for the first time or moving across from a competitor intelligence platform such as Microsoft Power BI, you’ll need to leave yourself adequate time to research and secure a good deal.

A generous lead time for negotiations ensures that you’re prepared with any competitor quotes, vendor terms and pricing insights that could earn you a competitive rate. Plus, a little extra time means that you won’t be in any dire need of a fast turnaround to be onboarded, which if vendors realize, could lead them to be inflexible in the terms they offer.

So, if you’re looking to gain insights into campaign progress by a certain date or perform predictive modeling for a new fiscal year, you’ll want to start negotiating far in advance to secure the best possible deal.

Sign up for a longer subscription period

When negotiating with SaaS vendors, it’s useful to put yourself in their shoes. What do they stand to gain from the deal?

Many vendors are looking to ensure your repeat custom, which means they will usually offer discounted rates if you subscribe for a longer period. In Tableau’s case, the vendor already asks for an annual contract commitment, but proposing a multi-year plan could yield further savings.

According to our data, providers tend to offer an extra 5% discount for each additional year that a user commits to. So, if you’re confident that Tableau is the right business intelligence solution for your organization, it might be beneficial to discuss a longer subscription period.

According to our data, providers tend to offer an extra 5% discount for each additional year that a user commits to.

Leverage Vertice’s pricing benchmarks for Tableau negotiations

These software negotiation strategies will help you to achieve discounted rates not just on a Tableau subscription, but on software contracts across your entire SaaS portfolio.

However, the very best strategies are those informed by reliable, accurate pricing data. And while searching online might have provided you with some ballpark figures of what other companies pay for their subscription, Vertice can offer you detailed vendor pricing and discounting data.

But that’s not all we do.

Our team of experienced SaaS purchasers are equipped to negotiate on your behalf to secure improved terms with your software vendors, managing the entire purchasing process and saving you the time and energy you’d spend negotiating.

Get an idea of just how much you could save on your annual SaaS spend or take a look at our extensive vendor database for more exclusive pricing insights.

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