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Aug 10, 2016

Slemma: An Inexpensive Tableau Alternative

Slemma is an Inexpensive Tableau Alternative.

Analytics that won’t break the bank.

Reliable analytics is the backbone to any successful business. However many small to medium sized business owners can’t spend half their investment on a data solution. Slemma offers competitively priced analytics that you can afford. The insight gained from your company’s data will give you the confidence to make calculated decisions about your business.

Architecture and integration

Tableau has a complex architecture that is both desktop and cloud-based. Tableau users access data via the desktop tool and then publish reports and data extracts into the cloud (or Tableau server). Tableau moves your data to its own warehouse. It makes the queries fast, but data will always be out of date. That's why Tableau Server has really heavy hardware requirements, which is far too expensive to set up and maintain. Though Tableau Online can speak directly to your DB, its direct connectors are really limited and flakey.

Slemma is a purely web-based app, you don’t need to install anything on your computer, purchase hardware, or worry about version compatibility. Simply log into the web page and go. Slemma works on top of your database or warehouse and doesn’t transfer your data anywhere. When you build a chart, Slemma translates your actions into an SQL query and passes it into your DB to get data. It works this way so that everybody on your team can discover data visually, filter, sort, slice and dice it by any dimension, drill down, etc.


Tableau is focused on complex visualizations. It has enormous possibilities for customization. You can sometimes find yourself lost in the variety of options.

Slemma has 15 chart types including maps and bubble chart. We offer only chart types that are suggested for presenting business data. Our customization options are also built with presenting business data in mind. That’s why Slemma allows enough to customize dashboards and charts while keeping everything clear and user friendly.


In Tableau Readers and Editors have a different price per user. Each editor has to have one desktop license (Professional $1999) to be able to create and publish dashboards and one Tableau Server (about $1000) or Tableau online ($500) license. For Readers it is enough to have only one Tableau Server or Tableau Online license to get access to published dashboards. Each named license is a one year commitment contract. This makes growth a nightmare, since each time you need a new user, you have to get new license. Support is also a paid service. The product does not come with live chat support.

This business model makes Tableau quite expensive for small businesses.

At Slemma we believe that small business software should be affordable. No hidden fees. No training costs. We have a tiered subscription model with no commitment, so you can cancel anytime. Tiers are based on the features and the number of users included. You can scale easily by simply adding new users. Moreover, Slemma's user type known as 'Clients', is a cheaper subscription that lets you share dashboards to a large number of external users.

All users have access to free live chat support. We not only help our customers, but also educate them  on how to use their own data to benefit their business.

Here’s a price comparison of Slemma to Tableau Online and Tableau Server; all of which is already included in Slemma’s functionality and straightforward pricing:


Small Business
Full access user


Since Tableau has this ‘save and publish’ approach the only way to distribute data and dashboards is to publish them to Tableau Online or Tableau Server. When publishing the dashboard, data extract is published as well. This means that collaborators can’t get updated data, unless the owner republishes the updated data extract.

With Slemma you can share data and dashboards to the entire team. Depending on their role, they can edit and get updated data and dashboards. You can also subscribe users to a .pdf version of a dashboard recurrently. This is how Slemma makes data available for the entire company fast, so that everyone on your team can answer their own questions.

Data connectors

Slemma has direct connectors to 30+ tools including databases, warehouses, cloud storage and third party services like Google Analytics and Salesforce. See all integrations here.

Tableau has a great list of database connectors, but their list of third party services is limited to Google Analytics and Salesforce only. With only a few connectors allowing direct access to data.

The Bottom Line?

The differences don't start or end here, but the bottom line is that Slemma and Tableau take very different approaches to address different data challenges.

If your company has a core team of analysts who are comfortable to address all data requests and publish reports for others to review, Tableau is likely a great fit. Additionally, if you have a budget for establishing and maintaining your own server, or your data lives in one database, Tableau is probably going to work well.

If you think that business analytics shouldn't break the bank and you are searching for an easy way to put your data and team together, a solution that is business-user friendly and easy to adopt, or a solution with the ability to connect directly to different SaaS services and databases, then Slemma might be a better fit for you.

The best way to decide is to try both. Some users use both products for different cases: Tableau for analysts and Slemma for business users. Start your free trial today.

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