Tableau Licensing

Tableau use at Northeastern has grown and evolved over the past three years. In December 2020, we transitioned Tableau licensing from the responsibility of the units to a centralized function.  This allowed us to get much better pricing from Tableau and democratize the use of this important data analysis and visualization tool.  In fact, we have added nearly 100 new Creator licenses in the past 3 years!  

 We further evolved licensing in 2022 to use Login-based License Management (LBLM). This feature of Tableau modernizes our licensing infrastructure to use our Tableau Server to authenticate Creator licenses. Those who have a Creator license (composed of Tableau Desktop and Tableau Prep Builder) now have their license verified by our Tableau Server.  This streamlines the provisioning of licenses and allows us to monitor license usage, which will help us save money on Creator licenses that are no longer being used, such as when someone leaves the university or changes positions. 

 As the demand for Tableau licenses has been steadily increasing, we wanted to take a moment to emphasize the importance of being selective when requesting licenses, both for yourself and for others in your department. As much as we would love to provide unlimited licenses, we do have a finite number available due to cost constraints so it’s important to ensure they are allocated efficiently to maximize their impact across the organization. Therefore, we ask you to consider the necessity of a Tableau Creator license before making a request.  

 There are easy alternatives to a full Creator license, such as an Explorer role for those who do not create new content but may want to take existing content on the Tableau Server and mold it to their specific needs.  And remember that a license is not needed to view content on the Tableau Server. If you currently have or know of a license that is not being fully utilized, we encourage you to free it up for others who may benefit from it.  If this is the case, please email Amanda Mello at 

 By being thoughtful and selective about license requests, we can maintain access to Tableau resources and continue empowering everyone with the analytical capabilities this platform offers. If you have any questions or need guidance on evaluating the need for a license, please reach out to Amanda.  Thank you for your help!