I've been in IT for 16+ years.
And of that time, I have been creating reports the entire time.
Crystal Reports, Access, Actuate, JReports, SSRS, etc.
So I've been hearing a lot of discussion about tableau.
On Twitter & LinkedIn, I've actually seen some Microsoft BI people leave and go to Tableau.
So today I downloaded, installed and ran the trial version (and registered).
And I was impressed.
Assuming you have sufficient credentials, knowledge of the Database (data source), and some understanding of the Tables & Field names, you are good to go.
I connected to a SQL-Server data source, kept it simply by bringing in 1 table and was off and running.
You can drag and drop fields onto the Dashboard, add some totals & sub-totals, and within minutes you can see your data.
I added some graphs, put some selection criteria, did some sorts, etc.
A fully functional reporting utility for Power Users.
I did not have to write a single line of SQL.
This has lots of potential.
The other thing to keep in mind is the potential Data Sources:
Obviously without a real world problem to solve at this point, I have not spent the time to create an actual data mining expedition, so I don't know the full capabilities concerning + and - features.
However, I will present this option as a possible solution in my next endeavor, as I'm changing jobs in a week to work for a Software company.