Tableau Software

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Tableau Software
Type Public
Traded as NYSEDATA
Industry Computer software
Founded Seattle, WA (2003)
Founder(s) Christian Chabot
Chris Stolte
Pat Hanrahan
Headquarters Seattle, WA, U.S.
Employees 1,212 (December 2013)

Tableau Software (/tæbˈl/ tab-LOH) is an American computer software company headquartered in Seattle, WA, USA. It produces a family of interactive data visualization products focused on business intelligence.[1]


The company was founded at Stanford University’s Department of Computer Science in 2003.[2] Professor Pat Hanrahan and Ph.D. student Chris Stolte who specialized in visualization techniques for exploring and analyzing relational databases and data cubes[3] led research in the use of table-based displays to browse multidimensional relational databases.[4] Together, they combined a structured query language for databases with a descriptive language for rendering graphics and invented a database visualization language called VizQL (Visual Query Language).[5] VizQL formed the core of the Polaris system, an interface for exploring large multi-dimensional databases.[6] In 2003, after Stolte recruited his former business partner and friend, Christian Chabot, to serve as CEO [7] Tableau was spun out of Stanford[8] with an eponymous software application. The product queries relational databases, cubes, cloud database, and spreadsheets and then generates a number of graph types that can be combined into dashboards and shared over a computer network or the internet.

In 2010, Tableau reported revenue of $34.2 million dollars. That figure grew to $62.4 million in 2011 and $127.7 million in 2012. Profit during the same periods came to $2.7 million, $3.4 million, and $1.6 million, respectively.[9] Shares of Tableau Software started trading on the New York Stock Exchange after an initial public offering on May 17, 2013.


Tableau offers five main products: Tableau Desktop, Tableau Server, Tableau Online, Tableau Reader and Tableau Public.

Awards and Industry Recognition[edit]

Tableau Software has won awards including "Best Overall in Data Visualization" by DM Review, "Best of 2005 for Data Analysis" by PC Magazine,[10] and "2008 Best Business Intelligence Solution (CODiE award)" by the Software & Information Industry Association.[11] More recently, Tableau has been recognized as a "Leader" by Gartner in the "2013 Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms".[12][13]

Withdrawal of services from Wikileaks[edit]

On December 2, 2010, Tableau was one of the first companies to withdraw support from WikiLeaks after they started publishing US embassy cables.[14] Although the company stated it was not a decision that they took lightly,[15] they also stated it was directly due to political pressure:

Our decision to remove the data from our servers came in response to a public request by Senator Joe Lieberman, who chairs the Senate Homeland Security Committee, when he called for organizations hosting WikiLeaks to terminate their relationship with the website.

On February 21, 2011, Tableau posted an updated data policy.[16] The accompanying blog post cited the two main changes as (1) creating a formal complaint process and (2) using freedom of speech as a guiding principle.[17] In addition, the post announced the creation of an advisory board to help the company navigate future situations that "push the boundaries of the policy."[17] Robert Kosara of Tableau likened the new policy to the model set forth in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and opined that under the new policy, the Wikileaks cables would not have been removed.[18]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Tableau Business Intelligence". Tableau Software. Retrieved 2013-04-11. 
  2. ^ "Yahoo Finance Company Profile". Yahoo Finance. Retrieved 2014-4-7. 
  3. ^ "Christopher R. Stolte: Ph.D. Candidate @ Stanford". Retrieved 2011-11-16. 
  4. ^ "Pat Hanrahan". Retrieved 2011-11-16. 
  5. ^ "VizQL: a language for query, analysis and visualization". SIGMOD '06 Proceedings of the 2006 ACM SIGMOD international conference on Management of data. ACM. doi:10.1145/1142473.1142560. ISBN 1-59593-434-0. 
  6. ^ "Polaris: Database and Data Cube Visualization". Retrieved 2011-11-16. 
  7. ^ "Tableau Software Leadership". Tableau Software. Retrieved 2013-04-11. 
  8. ^ "Tableau Software, Inc.: Private Company Information". BusinessWeek. March 14, 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-16. 
  9. ^ "Forms S-1". SEC. Retrieved 2013-04-11. 
  10. ^ "Software: Business - Tableau - Best of the Year". November 11, 2005. Retrieved 2011-11-16. 
  11. ^ "2008 Codie Award Winners".
  12. ^ "Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Programs". Gartner. Retrieved 2013-04-11. 
  13. ^ "Gartner Magic Quadrant". Tableau Software. Retrieved 2013-04-11. 
  14. ^ Arthur, Charles; Halliday, Josh (January 8, 2010). "Wikileaks under attack: the definitive timeline". The Guardian (London). 
  15. ^ Fink, Elissa (December 2, 2010). "Why we removed the WikiLeaks visualizations". Tableau Software. 
  16. ^ "Tableau Public Data Policy". Tableau Software. 
  17. ^ a b Fink, Elissa (February 21, 2011). "The Data is In: New Policy & Advisory Board for Tableau Public". Tableau Software. 
  18. ^ Kosara, Robert (February 22, 2011). "Tableau Public's New Data Policy". EagerEyes blog. Retrieved March 13, 2013.