|Public (NASDAQ: DATA)|
|Founded||Seattle, Washington (2003)|
|Headquarters||Seattle, Washington, U.S.|
Number of employees
|3,248 (August 2016)|
Tableau Software (// tab-LOH) is an American computer software company headquartered in Seattle, Washington. It produces a family of interactive data visualization products focused on business intelligence.
The company was founded in Mountain View, California in January, 2003 by Chris Stolte, Christian Chabot and Pat Hanrahan. Their initial aim was to commercialize research conducted at Stanford University’s Department of Computer Science between 1999 and 2002. Professor Pat Hanrahan and Ph.D. student Chris Stolte who specialized in visualization techniques for exploring and analyzing relational databases and data cubes led research in the use of table-based displays to browse multidimensional relational databases. 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). VizQL formed the core of the Polaris system, an interface for exploring large multi-dimensional databases. In 2003, Tableau was spun out of Stanford  with an eponymous software application. The product queries relational databases, cubes, cloud databases, 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. The founders moved the company to Seattle, Washington in October, 2003, where it remains headquartered today.
On May 17, 2013, Tableau launched an initial public offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange, raising more than $250 million USD. Prior to its IPO, Tableau raised over $45 million in venture capital investment from investors such as NEA and Meritech.
The company's 2013 revenue reached $232.44 million, an 82% growth over 2012's $128 million. In 2010, Tableau reported revenue of $34.2 million. 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.
In August 2016, Tableau announced the appointment of Adam Selipsky as president and CEO, effective September 16, 2016, replacing co-founder Christian Chabot as CEO.
Tableau offers five main products: Tableau Desktop, Tableau Server, Tableau Online, Tableau Reader and Tableau Public. Tableau Public and Tableau Reader are free to use, while both Tableau Server and Tableau Desktop come with a 14-day fully functional free trial period, after which the user must pay for the software. Tableau Desktop comes in both a Professional and a lower cost Personal edition. Tableau Online is available with an annual subscription for a single user, and scales to support thousands of users. Tableau Vizable, a consumer data visualization mobile app was released in 2015.
As of August 2016, the current stable versions of Tableau products are:
- Tableau Desktop 10.0
- Tableau Server 10.0
- Tableau Reader 10.0
- Tableau Online (cloud based)
- Tableau Public (cloud based)
- Tableau Vizable (mobile app)
Tableau Software went public on May 17, 2013 with an IPO offering of $47 per share. Over the period of next two years prices almost tripled, The stock crashed in February 2016 to an all-time low of $37 and was trading around $47 in May as the markets recovered. As on Aug 11, 2016 the price per share stands at around $53.
Industry recognition and awards
Tableau Software has won awards including "Best Overall in Data Visualization" by DM Review, "Best of 2005 for Data Analysis" by PC Magazine, and "2008 Best Business Intelligence Solution (CODiE award)" by the Software & Information Industry Association.
2015 Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms: market leader, #1 in 'ability to execute', leader in 'completeness in vision'.
Withdrawal of services from Wikileaks
On December 2, 2010, Tableau was one of the first companies to withdraw support from WikiLeaks after they started publishing US embassy cables. Although the company stated it was not a decision that they took lightly, 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. 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. 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." 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.
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