Tableau Software

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Tableau Software, Inc.
FoundedMountain View, California, U.S. (2003)
FoundersChristian Chabot
Chris Stolte
Andrew Beers
Pat Hanrahan
SuccessorSalesforce Edit this on Wikidata
Key people
  • Mark Nelson (CEO)
  • Christian Chabot (Chairman)
ProductsBusiness intelligence
Data visualization
Revenue877,000,000 United States dollar (2017) Edit this on Wikidata
5,873,000 United States dollar (2014) Edit this on Wikidata
Number of employees
4,181 (2019) Edit this on Wikidata

Tableau Software (/tæbˈl/ tab-LOH) is an American interactive data visualization software company focused on business intelligence.[1][2] It was founded in 2003 in Mountain View, California, and is currently headquartered in Seattle, Washington.[3] In 2019 the company was acquired by Salesforce for $15.7 billion.[4] At the time, this was the largest acquisition by Salesforce (a leader in the CRM field) since its foundation.[5] It was later surpassed by Salesforce's acquisition of Slack.[6]

The company's founders, Christian Chabot, Pat Hanrahan and Chris Stolte, were researchers at the Department of Computer Science at Stanford University.[7] They specialized in visualization techniques for exploring and analyzing relational databases and data cubes,[8] and started the company as a commercial outlet for research at Stanford from 1999 to 2002.

Tableau products query relational databases, online analytical processing cubes, cloud databases, and spreadsheets to generate graph-type data visualizations. The software can also extract, store, and retrieve data from an in-memory data engine.

Software products[edit]

Tableau products include:[9][10]

  • Tableau Desktop
  • Tableau Server
  • Tableau Online
  • Tableau Prep Builder[11] (released in 2018)
  • Tableau Vizable[12] (consumer data visualization mobile app released in 2015)
  • Tableau Public (free to use)
  • Tableau Reader (free to use)
  • Tableau Mobile
  • Tableau CRM[13]


Some visualizations created by Tableau Software.

Tableau has a mapping functionality,[14] and is able to plot latitude and longitude coordinates and connect to spatial files[15] like Esri Shapefiles, KML, and GeoJSON to display custom geography.[16] The built-in geo-coding allows for administrative places (country, state/province, county/district), postal codes, US Congressional Districts, US CBSA/MSA, Area Codes, Airports, and European Union statistical areas (NUTS codes) to be mapped automatically. Geographies can be grouped to create custom territories[17] or custom geocoding used to extend existing geographic roles in the product.[18]


Tableau was founded in January 2003 by Pat Hanrahan, Christian Chabot, and Chris Stolte, and moved its headquarters to the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle, Washington, the following year.[19][20] The company has since expanded its Fremont headquarters and announced plans in 2016 for an auxiliary campus in suburban Kirkland, Washington.[21] A new headquarters building opened near Gas Works Park in Wallingford in March 2017 and was followed by a new building in Fremont that opened in 2018.[22]

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.[23]

In June 2018, Tableau acquired Empirical Systems, a Cambridge, Massachusetts based artificial intelligence startup, with plans to integrate the company's technology into the Tableau platform. Tableau also announced plans to establish an office in Cambridge as a result of the deal.[24][25]

On June 10, 2019, Tableau was acquired by Salesforce in an all-stock deal worth over $15 billion.[26]

In March 2021, Tableau announced the appointment of Mark Nelson as president and CEO, replacing Adam Selipsky.[27]

Notable Tableau employees include Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Phil Carter and computer scientist and author Leland Wilkinson.


On May 17, 2013, Tableau launched an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange,[28] raising more than $250 million.[29] Prior to its IPO, Tableau raised over $45 million in venture capital investment from investors such as the NEA and Meritech.[29]

The company's 2013 revenue reached $232.44 million, an 82% growth over 2012's $128 million.[30] 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.[31]

Wikileaks and policy changes[edit]

On December 2, 2010, Tableau deleted WikiLeaks' visualizations about the United States diplomatic cables leak, stating it was due to direct political pressure from US Senator Joe Lieberman.[32][33]

On February 21, 2011, Tableau posted an updated data policy.[34] 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.[35] 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.[35] Tableau likened the new policy to the model set forth in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and opined that under the new policy, Wikileaks' visuals would not have been removed, as "the underlying data were statistics about the cables, not the cables themselves".[36]


In 2008, Tableau was named a Codie award winner for "Best Business Intelligence Solution" by the Software and Information Industry Association.[37]

The company was recognized as a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for nine consecutive years between 2012 and 2021.[38]


  1. ^ Andy Patrizio (2021-10-08). "Top Data Visualization Tools". eWEEK. Retrieved 2021-11-03.
  2. ^ A Dead-Simple Tool That Lets Anyone Create Interactive Maps
  3. ^ Tableau Software Helping Data Become More Visual
  4. ^ "Salesforce completes $15.7B acquisition of Tableau Software, creating new enterprise tech force". GeekWire. 2019-08-01. Retrieved 2021-11-03.
  5. ^ "세일즈포스, 빅데이터 분석업체 태블로 18조원에 인수". 매일경제 (in Korean). 2019-06-11. Retrieved 2021-04-17.
  6. ^ "Salesforce Signs Definitive Agreement to Acquire Slack". Retrieved 2 December 2020.
  7. ^ "How To Get a 20 Million Dollar Pre-Money Valuation for Series A: Tableau Software CEO Christian Chabot (Part 3)". One MIllion by One Million by Sramana Mitra. 5 March 2010. Retrieved 2014-04-23.
  8. ^ "Christopher R. Stolte: Ph.D. Candidate @ Stanford". Retrieved 2011-11-16.
  9. ^ "Difference between products". Retrieved 2018-12-03.
  10. ^ "Tableau Desktop Pricing".
  11. ^ "Project Maestro". Tableau Software. Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  12. ^
  13. ^ Dignan, Larry. "Tableau integrates Einstein Analytics, becomes the analytics bridge in Salesforce ecosystem". ZDNet. Retrieved 2020-10-07.
  14. ^ Maps
  15. ^ "Create Tableau Maps from Spatial Files". Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  16. ^ Plotting Geographic Data Using Custom Longitude and Latitude Values
  17. ^ "Create Territories on a Map". Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  18. ^ Custom Geocode Your Data
  19. ^ Levy, Ari (May 16, 2013). "Seattle's Tableau raises $254M in year's biggest tech IPO". The Seattle Times. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
  20. ^ "Tableau Raises $10M in Second Venture Round, Wants To Be the "Adobe of Data"". Xconomy.
  21. ^ Lerman, Rachel (January 13, 2016). "Tableau confirms big Kirkland expansion, plans to hire 1,000". The Seattle Times. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
  22. ^ Coombs, Casey (March 23, 2018). "Tableau Software opens 110,000-square-foot Fremont building". Puget Sound Business Journal. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
  23. ^ Lerman, Rachel (22 August 2016). "Seattle Times". Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  24. ^ "Tableau gets AI shot in the arm with Empirical Systems acquisition – TechCrunch". Retrieved 2018-06-13.
  25. ^ "Tableau acquires MIT AI spinoff Empirical Systems, opens new R&D center in Boston area". GeekWire. 2018-06-13. Retrieved 2018-06-13.
  26. ^ "Salesforce Signs Definitive Agreement to Acquire Tableau". Retrieved 2019-06-10.
  27. ^ Avidon, Erik (24 March 2021). "Tech Target". Retrieved 19 May 2021.
  28. ^ CNBC Big Data's IPO: Tableau Software Is a Big One
  29. ^ a b Lunden, Ingrid (May 17, 2013). "Big Data Analytics Specialist Tableau Software Raises $254M In IPO". TechCrunch. Retrieved April 29, 2014.
  30. ^ "Financial Statements for Tableau Software Inc - Google Finance". Google Finance. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
  31. ^ "Forms S-1". SEC. Retrieved 2013-04-11.
  32. ^ Arthur, Charles; Halliday, Josh (December 3, 2010). "WikiLeaks cables visualisation pulled after pressure from Joe Lieberman". The Guardian. London.
  33. ^ Fink, Elissa (December 2, 2010). "Why we removed the WikiLeaks visualizations". Tableau Software.
  34. ^ "The Data is In: New Policy & Advisory Board for Tableau Public". Tableau Software. 2011-02-21. Retrieved 2015-04-07.
  35. ^ a b Fink, Elissa (February 21, 2011). "The Data is In: New Policy & Advisory Board for Tableau Public". Tableau Software.
  36. ^ Kosara, Robert (February 22, 2011). "Tableau Public's New Data Policy". EagerEyes blog. Retrieved March 13, 2013.
  37. ^ "2008 Codie award Winners" Archived 2010-02-11 at the Wayback Machine.
  38. ^ "Tableau a Leader for 9 consecutive years". Tableau Software. Retrieved 2021-06-17.

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