|Founded||Mountain View, California, U.S. (2003)|
|Founders||Christian Chabot |
Damon Fletcher (CFO)
Andrew Beers (CTO)
|Revenue||US$1.2 billion (2018)|
Number of employees
|4,181 (May 2019)|
Tableau Software (// tab-LOH) is an American interactive data visualization software company focused on business intelligence. It was founded in 2003 in Mountain View, California, and is currently headquartered in Seattle, Washington. In 2019 the company was acquired by Salesforce for $15.7 billion.
The company's founders, Christian Chabot, Pat Hanrahan and Chris Stolte, were researchers at the Department of Computer Science at Stanford University. They specialized in visualization techniques for exploring and analyzing relational databases and data cubes, 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.
- Tableau Desktop
- Tableau Server
- Tableau Online
- Tableau Prep Builder (Released in 2018)
- Tableau Vizable (Consumer data visualization mobile app released in 2015)
- Tableau Public (free to use)
- Tableau Reader (free to use)
- Tableau Mobile
- Tableau CRM
Tableau has a mapping functionality, and is able to plot latitude and longitude coordinates and connect to spatial files like Esri Shapefiles, KML, and GeoJSON to display custom geography. 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 or custom geocoding used to extend existing geographic roles in the product.
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. The company has since expanded its Fremont headquarters and announced plans in 2016 for an auxiliary campus in suburban Kirkland, Washington. 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.
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.
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.
On May 17, 2013, Tableau launched an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange, raising more than $250 million. Prior to its IPO, Tableau raised over $45 million in venture capital investment from investors such as the 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.
Wikileaks and policy changes
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. 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".
In 2008, Tableau was named a Codie award winner for "Best Business Intelligence Solution" by the Software and Information Industry Association. The company was recognized as a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for seven consecutive years between 2012 and 2019.
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