Tableau Software

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Tableau Software, Inc.
Traded asNYSEDATA (Class A)
Russell 1000 Component
FoundedMountain View, California (2003)
FounderChristian Chabot
Chris Stolte
Pat Hanrahan
United States
Key people
  • Adam Selipsky (CEO)
  • Christian Chabot, Co-founder and Chairman of the Board
  • Chris Stolte, Co-founder and Technical Advisor
  • Andrew Beers, CDO
  • Pat Hanrahan, Chief Scientist and Co-founder
  • Increase US$877 million (2017)[1]
  • US$ 827 million (2016)
  • Decrease US$ 5,873,000 (2014)[2]
  • US$ 7,076,000 (2013)
Number of employees
3,489 (December 2017)

Tableau Software (/tæbˈl/ tab-LOH) is a software company[3] headquartered in Seattle, Washington, United States that produces interactive data visualization products[4] focused on business intelligence.[5] It initially began in order to commercialize research which had been conducted at Stanford University's Department of Computer Science between 1999 and 2002.[6] It was founded in Mountain View, California in January, 2003 by Christian Chabot, Pat Hanrahan and Chris Stolte, who specialized in visualization techniques for exploring and analyzing relational databases and data cubes.[7] Tableau products query relational databases, OLAP cubes, cloud databases, and spreadsheets and then generates a number of graph types. The products can also extract data and store and retrieve from its in-memory data engine.

Tableau has a mapping functionality,[8][9] and is able to plot latitude and longitude coordinates and connect to spatial files[10] like Esri Shapefiles, KML, and GeoJSON to display custom geography.[11] The built-in geocoding 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. You can group geographies to create custom territories[12] or use custom geocoding to extend existing geographic roles in the product.[13] There are five ways to access their products: Desktop (both professional and personal editions), Server, Online (which scales to support thousands of users), Reader, and Public, with the last two free to use.[14] Vizable, a consumer data visualization mobile app, was released in 2015.[15] A sixth product known as Data Prep,[16] for data preparation workflows, was released in May 2018.

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.[17][18]

The use of Tableau in data-driven companies is to produce data reports to reflect the operation conditions in real time.[19]

Public company[edit]

On May 17, 2013, Tableau launched an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange,[20] raising more than $250 million.[21] Prior to its IPO, Tableau raised over $45 million in venture capital investment from investors such as the NEA and Meritech.[21]

The company's 2013 revenue reached $232.44 million, an 82% growth over 2012's $128 million.[22] 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.[23] The founders moved the company to Seattle, Washington in 2004, where it remains headquartered today.[24] 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.[25]

Wikileaks and policy changes[edit]

Viz created by Tableau Software
Viz created by Tableau Software
Viz created by Tableau Software

On December 2, 2010, Tableau deleted WikiLeaks's visualizations about the United States diplomatic cables leak, stating it was due directly to political pressure from US Senator Joe Lieberman.[26][27]

On February 21, 2011, Tableau posted an updated data policy.[28] 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.[29] 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.[29] 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".[30]


In 2008, Tableau was named a Codie award winner for "Best Business Intelligence Solution" by the Software and Information Industry Association.[31] The company was recognized as a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for five consecutive years between 2012 and 2017.[32]


  1. ^ "99.1 - 01 (FY 2016)" (PDF). SEC. 2 February 2015. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
  2. ^ "99.1 - 01 (Q4 2014)". SEC. 2 February 2015. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
  3. ^ A Dead-Simple Tool That Lets Anyone Create Interactive Maps
  4. ^ Tableau Software Helping Data Become More Visual
  5. ^ "Tableau Business Intelligence". Tableau Software. Retrieved 2013-04-11.
  6. ^ "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. Retrieved 2014-04-23.
  7. ^ "Christopher R. Stolte: Ph.D. Candidate @ Stanford". Retrieved 2011-11-16.
  8. ^ Maps
  9. ^ Tips for avoiding nulls & errors using Tableau
  10. ^ "Create Tableau Maps from Spatial Files". Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  11. ^ Plotting Geographic Data Using Custom Longitude and Latitude Values
  12. ^ "Create Territories on a Map". Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  13. ^ Custom Geocode Your Data
  14. ^ "Tableau Desktop Pricing".
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Project Maestro". Tableau Software. Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  17. ^ "Tableau gets AI shot in the arm with Empirical Systems acquisition – TechCrunch". Retrieved 2018-06-13.
  18. ^ "Tableau acquires MIT AI spinoff Empirical Systems, opens new R&D center in Boston area". GeekWire. 2018-06-13. Retrieved 2018-06-13.
  19. ^ Poulter, Lindsey. "Top 5 Reasons Your Company Needs Tableau". Retrieved 2018-12-03.
  20. ^ CNBC Big Data's IPO: Tableau Software Is a Big One
  21. ^ a b Lunden, Ingrid (May 17, 2013). "Big Data Analytics Specialist Tableau Software Raises $254M In IPO". TechCrunch. Retrieved April 29, 2014.
  22. ^ "Financial Statements for Tableau Software Inc - Google Finance". Google Finance. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
  23. ^ "Forms S-1". SEC. Retrieved 2013-04-11.
  24. ^ "Tableau Raises $10M in Second Venture Round, Wants To Be the "Adobe of Data"". Xconomy.
  25. ^ Lerman, Rachel (22 August 2016). "Seattle Times". Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  26. ^ Arthur, Charles; Halliday, Josh (December 3, 2010). "WikiLeaks cables visualisation pulled after pressure from Joe Lieberman". The Guardian. London.
  27. ^ Fink, Elissa (December 2, 2010). "Why we removed the WikiLeaks visualizations". Tableau Software.
  28. ^ "The Data is In: New Policy & Advisory Board for Tableau Public". Tableau Software. 2011-02-21. Retrieved 2015-04-07.
  29. ^ a b Fink, Elissa (February 21, 2011). "The Data is In: New Policy & Advisory Board for Tableau Public". Tableau Software.
  30. ^ Kosara, Robert (February 22, 2011). "Tableau Public's New Data Policy". EagerEyes blog. Retrieved March 13, 2013.
  31. ^ "2008 Codie award Winners" Archived 2010-02-11 at the Wayback Machine..
  32. ^ "Tableau five years a leader in Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Analytics". Tableau Software. Retrieved 2018-05-26.

External links[edit]