|Traded as||NASDAQ: DATA|
|Founded||Seattle, Washington (2003)|
|Headquarters||Seattle, Washington, United States|
Number of employees
|3,445 (April 2017)|
Tableau Software (// tab-LOH) is a software company headquartered in Seattle, Washington, United States which produces interactive data visualization products focused on business intelligence. It initially began in order to commercialize research which had been conducted at Stanford University's Department of Computer Science between 1999 and 2002. It was founded in Mountain View, California in January, 2003 by Chris Stolte, who specialized in visualization techniques for exploring and analyzing relational databases and data cubes. The product queries relational databases, OLAP cubes, cloud databases, and spreadsheets and then generates a number of graph types.
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 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 or use custom geocoding to extend existing geographic roles in the product. 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. Vizable, a consumer data visualization mobile app, was released in 2015. A sixth product known as Maestro, for data preparation workflows, is under development and is planned to release in 2018.
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. The founders moved the company to Seattle, Washington in October, 2003, where it remains headquartered today. 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.
Wikileaks and policy changes
On December 2, 2010, Tableau withdrew its visualizations from the contents of the United States diplomatic cables leak by WikiLeaks, with Tableau stating that it was directly due to political pressure from US Senator Joe Lieberman.
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, the Wikileaks cables would not have been removed.
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.
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