Tableau Software

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Tableau Software
Industry Computer software
Founded Seattle, Washington (2003)
Founder Christian Chabot
Chris Stolte
Pat Hanrahan
Headquarters Seattle, Washington, U.S.
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$412,616,000 (2014)
  • US$ 232,440,000 (2013)
  • Decrease US$ 5,873,000 (2014)
  • US$ 7,076,000 (2013)
Number of employees
3,248 (August 2016)

Tableau Software (/tæbˈl/ 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.[2]


The company was founded in Mountain View, California in January, 2003 by Chris Stolte, Christian Chabot and Pat Hanrahan.[3] Their initial aim was to commercialize research conducted at Stanford University’s Department of Computer Science between 1999 and 2002.[4] Professor Pat Hanrahan and Ph.D. student Chris Stolte who specialized in visualization techniques for exploring and analyzing relational databases and data cubes[5] led research in the use of table-based displays to browse multidimensional relational databases.[6] 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).[7] VizQL formed the core of the Polaris system, an interface for exploring large multi-dimensional databases.[8] In 2003, Tableau was spun out of Stanford[9] 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.[10]

On May 17, 2013, Tableau launched an initial public offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange, raising more than $250 million USD.[11] Prior to its IPO, Tableau raised over $45 million in venture capital investment from investors such as NEA and Meritech.[11]

The company's 2013 revenue reached $232.44 million, an 82% growth over 2012's $128 million.[12] 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.[13]

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.[14]


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.[15] Tableau Vizable, a consumer data visualization mobile app was released in 2015.[16]


As of August 2016, the current stable versions of Tableau products are:

Stock prices[edit]

Tableau Software went public on May 17, 2013 with an IPO offering of $47 per share.[17] Over the period of next two years prices almost tripled, The stock crashed in February 2016 to an all-time low of $37[18] 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[edit]

Tableau Software has won awards including "Best Overall in Data Visualization" by DM Review, "Best of 2005 for Data Analysis" by PC Magazine,[19] and "2008 Best Business Intelligence Solution (CODiE award)" by the Software & Information Industry Association.[20]

2015 Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms: market leader, #1 in 'ability to execute', leader in 'completeness in vision'.[21]

Withdrawal of services from Wikileaks[edit]

On December 2, 2010, Tableau was one of the first companies to withdraw support from WikiLeaks after they started publishing US embassy cables.[22] Although the company stated it was not a decision that they took lightly,[23] 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.[24] 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.[25] 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."[25] 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.[26]


  1. ^ a b "99.1 - 01 (Q4 2014)". SEC. 2 February 2015. Retrieved 26 February 2015. 
  2. ^ "Tableau Business Intelligence". Tableau Software. Retrieved 2013-04-11. 
  3. ^ "Software License Agreement". Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Retrieved 2014-04-23. 
  4. ^ "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. 
  5. ^ "Christopher R. Stolte: Ph.D. Candidate @ Stanford". Retrieved 2011-11-16. 
  6. ^ "Pat Hanrahan". Retrieved 2011-11-16. 
  7. ^ "VizQL: a language for query, analysis and visualization". SIGMOD '06 Proceedings of the 2006 ACM SIGMOD international conference on Management of data. ACM. doi:10.1145/1142473.1142560. ISBN 1-59593-434-0. 
  8. ^ "Polaris: Database and Data Cube Visualization". Retrieved 2011-11-16. 
  9. ^ "Tableau Software, Inc.: Private Company Information". BusinessWeek. March 14, 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-16. 
  10. ^ "Tableau CEO Chabot: Seattle is the promised land of startup America". GeekWire. Retrieved 2014-04-23. 
  11. ^ a b Lunden, Ingrid (May 17, 2013). "Big Data Analytics Specialist Tableau Software Raises $254M In IPO". TechCrunch. Retrieved April 29, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Financial Statements for Tableau Software Inc - Google Finance". Google Finance. Retrieved 29 April 2015. 
  13. ^ "Forms S-1". SEC. Retrieved 2013-04-11. 
  14. ^ Lerman, Rachel (22 August 2016). "Seattle Times". Retrieved 23 August 2016. 
  15. ^ "Tableau Desktop Pricing". 
  16. ^
  17. ^ CNBC Big Data's IPO: Tableau Software Is a Big One
  18. ^ Reuters: CEOs, venture backers lose big as LinkedIn, Tableau shares tumble
  19. ^ "Software: Business - Tableau - Best of the Year". November 11, 2005. Retrieved 2011-11-16. 
  20. ^ "2008 Codie Award Winners".
  21. ^ "Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms". Retrieved 7 October 2015. 
  22. ^ Arthur, Charles; Halliday, Josh (January 8, 2010). "Wikileaks under attack: the definitive timeline". The Guardian. London. 
  23. ^ Fink, Elissa (December 2, 2010). "Why we removed the WikiLeaks visualizations". Tableau Software. 
  24. ^ "The Data is In: New Policy & Advisory Board for Tableau Public". Tableau Software. 2011-02-21. Retrieved 2015-04-07. 
  25. ^ a b Fink, Elissa (February 21, 2011). "The Data is In: New Policy & Advisory Board for Tableau Public". Tableau Software. 
  26. ^ Kosara, Robert (February 22, 2011). "Tableau Public's New Data Policy". EagerEyes blog. Retrieved March 13, 2013. 

External links[edit]