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The success story of Tableau Software

The success story of Tableau Software

Until early 21st century the databases used to produce numbers and data. It was the job of IT professionals to analyze the data and create reports and dashboards. However a small software company founded by three youngsters Christian, Pat and Chris from Stanford University in the year 2003, named as Tableau, revolutionized the industry with the idea of incorporating data visualization features into the databases making it interactive and comprehensible like never before.

Tableau emerged in the era when there were already established companies like Cognos, Business Objects, Microsoft Excel, etc., which were enjoying the success, but starting from a small office in Seattle it managed to climb the success chart with $3.8 billion of current market cap.

Watch this video on Tableau for Beginners:

Read below to find out how Tableau made it possible?

From the IPO launch

Since the time it was launched it was not accepted by the IT professionals as they did not find it worthwhile. But soon it picked up the pace when business analysts and marketers found its features useful for the business intelligence domain. The company launched its first IPO in 2013 and raised $250 million and never looked back.

Now since past four years Tableau software has been placed as the leader in the Gartner’s magic quadrant for business intelligence and analytics dealing in about 150 countries raising 25% of total revenue. Last year it released the report of its performance growth over the years since the launch of its IPO which reflected that its market value reached more than $8000 million in the year 2015.


More and more companies dealing in business intelligence are now using Tableau Software for report preparations with strong BI visualization support. Hence the company which was once considered to be sold in 2010 grew like anything gaining the customer base of more than 60,000 which will be growing in the future.

Interested in learning the fundamentals of Tableau? Read this Tableau tutorial!

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In a competition with the business intelligence giants like IBM, Oracle and Microsoft how did a small start-up like Tableau make its market?

The prime logic behind creating this tool was developing a simple and user-friendly tool that cannot only help you create graphs, charts, maps, reports but assist you in the next-gen concepts like predictive and prescriptive analysis.

Trying to get a BI job? Crack the interview in one shot with these Tableau Admin Interview Questions!

The worldwide business analytics market will grow from $37.7 billion in 2013 to $59.2 billion in 2018, which translates to a 9.4% compounded annual growth rate for the forecast period. – IDC


It clearly indicates the prominence of BI tools in current market scenario. The prime features that led Tableau Software to achieve success are-

  • Powered by VizQL language making it flexible to pull data from any source
  • Facilitates the user with ‘n’ number of visualization tools to customize the Tableau reports
  • All the complex graphs and maps can be prepared with drags and drops, no coding needed
  • Tableau data visualizations can be embedded with multiple platforms
  • Able to analyze and display the data in real-time

Some of the striking new features introduced in the latest versions are-

Tableau 9.0Tableau 10.0
  • Instant visual feedback
  • Smart maps
  • Scalable and faster Tableau server
  • Caching and consolidation
  • Cluster analysis
  • Data breakthroughs
  • Cross database join
  • Multiple device support
  • Web authoring
  • Self-service at scale

Read a detailed comparison between Tableau and Qlikview in this interesting blog!

Tableau has seen a tremendous growth of 82% in its annual sales over the past seven years from $18 million in 2009 to $654 million in 2015 making it score high in the ranking chart. Started from a bedroom by three masterminds this company now ranks under top ten BI tools giving tough competition to some of the old tools like IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, Qlik, etc.

Master Data Visualization Using Tableau

A report by Forbes in 2016 indicates that the total revenue of Tableau grew 32% in the first quarter to $172 million, with international revenue up 52% and 3,500 new customer accounts. The company closed 268 transactions greater than $100,000, up 8% year over year. If Tableau keeps on performing with the same pace soon its net worth will be in the north of $3 billion counted as one of the top three BI companies in the world.

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About the Author

Data Analyst & Machine Learning Associate

As a Data Analyst & Machine Learning Associate, Nishtha uses a combination of her analytical skills and machine learning knowledge to interpret complicated datasets. She is a passionate storyteller who transforms crucial findings into gripping tales that further influence data-driven decision-making in the business frontier.