The data driven world has seen an exponential growth in the volume of data generated today. The growing smartphone penetration in the world has directly resulted in a massive increase in the data being generated. According to researchers, the global mobile data traffic grew 63 percent in 2016 and reached 7.2 exabytes per month at the end of 2016. Data also comes from untapped, unstructured information from the web such as imagery, social media channels, news feeds, emails, journals, blogs, images, sounds, and videos. There has been a mind-boggling amount of growth in social-networking data in the past three years. In order to stay ahead in the market, organizations need to harness this data, analyze it, and turn into actionable insights. They also must be able to work with data, draw well-reasoned inferences from it, and effectively communicate their discoveries to broader audiences in order to thrive in this environment. In the early 21st century, organizations lacked the ability to use data effectively. What held them from becoming true data-driven businesses was absence of data analytics skills among employees. But the development of a simple and user friendly tool, Tableau, revolutionized the way people use data today. Tableau has built a visual language which lets people interact, navigate, explore, discover, and be curious with data naturally.
With a visionary idea and pioneering the concept of ‘visual analytics’, Chris Stolte, Pat Hanrahan, and Christian Chabot from Stanford University started the company in 2003. Christian Chabot, CEO, Tableau states, “Our software aims to wrest business intelligence from the grip of specialists and hand it to a broad swath of business users, providing the tools to tap data stores and explore them visually by clicking and dragging instead of entering complex queries.” Through Tableau, businesses can connect to the data that they require, be it a spreadsheet, database or big data. With the help of Tableau, businesses can also access data warehouses, cloud applications, and cloud data bases and easily combine data from multiple sources in few clicks. Tableau brings the data of businesses together in one simple view.
The software also allows its clients to opt for a fully hosted solution like Tableau Online, or to manage their own Tableau Server on-premises and on cloud. While analyzing data in Tableau Desktop, businesses can transform their data into powerful interactive dashboards. All the development activities from creating reports, charts, formatting, and compiling them in a dashboard is done on Tableau Desktop. And further, this dashboard can be securely shared with Tableau Online or Tableau Server so that everyone in the organization can access it from a browser, tablet or phone. When it comes to Tableau Online, the desktop users benefit the most from it. Tableau Online is highly secured for data visualizing and it is limited for editing of workbooks, dashboards, and visualizations.
The management tools of Tableau give its users the control over everything from user permissions to data source connectivity and the visibility they need.
While analyzing data in Tableau desktop, businesses can transform their data into powerful interactive dashboards
Tableau naturally fits within the needs of the business so that they can easily scale from small teams to full organization. The software not only helps organizations to create graphs, charts, maps, reports but also assists you in the next-gen concepts like predictive and prescriptive analysis. Tableau is backed with VizQL language which makes it flexible to pull data from any source. It facilitates the user with ‘n’ number of visualization tools to customize the report. Another innovative technology for data analysis developed by Tableau Software is Data Engine. With the use of this Tableau technology, businesses can analyze millions of data rows in seconds without custom programming scenarios of the analysis. In 2016, Tableau unveiled its next generation in-memory data engine based on the Hyper technology. The recently launched Hyper data engine provides interactive analysis on data of all sizes while enabling fast data ingestion for near real-time analysis.
Starting from a small office in Seattle, today Tableau has spread its wings across the world. It has offices in U.S., UK, Singapore, Japan, Australia, and China. The users of Tableau Software range from large corporations to sole proprietors. Some of the top companies which are transforming their business and seeing dramatic results with Tableau belong to Automotive, Banking, Insurance, Manufacturing, Media and Entertainment, Business Service, Communications, and Education sectors.
While facing competition with the leading business intelligence companies like IBM, SAP, Oracle, and Microsoft, Tableau has managed to obtain a unique position in the market. Although initially the software was not accepted by the IT professionals, it has now strived to emerge in the era when the leading BI companies were already enjoying their success. Since the launch of its first initial public offering in 2013, raising 250 million dollar, the company has never looked back. In the past seven years, Tableau has seen a tremendous growth of 82 percent in its sales. In the near future, the company has plans to extend its products into data preparation and improving in-memory data processing. Further, they envision including data-audit capabilities, introducing ‘instant analytics,’ delivering natural-language processing (NLP) query capability, and offering threshold-based notification-triggering.