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A Tiny Research Team At Tableau Is Building Tomorrow’s UX For Data

8 July, 2014

A Tiny Research Team At Tableau Is Building Tomorrow’s UX For Data

Tableau Software is many things: a fast-growing thorn in the side of legacy analytics vendors, stock-market gold and the poster child for the next generation of user-friendly data analysis, among them. It’s also a company with a deeply rooted and growing research culture that’s responsible for nearly everything users see when they open its popular visualization application.

In fact, Tableau itself is the product of a Stanford Ph.D. dissertation by co-founder and Chief Development Officer Chris Stolte, in conjunction with his then-professor and eventual co-founder Pat Hanrahan. Their project, called Polaris, combined a structured query language with a declarative language for describing data visualization. When they commercialized the research by founding Tableau, that combination – which came together into a technology called VizQL – became the defining feature of the drag-and-drop Tableau experience.

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