BI Vendors

Tableau Software

Tableau Software

Tableau Software is a business intelligence company that delivers applications to help users create customizable dashboards for data analysis. Tableau Software’s products are designed to query a variety of database types, from cloud to relational databases, and construct visualizations based on query results that can be read in many forms—bar graphs, pie charts, maps, etc. Data visualizations can be combined and customized into iterations suited to the user’s needs, and then shared over the web or in a network.

The company’s database visualization language and querying software were first created at Stanford University when the school’s Computer Science department accepted a project from the US Department of Defense (DOD) to design solutions that would make big data easier to understand and analyze. The technology that still powers Tableau Software’s products was developed during the DOD project, from 1997 until 2002.

Tableau Software claims that much of its query and visualization technology design is guided by primary research the company conducts around the “principles of visual understanding” and the “cycle of visual analysis.” The company website reads, “To encode how shapes are represented we studied people’s comprehension of shapes when they overlap…we [also] study how people ask a question, analyze data to get an answer, and then ask their next question.”*

The company has maintained a healthy rate of growth since its founding in 2003. In recent years especially, Tableau has boomed, nearly quadrupling its revenue since 2010, when the company posted earnings of $34.2 million dollars. As of 2012, that figure has grown to $127.7 million dollars. Tableau made its first public offering on the New York Stock exchange on May 17, 2013.

Headquartered in Seattle Washington, Tableau Software staffs more than 700 employees and serves customers in a variety of private and public sectors.

*From Tableau Software’s “Mission” page on the company website,