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Welcome to my BeyeNETWORK blog! Please join me often to share your thoughts and observations on new analytic platforms, BI and data management. I maintain a vendor-focused practice that uses primary research, briefings, case studies, events and other activities that stimulate ideas as a source for commentary on strategy and execution in the marketplace. I believe the emergence of a new class of analytic platforms, and emerging data management and advanced tools herald a next step in the maturity of information technology, and I'm excited to be present for its emergence. I hope my blog entries will stimulate ideas that will serve both the vendors creating these new solutions and the companies that will improve their business prospects as a result of applying them. Please share your thoughts and input on the topics.



Data visualization specialist Tableau Software recently spent some time with us talking about where they've come from and where they are going. After early project work for the DoD, founder Pat Hanrahan and his PHD student Chris Stolte joined forces with Jock MacKinlay, who spent some time at Xerox PARC. They spun out of Stanford in early 2003, and launched into a steady run of growth. With $5m in early funding, they've run conservatively - "cash flow even," Marketing VP Elissa Fink calls it - ever since, and just celebrated 16 straight quarters of beating the prior quarter's number.

Tableau logo

Some of Tableau's business is OEM: they provide Visual Explorer for Oracle Essbase for example; much comes from phone-based sales calls. The company has learned to empower "B2B consumers" who find them with a free trial download model, and their conversion rate, they claim, is very good. A perpetual license for the desktop product is $999; the Professional version, for $1800, connects to Microsoft SQL Server, Netezza, Oracle, Teradata, etc. and publishes interactive analytics and dashboards. The Reader is free, allowing distribution of reports in a read only mode to anyone with a browser. 


Tableau doesn't publish revenue numbers, but IT Market Strategy believes they are approaching the $10M mark. A round of funding for that amount in late 2008 is targeted at finding growth as the firm builds out its portfolio of data connectors and partnerships, resellers and OEMs. A recent succesful first user conference, a new deal with Vertica, and more to come demonstrate significant momentum in an increasingly "visible" space. Today, with a base of 3000 named accounts of all sizes - some with one copy and some with hundreds - and 30,000 users, geographic expansion looms as an opportunity. The product is internationalized but not localized, and building out distribution is a promising avenue for the next growth tier.


The best introduction to Tableau? Follow the link at the beginning of this post. Download a trial. Play with it a while. Get your checkbook out; you'll use it soon. 

Posted April 26, 2009 8:32 AM
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