The Boulder BI Brain Trust


October 2010 Archives

Tableau Shows Cool Viz Stuff

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Tableau logo.pngTableau Software is presenting with Elissa Fink, VP of Marketing and Dan Jewett, VP Product Management. Note the depth of the Tableau management team.

Elissa started with an overview of the company. Headquartered in Seattle, the company was started in 2003 by Stanford Professor Pat Hanrahan and Dr. Chris Stolte, who did pioneering research in information visualization. See a description of the Polaris project at Stanford along with a more recent ACM article. Note dedication to Jim Gray.

Enterprise customers include Google, Microsoft, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Safeway, Pfizer, Merck, Ferrari, GM, and CBS. Plus, 5,550 customer licenses for their desktop version. There are three versions: Tableau Desktop, Tableau Server, and Tableau Public. Tableau Desktop is licensed by individuals for either $1,000 (with connectors to desktop data like Excel and Access) and $2,000 (with full set of connectors like ODBC databases).

The sales model has focused on selling licenses for 1-5 desktops, which is done through low-cost tele-sales. This approach has enabled Tableau to establish a beachhead in the enterprise. Tableau is now expanding its sales to corporate accounts by nurturing the desktop adopters. These account reps are young and energetic, tele-selling $80k to $100K deals. Tableau is establish a direct sales unit to contact enterprise IT shops directly.

Tableau's revenue last year $20M, with a 123% increase this year. They have been profitable since start-up. VC investment has been $5M in 200 and $10M in 2009 ...all of which is still in the bank! Tableau has 99 employees in 2009, about 180 now, and expect to be over 200 by end of this year. There are open job positions in development and sales mostly in Seattle, but also other positions and at San Mateo.

Tableau chart1.pngDan continued with a product demo. The Data bar on the left allows you to drag dimensions and measures to specify the chart. This chart shows sales by region against product categories. The cells are horizontal bars showing the sales amounts, while the color of the bars show profit and width of the bars show time-to-ship. What products would you want to sell and from which regions? Click on the chart to see the full detail.

After the break, Dan explained Version 6, which will be available on November 9. The themes for the new version are: big fast data, data blending, visual analytics, calculations & parameters, and server manageability. The main enhancement is the data engine, which will load compressed data into memory and allow swapping with disk. Dan also showed "data blending" by federating several data sets interactively. There are also additional analytics that will allow a single chart displaying multiple viz with differing levels of detail. For example, Dan showed home sales data for Seattle, where the median price by month with individual home overlayed. Several more demos were impressive. Nice animation controls.

Tableau offers a 14-day trial; however, wait a couple of weeks to try the new version 6.

My Take...

Tableau is an impressive company with impressive products. Coming from humble academic beginnings, they have built a profitable business that has long-term growth potential. The analytic mindset of corporate professionals is still at an embryonic stage. Tools like Tableau can be effective catalyst to mature the analytic culture in your company...if executives insist that all major business decisions be data driven rather than politically or emotionally determined. Data can lie, but with tools in Tableau the facts tend to dominate, and lies are more difficult to tell.
talend logo.pngGreat to see the team from Talend here in Boulder today. Big turn out from the Brain Trust members at least 12 people sitting in on the session today.  Fabrice Bonan COO and Co founder along with Yves de Montcheuil VP of Marketing are here from France along with Vincent Pineau GM America's.

Talend is the leader in open source data integration solutions. They have quickly grown into a worldwide company with offices in San Francisco, New York, Paris, Milan, London Tokyo, Beijing and more. The company launched on 2006 so they have made significant head way in a short time. Talend Open Studio the companies premier solution is downloaded at a rate of 1 copy per minute presently there are 450,000 users of the solution and Talend has converted 1,500 to paying clients. In open source communities this is a common split of customer types and adoption.

Its interesting to see that Talend has so many clients in such a short time. They are growing at a rate of 100 per month so it seems that they are becoming a thorn in the side of their traditional software competition. This is great news for the ongoing success of open source solution models. Open source is leaving behind its heritage of being a shadow project tool and now is gaining traction in the enterprise arena.

Over the past four years Talend has matured from Open Studio Ver 1.0 into a full featured solution suite that includes data quality, profiling and MDM functionality. Talend has a unique way of licensing their solution you only pay for number of developers on the project as you scale up or down you only pay for the added development team members. Additionally the Talend data connectors are free to users providing significant cost savings plus there are no annual maintenance charges with Taland these two features alone makes a compelling case to investigate Talend when you are in need of DI/DQ/MDM solution.

Talend did an excellent job demonstrating various use case scenarios for all major function areas of the platform. The newest version has taken many steps forward over Ver 3. Much of the road map and upcoming product release information is under NDA for now but check the Talend site this coming Tuesday for more details.

Thanks to Fabrice, Yves and Vincent for visiting us in Boulder today it was time well spent.


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