Tableau Has a Big Day with IPO
May 21, 2013 Alex Woodie
It didn’t take any fancy big-data analysis to show that Tableau Software had a very good day Friday, when its stock price soared 63 percent from its opening price. The company, which makes data visualization tools, enjoyed another 11 percent gain in early trading yesterday, giving it a market capitalization of around $365 million.
Tableau is a small player in the overall market for business intelligence software, but it’s garnering lots of attention–especially after the successful IPO. The Seattle, Washington, company says its software, which is based on its VizQL (visual query language) technology, enables even non-technical people to explore and query a variety of data types, including relational databases, Excel spreadsheets, and even multi-dimensional cubes.
Tableau says it provides a much more intuitive user experience by presenting source data graphically–such as through bar graphs, maps, Gantt diagrams, histograms, and heat maps–instead of using rows and columns, as is traditionally done with SQL-based methods. What’s more, VizQL allows the user to explore data by dragging and dropping elements on the screen. The idea is to give users a head start on data discovery tasks and help them detect patterns in the data that may otherwise remain hidden.
Christian Chabot, the CEO and co-founder of Tableau, and some of his employees and fellow executives were on hand at the New York Stock Exchange last Friday to ring the opening bell. “We believe making it easy for people to see and understand data represents one of the great opportunities in computing this century,” Chabot stated in a press release.
There were signs that Tableau, which had about $100 million in revenues in 2012, was already having a big impact in the market for data discovery tools. The company had a good showing in the BI market survey recently performed by Lavastorm Analytics, a competitor to Tableau. When Lavastorm asked 600 IT pros what self-service analytic tools they use, MS Excel was the clear winner with 76 percent. But 18 percent said they used Tableau, which was behind only SAS at 34 percent, Microsoft Access at 28 percent, and IBM‘s SPSS at 23 percent. Tableau was ahead of straight SQL, SAP‘s BusinessObjects, StatSoft‘s Statistica, Mathworks MatLab, QlikTech‘s QlikView, Microstrategy, IBM’s Cognos, Teradata, and Lavastorm’s own tools.
Several of Tableau’s customers use the software against DB2/400 data, including Ferrari and Maserati of North America. Company representatives told IT Jungle last year that the company would bolster its access to DB2/400 (currently done through generic ODBC) if enough customers demanded it.