Tableau Server and Tableau Desktop

Tableau is a global company that supports business users with a solution for data analysis and visualization. It was founded at Stanford University in 2003 by Chris Stolte, Christian Chabot and Pat Hanrahan. Tableau continues to grow extremely quickly, with revenues increasing by over 55 percent in each of the last three years.

Tableau reported revenues of 232m US dollars in 2013, 412.6m US dollars in 2014 and 653.6m US dollars in 2015. The vendor currently has over 46,000 customers and more than 3,000 employees worldwide. The company went public in May of 2013.

Tableau has now become one of the most popular visual exploration products in the world, geared to business users with good usability and simple installation. The vendor’s main products are Tableau Desktop, Tableau Server and Tableau Online.  These are business user-oriented tools enabling data analysis with drag-and-drop gestures that generate highly graphical and interactive representations of data coming in from a range of sources.

The company’s server and cloud products can be used to distribute and administer interactive analyses, dashboards and reports, and manage metadata through Web browsers or mobile apps. Additionally, the company provides a free online platform to author, publish and embed interactive visualizations through Tableau Public. This is typically geared to journalists and bloggers needing to develop data analysis with public data.

User & Use Cases

Tableau is mostly used for dashboarding, basic data analysis and ad hoc query. These results underline Tableau’s strength for accessing different data sources, mashups and analyzing data. Tableau is also used to model/enrich and analyze data more frequently than most other products in The BI Survey.

69 percent of respondents say they use the solution for standard/enterprise reporting. The product supports data visualization with different output formats such as stories, dashboards and even interactive reports. This is also reflected in the high proportion of business users who use Tableau to navigate and view analysis results.

The solution is used by companies of all sizes, from small to large enterprises. Tableau’s architecture makes this possible, consisting of a desktop client and a server component.

Current vs. planned use

N = 111

5 products most often evaluated in competition with Tableau

N = 747

Percentage of employees using Tableau

N = 110

Licensing models

N = 100

Number of users using Tableau

N = 86

Tasks carried out with Tableau by business users

N = 101

Company size (number of employees)

N = 110

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Tableau Server and Tableau Desktop

Peer Groups Dashboarding-focused products, Large international BI vendors, Visual data discovery-focused products
VendorTableau Software
Number of responses111
EmployeesApprox. 3,000
CustomersOver 46,000
Revenues (2015)$653.6 million