Tableau Software Bets On a Mass Market for Data Visualization

Is there a mass market for data visualization? Tableau Software thinks so. If Tableau Software’s fiscal Q1, 2014 results, as reported on Monday, May 5, 2014, are any indicator, their bet may be a winner. The company reported total revenue for its first fiscal quarter, 2014 of $74.6, which represents an 86% year-over-year increase.

At Pacific Crest’s Emerging Technology Summit, Mr. Christian Chabot, CEO and co-founder of Tableau, spoke of his still early stage ISV as a near textbook example of the kind of very early stage business Professor Clayton Christensen contends in his book, The Innovator’s Dilemma. From the imagery Mr. Chabot chooses to include in his presentation for the Pacific Crest Summit, readers should gain a sense of just how big a market Mr. Cabot feels there is for easy to use data visualization software.

The concept of process development through workflows is a core component of quite a number cloud, and on premise software offers from more mature ISVs. Microsoft® SharePoint® is, apparently, a highly desirable computing platform as the result of its “no code” application development capability.’s Enterprise subscription includes a workflow feature. SAP and Oracle both offer workflow development options.

These same workflows can be applied to the task of building data visualizations. Microsoft’s SharePoint Online offers a PowerBI component. Reporting Services for SharePoint enable communities of SharePoint users to work with SQL Server databases, on the backend, through browser clients, in real time. Part of this work can, and does include data visualization requirements, including dashboards, etc.

So Tableau Software is not the only ISV in this market for point and click data visualization. But Tableau’s estimate of the size of the market for graphically depicting data is much larger, it would seem, from Mr. Cabot’s recent remarks (I am referring to his presentation at the Pacific Crest Summit, as well as his answers to questions raised from the fiscal Q1, 2014 earnings report), than is the case for his competitors.

Perhaps Mr. Cabot sees a much larger bottom segment to the market. If he is correct in this assumption, then average consumers of smart phones, mobile devices, cloud SaaS offers, etc., may exhibit a substantially more lucrative potential than one would otherwise assume to be the case.

Ira Michael Blonder

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2014 All Rights Reserved

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