Tableau Software wants to power the data revolution: Page 2 of 2
By Gabey Goh November 11, 2014
Serving two fronts – public and private
Asked about Tableau Software’s core user segment, Pook said it was difficult to drill down to a specific demographic or vertical as use of the company’s solutions span horizontally across multiple industries and use cases.
“We’re very horizontal in that sense and there are many opportunities, especially in this region, that we’ve yet to fully explore,” he said.
In terms of competition, given aggressive moves by larger, established players such as IBM, Microsoft and SAS in the BI space, Pook chose to focus on what Tableau could offer.
“A key driver that is fuelling Tableau’s growth is that business needs are ahead of what can be delivered. Existing technology options are complex, expensive, and take a long time to deploy and learn.
“Only large organisations can afford it, and you need a few hundred thousand dollars just to get started,” he argued.
Pook said that there needs to be a paradigm shift when it comes to enabling the business with tools to easily generate insights from the data that’s already available.
“Tableau essentially marries two areas together, computer graphics and computer databases. It provides users the ability to answer their own questions in minutes through a simple drag and drop interface, with no writing of script.
“With the technology we have, it allows direct interaction with the data, the consumerisation of business software,” he declared.
Tableau offers two versions of its data visualisation tool, a free version for the public and the other a paid one intended for organisations.
When asked what the difference was, Tableau’s Asia Pacific sales consulting manager T.C. Gan said that the free version only works with file-based data such as Excel files, and users can only save their work online and not export it.
The paid version allows for offline saves and integrates into Oracle and Hadoop databases, used by a majority of corporations.
The company recently expanded support for Hadoop technologies with the launch of four new direct data connectors for IBM InfoSphere BigInsights, Amazon Elastic MapReduce, Spark SQL and MarkLogic Enterprise.
[Updated info]: Tableau Public was launched in 2010, as a free platform that helps people tell stories with data on the Web. As of the end of the third quarter of 2014, it has has reached over 300 million pageviews, with more than 70,000 authors and 500,000 workbooks published on it, according to Tableau Software.
Gan said that on average, it takes no more than 20 minutes for users to go through the video tutorials and get started on the platform.
The company, under academic programmes, offer free copies of its software to students and teachers.
Pook shared that Tableau also serves a lot of non-profit organisations (NGOs), including the Red Cross and World Bank, to help them better analyse data and streamline efforts in making a difference.
“We have a case study in Indonesia, an NGO that gives out rice to the needy, and for the longest time they had no insight into how effective their efforts were. So they used our visualisation tool. They’ve always had the data but it was just in rows and columns.
“They plugged the data into Tableau and now they're seeing – why is the rice going to the wealthiest suburbs in Jakarta? Something’s wrong with that picture,” he added.
For more information about Tableau Software, click here. To check out Tableau Public, click here.
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