Tableau is a Seattle-based software firm—which, according to Fortune, “pioneered the concept of ‘visual analytics’” started at Stanford University in 2003 and launched an initial public offering in 2013.
Co-founders Christian Chabot (CEO), Pat Hanrahan (Chief Scientist), and Chris Stolte (Chief Development Officer) began by combining a structured query language for databases with a descriptive language for rendering graphics. The result? A database visualization language called Visual Query Language or VizQL. VizQL underlies Tableau’s eponymous software application, which queries relational databases, cubes, cloud databases, and spreadsheets, and then generates a variety of graph types.
Today Tableau has more than 28,000 customer accounts, including the World Bank, Coca-Cola, Exxon Mobil, Homeland Security, Pfizer, Fannie Mae, Gallup, Nike, and Adobe.
Tableau currently offers five main products:
- Tableau Desktop — “fast analytics for everyone”
- Tableau Server — “collaboration for any organization”
- Tableau Online — “business intelligence in the cloud”
- Tableau Reader — “view Tableau Desktop files”
- Tableau Public — “for public data”
Tableau Public and Tableau Reader are free, and free trials are available for the other products.
Tableau has three training options