A mission
that matters

We help people see and understand data. Seven words that drive everything we do. And they’ve never been more important.

In 2020 the world will generate 50 times the amount of data as in 2011. And 75 times the number of information sources (IDC, 2011). Within these data are huge, unparalleled opportunities for human advancement. But to turn opportunities into reality, people need the power of data at their fingertips. Tableau is building software to deliver exactly that.

Our products are transforming the way people use data to solve problems. We make analyzing data fast and easy, beautiful and useful. It’s software for anyone and everyone.

We are Tableau Software.


It’s not enough to be on a mission that matters. You must have the ideas and technologies to match. We do.

It began with
three guys from

It started with a brilliant computer scientist, an Academy-Award winning professor and a savvy business leader with a passion for data. They came together to solve one of the most challenging problems in software – making data understandable to ordinary people. These were the fundamental ingredients for Tableau.

We believe in
power for the

Building a company that fundamentally changes how people see and understand data requires a different philosophy. So Tableau founders imbued their company with disruptive points of view.

A different kind of

We can’t change the world if we have the culture of a typical corporation. So we don’t.

People who are passionate about the mission

We believe helping people to see and understand data is one of the most important missions of the 21st century. We proudly wear the mantle of “data geek.”

We use our products

“We Use Our Products” is a core company value. We’re not just listening to our customers’ needs. We’re living them. We know what it means to fix a bug, make a tweak or find a fundamentally better, faster way to analyze data. We’ll never stop listening to customers and we’ll never stop seeing the world from their point of view.

Data drives our decisions

We put data into action. Our R&D team analyzes billions of log records from our products to improve them. Our HR team studies our hiring trends to optimize facilities for growth and employee comfort. Our support team tracks customer cases to solve emerging issues early. We are data-driven.

Sound science

There’s a science to building great software. We live by it. We don’t guess that a feature makes analysis faster and easier; we know. Our own experiments and research inform our product design choices.

Here are just a few examples:

Helping people
answer their

When questions go unanswered, people stop asking. They stop being curious. But not our customers.

colleagues and
happier workers

Executives say people are their most important asset. Yet every day employees are unhappily unproductive. But what if they each could get inspired with data?

Better workplaces mean happier employees empowered to express their fullest ingenuity and creativity.

Using data to make
a difference in the

Every day there are millions of opportunities to improve people’s lives by making better use of data. Disease research, education patterns, patient care, efficient government spending – the opportunities are endless.


Natively visual, naturally faster

VizQL is a visual query language that translates drag-and-drop actions into data queries and then expresses that data visually. VizQL delivers dramatic gains in people’s ability to see and understand data by abstracting the underlying complexities of query and analysis. The result is an intuitive user experience that lets people answer questions as fast as they can think of them. We believe that VizQL represents a foundational advancement in the area of data analysis and visualization.

Don’t take our word for it. Jim Gray, a Turing Award winner and a legendary figure in the field of databases, wrote about VizQL in a research highlight: “If you have ever been frustrated when trying to plot a useful graph from a simple spreadsheet, you would appreciate the value of a system that allows users to create stunning graphs interactively and easily from large multidimensional datasets.” High praise from one of the greatest minds in the field of computer science.

Live Query Engine

Data in your hands

Tableau’s Live Query Engine is the first technology to let people natively query databases, cubes, warehouses, Cloud sources, even Hadoop, without any programming or advance development. It lets people query diverse data sources with a point-and-click interface anyone can use.

People connect to data of any size with a few clicks. Layer in a additional data sources on the fly. Connecting to and combining data are easy enough for database novices to achieve.

In-Memory Data Engine

Blazing speed

When data sources are slow or just not right for the job, Tableau’s Data Engine is the answer. It’s a breakthrough in-memory analytics database designed to overcome the limitations of existing databases and data silos. Capable of being run on ordinary computers, it leverages the complete memory hierarchy from disk to L1 cache. It shifts the curve between big data and fast analysis. And it puts that power into the hands of everyone.

Tableau Public

A webscale platform for data stories

Tableau Public is a free tool that brings data to life on the public web. Easy to use. Spectacularly powerful. It’s for anyone who likes to post content to the web.

People use Tableau Public to tell stories with data that persuade, inform, and motivate. They create amazing interactive visualizations in minutes and publish them in seconds. Tens of thousands of people have used Tableau Public to tell their stories online – and over a hundred million people have benefited.

Tableau Mobile

Data at a touch

Mobile business intelligence is fundamentally different than traditional business intelligence. The devices are different (tablets instead of desktops), the needs are different (get details for this customer standing here, not all customers) and the attention span of your audience is different (on the go, probably distracted). The potential benefits of enabling mobile analytics are huge.

But mobile can’t be isolated in its own specialty system. With Tableau, people create dashboards and visualizations, and those results are automatically distributed on tablets, smartphones or laptops. Tableau detects different devices and provides touch-optimization for mobile.

Instantly responsive and connected to live sources, Tableau delivers data at a touch, swipe or tap. Tableau Mobile lets people on-the-go go big with their data.

Bringing down drop-out rates

30,000 students. The lowest income levels in the state. An astounding 33% drop-out rate. Spokane School District had a big challenge: how to intervene early enough to help the 1 in 3 students who never finish high school.

  • 39%

    improvement in the drop-out rate in 2 years

  • 50%

    of drop-outs that could have been predicted by middle school

  • 30,000

    students now being attended to via the "Early Warning System"

Every teacher in Spokane School District had reports on their desk – but it was too much information from too many disparate systems to make sense of it.

All that changed when Chief Academic Officer Steven Gering started developing an Early Warning System using Tableau. Now he can tell a lot about students’ future performance. The Early Warning systems uses eight factors to predict risk of drop-out. Principals and counselors can now intervene much earlier.

The result? In 2 years, the dropout rate has dropped from 33% to about 20%. Now that’s an improvement we can all get behind.

Improving patient care with better insight, faster

For most people, work is not a matter of life and death. For the employees of Seattle Children’s, it is. And the faster a doctor or nurse can help a child, the better the outcome.

  • 1000's

    children served faster

  • $3 million

    saved in supply chain costs

  • 5,000

    employees with access to Tableau

The Surgical Services team started using Tableau to see if they could help get care to their patients faster. They measured and analyzed patient waiting times. They discovered steps they could take to reduce the waits and increase the number of patients served at the hospital.

Explains Jason Jio, Seattle Children’s Administrative Director of Surgical Services, “we saw that delays early in the day cascaded to the rest of the day. It became very effective for us to really focus on on-time starts, and we’ve already seen significant improvement in patient waiting overall.”

Added Ted Corbett, Director of Knowledge Management at Seattle Children’s, “We’re seeing Analysts and Managers as well as Clinicians, Doctors, and Researchers using Tableau to solve problems in ways we couldn’t do before, largely because we didn’t have enough time or enough people.”

Liberate data

We believe data analysis should be about asking questions, not about learning software. We make inspiring, easy-to-use products that help people achieve greatness with data. So that data can reach its full potential and positively impact the world.

Data yearns to be free, to tell its stories to all those who care about its revelations. Discovering and sharing those stories should be easy. But it’s not. Why? Most software intended to help people access and understand data is hard to use. For too long, data has been trapped behind scripts, wizards and code.

Today, all that changes. Today, people can choose another way. Join us in the cause to liberate data for everyone.

Empower people

When a company gives people self-service analysis tools, they feel different. Respected. Capable. Powerful. People start to drive their organization forward in ways that could never have been anticipated. They express their full ingenuity and creativity.

Unfortunately, most business analytics products are built to centralize and control data, not democratize it. As a result, people at most companies are reliant on specialists just to answer basic questions. They stumble through Escher-like spreadsheets to work around inflexible business systems. Or they’re being stonewalled by enterprise-wide business intelligence platforms that spend more time in development than helping anyone.

There's no power in that approach. The power is in giving people the ability to think, act and deliver.

Tableau Desktop is an intuitive, drag-and-drop tool that lets you see every change as you make it.

Watch Video

Design for people

We design our products to focus on people. People working for big and small businesses, serving in government and building not-for-profit organizations. Bloggers. Students. Anyone. Everyone.

We architect our products from the ground up, to put the user first and everything else second. We are making a clean break from the past and taking a disruptive new approach to analytics. Product design is at the heart of everything we do.

The result so far? People in every industry love it. Because what you see is what you understand.

The catalyst?

A Department of Defense (DOD) project aimed at increasing people’s ability to analyze information. Brought to the Stanford University Computer Science department, the project took flight with Chris Stolte. Stolte, then a Ph.D. candidate, was researching visualization techniques for exploring and analyzing relational databases and data cubes. His early career as a database programmer helped him see the problems with existing data analysis tools. Hungering for a project to change the world, he knew this was it.

“Whenever I helped people get direct access to data, they were shocked and grateful. I’ve never forgotten that.”

Chris Stolte, Tableau’s Chief Development Officer and Co-founder

The mind behind Pixar

and Stolte’s Ph.D. advisor, Professor Pat Hanrahan realized too it was a project that could change the world. A founding member of Pixar and chief architect for RenderMan, Pat had already transformed the world of animated film.

Chris, Pat and a team of Stanford Ph.D.s realized that computer graphics could deliver huge gains in people’s ability to understand data. The breakthrough arose when they brought together two computer science disciplines for the first time: computer graphics and databases. Their invention VizQL™ let people analyze data just by building drag & drop pictures of what they wanted to see.

“We create pictures that answer questions, but we do it for businesses that want to know things about their data.”

Pat Hanrahan, Tableau’s Chief Scientist and Co-founder

“I see the future”

was Christian Chabot’s reaction when he saw what they invented. Chabot had spent years analyzing data before studying entrepreneurship at Stanford Business School. Together, Christian, Chris and Pat formed a company and spun out of Stanford in 2003. With Christian on board as CEO, Tableau rapidly hit one success after another: first customers, multiple awards, international expansion, the first million in revenue, multiple new inventions. Tableau is revolutionizing business analytics. And this is only the beginning.

“We’ve become a democratizing force in one of the world’s greatest areas of need.”

Christian Chabot, Tableau's Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder

Letting people get the answers they need

It’s no surprise that Facebook has a staggering amount of data flowing in every day. Its Hadoop cluster sees more than 100 terabytes of compressed data each day. But the company faced a dilemma—its data was largely useless if it couldn’t be analyzed.

  • 1 billion

    logins each month

  • 100

    terabytes daily

  • 1,000’s

    of Tableau users

Namit Raisurana, BI Engineer, said that Facebook wanted to end reliance on developers and instead put analytics in the hands of every user.

Enter Tableau. There’s been enthusiastic user adoption, said Raisurana. There is “never a dependency on any of us to answer these questions,” he said. "Users can discover for themselves" what their data has to offer.

"We are opening up Tableau to the entire company,” he said. Dashboards will be possible "without having to spend weeks programming." The company has been embedding Tableau’s dashboards into its internal applications. Anywhere you go, said Raisurana, “any visualization you see, you see Tableau.”

Keeping 10,000 real estate agents informed

Real estate agents need real-time information to help their customers. But arming 10,000 agents of disparate skills with the data they need is not easy.

  • 1,000

    real estate offices

  • 98%

    of offices using Tableau

  • 10,000

    agents armed with interactive reports

  • 200,000

    Tableau documents created

Ray White rolled out Tableau to its agents. Now they can ask questions about their markets, close deals and gain insights into performance.

Nathan Krisanski, senior analyst at Ray White, said the uptake has exceeded expectations. “It is the most used application ever built in the group. At peak hour more than 30 documents are being built, and more than 200,000 documents have been created in total in the last two years,” he said.

“98% of our offices in Australia and New Zealand use the Tableau dashboards and it’s so intuitive that everyone with basic knowledge of Excel can use it in the blink of an eye,” Krisanski said.

Answering the call for cancer screenings in storm-ravaged New Orleans

Destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans lost all of its breast cancer-screening services for its poor and underserved population. So how do you prioritize where to bring services back first? It takes good answers to a lot of hard questions.

  • 50%

    increase in cancer screenings post-Katrina 1st year

  • 1 year

    waits reduced to a few months

Louisiana Breast and Cervical Health Program (LBCHP) refused to let Katrina stop them from fulfilling its mission: to ensure that underinsured Louisiana women have access to screening for the early detection of cancer.

Jennifer Hayden, IT analyst, said Tableau let people throughout their organization find answers. For example, “we lost a lot of physicians from southeastern Louisiana. One of the hospitals we work with lost their radiologist.” So they had to contract out with a radiology group. Using Tableau, they discovered that screenings from that group were taking far longer than necessary, a finding that would have gone undiscovered. The hospital renegotiated their contract and fast cancer screening once again became the norm, minimizing suffering and saving lives.

“For people who don’t have the SQL skills and for groups that don’t have a large, specialized IT staff, Tableau has been extremely beneficial. We explore our data in sophisticated ways without being sophisticated programmers.”

The end of manic Mondays

It didn’t take much for Irish Life’s Information Technology team to realize that its traditional business intelligence system was failing. Every Monday was the same routine: utter panic by business people as they called and emailed the under-sourced team to demand immediately-updated reports and data.

  • 300

    senior staff users in 2 months

  • 30

    minutes training for business people to use it

Tired of the manic Mondays, they had a plan. Their goal? Deliver an application that everyone could use. The CEO asked for a tool that was compelling, easy to build and use, and that looked great. “So, not a lot to ask for,” joked Information Technology Manager Paul Egan.

After comparing Tableau to 5 other competitors, they called it the “lightest software technology product we have ever picked up.” Business users were using it within 30 minutes which is “quite astonishing.”

Tableau went live to well over 300 people in less than two months. People familiar with their own data are building dashboards and publishing them across the business.

Now Mondays are just Mondays.

Team collaboration is no game

The gaming industry is flooded with data. Just ask BioWare. Receiving 4 terabytes of data daily from their player community, or about 60 million events and about 360 million data elements, is not unusual. Analyzing and using that data was a challenge.

  • 360

    million data elements daily

  • 23X

    faster report production

BioWare had a massive effort focused on analyzing data. But 80% of the effort was applied to just collecting and reporting out the data, leaving just 20% to analyze and think.

Answer? Bring in Tableau. What took 1.5 days is now taking 1.5 hours. Analysts now come in and look at the new data and review outcomes, refine their benchmarks and then spend their time analyzing trends and outliers.

People all over the company are now working together to ramp up their analytics efforts.

Fusing computer graphics and databases

Our core technology VizQL is not only a breakthrough unification of computer graphics and databases. It’s also a case study in how to leverage best practices for human comprehension. Drag-and-drop actions become database queries that automatically display as beautiful visualizations.

This fundamentally new architecture does for data interactions in visual form what SQL did for data interactions in text form. VizQL statements describe an infinite class of sophisticated and useful visualizations. People have a single user interface to answer an infinite range of questions.

Read the seminal paper on VizQL, “Polaris: A System for Query, Analysis, and Visualization of Multidimensional Databases"

Download Article

Principles of visual understanding

Perceptual and cognitive factors drive our product design. We painstakingly deliberate over every aspect of visual analytics.

When we considered color selection, we hired one of the world’s foremost color cognition experts to engineer Tableau’s color palettes. To encode how shapes are represented, we studied people’s comprehension of shapes when they overlap. We custom-designed our maps because the usual online maps are meant for driving directions, not for data analysis.

Why all the effort? Because the right visual representation of data sparks just the right insights. A story unfolds as people navigate from one visual summary to another. Visual analytics creates the exploratory experience necessary for ordinary people to answer questions quickly.

Read about visual analytics in the paper from our development leaders Chris Stolte, Pat Hanrahan and Jock Mackinlay,
“Visual Analysis for Everyone”

Download Whitepaper

The cycle of visual analysis

We study how people ask a question, analyze data to get an answer, and then ask their next question. We call this the “cycle of visual analysis:” an iterative, non-linear process where people ask questions, forage for data, create pictures and discover new questions to ask.

The process is rarely sequential. A specific view of data typically generates more questions. It might suggest the need for more data. An insight might suggest a new task. The act of communicating a finding may require a new visualization.

We design our products to support the cycle of visual analysis. And to guide people through it. Our patented Show Me™ technology recommends the best way to visualize data. Based on heuristic models from years of proven research, Tableau defines the right kind of visualization based on the data types and the problem at hand.

We know that thinking with data is hard. Our goal is to help people answer questions as fast as they can think of them.

Learn about Tableau’s patented technology “Show Me” from
Jock Mackinlay’s technical paper.

Download Whitepaper
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