Tableau 10 set to launch as Tableau invests big in R&D

The data visualization company will use Tableau 10 to drive the next wave of customers, but it has its sights set farther down the horizon.

Tableau

After months of building up the chatter surrounding the latest version of its data visualization software, Tableau is set to make Tableau 10 generally available within the next few weeks. The fanfare will continue with more than 75 Tableau 10 events planned as part of the release, in cities ranging from New York to Melbourne to Cape Town.

The enterprise data software player has reason to feel good about the release. Tableau missed earnings expectations for the second quarter due to higher-than-anticipated expenses, but it brought in a record number of new customers and expects Tableau 10 to keep up the momentum.

"Tableau is becoming the enterprise analytics platform of choice for a growing number of customers," CEO Christian Chabot said on last week's earnings call. Tableau is now used by people in 90 percent of the Fortune 500, but only 29 percent of the Fortune 500 have spent over $1 million with the company, "providing ample expansion opportunity," Chabot said.

"We believe Tableau 10 will drive the next wave of adoption," he added.

Tableau 10 features updates to Tableau Desktop, Tableau Server, Tableau Online and Tableau Mobile, informed by requests from the firm's existing customers. It adds new ways to bring data together, including cross-database joins and filtering. It features new connectors like Google Sheets and QuickBooks and a host of new analytics capabilities.

The updated version also features tools for a better self-service environment online, including new dashboards and a new flow for publishing. It provides more IT authorities such as visibility into the usage of Tableau Desktop licenses. For developers, new APIs have been added.

It also has an updated design, with a new color palette, new custom typeface, and new default settings help people use visual design best practices. For mobile, Tableau 10 includes new features like one-tap access to real-time data, as well as support for multi-device visualizations. Deploying Tableau Mobile across an organization should also be more secure, with mobile device management platforms for IT.

The new features, with an eye toward data management, should help Tableau in its pitch to those Fortune 500 companies with which it wants to score bigger deals. To prepare for the launch of Tableau 10, the company in the second quarter made extra investments in staff development and training (as well as investments in training around the roll-out of the large deal frameworks). "We see this investment as an important part of building a solid foundation, and we are pleased with the early results," CFO Tom Walker said during last week's conference call.

That training accounted for some of Tableau's higher-than-expected expenses for the quarter, but the company's biggest year-over-year jump in investments came in R&D.

"The investments that we are making are not only on the current Tableau 10, but we're already looking beyond that into next year," Walker said. "And we've got a really healthy development pipeline."

Chabot added that the company is "identifying areas that we can invent and ship new products in." He continued, "Data preparation and advanced analytics and data as a platform are three logical areas we're looking into and you can expect things over the years in those areas."

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