Tableau buys AI startup Empirical Systems

Empirical Systems' automated statistical analysis technology will be used to help Tableau customers automate data modeling and analysis.
Written by Natalie Gagliordi, Contributor

Data visualization software maker Tableau said Wednesday that it's buying Empirical Systems, an AI startup out of MIT. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Empirical Systems is made up of a team of engineers and data scientists who created an analysis platform that aims to help customers automatically analyze structured system data.

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As part of Tableau, Empirical Systems' automated statistical analysis technology will be used to help Tableau customers automate data modeling and analysis. Tableau also plans to establish a research and development center in Empirical's hometown to jumpstart the integration between the two companies.

"We are thrilled to welcome the Empirical team to Tableau to help us bring AI-powered analysis to the masses and enhance the way people interact with their data," said Tableau's product chief Francois Ajenstat, in a statement.

"Automatic insight generation will enable people without specialized data science skills to easily spot trends in their data, identify areas for further exploration, test different assumptions, and simulate hypothetical situations."

Tableau's last acquisition was of natural language processing startup ClearGraph in August 2017. ClearGraph's technology was integrated into Tableau's products to enable smart data discovery and data analysis.

The Empirical deal comes as Tableau faces increasing competition in the data visualization space, with tech vendors ranging from Workday to Salesforce rolling out their own products that work seamlessly on their respective platforms. Tableau recently started lowering the price points of some of its software to expand its market and usage, and rolling out new automation features that aim to simplify and expand its subscription products.



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