Tableau is a business intelligence and analytics software company based in Seattle, Washington. It provides the leading rapid-fire business intelligence platform designed for everyone. Tableau unifies data from various sources to present the information in a way that is easy for customers to use and act on effectively.
Data visualization is a key part of Tableau. Their products allow users to build custom visualizations, dashboards, and interactive reports in minutes, using their existing SQL Server, Oracle, Hadoop Hive, Teradata, Netezza, or other data sources.
Tableau’s key differentiators are that their products are simple to use and offer users rapid access to information through self-service analysis. The company’s product line includes Tableau Server, Tableau Desktop, Prep Builder, Tableau Public, Tableau Vizable, Reader, and Tableau CRM.
In 2019, Salesforce acquired Tableau for $15.7 billion. The two companies seemed like a good fit because Tableau has been one of Salesforce’s competitors since its release, and both companies are considered innovators in their respective marketplaces. While releasing the first-quarter reports for the 2022 financials, Salesforce announced that Tableau generated revenues amounting to $394 million, representing a 38 percent growth from the previous year.
Tableau’s Business Strategy
Tableau provides a visual analytics platform that allows users to easily connect, blend, and analyze data from various sources. Customers use Tableau as an access point to explore, analyze and share information with others throughout their organizations. In addition, the company also provides enterprise-class subscriptions and licenses for its software products, training, and support services.
The company incorporates two major elements into its business strategy; first, it provides solutions tailored to business intelligence and data analytics for all market segments. Second, the company offers an overall end-to-end experience by integrating all processes related to data management.
In addition, Tableau boasts an unrivaled community of customers and partners, as well as a very active developer community. Both communities allow the company to strengthen its offering and bring valuable feedback into product development. Customer-focused innovation and a clear incline to research and development contribute to the company’s long-term growth.
The company targets small and medium-sized businesses in the B2C market, while large enterprises make up its target customer base in the B2B market. Furthermore, the small and medium-sized companies in the B2C market generate demand through recommendations, while enterprises generate demand by using Tableau as a decision-making tool.
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Tableau SWOT Analysis
A SWOT analysis assesses the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to a business. It is cost-effective and beneficial for generating business insights.
Ease of Use:
Tableau was designed for everyone, whether an analyst, statistician, data scientist or business user. Its visual interface speeds up the process of connecting to data sources and building data sets. It also reduces the time it takes to complete tasks in between analysis actions. This increases productivity and helps users make smarter decisions.
The ability to customize Tableau makes it appealing to users. The world’s leading companies use it because they can adapt it to their own needs and business processes. For example, customers can collaborate on dashboards, visualize data with custom geocoding, or develop their advanced analytic models using R integration.
The Company builds its software solutions on the cloud, which is why Tableau can keep up with rapidly changing data volumes. Plus, it offers powerful new features and enhanced capabilities each year.
Extensive product line:
Tableau is not a one-trick pony; it has products that you can use across different stages of the analytics process. This allows users to choose the product that is most effective for their use case and preferred workflows. Of course, this also gives Tableau more revenue opportunities.
Lack of custom visual import:
Tableau has many options for connecting to data sources, but it lacks in custom visual import. Customers have to rely on their IT departments or consultants to import customized visuals from Tableau dashboards.
Unparalleled pricing in relation to growth:
Tableau gets paid for its software licenses, services, and support fees. However, the company does not have a pricing model that is directly related to growth. As its product line expands, it needs to reevaluate its revenue-generating strategies, mainly because it faces strong competitors, such as Power BI and Qlik.
A growing avalanche of data:
Tableau is a good solution for people who want to work with data, regardless of volume. With more users and datasets globally, Tableau’s revenue opportunities can increase by leveraging its products across all stages of the analytics process. For instance, companies can use Tableau to create visualizations and dashboards and build advanced analytic models.
Artificial intelligence and predictive analytics:
Tableau is a business intelligence tool, but it can use AI and predictive analytics to enhance its capabilities. This will help Tableau maintain the lead in visual discovery and give users more insights with better accuracy. Tableau can empower companies to work with data at scale and make smarter decisions with AI and predictive analytics.
Increased competition from emerging technologies:
Large enterprises are aware of the growing number of startups that offer business intelligence solutions for non-technical users, such as Looker. Although Tableau caters to this audience too, it needs to innovate and distinguish itself from these new competitors.
Although Tableau can help users make better decisions, it isn’t easy to justify the enterprise license cost for large organizations. The company should reevaluate its pricing model because its main competitors offer attractive subscription-based models, which tie their revenue streams more closely to usage.
Tableau Competitor Analysis
Tableau competes in the business intelligence (BI) space. This includes offering software, services, and support to help organizations make better business decisions using data. This section explores Tableau’s competitors, examining how they stand out from the crowd regarding product offerings, business models, and go-to-market strategies.
1. Microsoft Power BI
Microsoft Power BI is a cloud-based business intelligence suite designed for non-technical users to create interactive dashboards and reports using their data. Power BI provides customers with a visualization library, making it easy to create professional-looking visuals without special skills or training.
As part of the wider Microsoft ecosystem, Power BI integrates seamlessly with the company’s productivity suite, Office 365 E5 version. Although Power BI is available primarily in the cloud, it has a desktop version for Windows. You can also use Power BI to manage Azure SQL Database and Microsoft R Server data to run machine learning algorithms at scale.
Tableau competes with Power BI in terms of price and features. However, Power BI enjoys Microsoft’s intensive growth market penetration strategies through bundling with other Microsoft products like Excel, Office 365 E5 version, and the Enterprise Mobility Suite. This places it at an advantage over Tableau.
To diversify its product offering, Power BI accepts partnerships from certified technology partners, who can embed their products into Power BI to offer advanced capabilities. An example is Ataira, which provides cloud software and data analytics to help companies manage their day-to-day operations.
Looker is a data platform that helps companies make better business decisions with fast, intuitive data analysis. It is a comprehensive tool for end-to-end BI tasks – from ingesting data to training machine learning models and visualizing results. Looker offers products for every step in the data pipeline, including Looker Blocks, a plug-and-play toolkit for specific use cases.
In 2019, Google acquired Looker for a whopping $2.6 billion. Looker is now available as an integrated service on Google Cloud Platform (GCP) to provide customers with a full spectrum of BI capabilities.
Looker competes directly with Tableau in the visualization and storytelling space, but it shouldn’t be considered a replacement for BigQuery, Google’s data analytics product. Instead, the two tools integrate to help companies derive actionable insights from their data. While BigQuery provides the analytics, it leverages Looker to provide scalable, cost-effective, flexible reporting, visualization, and dashboard capabilities.
In a 2021 Magic Quadrant for analytics and Business Intelligence Platforms report, Gartner recognized Looker for the fourth time, placing it highest on execution. With a strong track record and a solid partnership with Google, Tableau should be wary of Looker’s growing influence in the BI ecosystem.
Qlik is a data analytics platform that offers one of the most complete and intuitive data visualization libraries in the business. It is a self-service BI tool to help business users derive insights from their data at any time and any place. The platform comes with an embedded analytics engine, making it ideal for small teams that need BI capabilities but don’t have dedicated IT resources or budgets.
Its flagship product, Qlik Sense, offers a comprehensive feature set including predictive analytics, text mining, data discovery, and app development. Qlik Sense is available in both cloud and desktop versions. Through its user-friendly interface and intuitive drag-and-drop functionality, Qlik makes it easy for business users to create beautiful visualizations without any programming knowledge.
Qlik Replicate is another noteworthy product, a leading enterprise replication software that makes it possible to replicate, ingest and stream big data.
Tableau goes neck-to-neck with Qlik here, offering desktop and cloud BI platforms with features such as real-time data visualization, predictive analytics, text mining, and app development. However, Qlik has a strong presence in the retail industry, a big business data market.
Leveraging its long history in the BI space, Qlik has acquired several companies to help broaden its product offering. In 2020, it bought Blend.io to help drive real-time data into software as service applications. The following year, the company acquired NodeGraph to aid in enhancing end-to-end analytics capabilities. With these two acquisitions, Qlik seamlessly integrated visualization into its data analysis platform, enhancing the value it offers for end-users.
One competitive advantage Tableau has over Qlik is Salesforce, Tableau’s parent company. With close ties to the enterprise cloud community, Salesforce gains insight into business data across various industries. This gives Tableau a chance to establish stronger connections with key industry players and become the de-facto BI platform in multiple sectors. Qlik is yet to reach this level of effectiveness.
Founded in 1968, IBM SPSS is a pioneer in data analysis and business intelligence software. It is an advanced analytics platform that helps enterprises derive powerful insights from their data. By combining predictive modeling, text mining, and machine learning capabilities with robust reporting features, the platform delivers real-time information to business users in any industry.
Tableau and SPSS compete in the predictive analytics space; however, whereas Tableau’s focus is business intelligence for end users, SPSS is a data mining suite that brings statistical analysis capabilities. Incorporating predictive analytics into its platform helps organizations predict future patterns based on their historical data.
While Tableau has the edge over SPSS in terms of usability and user-friendly features, Enterprise customers can’t ignore the technology SPPS brings to the table. For many companies, advanced analytics is a crucial part of data analysis that only professional data scientists can handle. With SPSS, organizations are assured that their BI platform has AI-backed capabilities to help them make informed decisions about their business.
Microstrategy [NASDAQ: MSRTR] is a BI platform with vast capabilities for enterprise-level organizations. Founded in 1989, Microstrategy has been one of the leading data analysis platforms for more than two decades. In the early 2000s, it helped pioneer mobile BI and cloud computing. More recently, it’s been focusing on advanced analytics to allow organizations to derive insights from their data at any scale.
Tableau and Microstrategy aim to provide cloud-based, enterprise BI platforms. With a strong presence in the retail and healthcare industries, Tableau offers a superior user experience than Microstrategy. However, Microstrategy has managed to establish itself as the de facto standard for big data analytics for large enterprises with its robust features and scalability.
Microstrategy is a publicly-traded company. Its stock price is subject to fluctuations in the market, which may affect its prospects. The company boasts a market value equity of $6.265 billion as of 14th September 2021. Its 2021 second-quarter revenues amounted to $125.4 million, representing a 13.4 increase Y/Y with a gross profit of $102.3 million.
How Tableau Stands Out Against Its Competitors
With an increasing emphasis on AI and visualization features, Tableau will dominate the business intelligence and analytics market across all industry verticals. Its user-friendly interface and flexibility in customization and data representation make its platform a hit with users. Also, Tableau’s seamless integration with big data tools such as Hadoop stacks and Spark clusters help organizations derive insights from their data at scale, without compromising quality or success rates.
By providing value-add services such as training and consulting, Tableau has managed to gain a considerable share of the analytics market. Its international presence allows it to serve SMEs, which may not afford expensive BI platforms that come with steep learning curves.
Tableau’s tech support and after-sales service is another strength; its tech team provides prompt resolution for all queries and issues faced by users. A detailed knowledge base and tech papers on best practices ensure that organizations can fully use its features.
Tableau Competitor Analysis (FAQs)
Question: Who are the top competitors of Tableau?
Answer: Tableau’s top competitors include Microsft Power BI, Looker, Qlik, IBM SPSS, and Microstrategy. Despite the stiff competition, the company has established itself as a leader in visual analytics and business intelligence.
Question: Is Qlik better than Tableau?
Answer: Although Qlik’s interface is easy to use, Tableau offers better visualization features. Tableau is also faster, responsive, and boasts superior user support. In the market for business intelligence and data analytics, Qlik is a niche player.
Question: Does Tableau need coding?
Answer: You don’t need to understand coding to use Tableau. However, you can use third-party tools like Alteryx and Python in conjunction with Tableau to build custom data models.
Tableau is a clear leader in the business intelligence and analytics market with superior features, a user-friendly interface, and corresponding success rates. It’s also cost-effective for SMEs looking to adopt technology quickly. Although Tableau has the edge over other BI platforms, it still has to contend with Microstrategy, SPSS, Looker, Qlik, and Power BI. With its wide array of features, Tableau poses a threat to its competitors, who will have to develop innovative new features or a unique marketing strategy to survive in this fiercely competitive market.