The reading pointers below I borrowed from my Google+ microblogs “Data Visualization” (https://plus.google.com/111053008130113715119/posts , 7090+ followers) and “Data Visualization with Tableau” (https://plus.google.com/112388869729541404591/posts , 1010+ followers).

1. Is the Avoidance of 3-D Bar Graphs a Knee-Jerk Reaction?

2. A modern view of Minard’s Map:


3. Averages Aren’t What They Used to Be and Never Were

4. 6 questions with Burn-Murdoch:


5. Visart’s Demos: http://www.visart.io/demos/

6. Can We Trust Salesforce for Business in the Cloud?


7. Pump Up Your Bump with Ranked Bars


8. Dashboard Improvement Opportunities – Surface Observations

9. New in Tableau 9.3:


also: http://www.thedataschool.co.uk/nai-louza/tableau-9-3-easier-mapbox-customization/

and http://databoss.starschema.net/version-control-revision-history-tableau-9-3/


10. Persuasion?


11. How Tableau Built a $3 Billion Data Empire On Top Of Beautiful Charts:


12. Tableau plus HyPer: “Something up their sleeve”


also http://bi-review.blogspot.com/2016/03/thoughts-on-tableau-acquiring-hyper.html

13. DV and mapping:


14. DV Digest for March 2016:


15. Farewell: http://blog.stephenwolfram.com/2016/01/farewell-marvin-minsky-19272016/

16. Wolfram about himself:


17.David Raab about SAS:


18. Dimensionality Reduction:


19. More about color: http://redheadedstepdata.io/color-innovation/

20. New in Spotfire 7.5:

also https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/new-tibco-ghislain-c%C3%B4t%C3%A9


21. 37 QLIK blogs: http://www.askqv.com/blogs/

22. Text Tables:


23. 167 years ago: https://www.propublica.org/nerds/item/infographics-in-the-time-of-cholera

24. QlikSense 3.0:

25. Pareto: http://vizwiz.blogspot.com/2016/05/the-data-school-gym-timeline-pareto.html

26. Tableau 10: https://www.tableau.com/about/blog/2016/5/tableau-10-unification-54263



and http://tabsoft.co/1NkVLes

and cross-DB filtering:


and cross-DB joins: http://mkt.tableau.com/video/10.0_cross_database_join_-_wildcard_union.mp4

27. Qonnection 2016:

28. Tableau tips: https://www.tableau.com/about/blog/2016/5/5-tips-effective-visual-data-communication-54174



29. Directional Lollipops: http://vizwiz.blogspot.com/2016/05/tableau-tip-tuesday-how-to-create.html

30. Oracle DV Desktop:


also http://www.siebelhub.com/main/2016/05/oracle-data-visualization-desktop.html




31. Tile Maps:


32. Trillion Rows:

33. Power BI is trying hard:


34. Advizor Solutions Overview (http://www.advizorsolutions.com/software/products/ ):

I stopped comparing DV (Data Visualization) products in 2012, when Qliktech stopped updating Qlikview. Since popularity of this blog started with that comparison, visitors kept asking me, especially when Gartner releases its Magic Quadrant (see generic MQ description here:



for BI every February of every year). MQ idea is obviously damn, because you cannot fit multi-dimensional relationship into 2-dimensional space.

However 2016 Gardner Report here:


contains a lot of ”useful” info, like list of competitors and factors defining their positions on market. Gartner finally removed Spotfire, IBM, SAS, SAP and Microstrategy for the list of Leaders, leaving among leaders only 3 – obvious one (Tableau, especially Tableau 10), buzzword-rich Microsoft (PowerBI) and losing QLIK (Qlik Sense will not save it). To express my opinion, I simply reshuffle all competitors and placed them in order obvious to me (X – functionality, Y – “ability to execute”, color – the ease to use, size is popularity; I also included D3 but I am not comparing it!):

Data Visualization Leaders, Visionaries, Challengers and Niche Players

I found more useful for me the Gartner’s Analysis of Ownership cost of BI Platform:


Also if you interested to review historical changes in “MQ”, see this:


and here:


Update for April 2016: vendor’s inclusion into Gartner’s MQ may decrease vendor’s market capitalization.

As usual, the reading pointers below I borrowed from my Google+ microblogs “Data Visualization” (https://plus.google.com/111053008130113715119/posts , 7090+ followers) and “Data Visualization with Tableau” (https://plus.google.com/112388869729541404591/posts , almost 1000 followers). Again, sometimes the reading is more important then doing or writing.

Map of Scientific collaboration:



MicroStrategy vs. Tableau:


Brain Capacity: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jvchamary/2016/01/28/brain-capacity


Qlikview 12 finally released:



Looker: http://www.looker.com/docs/exploring-data/visualizing-query-results

Amazon QuickSight: https://aws.amazon.com/quicksight/


Engagement: http://www.perceptualedge.com/blog/?p=2197

American Panorama: http://dsl.richmond.edu/panorama/

Statistica 13:


Wolfram Community:


Recreation of Statistical Atlas:



Social Colors: https://www.materialui.co/socialcolors

Pantone’s Language of Color:


Urban Growth:



How many people ever lived:

Stephen Curry: http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/stephen-curry-is-the-revolution/

Free book: http://web.stanford.edu/~hastie/StatLearnSparsity/index.html

Errol Morris: How Typography Shapes Our Perception of Truth



Animation and Visualization:


Visualizing Sentiment and Inclination


Compare JS libraries: http://www.jsgraphs.com/

TabJolt, part 1: http://tableaulove.com/the-mondo-tabjolt-post/

TabJolt, part 2: http://tableaulove.com/the-mondo-tableau-server-tabjolt-series-part-2/

Plus 1000 in 2016:


Correlations in Tableau:


Unions in Tableau:


Mapbox and Tableau:






Happy New 2016 Year from Andrei

It deserved to be mentioned that since May 17, 2013 until December 31 of 2015 (last trading day of 2015) share price of Tableau (symbol DATA, in orange color on chart below) in average grew 7 cents per day while share price of its main competitor QLIK oscillating around $32 for entire period of 662 trading days (see green line/area on chart below):

As of December of 2015, Tableau employs about 2800 people (Happy New Year to them!) and planning to hire 1000 more in 2016. Also (among those 2800) the company employs about 500 people across eight international locations.

Since inception in 2009, this blog had more than million visitors (Happy New Year to all of them!), averaging (it was more than 600000 pageviews total during 2014-15) lately about 25000 pageviews per month.

Tremendous success of TC15 convinced me to return to my blog to write about Tableau’s history. Part 1 “Self-Intro” covers 2003-7 from version 1 to 3, Part 2 “Catching-up” covers 2008-10 from versions 4 to 6, Part 3 “Competition” covers 2011-13 from version 6 to 8 and Part 4 “Tableau the Leader” covers 2013-15 from version 8.1 to 9.2.

During last 25 months Tableau published 6(!) releases: 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 9.0, 9.1 and 9.2 – in average one release per 4 months, leaving competitions far behind (version 9.3 expected in Q1 of 2016 and 10.0 in the summer(?) of 2016). [For comparison the QLIK released only one new update (Qlikview 12 in December of 2015) in last 4 years and as result lost its leading position (I do not consider Qlik Sense as competitive product)]. By end of 2015 Tableau became the leader in sales and in number of employees, while keeping the highest YoY growth among competitors.

As true and wise leader, Tableau made its software available to millions of people for free: each student, teacher, and even each member of administration of academic organization can use it for free and each small non-profit organization can use it for free too! Tableau Public vastly increased its capacity, allowing its users to save up to 10 million rows and even protect their workbooks from download.

8.1. November 2013. Tableau finally became 64-bit (no limit for 4GB RAM now – it was way overdue) multi-threaded product and added support for SAML. Among new features: some integration with R, copy content between workbooks, Box-and-Whisker Plot:

679boxplots8.2. June 2014. Native Tableau Desktop for Mac is released to please many snobs, Story Points (along with worksheets and dashboards) available now for data-storytelling (need for PowerPoint is much less now), new data connectors to text, excel, SAP HANA, Splunk, API for Google BigQuery and REST API, new Data Window:


new map designs (together with Stamen) and map server, worldwide zoom level, high DPI displays:


8.2.2. September 2014. Tableau Customer conference 2014.

8.2.5. November 2014. This historical release enabled the non-administrative user to use remote “READONLY” user (of Tableau’s administrative PostgreSQL database) to be used for creating dashboards, monitoring Tableau Server, its users, HTTP traffic, workbooks usage and data extracts.

8.3. December 2014. Added Single Sign-On and Delegated Access with Kerberos for enterprise security.

9.0. April 2015. Now you can view proximity in the radial selection tool:


Also 9.0 directly connects now to statistical files from SAS, SPSS and R, new data connectors added for Spark SQL, Amazon Elastic MapReduce, Amazon Redshift, improved performance of Salesforce connector, added Data Interpreter and Pivot-split cross tab:


Tableau 9 accelerated execution of queries (enabled parallel, consolidated and reused queries, cashing), added analytics pane:


, fast marks and tooltips,


level-of-details (LOD) expressions:


Here is a video with review of Tableau 9.0 features:

Here is a demo of new LASSO selector:

9.1. September 2015. New Data Connectors: Web Data Connector, Amazon Aurora, Google Cloud SQL, Microsoft Azure, SAP BW, Tableau SDK for creating and publishing data extracts (C, C++, Python, Java). Also free iPad app “Vizable” was part of 9.1 release and announced on TCC15.

9.2. December 2015. Tableau 9.2 added new Tableau Mobile app for iPhone (still Android was ignored!), added integration with Mapbox:


Added hierarchical treemaps; placement of totals at top, bottom, left and right; using any worksheet as filter:


and making permission granularity not just for workbooks and datasources, but for projects as well.

I wish a Happy New Year to all visitors of this blog, to members of Tableau Community and to 2016 Tableau Zen Masters:2016ZenMasters

and of course I wish Tableau 10.0 to be released as soon as possible, because I hope to get rid of all this

idiotic data blending,

which Tableau forcing us to do for many years and I wish to start using cross-DB join statements, cross-DB filters and everything cross-DB (it was promised on TCC15!). And I hope eventually Tableau will implement its own internal in-memory database with support for columnstore (that will take away from QLIK the last argument it has). 

This is Part 3 of the short history of Tableau, inspired by huge success of TC15. Previous blogposts can be found here (Part 1, self-intro): https://apandre.wordpress.com/2015/10/24/tableau-self-intro-2003-7/ and Part 2 (catching-up) here:  https://apandre.wordpress.com/2015/11/08/tableau-catching-up-2008-10/ . After reviewing this article I have to acknowledge that the big contributor to Tableau success was (in addition to Tableau itself) … Qliktech. Judge it for yourself:

6.0. July 2010. Qliktech’s IPO created $2B-$3B public company, legitimized the Data Visualization Market and proved that traditional BI tools (like Microstrategy, Cognos and Business Objects) are in deep decline. In short it created the fertile ground for future (2013, 3 years after QLIK’s IPO) Tableau’s IPO. Please note (see chart below) that QLIK’s YoY growth was below 100% even in pre-IPO years (as oppose to much faster YoY growth for Tableau).

QVYoY116.0. October 2010. Around 10/10/10 the Qliktech released Qlikview 10 which sets the high bar for Data Visualization competitors and only 2 of them were able to pass it: Spotfire and Tableau.


6.0. January 2011. Success of Qlikview 10 convinced the BI thought leader Mr. Donald Farmer to leave Microsoft for leading role @Qliktech and for exciting opportunity to define the future of Qliktech’s products.


In my humble opinion Donald led (of course it was team “efforts”) Qliktech from the winning product (Qlikview) to cool, wonderful but losing product (Qlik.Next or Qlik Sense) and unintentionally helped Tableau to become a leader and the winner. It was amusing to see that Donald’s title changed from VP of Product Management to VP of “Innovation and Design” approximately the same time when Qlik Sense was initially released (summer of 2014).

6.1. November 2011. Around 11/11/11 the Qliktech released Qlikview 11, which turned to be the last functional update of Qlikview until December of 2015, when Qlikview 12 was finally released after 4 years of unjustifiable and self-defeating delays.

7.0. December 2012. Qlikview 12 was not released on 12/12/12 as expected (that was huge gift to Tableau). Instead Qliktech started the development of new product Qlik.Next (much later released as Qlik Sense) in hope that it will replace Qlikview and Qlikview community will migrate to Qlik Sense.

8.0. May 2013. Tableau’s IPO created initially $3+B public company, which quickly double its capitalization and become the leader of Data Visualization market. Tableau was and is only company on this market, who was able to keep 75%-100% (or more) YoY growth for many years until 2015.

8.0. October 2013. In its self-defeating announcement Qliktech declared it is not in rush to release Qlikview 12 and instead it will focus it development on Qlik.Next (which will be eventually released as Qlik Sense), completely yielding the leadership position (in Data Visualization market) to Tableau, see part 4 of this series. That announcement convinced me to stop comparing (at least on my blog) “leading” Data Visualization products – since the release of Tableau 8.1 (new leader in my opinion) in November of 2013 everybody else was just trying to catch-up and so far Tableau managed to be ahead of competition.

6.1. August 2011. Tableau 6.1 introduced the “mobile BI” in form of iPad app (that created bad Tableau’s habit to ignore more popular Android as mobile environment) and support of mobile Safari browser.


Tableau 6.1 Server views are automatically touch-enabled and filters, parameters, pages and even highlighting all accommodate finger selection and resized accordingly, all scrollable areas can be dynamically scrolled with a finger swipe, all zoomable areas like maps can be zoomed in or out by pinching the screen.

In version 6.1 Tableau added localization to French and German; postcodes for AUS, CA, FR, Germany, NZ and out codes for UK; Pan and Zoom inside maps; Custom layout legends; Links on dashboard images etc.

Tableau wrote own text file parser which is faster than previously used JET parser; new parser can work with files of any size as oppose to 4GB limit, imposed by JET. Version 6.1 added the ability to append data extract from file:


enables an incremental refresh of data extract by adding only new records from data source by identifying new rows by some special (preferably containing only unique values for each record) data field, like timestamp:


and added the ability to refresh (in one operation) all data extracts used in workbook (very useful).

7.0. January 2012. Tableau 7.0 added new chart types like area charts, filled and wrapped maps, parameter functions, new statistical capabilities (for example t-values and p-values for trend modeling, exponential modeling for trend lines, summary stats, confidence bands), NULL values management.

Version 7 introduced Data Server, which allows the publication of shared data extracts, pass-through data connections and metadata, central location for all data sources, easy management of schedules for data extracts. Tableau server 7.0 supports now multi-tenancy in form of multiple sites where sites users, workbooks and data separated by site “firewalls”.

Tableau 7.0 added “Show Me” Dialog box:


8.0. March 2013. Among new features in Tableau 8.0: Web and Mobile Authoring/Editing: http://www.tableau.com/new-features/drag-and-drop-editing , support for local rendering, filtering, highlighting and even local URL actions:


Tableau Server now dynamically determines where to best perform rendering and interactive updates – on the server or in your local browser. Tableau decides on-the-fly whether it will be faster to perform actions right in your browser with local rendering, or query Tableau Server. This behavior is automatic, so you don’t have to think about it. Local rendering can speed up your analysis dramatically, especially when on a slow connection to Tableau Server.

Tableau 8 provides an application programming interface (API) to enable developers to directly create a Tableau Data Extract (TDE) file.


The API works with C/C++, Java, and Python and can be used from Windows. Developers can use this API to generate TDE files from on-premise software and software-as-a-service. Tableau can then connect natively to these extract files. After you open a TDE file in Tableau Desktop, you can publish the extract to Tableau Server. This API lets you systematically get data into Tableau when there is not a native connector to the data source you are using. You can explore the Tableau Data Extract API documentation and get started by downloading the API itself , also see

8.0. July 2013 – Tableau Online: see spec and demos here: http://www.tableau.com/products/cloud-bi and video overview is here:

and here:

Tableau intentionally limited its cloud product to workgroup usage with 100 GB total per account storage, shared between limited number of users ($500 per user per year).  Tableau sales openly suggesting that Tableau online can be used by group with no more than 35 users.

This is the Part 2 of my post about Tableau’s history. Part1 “Tableau self-intro: 2003-7” was published on this blog earlier. The text below is based on Tableau’s attempt to re-write own history, version by version. What is below is said by Tableau, but interpreted by me. Part 1 “Intro” covers 2003-7 from version 1 to 3, Part 2 (this article) “Catching-up” covers 2008-10 from versions 4 to 6. Recent Q3 of 2015  ($171M revenue) financial results showing that Tableau keeps growing faster than anybody in industry, so interest to its history remaining high among visitors of my blog.

In 2010, Tableau reported revenue of $34M, $62M in 2011 (82% YoY), $128M in 2012 (106% YoY). The company’s 2013 revenue reached $232M, an 81% growth over 2012’s $128M.  2014 revenue exceeded $413M (78% YoY) and in 2015 Tableau expected $650M revenue (57% YoY), more than QLIK:


In Multi-line Chart above (data are from Morningstar, for example: http://financials.morningstar.com/ratios/r.html?t=MSTR) the width of the each line reflects the value of Year-over-Year growth for given company for given year (Tableau is blue, Qliktech is green and Microstrategy is orange; unfortunately Spotfire sales data are not available since 2008, thanks to TIBCO). Here is Tableau’s revenue for last 5 quarters:


Tableau’s success has many factors but in my opinion the 5 main contributors are:

  • In 2007 TIBCO bought Spotfire, making it incapable to lead;
  • Both Spotfire and Qliktech left their R&D in Sweden while scattered other offices in US;
  • Release of free Tableau reader in 2008 – brilliant marketing move;
  • Release of free Tableau Public in 2010 – another brilliant marketing move;
  • Gift from Qliktech in 2011-2015 (more about that in Part 3 or 4 of this blog post).

4.0. 2008. Integrated Maps added: “Data elements such as city, state and country are now automatically recognized as mappable dimensions, and users can also assign geospatial rules to selected dimensions. Once maps are created, users can also change the way data is presented and drill down into the underlying information without a need to understand map layers or complex geographic parameters”.

“Other upgrades in Tableau 4.0 include support for embedding visualizations within Web applications, Web sites and portals such as Microsoft SharePoint. Conversely, Web applications can also be embedded into Tableau”.

In 2008 Tableau released the free Tableau Reader and enables server-less distribution of visualization with full Windows UI experience. “Getting an unlimited free trial into the hands of thousands of people raises awareness among people who are interested in analyzing data, while at the same time training them in its use”. Also see old video here:

5.0. 2009. Tableau enables Views and Dashboards to act Visual Filters, which improves tool’s ability to drill-down data. Such actions can be local and global. Tableau Server now is capable of multi-threading and it can be distributed among multiple hardware boxes or virtual machines, greatly improve scalability and performance.

New Data sources and connectors introduced: Postgres 8.3, Oracle 11g, MySQL 5.1, Vertica v3, Teradata 13, DB2 v9.5 ; Tab, Space, Colon and Pipe delimited flat files, custom geocodes.

5.1. 2010. Added reference lines, bands and distributions, added bullet charts and box-and-whisker charts, expanded set of available pallets, enabled the customization of titles, annotations, tooltips, dashboard sizes,


actions and filters. Tableau 5.1 extended the support for Teradata and Essbase.

Tableau Public. 2010. In its 2nd brilliant marketing move (1st was the release of free Tableau Reader in 2008) the free Tableau Public was released and that instantly made Tableau as the leader in Data Visualization field.

6.0. 2010. The evil Data Blending was introduced in version 6 due an inability of Tableau to join tables from multiple databases and datasources. This architectural bug will be partially fixed in 2016 (Tableau 9.2 or later – it was not clear from TC15 announcement), but real solution can be achieved only when Tableau will implement own internal in-memory DBMS (preferably capable to support columnstore).

Data Engine was introduced as the separate process, which in theory is capable to optimize the creation of Data Extracts and the usage of available RAM as well as take advantage of available disk space so Data Extract can be larger than available RAM. Among new features are improved server management; parameters, which can accept user’s input; suite of table calculations; and drag-and-drop UI for creating Ad-hoc hierarchies.

Below is a screenshot of my drill-down dashboard I did originally in Qlikview and then redid in Tableau 6 to prove that Tableau can do as much drill-down as Qlikview can (using Tableau’s Dashboard Actions):


Image above has an interesting “story”: since it was published on this blog more than 4 years ago it was copy-pasted (in many cases “stolen” without credit to me!) and used as the showcase for Tableau by many blogposts, articles and other publications and “authors”, who disrespect the elementary quoting/crediting rules since internet allows copy/paste operations and leaving up to those people to be polite or disrespectful.

The indirect prove of the brilliancy of Tableau’s marketing moves (free Tableau Reader and free Tableau Public) in 2008-2010 is the volume of the internet searches (thanks to Freakalytics.com) for Tableau and its 6 nearest competitors in 2009-14:


In follow-up I am planning the Part 3: Tableau competes, 2011-13 and Part 4: Tableau the leader, 2013-15.


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