In past Vikings discovered America, conquested or colonized parts of England, Russia, Ireland, Scotland, even Southern Italy and Iceland… But in 21st century (as far as this blog is concerned) Sweden became a Motherland of Data Visualization:

4SwedishDVVendorsLogosLet’s start with most famous Data Viking and most known Storyteller in Data Visualization field – prof. Hans Rosling from Karolinska Institutet and chairman of the Gapminder Foundation (in Stockholm). Gapminder’s team invented the popular and useful 6-dimensional Motion Chart and developed Trendalizer which was bought by Google in 2007, see it here: https://developers.google.com/chart/interactive/docs/gallery/motionchart . The recent example of Prof. Rosling Storytelling you can see  here:

In Stockholm you can find another Data Visualization Innovator – Panopticon is a leader in Complex Even Processing and real-time Visual Analytics. Among other innovation here is the example of Panopticon’s invention (by its senior developer Hannes Reijner) of Horizon Chart, see sample here:


and short video about it here:

In 2012 Panopticon posted 112% Year-Over-Year revenue growth (comparable with Tableau). In 2013 (the all stock deal closed by the end of September, 2013.) Datawatch bought Panopticon for $31.4M and I assume it will try to move some R&D from Sweden to Chelmsford, MA.

In  Göteborg/Gothenburg you can find R&D office of another DV Leader – Spotfire with 60+ Data Vikings. In 2007 TIBCO bought Spotfire for $195M but even now in 2013 unable to move R&D into USA. So now Spotfire actually has 3+ main offices: TIBCO Corporate Headquarters in California, Spotfire Headquarters in Somerville, MA (estimate is 15% of Spotfire workforce) and main R&D office in Sweden. In addition, lately TIBCO choose the strategy to buy rather then build new features, for example, just in 2013 they added to Spotfire portfolio the following new companies and as result they have even more distributed R&D team now:

  • Extended Results (PushBI) in Redmond, WA
  • MAPORAMA in Paris, France
  • StreamBase Systems, Inc. in Waltham, MA

As a result, despite the fact that Spotfire 6 is the most mature Data Visualization platform on market, people in TIBCO Corporate Headquarters running into risk of do not have enough knowledge of their own major Intellectual Properties.

In southern Sweden – Lund, we can find Swedish Headquarters of the major DV Leader – Qliktech, who occupied almost half of Data Visualization market in terms of sales. At least 140 Data Vikings located in Lund and may be another 200 elsewhere in Sweden. Qliktech’s Data Vikings are major innovators with features like the fastest in-memory Data Engine, most natural Visual Drill-down, Associative Query Language to name a few. This also presents a major problem for Qliktech, because they have Headquarter in Radnor, PA (where only 150+ employees work (estimate), which is less then 10% of Qliktech’s workforce!), Main marketing, sales and support office in Newton, MA (estimate: less then 5% of workforce) and most R&D in Lund (estimate: at least 10% of workforce).

This means that almost 500 technically advanced Data Visualization experts (engineers, developers, architects etc., which is at least 23% of total Qliktech+Spotfire workforce) are still in Sweden. The simple observation of Tableau’s TCC13 conference in September 2013 shows that Tableau’s top managers and officers know their product deeper and more intimately then their counterparts in Qliktech and Spotfire. That is very easy to explain: because 650+ Tableau’s employees (almost 65% of their workforce and most developers, managers and officers) work in the same Main HQ office in Seattle, WA and they obviously talking to each other in-person and often!

My humble advice to Qliktech, Spotfire and Datawatch is simple – gradually relocate as much Data Vikings from Sweden to appropriate headquarters in USA or find and hire local american equivalents of those Swedish geniuses…

As a background for this advice, please consider this information (updated on 11/17/13): statistics of job openings clearly showing that all 3 DV Leaders keep doing (by inertia) what they did in past with only difference that it worked recently for Tableau and does not work for Qliktech and Spotfire. Here are specific examples:

  • Tableau has 176 job openings (much more then Qlikview (only 80) and Spotfire(only 18) combined)!

  • 97 (55%) of Tableau openings are in Seattle, more then half of Tableau’s openings are engineering and technical positions!

  • Qliktech has 17 (21%) positions opened in Lund, only 10 (12%) in Radnor and 4 (5%) in Newton, MA. Only 11 (14%, 9 times less then at Tableau in absolute numbers) Qliktech’s openings are engineering and technical.

  • Spotfire has only 18 openings (1 in Göteborg, 5 in CA, 4 in MA) and only 4 Spotfire’s positions (out of 18, 22% that is) are engineering or technical.

This statistics clearly showing that neither Qliktech no TIBCO see the wrong pattern and huge problem here and that can be a reason for disruption in the future and the gradual  relocation of Data Vikings is only way to prevent the danger… And of course, if you can afford, find and hire equal talents in USA Headquarters then by all means keep geniuses in Sweden without relocation which is a half-similar to what Tableau does (HALF is because Tableau historically does not need to maintain the significant R&D office outside of USA)!


Something dramatic happened during October 2013 with Data Visualization (DV) Market and I feel it everywhere. Share Prices for QLIK went down 40% from $35 to $25, for DATA went down 20% from $72 to below $60, for MSTR went up 27% from $100 to $127 and for DWCH went up  25% from $27.7 to $34.5. This blog got 30% more visitors then usual and it reached 26000 visitors per month of October 2013!

dwchPlus3DVPricesOctober2013So in this blog post I revisited who are actually the DV leaders and active players in Data Visualization field, what events and factors important here and I also will form the DVIndex containing 4-6 DV Leaders and will use it for future estimate of Marketshare and Mindshare in DV market.

In terms of candidates for DV Index I need measurable players, so I will prefer public companies, but will mention private corporations if they are relevant. I did some modeling and it turned out that the best indicator for DV Leader if its YoY (Year-over-Year Revenue growth) is larger than 10% – it will separate obsolete and traditional BI vendors and me-too attempts from real DV Leaders.

Let’s start with traditional BI behemoths: SAP, IBM, Oracle and SAS: according to IDC, their BI revenue total $5810M, but none of those vendors had YoY (2012-over-2011) more then 6.7% ! These 4 BI Vendors literally desperate to get in to Data Visualization market (for example SAP Lumira, IBM is getting desperate too with Project Neo (will be in beta in early 2014), Rapidly Adaptive Visualization Engine (RAVE), SmartCloud Analytics-Predictive Insights, BLU Acceleration, InfoSphere Data Explorer or SAS Visual Analytics) but so far they were not competitive with 3 known DV Leaders (those 3 are part of DVIndex for sure) Qlikview, Tableau and Spotfire

5th traditional BI Vendor – Microsoft had BI revenue in 2012 as $1044M, YoY 16% and added lately a lot of relevant features to its Data Visualization toolbox: Power Pivot 2013, Power View, Power Query, Power Map, SSAS 2012 (and soon SQL Server 2014) etc. Unfortunately Microsoft does not have Data Visualization Product but pushing everything toward Office 365, SharePoint and Excel 2013, which cannot compete in DV market…

6th Traditional BI vendor – Microstrategy made during October 2013 a desperate attempt to get into DV market by releasing 2 free Data Visualization products: Microstrategy Desktop and Microstrategy Express, which are forcing me to qualify Microstrategy for a status of DV Candidate, which I will include (at least temporary) into DVIndex.  Microstrategy BI revenue for TTM (Trailing 12 months) was $574, YoY is below 5% so while I can include it into DVIndex, I cannot say (yet?) that Microstrategy is DV Leader.

Datawatch Corporation is public (DWCH), recently bought advanced Data Visualization vendor – Panopticon for $31M. Panopticon TTM Revenue approximately $7M and YoY was phenomenal 112%  in 2012! Combining it with $27.5M TTM Revenue of Datawatch (45% YoY!) giving us approximately 55% YoY for combined company and qualifying DWCH as a new member of DVIndex!

Other potential candidates for DVIndex can be Panorama (and their Necto 3.0 Product), Visokio (they have very competitive DV Product, called Omniscope 2.8), Advizor Solution with their mature Advizor Visual Discovery 6.0 Platform), but unfortunately all 3 companies choose to be private and I have now way to measure their performance and so they will stay as DV Candidates only.

In order to monitor the progress of open source BI vendors toward DV Market, I also decided to include into DVIndex one potential DV Candidate (not a leader for sure) – Actuate with their BIRT product. Actuate TTM revenue about $138M and YoY about 3%. Here is the tabular MarketShare result with 6 members of DVIndex:


Please keep in mind that I have no way to get exact numbers for Spotfire, but I feel comfortable to estimate Spotfire approximately as 20% of TIBCO numbers. Indirect confirmation of my estimate came from … TIBCO’s CEO and I quote: “In fact, Tibco’s Spotfire visualization product alone boasts higher sales than all of Tableau.” As a result I estimate Spotfire’s YoY is 16% which is higher then 11% TIBCO has. Numbers in table above are fluid and reflect the market situation by the end of October 2013. Also see my attempt to visualize the Market Share of 6 companies above in simple Bubble Chart (click on it to Enlarge; where * X-axis: Vendor’s Revenue for last TTM: 12 trailing Months, * Y-axis: Number of Full-Time Employees, working for given Vendor, * Sized by Market Capitalization, in $B (Billions of Dollars), and * Colored by Year-Over-Year revenue Growth):


For that date I also have an estimate of Mindshare of all 6 members of DVIndex by using the mentioning of those 6 companies by LinkedIn members, LinkedIn groups, posted on LinkedIn job openings and companies with Linkedin profile:


Again, please see below my attempt to represent Mindshare of those 6 companies above with simple Bubble Chart ((click on it to Enlarge; here 6 DV vendors, positioned relatively to their MINDSHARE on LinkedIn and where * X-axis: Number of LinkedIn members, mentioned Vendor in LinkedIn profile, * Y-axis: Number of LinkedIn Job Postings, with request of Vendor-related skills, * Sized by number of companies mentioned them on LinkedIn and * Colored by Year-Over-Year revenue Growth):


Among other potential DV candidates I can mention some recent me-too attempts like Yellowfin, NeitrinoBI, Domo, BIME, RoamBI, Zoomdata and multiple similar companies (mostly private startups) and hardly commercial but very interesting toolkits like D3. None of them have impact on DV Market yet.

Now, let’s review some of October events (may add more October events later):

1. For the fourth quarter, Qliktech predicts earnings of 28 cents to 31 cents a share on revenue between $156 million and $161 million. The forecast came in significantly lower than analysts’ expectations of 45 cents a share on $165.78 million in revenue. For the full year, the company projects revenue between $465 million and $470 million, and earnings between 23 and 26 cents a share. Analysts had expectations of 38 cents a share on $478.45 million. As far as I concern it is not a big deal, but traders/speculants on Wall Street drove QLIK prices down almost 40%

2. Tableau Software Files Registration Statement for Proposed Secondary Offering. Also Tableau’s Revenue in the three months ended in September rose to $61 million, 10 millions more then expected – Revenue jumped 90%! Tableau CEO Christian Chabot said the results were boosted by one customer that increased its contract with the company. “Our third quarter results were bolstered by a large multimillion-dollar deal with a leading technology company,” he said. “Use of our products in this account started within one business unit and over the last two years have expanded to over 15 groups across the company. “Recently, this customer set our to establish an enterprise standard for self-service business intelligence, which led to the multimillion-dollar transaction. This deal demonstrates the power and value of Tableau to the enterprise.” However DATA prices went down anyway in anticipation of a significant portion of these Shares Premium prices should quickly evaporate as the STOCK Options lock-up will expire in November 2013.

3. TIBCO TUCON 2013 conference somehow did not help TIBCO stock but in my mind brought attention to Datawatch and to the meteoric rise of DWCH stock (on Chart below compare it with QLIK and TIBX prices, which basically did not change during period of March-October of 2013) which is more then tripled in a matter of just 8 months (Datawatch bought and integrated Panopticon during exactly that period):

DWCHvsQLIKvsTIBXMar_Oct20134. Datawatch now has potentially better software stack then 3 DV Leaders, because of Datawatch Desktop is integrated with Panopticon Desktop Designer and Datawatch Server is integrated with Panopticon Data Visualization Server; it means that in addition to “traditional” BI + ETL + Big Data 3V features (Volume, Velocity, Variety) Datawatch has 4th V feature, which is relevant to DV Market: the advanced Data Visualization. Most visualization tools are unable to cope with the “Three V’s of Big Data” – volume, velocity and variety. However, Datawatch’s technology handles:

  • Data sources of any size (it has to be tested and compared with Qlikview, Spotfire and Tableau)

  • Data that is changing in real time (Spotfire has similar, but Qlikview and Tableau do not have it yet)

  • Data stored in multiple types of systems and formats

We have to wait and see how it will play out but competition from Datawatch will make Data Visualization market more interesting in 2014… I feel now I need to review Datawatch products in my next blog post…

Yesterday I got invited by Qliktech for their semi-annual New England QlikView Boston User Group meeting. It was so many participants, so Qliktech was forced to hold the Keynote (of course the presentation and the demo of Qlikview.Next) and 4 cool presentations by Customers and Partners (Ocean State Job Lot, Analog Devices, Cybex and Attivio) outside of its own office but in the same building  on the 1st floor @Riverside Offices in Newton, MA @Rebecca’s Cafe.

It was plenty of very excited people in a very large room and very promising demo and presentation of Qlikview.Next, which actually will not be generally available until 2014. Entire presentation was done using new and capable HTML5 client, based on functionality Qliktech got when it bought NComVA 6 months ago.

I was alarmed when presenter never mentioned my beloved Qlikview Desktop and I when I asked directly about it, the answer shocked and surprised me. One of the most useful piece of software I ever used will not be part of Qlikview.Next anymore. As part of Qlikview 11.2, it will be supported for 3 years and then it will be out of the picture! I did not believe it and asked one more time during demo and 2 more times after presentation in-person during Networking and Cocktail Hour inside Qliktech offices. While food and drink were excellent, the answer on my question was the same – NO!


I have the utmost respect for very smart software developers, architects and product managers of Qlikview, but in this particular case I have to invoke 20+ years of my own advanced and very extensive experience as the Software Architect, Coder and Software Director and nothing in my past can support such a decision. I do not see why Qlikview.Next can not have both (and we as Qlikview users need and love both) Qlikview Desktop Client and Qlikview HTML5 client?

I personally urge Qliktech (and I am sure the majority of 100000+ (according to Qliktech) Qlikview community will agree with me) to keep Qlikview Desktop client as long as Qlikview exist. And not just keep it but 1st,  keep it as the best Data Visualization Desktop Client on market and 2nd, keep it in sync (or better ahead) with HTML5 client.

In case if Qlikview Desktop will disappear from Qlikview.Next, it will be a huge gift to Tableau and Datawatch (Spotfire Cloud Personal will no longer have access to the Spotfire Analyst desktop product and therefor Spotfire Cloud Personal is making a similar (partial) mistake as Qlikview.Next)



Tableau recently invested heavily into progress of all variations of Tableau Desktop (Professional, Personal, Public, Online, Free Reader) including (finally) migration to 64-bit and even porting Desktop to MAC, so it will instantly get the huge advantage over Qlikview in desktop, workstation, development, design, debugging, testing, QA  and offline environments.


It will also almost immediately propel the Datawatch as a very attractive contender in Data Visualization market, because Datawatch got (when they bought Panopticon this year) the extremely capable Panopticon Desktop Designer

Panopticon_Data_Visualization_Software_logo_file,_800x155,_Real-Time_Visual_Data_Analysisin addition to its own very relevant line of products.

Again, I hope I misunderstood answer I got 4 times during 4-hour meeting and during follow-up networking/cocktail hour or if understood it correctly, Qliktech will reconsider, but I will respect their decision if they don’t…

So I have to disagree with Cindi Howson (as usual): even if “QlikTech Aims To Disrupt BI, Again“, it actually will disrupt itself first, unless it will listen me begging them to keep Qlikview Desktop alive, well and ahead of competition.


You can find in Ted Cuzzillo’s article here: http://datadoodle.com/2013/10/09/next-for-qlik/ the actual quote from Qliktech’s CEO Lars Björk: ““We can disrupt the industry again”. My problem with this quote that Qliktech considers itself as the insider and reinventor of the dead and slow BI industry, while Tableau with its new motto “DATA to the people” is actually trying to be out of this grave and be inside own/new/fast growing Data Visualization space/field/market, see also blogpost from Tony Cosentino, VP of Ventana Research, here: http://tonycosentino.ventanaresearch.com/2013/09/21/tableau-continues-its-visual-analytics-revolution/#!

You can see below interview with Time Beyers, who has own doubts about Qlikview.Next from investor’s point of view:

Basically, Qlikview.Next is late for 2 years, it will not have Qlikview Desktop (big mistake), it still does not promise any Qlikview Cloud services similar to Tableau Online and Tableau Public and it still does not have server-less distribution of visualizations because it does not have free Qlikview Desktop Viewer/Readers similar to free Tableau Reader. So far it looks to me that QLIK may have a trouble in the future…

Last month Tableau and Qliktech both declared that Traditional BI is too slow (I am saying this for many years) for development and their new Data Visualization (DV software) is going to replace it. Quote from Tableau’s CEO: Christian Chabot: “Traditional BI software is obsolete and dying and this is very direct challenge and threat to BI vendors: your (BI that is) time is over and now it is time for Tableau.” Similar quote from Anthony Deighton, Qliktech’s CTO & Senior VP, Products: “More and more customers are looking at QlikView not just to supplement traditional BI, but to replace it“.

One of my clients – large corporation (obviously cannot say the name of it due NDA) asked me to advise of what to choose between Traditional BI tools with long Development Cycle (like Cognos, Business Objects or Microstrategy), modern BI tools (like JavaScript and D3 toolkit) which is attempt to modernize traditional BI but still having  sizable development time and leading Data Visualization tools with minimal development time (like Tableau, Qlikview or Spotfire).

Since main criterias for client were

  • minimize IT personnel involved and increase its productivity;

  • minimize the off-shoring and outsourcing as it limits interactions with end users;

  • increase end users’s involvement, feedback and action discovery.

So I advised to client to take some typical Visual Report project from the most productive Traditional  BI Platform (Microstrategy), use its prepared Data and clone it with D3 and Tableau (using experts for both). Results in form of Development time in hours) I put below; all three projects include the same time (16 hours) for Data Preparation & ETL, the same time for Deployment (2 hours) and the same number (8) of Repeated Development Cycles (due 8 consecutive feedback from End Users):


It is clear that Traditional BI requires too much time, that D3 tools just trying to prolongate old/dead BI traditions by modernizing and beautifying BI approach, so my client choose Tableau as a replacement for Microstrategy, Cognos, SAS and Business Objects and better option then D3 (which require smart developers and too much development). This movement to leading Data Visualization platforms is going on right now in most of corporate America, despite IT inertia and existing skillset. Basically it is the application of the simple known principle that “Faster is better then Shorter“, known in science as Fermat’s Principle of least time.

This changes made me wonder (again) if Gartner’s recent marketshare estimate and trends for Dead Horse sales (old traditional BI) will stay for long. Gartner estimates the size of BI market as $13B which is drastically different from TBR estimate ($30B).

BIDeadHorseTheoryTBR predicts that it will keep growing at least until 2018 with yearly rate 4% and BI Software Market to Exceed $40 Billion by 2018 (They estimate BI Market as $30B in 2012 and include more wider category of Business Analytics Software as opposed to strictly BI tools). I added estimates for Microstrategy, Qliktech, Tableau and Spotfire to Gartner’s MarketShare estimates for 2012 here:


However, when Forrester asked people what BI Tools they used, it’s survey results were very different from Gartner’s estimate of “market share:


“Traditional BI is like a pencil with a brick attached to it” said Chris Stolte at recent TCC13 conference and Qliktech said very similar in its recent announcement of Qlikview.Next. I expect TIBCO will say similar about upcoming new release of Spotfire (next week at TUCON 2013 conference in Las Vegas?)


These bold predictions by leading Data Visualization vendors are just simple application of Fermat’s Principle of Least Time: this principle stated that the path taken between two points by a ray of light (or development path in our context) is the path that can be traversed in the least time.

Pierre_de_Fermat2Fermat’s principle can be easily applied to “PATH” estimates to multiple situations like in video below, where path from initial position of the Life Guard on beach to the Swimmer in Distress (Path through Sand, Shoreline and Water) explained: 

Even Ants following the Fermat’s Principle (as described in article at Public Library of Science here: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0059739 ) so my interpretation of this Law of Nature (“Faster is better then Shorter“) that  traditional BI is a dying horse and I advise everybody to obey the Laws of Nature.

AntsOn2SurfacesIf you like to watch another video about Fermat’s principle of Least Time and related Snell’s law, you can watch this: 

Qlikview 10 was released around 10/10/10, Qlikview 11 – around 11/11/11, so I expected Qlikview 12 to be released on 12/12/12. Qliktech press release said today that the next (after 11.2) version of Qlikview will be delivered under the new nickname Qlikview.Next in 2014 but “for  early adopter customers in a production environment in 2013”. I hope I can get my hands on it ASAP!

The new buzzword is Natural Analytics: “QlikView.Next’s key value as an alternative BI platform is in its use of Natural Analytics“. The new Qliktech motto that “Qlikview is a Replacement of Traditional BI” is similar to what we heard from Tableau leaders just 2 weeks ago on Tableau Customer Conference in Washington, DC.  Another themes I hear from Qliktech about Qliview.Next are sounds familiar too: Gorgeous, Genius, Visually Beautiful, Associative Experience, Comparative Analysis, Anticipatory, Drag and Drop Analytics.

Qlikview.Next will introduce “Data Dialogs” as live discussions between multiple users about Data they see and explore collectively, enabling “Social BI”. This reminds me the integration between TIBBR (TIBCO’s collaboration platform) and Spotfire, which existed since Spotfire 4.0.

Details about new features in Qlikview.Next will be released later, but at least we know now when Qlikview 12 (sorry, Qlikview.Next that is) will be available. Some features actually unveiled in generic terms::

  • Unified, Browser-Based HTML5 Client, which will automatically optimize itself for user’ device;

  • Automatic and Intelligent re-sizing of objects to fit user’s screen;

  • Server-side Analysis and Development, Web-based creation and delivery of content, Browser-based Development;

  • Data Storytelling, narrative and social with Data Dialogs;

  • Library and Repository for UI objects;

  • Multi-source Data Integration and new web-based scripting;

  • QlikView Expressor for advanced graphical Data Integration and Metadata Management;

  • Improved Data Discovery with associative experience across all the data, both in memory and on disks;

  • Open API: JSON, .NET SDK and as JavaScript API;

  • All UI Objects can be treated as extension Objects, customizable with their source files available to developers;

  • New Managment Console with Qlikview on Qlikview Monitor;

  • New visualization capabilities, based on advanced data visualization suite from NComVA (bought by Qliktech a few months ago), potential samples see here: http://www.ncomva.se/guide/?chapter=Visualizations


In addition Qliktech is launching the “Qlik Customer Success Framework” , which includes:

  • Qonnect Partner Program: An extensive global network of 1500+ partners, including resellers, (OEMs), technology companies, and system integrators.

  • Qlik Community: An online community with nearly 100,000 members comprised of customers, partners, developers and enthusiasts.

  • Qlik Market: An online showcase of applications, extensions and connectors.

  • Qoncierge: A single point of contact service offering for customers to help them access the resources they need.

  • Comprehensive Services: A wide range of consulting services, training and support.


Also see Ted Cuzzillo blogpost about it here: http://datadoodle.com/2013/10/09/next-for-qlik/# and Cindi Howson’s old post here: http://biscorecard.typepad.com/biscorecard/2012/05/qliktech-shares-future-product-plans-for-qlikview.html and new article here: http://www.informationweek.com/software/business-intelligence/qliktech-aims-to-disrupt-bi-again/240162403#!

After announcement of Tableau 8.1 ( and completion of TCC13) this week people asked me to refresh my comparison of leading Data Visualization tools and I felt it is the good time to do it, because finally Tableau can claim it has 64-bit platform and it is able now to do more advanced Analytics, thanks to Integration with R (both new features needs to be benchmarked and tested, but until my benchmarks are completed I tend to believe to Tableau’s claims).  I actually felt that Tableau may be leapfrogged the competition and now Qlikview and Spotfire have to do something about it (of course if they care).

I enjoyed this week Tableau’s pun/wordplay/slogan “Data to the People” it reminds, of course, other slogan “Power to the People” but also indirectly refers to NYSE Symbol “DATA” which is the SYMBOL of Tableau Software Inc. and it means (indirectly): “Tableau to the People”:


In fact the “keynote propaganda” from Christian Chabot and Chris Stolte was so close to what I am saying for years on this blog, that I used their slogan FEBA4A (“Fast, Easy, Beautiful, Anywhere for Anyone”) as the filter to include or remove from comparison any runner-ups, traditional, me-too and losing tools and vendors.

For example despite the huge recent progress Microsoft did with its BI Stack (updates in Office 2013, 365 and SQL 2012/14 of Power Pivot/View/Map/Query, SSAS, Data Explorer, Polybase, Azure Services, StreamInsight, in-Memory OLTP, Columnstore Indexing etc.) did not prevent me from removal of Microsoft’s BI Stack from comparison (MSFT still trying to sell Data Visualization as a set of add-ins to Excel and SQL Server as oppose to separate product), because it it is not FEBA4A.

For similar reasons I did not include runner-ups like Omniscope, Advizor, Panopticon (it is part of Datawatch now), Panorama, traditional BI vendors, like IBM, Oracle, SAP, SAS, Microstrategy and many me-too vendors like Actuate, Pentaho, Information Builders, Jaspersoft, Jedox, Yellowfin, Bime and dozens of others. I even was able finally to rule out wonderful toolkits like D3 (because they are not for “anyone” and they require brilliant people like Mike Bostock to shine).

I was glad to see similar thinking from Tableau’s CEO in his yesterday’s interview here: http://news.investors.com/091213-670803-tableau-takes-on-big-rivals-oracle-sap-ibm-microsoft.htm?p=full and I quote:

“The current generation of technology that companies and governments use to try to see and understand the data they store in their databases and spreadsheets is without exception complicated, development-intensive, staff-intensive, inflexible, slow-moving and expensive. And every one of those adjectives is true for each of the market-share leaders in our industry.”

Here is my brief and extremely personal (yes, opinionated but not bias) comparison of 3 leading Data Visualization (DV Comparison) platforms (if you cannot see in your browser, see screenshot below of Google Doc:

I did not add pricing to comparison, because I cannot find enough public info about it. This is all I have:

  • https://tableau.secure.force.com/webstore

  • http://www.qlikview.com/us/explore/pricing

  • https://silverspotfire.tibco.com/us/get-spotfire/silver-spotfire-feature-matrix

  • additional pricing info for Tableau Server Core Licensing: “8 core server (enough to support 1,000 users, or 100 concurrent) for Tableau is $180k first year, about $34k every year after year 1 for maintenance”. With 8 core licensing I actually witnessed support for more then 1000 users: 1300+ active interactors, 250+ Publishers, 3000+ Viewers. I also witnessed (2+ years ago, since then price grew!) more than once that negotiation with Tableau Sales can get you down to $160K for 8 Core license with 20% every year after year 1 for maintenance (so in 2010-2011 total price was about $192K with 1 year maintenance)

  • Also one of visitors indicated to me that current pricing for 8 core Tableau 8.0 license for 1st year is $240K  now plus (mandatory?) 20-25% maintenance for 1st year… However negotiations are very possible and can save you up to 20-25% of “discount”. I am aware of recent cases where 8-core license was sold (after discount) for around $195K with maintenance for 1st year for about $45K so total sale was $240K with 1st year maintenance (25% growth in price for last 3 years).

Below is a screenshot of above comparison, because some browsers (e.g. Safari or Firefox before version 24) cannot see either Google Doc embedded into WordPress or Google Doc itself:


Please note that I did not quantify above which of 3 tools are better, it is not possible until I will repeat all benchmarks and tests (I did many of those in the past; if I will have time in the future, I can do it again) when actual Tableau 8.1 will be released (see latest here: https://licensing.tableausoftware.com/esdalt/ ). However I used above the green color for good and red color for bad (light-colored backgrounds in 3 middle columns indicated good/bad). Also keep in mind that Qliktech and TIBCO may release something new soon enough (say Qlikview 12 or they called it now Qlikview.Next and Spotfire 6), so leapfrogging game may continue.

Update 10/11/13: interesting article about Tableau (in context with Qlikview and Spotfire) by Akram Annous from SeekeingAlpha: http://seekingalpha.com/article/1738252-tableau-a-perfect-short-with-a-catalyst-to-boot . Akram is very active visitor to my blog, especially to this article above. This article only 1 month old but already needs updates due recent pre-announcements about Qlikview.Next (Qlikview 12) and Spotfire 6, which as I predicted showing that leapfrogging game continue at full speed. Akram is brave enough by “targeting” pricing for DATA shares as $55 IN 30 DAYS, $35 IN 6 MONTHS. I am not convinced yet.

frogleap4if you will see the AD below, it is not me, it is wordpress.com…

My best wishes for 2013!


2012 was extraordinary for Data Visualization community and I expect 2013 will be even more interesting than 2012. For Data Visualization vendors 2012 was unusual YEAR and surprised many people.

We can start with Qliktech, which grew only about 18% in 2012 (while in 2011 it was 42% and in 2010 it was 44%) and QLIK stock lost a lot… Spotfire on other hand grew faster then that and Tableau grew even faster than Spotfire. Tableau doubled its workforce and its sales now more than $100M per year. Together the sales of Qlikview, Spotfire and Tableau totaled to almost $600M in 2012 and I expect it may reach even $800M in  2013. All other vendors becoming less and less visible on market. While it is still possible to have a breakthrough from companies like Microsoft, Microstrategy, Visokio and Pagos, it is highly unlikely.

If you will search in web for wishes or wishlists for Qlikview or Tableau or Spotfire, you can find plenty of wishes, including even very technical. I will partially repeat myself, because some of my best wishes are still wishes and may be some of them will be never implemented. I will restrict myself to 3 best wishes per vendor.

Let me start with Spotfire, as the most mature product. I will use analogy: EMC did spin-off VMWare and (today) market capitalization of VMWare is close $40B, about 75% (!) of Market Capitalization of its parent company EMC! I wish that TIBCO will do the same to Spotfire as EMC did to VMWare. Compare with this wish all other wishes look minimal, like making Free Spotfire Desktop Reader (similar to what Tableau has) and make part of Spotfire Silver is completely Public and Free similar to … Tableau Public.

For Qliktech I really wish them to stop bleeding capitalization-wise (did they lost $1B of MktCap during last 9 months?) and sales-wise (growing only 18% in 2012 compare with 42% in 2011). May be 2013 is good time for IBM to buy Qliktech? And yes, I wish Qlikview Server on Linux (I do not like new licensing terms of Windows 2012 Server) and I wish (for many years!) free Qlikview Desktop Viewer/Reader (similar … to Tableau Reader) in 2013 to enable  server-less distribution of Qlikview-based Data Visualizations!

For Tableau I wish a very successful IPO in 2013 and I wish them to grow in 2013 as fast as they did in 2012! I really wish Tableau (and all its processes like VizQL, Application Server, Backgrounder etc.) to became 64-bit in 2013 and of course I wish Tableau Server on Linux (see my wish for Qlikview above).


Since I still have my best wishes for Microsoft (I guess they will never listen me anyway), I wish them to stop in 2013 using the dead product (Silverlight) with Power View (just complete the switch to HTML5 already), to make it completely separate from SharePoint and make it equal part of Office (integrated with PowerPivot on Desktop) the same way as Visio and Access are parts of Office and as a result I wish Microsoft to have a Power View (Data Visualization) Server (integrated with SQL Server 2012 of course) as well.

Also here are Flags of 21 countries from where this blog got most visitors in 2012:

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