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History in the Making

Tableau are on a mission to help people see and understand data. And they are redesigning an industry from the ground up.  With a culture founded on breakthrough innovations built by people who have a passion for helping people, this is just the beginning.

Put together an Academy-Award winning professor, a brilliant computer scientist at the world’s most prestigious university, and a savvy business leader with a passion for data. Add in one of the most challenging problems in software – making databases and spreadsheets understandable to ordinary people. You have just recreated the fundamental ingredients for Tableau.

The catalyst? A Department of Defense (DOD) project aimed at increasing people’s ability to analyze information. Brought to the Stanford University Computer Science department, the project took flight with Chris Stolte. Stolte, a Ph.D. candidate, was researching visualization techniques for exploring and analyzing relational databases and data cubes. Hungering for a project to change the world, he knew this was it.

The mind behind Pixar, and Stolte’s Ph.D. advisor, Professor Pat Hanrahan knew it too. A founding member of Pixar and later its chief architect for RenderMan, Pat invented the technology that changed the world of animated film. Pat's invention made it possible to bring some of the world's most beloved characters to the big screen. Buzz Lightyear and Woody, anyone? Just down the hall from the Google folks, Chris, Pat and a team of Stanford Ph.D.s realized that computer graphics could deliver huge gains in people’s ability to understand information. Rather than analyzing data in text form and then creating visualizations of those findings, Chris and Pat invented a technology called VizQL™ by which visualization is part of the journey and not just the destination. Fast analytics and visualization for everyone was born.

“I see the future” was Christian Chabot’s reaction when he saw what they invented. Chabot had spent years analyzing data before studying entrepreneurship at Stanford Business School. Together, Christian, Chris and Pat formed a company and spun out of Stanford like so many before them (Yahoo, Google, VMWare). With Christian on board as CEO, Tableau rapidly hit one success after another: its first customer (now Tableau’s CFO, Tom Walker), funding from New Enterprise Associates, a PC Magazine award for “Product of the Year” just one year after launch, and regular breakthrough new inventions.

Answer questions as fast as you can think of them with Desktop

Tableau Desktop is based on breakthrough technology from Stanford University that lets you drag & drop to analyze data. You can connect to data in a few clicks, then visualize and create interactive dashboards with a few more.

We’ve done years of research to build a system that supports people’s natural ability to think visually. Shift fluidly between views, following your natural train of thought. You’re not stuck in wizards or bogged down writing scripts. You just create beautiful, rich data visualizations.

It's so easy to use that any Excel user can learn it. Get more results for less effort. And it’s 10 –100x faster than existing solutions.




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