BI: Tableau Benefits from Enterprise Streamlining Efforts

In its latest report devoted to business intelligence, the research firm Gartner highlights two major trends in particular: new augmented analytics and embedded BI functionalities.

Tableau closely follows these trends, even participates according to François Ajenstat, Chief Product Officer of the company acquired by Salesforce.

“Tableau is one of the players that has changed the market, but there are still adoption issues in the field of BI,” he notes.

To improve the understanding of data visualizations, the publisher intends to strengthen its data storytelling capabilities. For this, it acquired Narrative Science, a specialist in NLG (Natural Language Processing) whose role is to automatically generate textual explanations of visualizations from data. The publisher could go even further.

“In the future, obtaining voice indicators with technologies like Alexa or Google Assistant will increase the level of adoption of BI,” predicts François Ajenstat.

If Einstein Voice Assistant was nipped in the bud in July 2020, the publisher is continuing its work to offer products using speech to text technology.

Is embedded BI synonymous with proprietary confinement? No, says Tableau

On the other hand, the CPO believes that “businesses should no longer go to BI, but BI should come to them”. “BI needs to become more proactive and integrated into applications. Our presence in the Salesforce ecosystem allows us to integrate with tools used daily by the trades”. For the moment, these integrations mainly concern Slack, but Tableau and Salesforce have been pursuing the intricacies of their respective products for two years.

A concern is on the horizon: will Tableau continue to exist outside of the Salesforce ecosystem? “100%”, replies François Ajenstat straight away. “Tableau will continue to exist outside of Salesforce because there is data everywhere. That does not change”.

Moreover, the manager mentions the case of an insurance company that embeds white label dashboards created with Tableau in the agents’ tools.

“But when you have Salesforce, we unlock specific features because we know the apps and domains,” he adds.

Tableau’s other priorities? Integrating Einstein AI services into Tableau, and further improving data management capabilities.

It is not a question of replacing data catalogs and other MDMs that have been in place for a long time in companies. “The majority of these products target technical managers. We want to offer similar functionalities for businesses and analysts, integrated into their decision-making tools,” says François Ajenstat.

“We can API data catalog data into Tableau and push Tableau data into these tools,” he says.

How Tableau Benefits from BI Platform Consolidation

Another phenomenon is keeping Tableau’s sales teams busy. In addition to the accelerated passage to the cloud of BI solutions, François Ajenstat observes an ongoing rationalization to favor a smaller number of software within organizations.

“For a long time, the majority of large international groups had 12 to 20 different BI software. It’s typical,” he said. “Over the past two years, we’ve seen a consolidation: instead of having 12 BI applications, some companies have between three and five.”

This consolidation often involves choosing a main platform, then complementary solutions for specific uses, according to the Chief Product Officer.

“It’s a big challenge for companies. The pandemic has caused an acceleration of this phenomenon, to meet the needs of digital transformation and cost reduction,” he continues.

“It was decisive for our activity. More digital transformation means more data and therefore more users,” notes the manager.

That’s good, the publisher charges its solution to the number of seats occupied by users of its various products.

In the first fiscal quarter of 2019, which ended at the end of March of that year, Tableau generated $282.5 million. In June 2019, Salesforce announced the acquisition of the BI specialist. If the CRM giant did not reveal the results of Tableau in 2020, it did so for Q1 2022, which ended on April 30, 2021. As a result, the entity’s turnover amounted to 394 million. over this period, up 38% compared to Q1 2020. The BI solutions publisher generated $3 billion in fiscal year 2021, compared to $3.8 billion in fiscal year 2022 out of a total of $26.5 billion for the Salesforce group.

This growth is not without counterpart. It’s also for this reason that the latest Tableau updates aim to provide more tools and capabilities for IT teams who have to manage increasingly large Tableau deployment fleets.

A phenomenon that concerns all market players

Tableau is not alone in benefiting from this consolidation phenomenon.

Tracy Daugherty, Director of Quicksight at AWS, observed much the same phenomenon in connection with the migration of applications to the cloud. Baptiste Jourdan, Chief Revenue Officer at the French Toucan Toco, noted in February 2022 with MagIT that many of the deployments of “Guided Analytics” technology are done in addition to or in replacement of BI solutions such as Power BI, Tableau, Qlik or again Microstrategy.

But in this consolidation game, the big winner would be Microsoft, according to Gartner. It is the publisher that brings together the largest number of users.

“The massive growth of the Microsoft Power BI cloud service has continued [en 2021]fueled in large part by the bundled offer of this product with Office 365 (via the E5 license) whose price has dropped significantly,” write the authors of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant 2022.

And if there is always room for specific offers and startups, analysts observe that the concentration of analytical, data processing, visualization and even artificial intelligence functionalities risk causing “collisions” .

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BI: Tableau Benefits from Enterprise Streamlining Efforts

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