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Summary:

Tableau had a huge fourth quarter and year in 2013, nearly doubling its year-over-year revenues for both periods, and putting it on a collision course with its larger competitors in a few years’ time.

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Data visualization specialist Tableau has been killing it since its initial public offering in May, and the company’s most recent earnings statement proves it. Tableau earned $81.5 million in revenue during the fourth quarter — a 95 percent year-over-year increase — and $232.4 million for the entire year, an 82 percent increase over 2012.

To anybody who follows the business of data closely, these numbers probably don’t come as much of a surprise. Tableau users that I’ve met seem to love the product (as much anybody can love enterprise software), evidenced by the fact that Tableau added 1,800 new customer accounts and 179 deals worth more than $100,000 in the fourth quarter alone. It seems like every company in the big data space, from Cloudera to Trifacta, has a partnership with Tableau and mentions the company as the de facto choice for visualizing the data stored in systems such as Hadoop.

Tableau is often compared with QlikTech, another business intelligence vendor that went public in 2010, but although QlikTech is still bigger Tableau has all the momentum. QlikTech earned $104.1 million in its third quarter last year, which was only a 21 percent increase over 2012. Even MicroStrategy, an much-older and much-larger competitor, which brought in $165.9 million during the fourth quarter, only saw a 6 percent year over year increase. If the trend continues, Tableau could be the biggest pure-play BI software vendor in just a few years.

The chart above shows annual revenues since 2008. QlikTech’s 2013 total revenue is based on the high-end guidance it issued during its third-quarter earnings, although hitting that number would require the company do $162 million in fourth quarter revenue. Another 21 percent annual increase would do the trick, although QlikTech did lose revenue between its second and third quarters in 2013. It announces fourth-quarter and annual earnings on Feb. 20.

The companies’ stock prices since Tableau went public suggest investors are bullish on Tableau, too. MicroStrategy is still trading at more than $120 a share while Tableau shot up to nearly $91 in after-hours trading following Tuesday’s earnings report, but Tableau is definitely delivering the bigger return on investment since its IPO.

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  1. George K. Mathew Wednesday, February 5, 2014

    Hi Derrick,

    Good posting on Tableau’s growth. One thing I would highlight is the difference between the last generation of ‘Authored’ BI vs. the new generation of ‘Self-Reliant’ BI (aka Data Discovery). Microstrategy, SAP, IBM, etc. have all stalled out because data analysts (and similar end-users) are tired of ‘Authored’ BI. Tableau is primarily about self reliance especially for do-it-yourself visual analysis & dashboarding.

    Alteryx is proud to be Tableau’s most strategic partner: we extend that self-reliance to data blending & advanced analytics functions. We now share hundreds of customers who often times are the same exact users of Tableau. It’s this trend towards self-reliance that is driving the explosive growth in the modern BI & Analytics markets!

    George

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  2. The comparison between these vendors is interesting—I tend to view as occupying very different spaces. When I was researching various BI vendors for an embedded solution, I looked at 14 different products of which we placed into 3 camps: old-school big BI , the second gen BI systems, and the new breed of web-based BI.
    I saw MicroStrategy as a powerful solution which was very “old school” in look and feel. It felt to me like a tool an internal reporting analyst might learn and use to develop reports for management, but not a system you’d put in front of the average user.
    Qliktech was in the middle between the new breed and the 2nd gen tools—more modern feeling than MicroStrategy but not fully web-based like a GoodData, Birst, etc. At the time it was mostly an on-premise solution.
    Tableau was much closer to the new breed of BI; gorgeous and easy to use, and web-capable, but didn’t allow for web-based authoring. I think comparing Tableau to some of the newer breed of BI tools would very interesting and look forward to that comparison.

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    1. A good point re: the different camps. Tableau does have a cloud option now, so maybe it’s even more in that new camp than before. Comparisons are tough, of course, when some companies are public and others are private.

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    2. Hi Kevin,

      I work for Tableau and wanted to point out web and mobile based authoring capabilities: https://www.tableausoftware.com/new-features/web-mobile-authoring-analytics-0

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