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Tableau and DataSift join up to show how social sentiments affect business — and vice-versa

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Even though visualization and analytics player Tableau Software (s data) just went public, it’s getting another boost on Tuesday. DataSift is poised to add the Twitter firehose and other social media sources to its service through a partnership between the two companies.

Tableau users get out of the deal the ability to visualize and analyze connections between their own existing internal data and the social data. The new functionality strengthens Tableau’s already sturdy position as a tool for helping less technically savvy people get a picture of operations.

The partnership makes sense for DataSift, which has been looking to get its data closer to the products inside which companies analyze other data, particularly in business-intelligence (BI) software. In February, the company came out with an open-source tool for querying DataSift’s many sources that could tie in with BI programs.

And the data from DataSift is only getting bigger, by the way. In addition to the Tableau connection, DataSift announced the addition of three new inputs of its own: Facebook (s fb) Pages, Google+ (s goog) and Instagram.

The premise of getting a quick handle on social sentiment through visualizations has been gaining in popularity. Wal-Mart Stores (s wmt) and Blab have come up with visualizations of social data recently, for example.

Just a couple of months ago, DataSift inked a similar partnership with Splunk (s splk). Plugging DataSift’s social data into Splunk provides visibility into multiple real-time communication streams, which can assist in efforts to spot infrastructure problems and show how social promotions impact infrastructure and how infrastructure issues can make social news.

While this partnership signals points to greater adoption for DataSift, the more significant development is that it moves the needle a little closer to a data democracy, in which everyone, not just data scientists, is empowered and equipped to analyze and learn from data. Indeed, my colleague Derrick Harris has wondered if Tableau is akin to data’s George Washington, and more data for Tableau could only mean the opportunity for more understanding.