For the seventh consecutive year, Tableau has been recognized as a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Analytics and Business Intelligence Platforms. Gartner conducts a broad study that looks at everything from market presence to user enablement, sales experience, and roadmap. This annual, point-in-time report helps IT leaders navigate through the vast variety of options in the market.

This exciting news arrived the same week as the new Tableau 2019.1 with Ask Data, our natural language capabilities, and additional features to lower the barrier to entry to powerful analytics.

So what does it mean to be an industry leader? You can read the report to learn all about the criteria, but now that Tableau has been in the Leaders quadrant for seven years, we’ve given some thought to what it means to be a Leader.

1. Above all else, help and celebrate customers

Tableau customers and community members gather to celebrate in the Data Village at Tableau Conference 2018

Our relentless customer focus drives our innovation, fuels our unique global community, and keeps us true to our mission: to help people see and understand data. Everything we do is centered around this philosophy, and because Tableau products put people first, we haven’t had to choose between innovation and momentum. We’ve scaled to meet the growing needs of the data-driven enterprise while helping solve real business challenges for organizations of all sizes, across all industries and geographies.

We are so grateful that more than 86,000 organizations around the globe are with us on this journey. For us, it’s all about what you can create and achieve with Tableau. Whether it's an integrated health system fighting the opioid crisis, a teenage student learning Tableau for a school project, or a financial institution scaling analytics to 30,000 people in one of the most highly regulated industries—we love seeing breakthroughs going from DATA to TA-DA!

"Tableau helped position Allstate Special Investigation Unit as an industry leader. We use advanced data analytics to fight against insurance fraud and protect Allstate customers."

Allstate analyzes a 1.5 billion data points from combined sources to understand the claim lifecycle, detect fraud, and shorten claims cycles. Learn more.

2. Deliver useful innovation—fast

From the beginning, we invested in research and development at an unrivaled pace, working closely with our customers to guide our innovation and product roadmap. Understanding real-world problems helps us continue to release new capabilities that are both easy to use and impactful—rather than hyped features that don’t address customer needs. We weave visual best practices, artificial intelligence, and machine learning into the core of our products so people of all skill levels can get to new insights faster and more intuitively.

A new example of this approach is natural language processing (NLP). It’s clear that natural language capabilities are shaping the next wave of analytics in today’s market. Gartner predicts that “by 2021, conversational analytics and natural language processing will boost analytics and BI adoption from 32% of employees to over 50% of an organization’s employees, to include new classes of users particularly in front offices.”* However, many solutions available today require additional business intelligence capabilities, huge data migrations, or sophisticated data expertise to implement and realize their value. Furthermore, these solutions don’t often return answers in ways that are intuitive or immediately meaningful, because they lack an understanding of the user’s intent and underlying visual best practices.

Tableau's natural language capability, Ask Data, interprets users' questions of their data using plain English and returns a meaningful visualization.

Ask Data—Tableau’s natural language capability, part of our 2019.1 release—introduces a fast, easy, and meaningful new way to interact with data. Ask a question of any published data source using natural language and Ask Data will respond with an answer in the form of an interactive data visualization right in Tableau. We use sophisticated algorithms—not keyword searches—to understand a person’s question, anticipate needs, and allow for smart visualization selection. Modifying your question or asking a follow-up is simple and conversational, allowing users to iterate on their visual analysis in true Tableau fashion.

3. Lower barriers to entry to raise the bar

Our innovations augment data workers of all skill levels along every step of the analytics journey. With VizQL, we pioneered a new way to work with data, setting the bar for self-service analytics. Last year, we boosted extract creation and query speeds with our Hyper data engine. And we’ve built smart features right into platform—from database join recommendations to drag-and-drop forecasting and automatic clustering—to lower the barrier to more powerful analytics.

What we did to democratize analytics at scale, we are now doing with data preparation. Included in our Creator license, Tableau Prep Builder leverages powerful algorithms behind the scenes to help people prepare data faster, minimizing manual cleanup and turning repetitive tasks into one-click operations. And the new Tableau Prep Conductor extends the data prep capabilities of the Tableau platform for governed, self-service prep at scale. Administrators can automate data prep flows, make prepped data and flows more discoverable by the organization, and get greater visibility into self-service data prep across the organization.

A data prep flow published with Tableau Prep Conductor

And that’s not all. With new data modeling capabilities coming later this year, Tableau will automatically recognize data relationships stored in databases, making it easier to analyze and manage complex data sources. We’re also introducing enhanced cataloging capabilities to help everyone understand the relationships between their data, datasets, and analytical content. Finally, we’re building AI-driven statistical techniques into Tableau to automatically guide people to relevant insights and explain data points that are worth exploring—no deep data science expertise required. Stay tuned for more in 2019!

4. Provide the most value so everyone succeeds at scale

As the standard language of analytics for business users and analytics professionals, Tableau is one of the fastest-growing technical job skills in today's job market. And Tableau helps people learn and develop data skills fast. When people explore data in an easy, iterative way that provides immediate feedback, users feel more connected to their data, which leads to deeper understanding and better decisions. Tableau’s unique user experience paired with our industry-leading education and user enablement resources are proven to help people develop skills, unlock curiosity, and unleash their creativity using data—helping our customers attract and retain the best analytics talent.

Last year, we introduced a new set of offerings to help you meet the needs of the different types of people across your organization. Called Tableau Creator, Explorer, and Viewer, these new subscriptions help make sure you have the right capability at the right price for everyone using Tableau. Gartner responded to these new offerings by stating in a report, “The change gives data and analytics leaders more options and more flexibility in matching Tableau’s capabilities with specific user requirements for analytics.”**

Casual data users have a clear path to move to more feature-rich offerings as their skills grow, rather than leaping to a more advanced license full of capabilities they aren’t ready for. This also helps IT and line of business leaders to better forecast licensing needs and learning plans for users.

"The exponential growth in Tableau adoption required us to rethink our capacity planning and support model. We developed an approach that supports both the experienced analysts as well as novice business users, advancing our data-driven culture."

Charles Schwab scaled self-service analytics with Tableau to more than 16,000 users, increasing customer satisfaction and branch impact. Learn more.

Decisions made based on facts save organizations money and lead to real, recognizable revenue; not to mention, improved decision-making and analytical skills increase the value of people and the probability that future investments backed by data-driven decision-making will be successful. We offer a complete, integrated platform without hidden costs, and the enablement resources to confidently deploy and scale—not just the technology, but a data-driven culture that drives value through real business outcomes.

5. Give back to your community, as they give to one another

With more than a million users in nearly every country in the world, the Tableau Community is uniquely diverse, creative, and engaged. The unmatched passion and enthusiasm are a direct indication of the success these people have had with the product, and this type of support is incredibly useful to all types of Tableau customers.

We often hear from our customers that “the community will not allow you to fail.” These people are committed to helping others see the value in Tableau they’ve personally experienced, and love to share their experiences and best practices through our community forums, 500 worldwide user groups, and live events. One of the greatest opportunities is our annual Tableau Conference, where we had more than 17,000 live attendees in 2018.

Our community is also a force for doing good with data. More than 12,000 new visualizations are shared with the world by nonprofits, journalists, bloggers, political enthusiasts, and more through Tableau Public, which totaled more than 1.5 billion views last year. At TC18, Tableau committed to $100 million in software, training, and grants through the Tableau Foundation between now and 2025. Additionally, Tableau Academic Programs have helped nearly 700,000 students and instructors use Tableau in classrooms worldwide with free access to Tableau Desktop and Tableau Prep Builder.

"In three months, we not only had dashboards, but we had staff actively using this data, actively getting insights, actively taking action, and really making a difference for customers in each of our restaurants."

Chipotle gained a unified view of 2,400+ restaurant operations and saved 10,000 hours per month. Learn more.

Thank you for YOUR leadership!

Being an industry leader is actually reflective of our customers’ leadership. We can only be experts to the extent that all of you, our #DataFam, enable us on our journey together through this ever-evolving data and analytics landscape.

So we’d like to offer our sincerest thanks. Your feedback and conversations are invaluable in inspiring our innovation, and we thank you for your commitment and creativity in finding new, powerful ways to use Tableau. We’re incredibly grateful for the continued support of our community and proud to be the most beloved analytics platform by customers—it’s helped us to once again be recognized as an industry leader.

We invite you to continue along with us on our mission to help people see and understand data. Join our pre-release community to test-drive new features and let us know how they solve your problems. You can also contribute new ideas and join the conversation on our Ideas Forum.


* Gartner: Augmented Analytics Is the Future of Data and Analytics; Rita Sallam, Cindi Howson, Carlie Idione; October 31, 2018

** Gartner: Tableau’s New Software Pricing Lowers Costs for Casual Business Analytics Users; Kurt Schlegel, Dawn Hubbard, Rita Sallam, Cindi Howson, John Cox; October 12, 2018

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

Subscribe to our blog