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It seemed fitting that on a gray rainy day in Seattle, Tableau Software CEO Christian Chabot kicked off the third annual customer conference with a gothic fairy tale.
“The year was 2010,” Christian said. “It was a dark time for data.”
Thus he began to describe the current BI landscape (sans Tableau). There were the evils of slow painful rollouts, explosive costs, and low user adoption. There were the poxes on the house of UI: the ancient wizards and complicated scripts. And then there was the crumbling monolithic tower of the centralized data structure.
“People began to dream about a new way,” Christian exclaimed.
And so he unveiled Tableau 6.0 – the company’s biggest, most ambitious product release on its quest to bring rapid fire business intelligence to the masses.
Tableau was founded on several key principles – that it should enable you to analyze and query your data visually, that it should be a great platform for storytelling, that it should scale on massive quantities of data, and that it should scale to a massive user audience. Version 6 stays true to those principles but takes them to a new level.
“This will fundamentally change how you work with data,” Christian said.
He began putting Tableau 6 through its paces by showing off a key new feature called the Data Engine, which allows you to pull massive amounts of data and work with it extremely quickly.
“It’s screaming,” said Christian, as he worked (on just his Dell laptop) with data sets first of 700,000 rows, then 7 million and finally 66 million. “It doesn’t matter how fast your source is – it’s like putty in your hands.”
Query times ranged from a split second to two seconds and the applause grew louder as the queries became more and more complicated.
“Let’s take it up a notch,” he said, switching gears and connecting Tableau 6 to a Teradata warehouse where he began making native queries on a related data set.
Query speeds were equally impressive – this time on 70 million rows and there was more applause.
Christian then integrated the two data sources into a single view. And for the final blow, he logged on to Tableau Server and began filtering across these disparate data sources in a completely web based environment.
There was more applause.
And the conference had begun.