Bringing insights to the masses: Tableau + Narrative Science will make data more accessible for everyone

How the acquisition of data storytelling company Narrative Science will help Tableau's customers analyze, build and communicate data in an easy-to-use narrative format.

Today I’m pleased to share that our mission to help people see and understand data becomes even stronger with our acquisition of Narrative Science, a Tableau partner since 2016 and global leader in data storytelling technologies. 

Narrative Science’s natural language capabilities are some of the best in the industry. This technology automates the analysis, build and communication of insights from data in a modern, easy-to-use narrative format that people can understand. Integrating Narrative Science with Tableau will scale this capability across the Salesforce ecosystem and help customers deliver data insights to even more people in the form of easy-to-understand stories. 

At TC21 I talked about redefining the future of analytics for everyone, everywhere with the data opportunity ahead. At Tableau, we believe that data has a purpose to fuel knowledge for everyone and that anyone in any role should be able to access, understand and communicate with data. 

We also realize that data needs to be readily accessible to everyone, but we don’t all consume data in the same way. To help bridge that gap of empowering everyone with data, we need new and different experiences so we can reach more people in approachable and natural ways. 

Tableau Narrative Science

This acquisition comes at a time when data has never been more important. The world is digital-first, and that digital transformation means there is more data than ever being produced. In fact, a recent IDC study* reports that more than 64 zettabytes of data were generated in 2020, and global data creation and replication is set to grow by 23% through 2025. This is an unprecedented moment for organizations to find and use insights from all this data to set themselves up for future success. To put it simply, if you’re not data-driven, you won’t be around in 20 years. 

“These next years will be critical for leaders as they strive to become more digitally resilient, to raise their enterprise intelligence, and take advantage of opportunities,” said Dan Vesset, group VP, Analytics and Information Management market intelligence and advisory practice at IDC. “Implementing augmented analytics, including data storytelling, will be key in those efforts for many enterprises as they rapidly increase their investment in and deployment of technologies that manage and analyze data and content as a unified value-generating asset.”

Yet too many people are still not confident using data. According to a recent study, 83% of CEOs expect their organizations to be more data-driven, while only 33% of employees are comfortable using data analytics to support their decisions (IDC**). As organizations strive to become more data-driven, they will need everyone to have the right data skills and the right analytics technology to help them on their journey.

One of the easiest ways to accelerate the path to becoming data-driven is to incorporate narrative data storytelling. In fact, “by 2025, data stories will be the most widespread way of consuming analytics, and 75% of stories will be automatically generated using augmented analytics techniques,” according to Gartner®***.

This creates even more exciting opportunities in augmented analytics as the next frontier. With Ask Data and Explain Data, Tableau is already integrating natural language queries and surfacing explanations in our platform to make data exploration easier. With the Narrative Science integration, customers will be able to communicate with data in their preferred medium, whether it’s a viz, a narrative story—or both. 

Bringing the Narrative Science award-winning, world-leading AI in analytics team and their innovations to Tableau will help us reach millions more people who are underserved with data. It will help us close the data literacy gap, reimagine an entirely new analytics experience, and set people up for success in this digital-first world. It’s just one of the many ways we’re redefining the future of analytics by making data more available to everyone, everywhere. 


*IDC Press Release, “Data Creation and Replication Will Grow at a Faster Rate than Installed Storage Capacity, According to the IDC Global DataSphere and StorageSphere Forecasts,” March 24, 2021.
**IDC Whitepaper, sponsored by Tableau, “How Data Culture Fuels Business Value in Data-Driven Organizations,” doc #US47605621, May 2021.
***Gartner, “Augmented Analytics: Teaching Machines to Tell Data Stories to Humans,” James Richardson, June 23, 2021
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