Tableau Expands R&D Team with Renowned Statistician Leland Wilkinson

Pioneer in data visualization brings expertise in statistical graphics and predictive analysis


Tableau, a global leader in rapid-fire business analytics software, today announced that renowned statistician, academic, and author Leland Wilkinson has joined Tableau as its Vice President, Statistics. Wilkinson will contribute to Tableau’s research and development efforts in the areas of scientific visualization, statistical graphics, and predictive analysis.

“Lee is one of the most highly regarded minds in the fields of statistics and data visualization,” said Chris Stolte, Chief Development Officer and co-founder of Tableau. “His work in the academic and business worlds speaks for itself and we are thrilled to have him join our research and development team at Tableau.”

Tableau’s commitment to product innovation continues at a high rate. In 2014, Tableau invested $90 million(1), or almost 22 percent of its revenue, in R&D. The company also grew its R&D team by 50 percent.

“So many organizations around the world can benefit from data visualization and analytics, and Tableau is truly a leader in those fields,” said Wilkinson. “I’m excited to join the company in support of its mission to help people see and understand their data.”

Wilkinson is an entrepreneur and pioneer in the data visualization field, writing the SYSTAT statistical package in the early 1980’s and developing visualization systems in the decades following. Most recently, Wilkinson served as Vice President, Data Visualization at Skytree, Inc., a company developing machine learning technology. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Wilkinson holds an A.B. from Harvard University, an S.T.B. from Harvard Divinity School, and a Ph.D. in Psychology from Yale University, and is author of the book The Grammar of Graphics. He is a fellow of the American Statistical Association, the International Statistical Institute, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Tableau recently launched a new website to highlight its research work in fields such as statistics, predictive analytics, design, visualization, and more. Visit to learn more about Tableau’s research team and read their latest publications.

(1)Represents non-GAAP research & development expense. The figure excludes $20.8 million of stock-based compensation expense. The definition and reconciliation of non-GAAP measures can be found at

About Tableau
Tableau Software (NYSE: DATA) helps people see and understand data. Tableau helps anyone quickly analyze, visualize and share information. More than 29,000 customer accounts get rapid results with Tableau in the office and on-the-go. And tens of thousands of people use Tableau Public to share data in their blogs and websites. See how Tableau can help you by downloading the free trial at

Tableau and Tableau Software are trademarks of Tableau Software, Inc. All other company and product names may be trademarks of the respective companies with which they are associated.