After doing a lot of research homework and detailed analysis, Rita Sallam and I just published an insightful Gartner SWOT on Tableau. They were one of only three vendors who were rated “Leaders” in the 2016 Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics (BIA) Platforms. As a heads up, Gartner plans to also publish SWOTs on the other “Leaders” (Qlik and Microsoft) so our clients can compare and contrast.
As many of you are aware, for the past several years, the balance of power for BIA buying decisions has been shifting from IT to the business as the long-standing BI requirement for governed, centrally controlled enterprise reporting has been overshadowed by the need for more analytical agility and business user autonomy. This reflects a change toward business users who want easy-to-use modern BI tools that support a full range of analytic workflow capabilities and do not require significant involvement from IT to predefine data models upfront as a prerequisite to analysis. Tableau took advantage of this seismic shift and became the benchmark (THE gold standard, some might argue) for visual-based data discovery. But the company is now under pressure to maintain its market share leadership.
Why? Two main reasons:
- Traditional BI and other modern BI players are catching up by narrowing feature differentiation and competing on price and enterprise-grade capabilities. In fact, the BI megavendors have been actively modernizing their existing platforms and now offer good enough (or very good) data discovery capabilities that appeal to their existing customer base.
- The BIA market is again shifting. The next wave of BI and analytics is all about using artificial learning (AI), machine learning and other next-generation capabilities — automated insights, natural-language generation and search — to create smart data discovery offerings that automate insights for business users and citizen data scientists. It also means that analytics can more easily be consumed by less technical users and citizen data scientists.
What does this mean? Tableau (and the other BIA Leaders) cannot rest on their laurels but need to keep pushing the innovation envelope by leveraging the power of machine learning and adding “smarter” analytics to their offerings to deliver more automated business insights. Automation will also allow these data discovery tools to be more usable by less technical people; for example, operational workers on the front line who more contextualized, guided analytics to make better decisions.
Whether you are a Tableau partner, competitor, investor, (or just curious), I highly recommend you check out the full Gartner research report (subscription required): SWOT: Tableau, Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms, Worldwide