Main content

Tableau knocks one out the park

Den Howlett Profile picture for user gonzodaddy February 5, 2014
Tableau's Q4 results were well above analyst expectations. The market rewarded the company with a big uptick in the price, valuing Tableau north of $5.3 billion

tableau logo
If anyone needed proof that the data visualisation market is on fire then look no further than Tableau's latest results. From the press release covering its Q4 2013:
  • Total revenues were $81.5 million, up 95% year-over-year
  • License revenues were $58.0 million, up 93% year-over-year
  • Diluted GAAP earnings per share were $0.16; diluted non-GAAP earnings per share were $0.20

These top line numbers comfortably exceeded financial analyst predictions by $14.5 million. The annual numbers are just as impressive:

  • Total revenues were $232.4 million, up 82% year-over-year
  • License revenues were $159.9 million, up 78% year-over-year
  • Diluted GAAP earnings per share were $0.12; diluted non-GAAP earnings per share were $0.31

The financials are impressive enough but it is the acceleration in acquired customers and the values achieved that makes the eyes pop:

  • 1,800+ customer additions
  • 179 deals north of $100,000

Tableau share price

In the field I regularly meet with specialist firms in the BI space that say companies like Tableau are eating the lunch of the better known players like TIBCO Spotfire but also crushing the traditional BI vendors like Hyperion (now owned by Oracle), Cognos (owned by IBM) and BOBJ (owned by SAP. ) One reseller recently told me that Tableau is now an established part of their portfolio of solutions offered to Global 2000 customers.

Customers like the ease of use and the fact that the all important ETL needs are kept away from the end user. They also say that having a tool anyone can use democratises data usage and helps decision makers at every level better understand operational business drivers.

In amongst the statements made by the company, I note that the company has expanded its relationship with Amazon Web Services that include connectors to Amazon Redshift. For those unfamiliar, Redshift is Amazon's tip at the data warehouse space only it is cloud based. In the past, we have had concerns over Amazon's privacy/security aspects for this solution. We understand customers due diligence suggests that downstream vendors like Tableau (and Infor) are tackling any issues - real or perceived.

What of the future? The market is heating up nicely with MicroStrategy and QlikTech as the other main contenders in this space. GigaOm's Derrick Harris expresses it well:

Tableau is often compared with QlikTech, another business intelligence vendor that went public in 2010, but although QlikTech is still bigger Tableau has all the momentum. QlikTech earned $104.1 million in its third quarter last year, which was only a 21 percent increase over 2012. Even MicroStrategy, an much-older and much-larger competitor, which brought in $165.9 million during the fourth quarter, only saw a 6 percent year over year increase. If the trend continues, Tableau could be the biggest pure-play BI software vendor in just a few years.

QlikTech is due to report Feb 20th. We'll be following that story.

Disclosure: SAP and Oracle are partners at time of writing.

A grey colored placeholder image