Last week, I agreed to a briefing about Tableau 8.0, the company’s latest release and what they say is the biggest product news of the year. Well, I am unimpressed.
The new Tableau software is robust, which should be expected from this world-class data visualization company. The release provides access to new data sets such as Google Analytics and for the first time the company has built its own APIs.
But the company has yet to release a commercial version of its software that it offers as a software as a service (SaaS). All they say is stay tuned. They say that most data is still on-premise and thus the focus on software.
Here’s the thing. The data that companies have on their servers is starting to loosen from its iron hold. It’s breaking up and going online. Services like Chartio are soaking it up for customers and are offering visualization tools that do not require any complex software installation. Just pull it in and make your visualizations with the services from the Chartio library. Pretty simple.
And there are tons of other services coming online. Here’s a list of 20 you can use right now.
Tableau Software does have free software called Tableau Public. It requires Windows to install. Groan.
Tableau Software is a world-class company, but this release shows that they are behind the curve. The APIs Tableau is offering illustrate that the company is taking a new direction. But APIs have been standard for years.
Tableau offers software that brings simplicity through visualization. During these years, a wave of innovation has happened, making it easier to do visualizations that were not possible just a few years ago. By not offering a SaaS capability, Tableau is leaving a lot on the table and forcing the company into ever deeper relationships with a host of fellow legacy software providers.