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Days to the end of ‘Traditional BI’

‘Days to the end of oil’ is a well known term with much debate about the number. But how about ‘Days to the end of traditional BI’? What number would you put on that?

BI Market Analysis
I ask the question to provoke a bit of light debate after a quick analysis of the BI market. The Tableau Dashboard below looks at the growth of Tableau license revenue in contrast to it’s competitors. Of the 24 companies listed in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for BI and Analytics it seems (and please correct me if this is wrong) that only 5 publish information that make it possible to determine the license revenues of their BI/Analytics products. The remaining 19 are either privately held companies who don’t publish financial information or mega vendors with many different product lines. I have also also assumed that 20% of Tibco’s revenue is represented by Spotfire. This seems generous given that Spotfire is one of 49 products listed on Tibco’s website but again I am happy to be corrected.

The Dashboard still clearly shows the accelerating growth of Tableau license revenue. It also shows license revenue as a % of total revenue. Tableau is again the clear winner here, which highlights the minimal requirement for consulting and training.

[tableau server=”public.tableausoftware.com” workbook=”BIStockPrices” view=”LicenseRevenueDashboard” tabs=”no” toolbar=”no” revert=”all” refresh=”no” linktarget=”_blank” width=”600px” height=”500px”][/tableau]

How About the Future?
So that’s where the market has already been but how about the future? Easy, you might say. Turn on the Forecast function in Tableau and it will create a forecast based on the historic growth of Tableau license revenue. But my second question is wider than that. What I’m interested to know is this. Will Tableau indeed follow an historic (albeit accelerating) growth curve, or will there be some form of ‘tipping point’ that puts it’s growth on a completely different scale? So the second question is, if like many associated with Tableau you believe in the latter growth scenario, what do you think that tipping point will be?

Maybe it will just be when we’ve reached the last person who is willing to choose the traditional BI route. When the market no longer want’s to invest in an endless consulting engagement but in a highly effective tool. Or perhaps it will be at the other end of the spectrum when Excel users finally realise there’s a much better alternative that’s just as easy (if not easier) to use. Maybe Tableau will extend the technology in some way that makes it irresistible to a much wider market.

As mentioned above, those of us involved with Tableau sense there’s much more to come. I think the reason for this goes even beyond Tableau as a product. It’s about the DNA of Tableau as a company and a community. It feels like there’s a new DNA and an old DNA. I think some of Tableau’s competitors also have that new DNA but there are many that don’t.

Anyway that’s my view, let me know what you think. Roll on Q4 and 2014 to see what the future holds?



Chris Raby

London, UK

2 thoughts on “Days to the end of ‘Traditional BI’

    1. Hi Andrei. I hadn’t actually seen that particular post. Thanks for sharing it though, it’s a great insight into the market.

      My own post was much more Tableau centric (not surprisingly) and was prompting a light debate about the future growth of Tableau and in particular whether there will be some form of tipping point that causes a dramatic increase in that growth. Interestingly the quote you use in your post from Christian Chabot is an example of a trend that could be such a tipping point. This was the multi million dollar transaction referenced by Christian in a scenario where a client had extended Tableau to become the Enterprise standard. The comment from Christian is shown below.

      “Use of our products in this account started within one business unit and over the last two years have expanded to over 15 groups across the company. ”Recently, this customer set out to establish an enterprise standard for self-service business intelligence, which led to the multimillion-dollar transaction. This deal demonstrates the power and value of Tableau to the enterprise.”

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