Empowering Everyone to See and Understand Big Data

Empowering Everyone to See and Understand Big Data

In 1999, the world produced about 1.5 exabytes of unique information (source: Peter Lyman and Hal R. Varian, UC Berkeley). More than a decade later, in 2011, there were 1.8 zettabytes of data. Fast forward nine years, in 2020, the world generated 64.2 zettabytes of data (source: IDC).

By 2025, the global data creation is projected to grow to more than 180 zettabytes, which accounts for 118.8 zettabytes more than in 2020!

We cannot even fathom the amount of data that Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Amazon would be stored in the future, or the amount of data we will generate through Twitter, Whatsapp, Instagram, and other social media platforms every second.

Hidden among these data is every businesses' means to up the ante with decisions made based on the insights derived from them.  

However, understanding data and big data is a complex process. It is mostly unstructured data that comes in various forms, sizes, and sources. Visualizing them and deriving meaningful insights takes a lot of effort.  And, it needs highly skilled data scientists and data analysts to analyze and understand them.

Tableau: Disrupting BI Industry

Big data was still a buzzword in the early 2000s when Christian Chabot, Pat Hanrahan, and Chris Stolte were giving shape to their company, Tableau, as part of a project at Stanford University.

They specialized in visualization techniques for exploring and analyzing relational databases and data cubes. Their vision was to develop a platform that makes data understandable to everyone, not just analysts and experts.

They developed and patented Tableau's foundational technology, VizQL—which visually expresses data by translating drag-and-drop actions into data queries through an intuitive interface.

With built-in visual best practices, Tableau enables limitless visual data exploration without interrupting the flow of analysis. With role-based licensing, it meets the needs of every user, regardless of their skill set. Its augmented analytics innovations help anyone—from data scientists to business users—uncover insights faster, with accessible machine learning, statistics, natural language, and smart data prep.

Tableau products query from relational databases, online analytical processing cubes, cloud databases, and spreadsheets to generate graph-type data visualizations. The software can also extract, store, and retrieve data from an in-memory data engine.

"We empower everyone to see and understand data in just seconds. You can just drag and drop the data that you want to analyze, irrespective of whether it is a spreadsheet, database, or big data, and use natural language to seek answers to your questions," notes Mark Nelson, President, and CEO.

Tableau Makes Analysis Faster, Easier, and Intuitive

A company produces data in various different ways.

Its finance team, marketing team, employees, supply chain, etc. are producing enormous amounts of data every single day. It is not just a company's internal assets that produce data. Its customers to are adding on to it. Every time a customer responds to your mail, or uses your app, or interacts with you on social media platforms, or shops on your website, or talks to your customer support or buys a product from your store, it is generating data.

All this data is critical to a company.

Tableau Software, a Salesforce company, is an end-to-end data analytics platform that allows users to prep, analyze, collaborate, and share big data insights. It excels in self-service visual analysis, allowing people to ask new questions of governed big data and easily share those insights across the organization.

“With our breadth and depth of capabilities, coupled with our vast partner network, Tableau serves global enterprises across the full cycle of self-service analytics—from prep to analysis to sharing, with governance and data management, every step of the way,” adds Nelson.

It provides users access to data warehouses or cloud data. And, helps them transform and shape data for analysis, easily combine data from multiple sources, and see all their data at a glance, with prep builders visuals and direct interface.

Tableau's smart grouping algorithms make it easy to read and organize data, publish and schedule flow. It also enables users to connect Outlook directly on Tableau desktops and ask questions.

“Our software can reveal deeper meanings and help change your perspectives. We help transform your data into a powerful interactive dashboard. Everyone in your organization can ask and answer your own questions, right from a browser, tablet, or phone and access data and dashboard to explore and find their own insights in a trusted and secure environment,” adds Nelson.

Users can choose whether they want a fully hosted solution like Tableau online, or want to manage their own Tableau server on-premises or on the cloud. Tableau management tool gives businesses control over everything, from user permissions to data source connectivity and the visibility companies need to support their deployment.

“With Tableau, businesses can leverage their existing technology investments and grow as the data landscape evolves. It offers the most options to deploy analytics and connect to all of your data, no matter where it resides. Tableau naturally fits within the fabric of any business. You can easily scale from a small team to a full organization with thousands of users,” adds Nelson.

Red Hat Deepens Data Culture With 4,500+ Staff in Less Than a Year with Tableau

Red Hat, Inc. world's leading provider of open source solutions, helps customers integrate new and existing IT applications, develop cloud-native applications, standardize industry-leading operating systems, and automate, secure, and manage complex environments.

Growing at an accelerated rate, Red Hat used a variety of business intelligence tools in isolated situations but lacked a coordinated approach to their enterprise analytics. With a disconnected data strategy, leaders found it complicated to see the big picture as they made key business decisions.

Global staff, particularly data analysts and data engineers, also struggled to make connections among siloed data. They needed an analytics platform that spanned multiple sources, ensured agile performance, and enabled cloud-based collaboration.

Red Hat decommissioned several other business intelligence platforms and replaced them with a SaaS solution—Tableau Online, combined with Tableau Blueprint to guide their deployment strategy.

Red Hat scaled from 50 Tableau users to more than 4,500 in the first year, doubling adoption expectations in the first three months. By shifting away from multiple tools, associates were better armed with insights to make quick, confident decisions that improved performance and results.

They continue to grow engagement opportunities and training, spearheaded by a new role called the Tableau Enablement Lead, part of the Enterprise Data and Analytics team, along with Tableau advocates, referred to as Project Owners, who implement and share dashboard best practices as members of the Red Hat Tableau community.

Future Outlook

A strong data culture creates numerous benefits including increased collaboration, innovation, and measurable value like trust and accountability, regardless of industry or region.

However, gaps persist between expectations and reality. According to IDC, 83% of CEOs expect their organizations to be more data-driven, but only 33% of employees are comfortable using data analytics to support their decisions.

“We believe helping people to see and understand data is one of the most important missions of the 21st century,” notes Nelson.

Tableau in its latest update brings data analytics and AI together in a suite of new and expanded augmented analytics features in continuation of its mission to make data accessible to everyone.

“Building truly data-first organizations requires unlocking the power of data for as many people as possible. AI-powered analytics will help more people use data to answer questions, make meaningful decisions and, ultimately, transform their business,” concludes Nelson.