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Tableau sticking to data mission under Salesforce

Tableau President and CEO Adam Selipsky told the company’s European user conference in Berlin that Salesforce acquisition will not affect its mission of “seeing and understanding data”

Tableau president and CEO Adam Selipsky told the company’s European customers and partners at a conference that the recently announced acquisition by Salesforce will not affect its mission of “seeing and understanding data”. The Tableau name will also persist, and he and his top leadership team will remain in place.

The Tableau Conference Europe, being held in Berlin, is the data visualisation supplier’s first event since the acquisition was announced on 10 June.

James Eiloart, senior vice-president of Tableau EMEA, who interviewed Selipsky onstage as part of the first-day keynote session, disclosed that Tableau runs its own sales and marketing operation on Salesforce.

He also announced Blueprint, a codification of Tableau best practices garnered from the supplier’s customer base. It was described in a press statement as “a step-by-step guide to support customers as they deploy and scale Tableau and work towards establishing a data culture of their own”.

Eiloart interviewed Tableau customer Homa Siddiqui, head of digital transformation at Credit Suisse, who described how the bank balanced control and innovation in building a data culture. “Without data, you are just another person with an opinion,” she said.

CEO Selipsky revealed the names of customers that have contributed experiences to what has become the Blueprint codification, including BNP Paribas, JLL, Credit Suisse, Schneider Electric, Lufthansa and JP Morgan.

In further reference to the Salesforce acquisition, he said it would be a “new chapter” for Tableau, and that he was “dreaming” about the possibilities of combining his company’s technology with Salesforce’s artificial intelligence capability Einstein and its integration software acquired with Mulesoft – as well as having Tableau being surfaced within the Salesforce clouds, such as Service Cloud and Sales Cloud.

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Francois Ajenstat, Tableau’s chief product officer, rounded off the keynote by announcing some product enhancements, including Explain Data, which uses machine learning to add contextual explanations to data visualisations.

“Explain Data will join Ask Data as the latest addition to a growing portfolio of ‘smart’ features in the Tableau platform,” the company said. “To help customers more quickly understand the ‘Why?’ behind their data, Explain Data is a new, AI-powered capability that automatically uncovers and provides explanations for the value of a specific data point.”

In a demo of Explain Data, product manager Bethany Lyons presented it as enabling users to ask the next question. “It’s like a trained data scientist guiding you through your analysis,” she said.

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