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April 22, 2005

Tableau Software: Visualization Comes to BI

As part and parcel of my boredom with politics and lack of inspiring things like juicy battles overseas with which to occupy my mind, I will indulge a bit of the geekside. Something tells me I ought to do so elsewhere, in fact I probably will although I really am divided about all that with regard to implementation etc. I like to keep my politics and my profession in separate parts of the plate.

Anyway the reason for the excitement at the current moment is my discovery of Tableau Software. This is the sweetest front-end I've seen since I first laid eyes on Wired for OLAP. It's a pure visualization tool that has about as much wow factor as anything in BI. It could singlehandedly destroy the concept of prefab dashboards, however chances are that's not going to happen for some time.

What's best about it is that it is pretty simple to use, give dramatic presentations which are very rich and informative and it uses a the single best realtime fat client on the planet as its backbone, Microsoft Excel. Tableau hasn't wasted a bunch of time and energy on the n-tier fantasy, instead they have made use of both corporate inertia and Moore's Law. Guess what ladies and gentlemen, PCs can handle big fat clients, and this one delivers.

What I'm doing these days is ramping up my own data warehouse on the home network, which has about 9 boxes right now in various states of function. I've managed to keep various scraps of master data from a zillion clients over the years and I have a fake data generator that I built from scratch. So there's about to be a world of research I'm going to be able to accomplish here at Lab 107, (a wholly owned subsidiary of Metro Decisions).

Hell, I might even snarf some interesting data from blogs and other public data sources just to show off. Stay tuned, the geekfest is about to begin.

Posted by mbowen at April 22, 2005 11:34 AM

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