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Tableau Fails to Deliver Growth

Posted on Friday, Nov 10th 2017

Gartner estimates the global business intelligence and analytics market to be worth $18.3 billion this year. The market is expected to grow 7.6% annually over the next two years to become a $22.8 billion industry by the end of 2020. Data analytics firm Tableau (NYSE: DATA) recently reported its quarterly results and its growth is a bit concerning with respect to the rapid growth of the industry.

Tableau’s Financials

Tableau’s third quarter revenues grew 4% over the year to $214.9 million, missing the Street’s forecast of $219 million. Adjusted earnings per share of $0.08 was also worse than the market’s projected loss of $0.09 per share for the quarter.

By segment, maintenance revenues grew 29% over the year to $115.5 million while licensing revenues fell 15% to $99.4 million.

Total annual recurring revenue grew 46% to $526.2 million with subscription annual recurring revenue growing 204% to $139.2 million. It was only earlier this year that Tableau had announced a new subscription pricing option that offers customers the ability to deploy Tableau at scale.

For the current quarter, Tableau estimated revenues of $235-$245 million, falling short of the market’s forecast of $251 million.

Tableau’s Acquisitions

During the quarter, Tableau announced the acquisition of ClearGraph, a service that allows users to search for and visualize business data through natural language queries. Palo Alto-based ClearGraph helps with data discovery and analysis through spoken queries. It was founded in 2014 and has several large customers including financial institutions, retailers, and major Internet companies. Tableau plans to integrate ClearGraph’s technology into its own IT stack so that its interactive visualizations will be available to users through simple voice commands.

Recently, Tableau has been developing the machine learning abilities of its data visualization tools. The acquisition of ClearGraph will help build further on that capability and will allow Big Data analytics to be accessible to people who have little or no knowledge of designing search engine queries. The system will be able to infer the user’s intent, deliver answers that meet their conditions, and bring a consumer-like experience to users. The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Tableau’s Product Upgrades

Besides inorganic growth, Tableau has also been focused on organic growth through product enhancement. Recently it released Tableau 10.4 that comes with features such as data source certifications to bring enterprise governance to analytics. Customers can now mark data sources as certified so that others in the organization know that they’re connected to clean, accurate, and up-to-date data. Tableau’s 10.4 will be followed with advanced certification capabilities in future releases.

Tableau is also entering into strategic alliances with service industry sectors. It recently announced a partnership with GE Aviation digital solutions. The alliance will allow Tableau to gather data from GE’s fleet of 35,000 engines that produce more than 100 million flight records each year. Tableau will use its analytical capabilities to empower commercial and military airline customers across the aviation industry with visual analytics to drive fuel efficiencies, aircraft safety, and improve consumers’ overall flying experience.

Despite Tableau’s efforts, the market is not too pleased with its performance. The disappointing performance, coupled with a weak outlook has sent the stock falling. Its stock is trading at $71.64 with a market capitalization of $5.7 billion. It had fallen to a 52-week low of $41.41 in December last year. It had reached a 52-week high of $82.32 earlier last month.

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