Tableau Needs A PaaS Strategy

Tableau realizes that with the growing number of people interacting with data to take decisions, it becomes imperative to provide data that is ready for analysis. As part of this focus, it released the Tableau Prep Builder last year that helped customers combine, shape, and clean their data. It enhanced that service with the release of Tableau Prep Conductor this year. Tableau Prep Conductor will allow customers to automatically manage prep flows. It includes new data scheduling, learning, and management features to ensure that data is always clean and ready for analysis. Prep Conductor is fully integrated with the Tableau platform to ensure secure access to the data based on pre-defined permissions.

Tableau plans to continue to build on its data management add-on capabilities. Later this year, it will be including additional data cataloging capabilities that will offer its customers greater visibility into their data, provide enhanced governance, and facilitate the discovery of data for analysis.

Tableau runs a developer program that simplifies the ability to customize, integrate, and extend the Tableau platform to fit the needs of an organization. Through its tools and APIs, developers can integrate, customize, automate, and extend Tableau to fit their specific development needs. The latest feature for the developers is an Extension Gallery that is currently in beta stage and allows developers to create dashboard extensions so end users can interact directly with data in third-party applications, without leaving Tableau. Developers can also create connectors to data sources that are not currently supported by Tableau, including websites and custom applications. They can programmatically eliminate tedious content management tasks, provide the ability to use statistical models, integrate and visualize the data from R, Python, and Matlab models in Tableau, and make their Tableau content available anywhere.

But Tableau does not yet offer an app marketplace where users can leverage other third-party developed apps for their purposes. As I said before SaaS companies need to follow a PaaS strategy to achieve that next level of growth. A PaaS strategy will open Tableau’s platform to developers and entrepreneurs who can help build out applications that complement Tableau’s use-cases. By opening the platform, adjacent products will be built on Tableau’s ecosystems without taxing its P&L. It would expand market reach and help up-sell to existing customers. Additionally, these developer communities soon translate to an active pool of potential acquisition targets that are a lot easier to integrate.

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