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Next-Gen BI: After Salesforce Acquires Tableau, What’s Next?

Joanna He
Director of Product Marketing, Kyligence Marketing
Jun. 11, 2019

With the world's leading CRM teaming up with the world's leading Big Data analytics tool, many are wondering what to expect.

On June 10, 2019, Tableau announced that it had reached a definitive acquisition agreement with Salesforce, the world's leading CRM software provider, and that Salesforce would buy Tableau for a $15.7 billion in a full-stock deal. It became the largest reported acquisition in Salesforce's history.

Salesforce Tableau Acquisition

This acquisition, newsworthy on its own, was further emphasized by the fact that Google Cloud had announced the acquisition of data analysis company Looker only a few days prior. But public cloud providers and independent software vendors have been working together to enrich the cloud ecosystem for a long time. It really comes as no surprise to see Google Cloud make this move, but few could have expected this lofty acquisition by Salesforce.

History Repeats Itself...Twelve Years Later

For veterans of the Big Data analytics industry like myself, these recent acquisitions curiously resemble what we saw a little over a decade ago with SAP’s pickup of Business Objects for $6.7 billion and IBM’s Cognos purchase for $5 billion. Are we witnessing history repeat itself?

When Did Salesforce Become a Data Analytics Company?

Salesforce has long been recognized as a CRM solution provider, but it has also been testing the waters when it comes to Big Data analytics since 2016. Its Einstein product offering is an innovative data analytics solution that provides AI-driven augmented analytics capabilities that natively integrate with Salesforce's other business applications. Its Einstein product has even earned Salesforce a spot in the Visionary section of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Analytics and Business Intelligence.

Gartner Tableau Salesforce Magic Quadrant
The 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Analytics & Business Intelligence Platforms

What Will Happen Now That Salesforce Has Bought Tableau?

Will sparks fly when Einstein and Tableau collide? What can we expect from this shakeup of the Big Data analytics landscape. I have a few bold predictions.

Data Analytics Will Become Even More Connected to Business Scenarios

One of the biggest challenges a software company typically faces when selling in the industry is trying to explain the business value it can generate. For Tableau, a B2B solution lacking a diverse set of industry scenarios in which it has proven itself, Salesforce's natural breadth of sales and marketing scenarios will help Tableau find its place in more organizations. This will greatly enable data analysis in a wide range of business verticals.

Augmented Analytics Will Drive the Next Wave of Disruption In Big Data Analytics

What is augmented analytics? According to Gartner, augmented analytics is an approach that automates insight generation using machine learning and natural-language processing. Gartner points out that augmented analytics will be a disruptive trend in the next wave of the data and analytics market. It will help businesses accelerate time-to-insights and enable a broad range of business users, operational workers and citizen data scientists.

Salesforce's Einstein products have already introduced augmented analytics. Its Einstein Discovery product is able to automatically identify data correlation based on information found in Salesforce’s CRM applications, delivering intelligent explanations in easy-to-understand language.  

For example, the Sales Analytics app can analyze thousands of deals with Einstein Discovery. This can tell a sales manager the top three factors that have the greatest impact on closing a deal across products, regions, industries and more.

In the past, such predictions needed to be done by professional data scientists. With the AI-augmented capabilities of Einstein products, field salespeople can now gain insight from their CRM's customer data and be able to leverage these insights to help close deals more efficiently.

Salesforce provides enterprises with a complete 360-degree customer solution to help sales, services, marketing, and other departments better reach and serve customers. Now, with the addition of Tableau, Salesforce can provide smarter and more complete customer and marketing analytics.

Today, Tableau leads the Big Data analytics industry with its ability to visualize analytics. In the future, I look forward to seeing how Tableau enriches Salesforce’s data analytics capabilities, especially their Customer 360 solution.

It’s exciting to consider how Salesforce may combine its Tableau and Einstein product lines to enable more intelligent AI-augmented analytics and visualization.

Tableau Salesforce Ecosystem

Cloud Business Will Continue to Ramp Up

Unlike the SAP and IBM acquisitions twelve years ago, this current round of BI tool acquisitions was launched by two companies based on cloud business. Google Cloud is a rising star in the public cloud, and the acquisition of Looker is intended to expand its multi-cloud strategy.

Salesforce's business is largely based on its cloud-native SaaS business, and the acquisition of Tableau seems to herald a more strategic trend for future data analysis.

Augmented Analytics is the Future of Big Data and Analytics

Salesforce's acquisition of Tableau will greatly enrich the visual analytics capabilities for its sales and marketing scenarios, and in light of the current Salesforce data analytics strategy, it is a stepping stone towards the future trend of augmented analytics.

It wouldn’t surprise me to see the augmented analytics and visualization analytics capabilities created by Tableau and Salesforce enabling a wider variety of business users across all enterprises.

Learn How Kyligence's OLAP Big Data Platform Can Accelerate Your Analytics

What do you think? Share your opinion with us on LinkedIn and Twitter. No matter what business intelligence and analytics tools you use, you’ll want to see how our Kyligence OLAP analytics big data platform (as well as our cloud big data platform) can help supercharge your path to more impactful business insights.

You can also learn more about our OLAP technology approach to Big Data, and the OLAP engine that inspired it, on our Apache Kylin information page and Apache Kylin Comparison page.