Tableau Software today committed to donating $100 million in software, training and funding through its philanthropic arm over the next seven years to take on some of the world’s toughest challenges.
The initiative is a huge step up for the Tableau Foundation, which has given a combined $30 million in software, training and funding to more than 5,770 organizations in 86 countries since it was launched in 2014. The program will provide grants, customized to the recipient organization, to groups using data to deal with issues of poverty, health, equality, climate change and more.
In an interview with GeekWire, Tableau CEO Adam Selipsky said the new initiative was intentionally left very broad to open it up to organizations with a variety of goals and missions. Selipsky wouldn’t give a breakdown of how much of the support will be financial and how much of it will be through software and trainings.
“We will really tailor what we provide in each situation to the needs of that initiative, and that’s a little bit of a unique or at least unusual approach,” Selipsky said.
The announcement came at the annual Tableau Conference that kicked off Monday in New Orleans. Tableau also unveiled a series of new products meant to make its offerings more appealing to a larger group of customers while also letting data experts dive even deeper.
“We see more and more of our customers deploying Tableau very broadly across their organizations, in many cases now to 10s of thousands of employees,” Selipsky said. “As that happens, it means they are deploying Tableau to more and more more mission critical environments. In order to do that, they need the platform to be increasingly broad and increasingly deep.”
Here is a preview of each of the new offerings announced Tuesday:
- Ask Data: A new search capability that uses natural language processing to allow users to locate and surface data visualizations through conversational questions like “What were my sales this month?” This capability, which will be integrated into Tableau Server and Tableau Online with no additional setup, is available now in beta for Tableau Creators and Tableau Explorers.
- Tableau Prep Conductor: An add-on to Tableau Prep also available in beta, this capability makes it possible to schedule data sets to publish in advance. This is useful for something that updates constantly, like daily sales data, ensuring that the most up-to-date information is included.
- Advanced data analysis capabilities: Starting next year, Tableau will be able to recognize relationships between data, meaning users can get a lot more out of simple queries, without having to learn advanced database concepts or create custom SQL code.
- Tableau Developer Program: A new free and open program that aims to give more resources to developers building elements on Tableau, such as embedded analytics deployments, dashboard extensions, custom data connectors, data science platform integrations and automation tools.
- Entry-level Tableau certification: Tableau will offer a “Desktop Specialist exam” for an entry-level certification that shows mastery of the basic functions of the platform.