Data Visualization Billionaires

Google, Salesforce, Tableau, & Looker.


Ever heard of ’em?

Of course, you have. Over the past week, we’ve witnessed some of the biggest technology companies in the world prioritize data visualization through mergers and acquisitions. Salesforce is buying Tableau for $15.7B in an all-stock deal, and Google is purchasing the analytics startup, Looker, for $2.6B. Before we get into the weeds, let’s start with the basics.
What is data visualization and why does it matter?
Data visualization is the act of presenting data in a graphical or pictorial format. It is one of the three pillars of marketing, as outlined in our blog post “Top Dos & Don’ts When It Comes to Digital Reports & Data Analytics”. At ROInsights, we believe that the combination of (1) marketing results, (2) data visualization, and (3) data storytelling will reduce comprehension time and increase ROI. Data visualization enables key decision-makers to see analytics presented visually, allowing them to grasp difficult concepts and identify new trends.
Tableau is one of the worlds most popular data visualization software. We tend to use Tableau for enterprise-level clients as it is the most powerful, secure, and flexible end-to-end analytics platform on the market. So why did Salesforce spend billions of dollars to acquire Tableau? Salesforce is hoping this deal will extend its engagement and data intelligence for the customers that Salesforce already has, and help bulk up its analytical strategies in a growing industry (data analytics).
“We are bringing together the world’s #1 CRM with the #1 analytics platform. Tableau helps people see and understand data, and Salesforce helps people engage and understand customers. It’s truly the best of both worlds for our customers–bringing together two critical platforms that every customer needs to understand their world,” said Marc Benioff, chairman, and co-CEO, Salesforce, in a statement.
You’ve heard of Tableau, so what about Looker?
The one tech company you may not be familiar with from the list above is an analytics startup, Looker. Google shocked the analytics community when then announced it will acquire Looker earlier this month. They will be adding it to the Google Cloud. Looker has reported that the company works with more than 1,600 customers and just recently crossed the $100 million revenue run rate, a major milestone for any SaaS company. This deal was meant to disrupt the business intelligence and analytics market. If there is one thing we’ve learned from Google over the years, it’s that if they can get their hands into a lucrative market, they will acquire just about anybody if the price is right. Not much else is publicly known about the deal at this time.
So what does this mean for the analytics industry?
At this point, it’s hard to say. The data analytics community has shared mixed reactions and feelings towards these acquisitions. On one hand, you hear analysts are happy to see further integration of popular technologies. On the other, we are starting to see a centralization of the worlds biggest data-bases with the worlds biggest data visualization software, which risks cannibalizing some of the smaller, more niche players in the industry.
We are in an exciting time with data analytics and centralization of software and I’m excited to see how things unfold moving forward!
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