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Preparing for the Next Phase of the Trifacta and Tableau Partnership

April 26, 2018

When we set out to build a data preparation platform, the problem we were solving was obvious. Given the growing diversity of data sources and the variety of downstream analysis and visualization tools to choose from, we saw—and continue to see—data preparation as a critical intermediary to making data actionable and useful. But even though the problem was clear, pioneering a new market wasn’t, and we relied heavily upon the advice and support of our fellow travelers in the space to develop technologies for interactive data preparation.

In particular, our friends at Tableau have always been supportive of our mission of solving data preparation pain. In the early days of Trifacta, I remember meeting with Tableau co-founders Pat Hanrahan, Chris Stolte, and Christian Chabot and seeing their enthusiasm for solving problems in the data space (in their case, building a platform to help users better see and visualize data). Not only did we have a shared passion and similar academic roots, but an interwoven history—I was Tableau’s first-ever intern in 2005, while Pat was on the thesis committee for Trifacta co-founder Sean Kandel during his time at Stanford, which produced the first iteration of Wrangler. As both of our companies have matured, we’ve worked in partnership with Tableau to change the way people work with data through direct, visual experiences.

Given our shared history and mission, we are happy to congratulate our friends on the announcement of Tableau Prep, which brings data preparation capabilities directly into Tableau software. Tableau Prep assists desktop users in bringing data into Tableau’s visualization interface to help streamline the Tableau experience. We’re excited to see Tableau’s commitment to data preparation, which we consider further validation of the importance of the market sector that we helped establish.

Here at Trifacta, our mission has stayed its course. Since the beginning, we’ve been focused on building an independent data preparation platform that can support a wide variety of both data “producers” (all manner of data sources) and “consumers” (all manner of data management, visualization, and machine learning tools). The analysis needs of a modern enterprise include a diversity of inputs and outputs—there are a number of data sources, file formats, platforms that they must source data from, as well as downstream analytics, data science and machine learning applications that customers will publish data to from Trifacta. We’ve come a long way in fulfilling this vision and the many needs of our customers, and we’ll have more to say on that front here soon.

Looking forward, we’re excited to continue working with Tableau as one of our many partners. We expect that Trifacta will continue to be a particularly good fit for Tableau users that are leveraging  a wide range of data sources or downstream analysis needs including, but not limited to, Tableau. Most importantly, we hope to together improve and accelerate the process of deriving meaningful insights from data.