Tableau Democratizes Data Access with Purchase of Natural Language Query Startup ClearGraph

Tableau Software has acquired ClearGraph, a Palo Alto startup that enables data discovery and data analysis through natural language query technology.

Tableau provides analytics software that enables users to explore, visualize and share information. 

According to the companies, their missions are compatible and the acqusition will allow Tableau to expand data access and exploration to more users without technical expertise by using natural language to ask questions and search for insights.

ClearGraph was founded in 2014 by Andrew Vigneault and Ryan Atallah. The team recruited Stanford PhD graduate Alex Djalali, who specializes in computational linguistics, to develop the product along with several other engineers. ClearGraph is used by dozens of customers, including large enterprises. As part of the acquisition, employees will join Tableau in its Palo Alto office. The team will be focused on integrating ClearGraph’s underlying technology into Tableau products.

The addition of natural language queries will make it easier for more people to interact with Tableau, whether it is an executive who needs an answer quickly, or a person who is on a mobile phone and wants an answer from data on the move, said Francois Ajenstat, chief product officer at Tableau.  

ClearGraph’s natural language query technology stores semantic data in knowledge graphs that can expand and learn over time. According to Tableau, ClearGraph requires no technical training and brings a consumer-like experience to users by connecting disparate data sources and making them accessible and intelligible through simple conversational style search.

ClearGraph was founded to address the need to bridge the gap between humans and computers through natural language, especially when it comes to exploring data, noted Andrew Vigneault, CEO of ClearGraph, who added that Tableau is a natural fit because the companies have similar missions in their desire to help more people get answers from their data.

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