Tableau acquires MIT spinoff Empirical Systems
Data visualization software maker, Tableau Software, has acquired Empirical Systems, a pioneering artificial intelligence startup that spun out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Probabilistic Computing Project in 2016. The project seeks to build “a new generation of probabilistic computing systems that integrate probability and randomness into the basic building blocks of software and hardware. With Empirical Systems’ automated statistical analysis technology integrated into the Tableau platform, Tableau customers will more easily gain insight into their data, without needing to manually build the complex underlying data models that would otherwise be necessary. The total amount of the deals were not disclosed
“We are thrilled to welcome the Empirical team to Tableau to help us bring AI-powered analysis to the masses and enhance the way people interact with their data,” said Francois Ajenstat, Chief Product Officer at Tableau. “Automatic insight generation will enable people without specialized data science skills to easily spot trends in their data, identify areas for further exploration, test different assumptions, and simulate hypothetical situations. Empirical shares our vision of delivering deeper insights to more people through smart analytics, and we’re eager to bring their tremendously talented team to Tableau.”
Empirical Systems was founded in 2016 by MIT alums Richard Tibbetts (CEO), who previously co-founded StreamBase (acquired by TIBCO), engineering lead Madeleine Thompson formerly of Google, and scientific advisor Vikash Mansinghka, who leads the MIT Probabilistic Computing Project. The company has grown from their origins in MIT’s Probabilistic Computing Project to a team of nine, housed within walking distance of the MIT campus. Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Empirical Systems is a team of engineers and data science professionals who created an analysis platform that helps customers in a variety of industries to automatically analyze and understand their structured data.
Empirical Systems’ Analytics Engine automates robust data modeling that would typically require a trained statistician and allows people to explore, explain, predict and simulate that data in real-time. Rather than having to test all variables manually or limit analysis to predetermined hypotheses, advanced statistical algorithms will enhance the user experience and guide people to relevant insights and trends that could have easily gone unnoticed. This makes it possible for people to solve common data problems – like detecting relationships between variables, uncovering previously unknown factors driving patterns or spikes in the data, and inferring missing values – without requiring them to have data science expertise or do custom statistical modeling.
Tableau helps businesses see and understand data and explore with limitless visual analytics. Customers can build dashboards and perform ad hoc analyses in just a few clicks. They can share their work with anyone and make an impact on their business. From global enterprises to early-stage startups and small businesses, more than 74,000 customer accounts around the world use Tableau to turn data into actionable insights, and more than 300,000 people use Tableau Public to share public data in their blogs and websites. See how Tableau can help you by downloading the free trial at www.tableau.com/trial.
“We developed Empirical to make complex data modeling and sophisticated statistical analysis more accessible, so anyone trying to understand their data can make thoughtful, data-driven decisions based on sound analysis, regardless of their technical expertise,” said Richard Tibbetts, CEO of Empirical Systems. “Our vision for Empirical is strongly aligned with Tableau’s mission and approach to research and innovation, and we see endless opportunities to bring deeper insights to the expansive community of passionate, engaged Tableau customers.”
Empirical employees will join Tableau and, as part of the acquisition, Tableau plans to establish a research and development center in the vibrant and talent-rich city of Cambridge, Massachusetts. The team will focus on integrating the technology into the Tableau platform, with capabilities Empirical has built available in future releases of Tableau.