Birst And Tableau Set Alliance, Develop Links Between Their Business Analytics Software

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Business analytics software developers Birst and Tableau Software are teaming up, developing an integration between the two vendors' products that will allow Tableau users to tap into Birst's cloud-based data integration and transformation capabilities.

The technology alliance also will create opportunities for the vendors' channel partners by broadening customer options, executives of the two vendors said in an interview.

The alliance, disclosed Wednesday morning, is somewhat unusual in that Birst and Tableau compete in the business analytics arena. Seattle-based Tableau offers its popular data visualization and dashboarding software, while Birst, based in San Francisco, provides a more turnkey system that includes front-end visualization, dashboarding and reporting software supported by back-end data integration and transformation tools.

[Related: Salesforce Partners Look To Catch A Wave Of Analytics Opportunities]

Over the last couple of months, the two companies developed ODBC-based links that will allow business users to utilize Birst's cloud platform to integrate and process data from multiple sources, then use Tableau's visualization software to analyze that data.

"By bringing Birst and Tableau together, we're providing what we think is the new big thing in BI [business intelligence]," said Birst CEO Jay Larson in an interview. "There's a big disruption in the BI market."

Birst and Tableau are among a relatively new generation of business analytics tools that are designed to be useable by a wide range of information workers, in contrast to older BI software that was largely used by IT to build reports, or by people with statistical analysis backgrounds. Newer BI software also is architected to better work with different types of structured and unstructured data.

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