AI Startup Empirical Systems Acquired by Tableau

By CIOReview | Friday, November 2, 2018
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Tableau Software, a firm that produces interactive data visualization announced its acquisition of Empirical Systems, a pioneering AI startup. With Empirical Systems’ automated statistical analysis innovation integrated into the Tableau platform, the latter’s clients will more easily gain insight into the former’s data, without requiring manual help to build the complex underlying data models that would otherwise be necessary.

Francois Ajenstat, Chief Product Officer at Tableau, said, “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.”

The function of Empirical Systems’ Analytics Engine is to automate robust data modeling that would otherwise require a trained statistician and allows individual to explain, explore, predict and simulate that data in real-time. Rather than testing all variables with human help or restrict analysis to predetermined hypotheses, advanced statistical algorithms improve the user experience and guide individuals to relevant insights and trends that could have quickly gone unnoticed. This helps in solving common data problems - like detecting relationships between variables, uncovering previously unknown factors, and inferring missing values - without requiring them to have data science expertise or do custom statistical modeling.

Richard Tibbetts, CEO of Empirical Systems said, “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. 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 broad community of passionate, engaged Tableau customers.”

As a part of the acquisition, Empirical employees will join Tableau. The latter plans to establish a R&D center Cambridge, Massachusetts. The workforce will focus on integrating the technology into the Tableau platform, with capabilities Empirical has built available in future releases of Tableau.