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JY Pook on Tableau's Focus for 2016, Recent Expansions, and Solutions for the Public Sector

Earlier this year, Tableau announced they were expanding their cloud capabilities with the launch of a new data centre in Ireland, in tandem with their recent expansions in the APAC region. With new offices in Singapore and Shanghai, they are working to make themselves more available to new and existing customers

OpenGov recently spoke to JY Pook, Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific, Tableau, on the company's focus for the year, recent expansions in APAC, and what they are providing to the public sector. 

What are your areas of focus for 2016?

Just today, we announced our global growth momentum in 2015, and I must say, we had quite a year! We expanded into Germany, France, China and Japan, launched our APAC headquarters in Singapore, and saw continuous success in existing markets. In the last three years, we’ve seen about triple-digit growth, another testament to how Tableau is disrupting the Business Intelligence industry with our mission of making big data analytics accessible to everyone. We now have 39,000 customer accounts and started a global foundation that has helped nearly 750 non-profit organizations.

To kickoff this year, we have just announced new offices in New York City and Beijing, and have also signed additional leases in Seattle and Kirkland. Tableau now has offices in 16 cities in 10 countries around the world, with a key focus to better support our growing customer base in these regions.

However, our philosophy remains unchanged – we continue to take our mission to help people see and understand data very seriously, and it is a global mission.

In 2016, we expect to see an even deeper cultural shift in this regard as data will increasingly stand at the core of decision making, not just for businesses, but also for the community at large.

In Singapore, the Smart Nation initiative has taken on momentum, and so did Infocomm Media 2025, which is designed to bring about a new economy that is now more fueled by technology than ever before. Smart Nation is about using data intelligently. To tackle difficult urban challenges in areas such as energy and healthcare, we need to capture and analyze massive amounts of data, and use that situational awareness to take meaningful actions.

A large part of Smart Nation is about empowering everyday people by leveraging technology. It is about empowering people through new digital tools. It is about making use of technology so that society can better communicate, collaborate, bond and build ties. Furthermore, Smart Nation is about liberating data for everyone. Giving people more access to real time data. The industry and citizens will benefit from data analytics tools that can help them make sense of the data.

As you know, smart city plans are being drawn up globally too. So, it is not just Singapore. Data is turning into a way of life for many people, across industries and social backgrounds. Data is becoming the skillset of the 21st century, and we are helping to make it happen.

For Tableau, we are well positioned to help drive these possibilities. We will continue to invest in our capabilities and infrastructure to put analytics into the hands of anyone who wants to ask questions of their data.

What do you expect to change since Tableau unveiled its APAC headquarters in SG and offices in Shanghai?

APAC is a key region for Tableau, and it will continue to stay that way. Currently, we see Tableau increasingly gaining relevance as organizations realize the benefits of having self-reliant, data-driven strategies.

In fact, in APAC, we are seeing a record growth in customers who experience huge returns from being able to see and understand data themselves. Just like the rest of the world, APAC is also becoming more digitized, and technology-driven government initiatives like Singapore’s Smart Nation program will only continue to drive the significance of data.

Additionally, we believe more people - be it students, homemakers, teachers, or mom and pop shop owners - will begin to leverage data to help them find answers to their questions, make discoveries, and make more intelligent decisions in their everyday lives. Data is becoming more accessible, and so are the tools that can help them see and understand data.

In view of this, we will continue to strive to empower people and enhance human intellect through our self-service data analytics tools.

How do you interpret cloud analytics solutions helping governments with open data initiatives?

This January, we launched a new data center in Dublin, Ireland. This is Tableau’s first European-based data center. It underscores our expanding cloud analytics capabilities, as well as continued commitment to data users in Europe and around the world.

Increasingly, cloud has become mainstream. Organizations that were once hesitant about cloud technology are shifting to a more hybrid data architecture. Data analytics tools are expected to be able to support both cloud data and on-premise data.

Currently, Tableau offers users the choice to connect to data in the cloud or working with data on-premise. It is likely that some users do not even need to care whether their data is sitting on-premise or in the cloud.

It is important that people can work with data and analytics, and not just at their desk in the office, but also when they are on the move or working remotely. The advancement in cloud and data security technology is making this even more of a reality. Moving forward, where physical data is stored, where it is accessed from, and where analytics is being done, will become less and less significant in the near future.

What kind of trends are you seeing in this region, with respect to the solutions you provide?

In general, the key trend we are seeing is the shift towards a data culture in many organizations across industries. Research has shown that organizations which promote a self-service data analytics culture outperform – by two to one – those that do not.

More organizations will adopt platforms that let users apply statistics, ask a series of questions, and stay in the flow of their analysis. In fact, we feel that self-service analytics tools have changed people’s expectations for good. With the new-generation entering the workforce, millennial workers will expect to have easy access to data, no matter if they are in the office or when they are on the road. They will want to explore the data themselves to make their own discoveries on the fly. That is why the demand for self-service data preparation tools and even self-service data warehouses will grow as a natural extension of self-service analytics.

We are also seeing a variety of users, beyond businesses, incorporating visual analytics tools, like ours, into their daily lives. For example, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, one of Singapore’s leading institutions of higher learning, has embedded data analytics into its curriculum for both teachers and students. Teachers themselves are encouraging students to be more comfortable and familiar with working with data.

We feel that, more and more, visual analytics will serve as the common language in boardrooms and classrooms, empowering people to reach insights quickly and collaborate meaningfully.

How do you ensure data protection and disaster recovery preparedness for your clients?

The security and privacy of data are fundamental to the success of organizations, and this is why Tableau makes protecting it a top priority.

We recently introduced the general availability of Tableau 9.2, where we introduced security options for on-premise and cloud, more options for controlling map behavior and unlimited potential for map customization – all of these would be useful in helping governments with open data initiatives.

In general, data published to Tableau Online, our hosted, SaaS version of Tableau Server, is protected by enterprise level security features that provide physical security, operational security, data security and privacy, account security, security of data in transit and application security.

Underlying all of this is an infrastructure that is continuously monitored for availability, performance, capacity, and security. The output of this monitoring is used to drive regular improvements that help to ensure the confidentiality, integrity and availability of the data.

Furthermore, we have implemented a multi-layered security model designed to provide effective protection against a wide range of known and zero-day threats. As part of Tableau’s incident response protocol, any breach of security will be reported via Tableau’s Trust website or directly to impacted customers. Incident reports will include scope, severity and resolution.

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