Channel technologies, Sales and marketing

Tableau Stock Crash 2016: A Big Data Warning

Tableau Software's stock (Symbol:DATA) fell as much as 50 percent this evening because the big data, analytics and business intelligence company isn't growing as quickly as Wall Street has hoped. Tableau's fall from grace shows just how quickly -- and how painful -- a tech stock correction can arrive, even if customer adoption remains strong and channel partner programs are ramping up.

At first glance, Tableau's business is spectacularly strong. For is Q4 2015 results, announced today:

  • Total revenue grew to $202.8 million, up 42% year over year.
  • License revenue grew to $133.1 million, up 31% year over year.
  • International revenue grew to $53.7 million, up 63% year over year.
  • More than 3,600 new customers embraced the company's analytics and business intelligence tools.

Still, investors were disappointed with that license revenue figure. Then, Wall Street ran for the exits when Tableau cut its 2016 Q1 revenue forecast to $160 million to $165 million, below consensus of $179.5 million, according to Barron's.

Although the overall big data market remains healthy, many individual stocks in the sector became overheated in 2015 and are now either flaming out or cooling off dramatically.

Shares in Hortonworks tumbled last month when the Hadoop provider to Wall Street that it planned to raise more money. And Splunk, which offers analytics for log management and more, has seen its shares trading near 52-week lows in recent days.

Channel Partner Opportunities

Now here's the irony: While investors run for the exits, it might be the perfect time for channel partners to gear up with Tableau, Hortonworks, Splunk and many other providers of big data-related tools. In many cases, companies in the sector are just launching or formalizing their partner programs.

For instance, Hortonworks recently hired former VCE Channel Chief Christopher Sullivan to drive the company's partner engagements. Rivals like Cloudera and MapR also have been hiring on the alliance and partner front, while also gearing up partner engagements.

Meanwhile, in the SMB market companies like LogicNow have been building out big data systems to help MSPs more effectively spot cross-sell and upsell opportunities.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.