Hortonworks, Tableau In The Spotlight: Big Data Roundup

Data visualization and business intelligence platform provider Tableau and big data Hadoop distributor Hortonworks reported their earnings this week. Here's a peek inside the state of the business of big data technologies in our Big Data Roundup for the week ended August 7, 2016.
10 Reasons Your Data Vision Will Fail
10 Reasons Your Data Vision Will Fail
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This week in the Big Data Roundup we put the focus on data bellwethers Hortonworks and Tableau -- the market's two publicly-held companies.

There aren't really very many big data specialists that are publicly held companies. Many big data operations are inside larger companies such as IBM and Microsoft, so it's tougher to get a good view of how this category is doing in the market. Or if the company is a big data specialist, it's a privately held one like SAS or MapR.

While they can't ever provide a comprehensive view of the market, earnings from Tableau and Hortonworks give us a bit of a peek. This time around the market is taking these companies on a bit of a rough ride.


Let's start with Tableau's earnings.

The data visualization, analytics, and business intelligence platform provider reported total second quarter revenue of $198.5 million compared to $149.9 million during the same period a year ago. Tableau reported a net loss of $47.5 million or 64 cents per diluted common share, compared to nearly $19 million or 27 cents per diluted common share in the same quarter a year ago.

Chairman and CEO Christian Chabot told analysts during a conference call that expenses came in higher than planned during the quarter due to some adjustments the company made to its full-year operating plan.

The changes included moderating hiring plans for the year. CFO Tom Walker told analysts that change led to additional adjustments to the sales plan, impacting quotas, sales territories and overall compensation expenses.

Better-than-expected bookings for the quarter led to higher than expected commission expenses. The company also held its annual companywide meeting in Seattle during the quarter, spending a bit extra on training and staff development related to the rollout of Tableau 10.

[Find out about Tableau's plans for transactional database capabilities. Read Tableau Grabs Superfast Database With HyPer Buy.]

Walker said these higher than expected expenses will be limited to the first half of the fiscal year and will not recur in the second half. The company gained 4,000 customers during the quarter.

But investors weren't happy about the net loss and Tableau's stock opened dropped 6% lower on Wednesday, Aug. 3, after earnings were announced and continued to trade lower for the rest of the week.

Hortonworks Earnings

Meanwhile, Hortonworks was also reporting its quarterly earnings this week. The Hadoop distribution company reported revenue of $43.6 million for the second quarter, up from $29.96 million during the same period a year ago. Hortonworks reported a net loss of $64 million or $1.12 per share for the second quarter, compared to a net loss of $43 million or $1.01 per share for the same period a year ago.

Shares lost almost a third of their value, opening at $8.40 on Friday, Aug. 5, the morning after earnings were announced.

Hortonworks CEO Rob Bearden told analysts in a conference call that Hortonworks experienced a larger than expected number of multiyear deals. Such deals distribute revenue recognition over the course of the deal.

Bearden also announced that the company's president Herb Cunitz had decided to leave the company to pursue a career as a CEO elsewhere. Bearden said that he was sorry to see Cunitz go, and that Bearden will head the company's sales efforts after Cunitz's departure. Bearden also confirmed layoffs at Hortonworks during the quarter, but did not provide a headcount.

Overall it's been a tough week for big data technology as a business for those companies in the publicly-held spotlight.

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Brian T. Horowitz, Contributing Reporter
Samuel Greengard, Contributing Reporter
Nathan Eddy, Freelance Writer
Brandon Taylor, Digital Editorial Program Manager
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek
Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing