FORTUNE --- If you hadn't heard of Tableau Software before its glamorous debut on the public market last Friday, you're not alone. The Seattle-based company makes visual analytics tools for technical and non-technical employees alike but is far from a household name. And yet, it raised around $254 million in its initial public offering and closed its first day of trading at just over $50 per share, up more than 60% from its IPO price of $31. Not bad for a data visualization tool.
Tableau (DATA) has tapped into one of the hottest trends in enterprise technology -- the overused buzzword that is big data. The company allows users to query and present large data sets using a graphical interface (think bright and colorful interactive charts). "We just finished a two-week roadshow and found that there's tremendous interest in data and analytics and the power that data can bring to improving lives," says Christian Chabot, co-founder and CEO of Tableau.
Tableau was lucky enough to get the ticker symbol "DATA," but it's just one in a line of several recent and upcoming enterprise tech and big data IPOs. Another software company, Marketo (MKTO), also made its public market debut last Friday and saw its share price rise 78% on its first day of trading. (Marketo sells cloud-based software for, you guessed it, marketing departments.) Of course, the march of enterprise tech IPOs actually started last year. And while consumer-focused Facebook's (FB) stock may be down 30% from its IPO price one year ago, less sexy companies like Splunk (SPLK), Workday (WDAY) and Palo Alto Networks (PANW) have fared better.
So who's next? There's file storage site Box, mobile device management player Good Technology and security software maker FireEye, to name a few. Then again, despite the recent high-profile IPOs of a handful of enterprise software companies, probably the most anticipated public offering is that of microblogging site Twitter, currently valued (by some estimates) at a whopping $10 billion.
Unlike Twitter, Tableau needed to go public to help build "awareness and credibility." The company's current customer list includes heavyweights like Wal-Mart (WMT) and eBay (EBAY) plus regional hospitals and government agencies. "It's not so much about pivoting from one customer to another as it is about increasing all customers," says Chabot. "Our products can be used by anyone who needs to use a spreadsheet." Of course, Tableau has a long way to go before anyone who needs to use a spreadsheet actually considers using its product (and not a growing list of competitors' software). But a glamorous debut on the New York Stock Exchange stage could help.
Last's week's Twitter-fueled crash erased $136 billion in value in minutes, underscoring concerns about companies' use of social media.
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FORTUNE -- A fraudster hacks into a company's Twitter account and posts a phony announcement about sales reaching an all-time high. Shares in the company soar and then quickly crash after investors realize the news was merely a ruse to manipulate the stock price. Companies must, of course, be vigilant MOREApr 29, 2013 6:28 AM ET
A Galaxy S4 vs. iPhone 5 "shootout" got reported with dozens of identical tweets.
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Social media analytics firms such as Dataminr are trying to take on Bloomberg in the race for fast-paced business news updates.
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FORTUNE -- Bloomberg LP has long prided itself on being the premier provider of financial data, news, and analytics, but can it deliver news faster than social media?
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The social network might launch a music service this weekend and seek TV content deals with Viacom and others. What's the endgame?
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Teenagers are easily bored and attracted to the new. That should be troubling to Facebook, which wants to be the center of everyone's digital life.
FORTUNE -- When Mark Zuckerberg introduced Facebook Home this month, he made it clear that he and his fellow executives seem to actually believe that people love Facebook, the brand, the same way some people love, say, Apple (AAPL) -- so much so that they want MOREDan Mitchell, contributor - Apr 12, 2013 1:43 PM ET
With the 6.3-inch Galaxy Mega, has Samsung reached the smartphone's limit?
FORTUNE -- At 9:36 a.m. Thursday, shortly after Samsung introduced the newest entries in its Galaxy smartphone line -- the 5.8-inch Mega and the 6.3-inch Mega -- Derek Kessler posted what may be the most viral tweet that wasn't about TV, celebrity, politics, sports, dieting, mysticism or a natural disaster.
It was a simple list of Samsung's Android screen sizes.
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Brad Paisley's duet with LL Cool J sets off a firestorm on social media - and that could make it a hit.
By Heather Muse, editor
FORTUNE -- Country singer Brad Paisley set Twitter ablaze Monday with the release of "Accidental Racist," a tune that starts with a vignette about wearing a confederate flag t-shirt in a Starbucks ("When I put on that t-shirt, the only thing I meant to say MOREApr 9, 2013 12:00 PM ET
Google remains dominant, but the big story last year was the fast rise of Facebook's mobile ads.
FORTUNE -- After several years of gloomy predictions for mobile advertising, the business is enjoying incredible growth. Precisely how incredible depends on whose numbers you look at.
Last month, Pew Research reported that revenue from mobile advertising grew by 80% in 2012, to $2.6 billion in the United States. Today, eMarketer reported that the market MOREDan Mitchell, contributor - Apr 4, 2013 1:25 PM ET
Also: A look at the future of EA; Computing pioneer Alan Kay interviewed.
Disney shuts down LucasArts just 154 days after acquiring it [TECHCRUNCH]
Beginning today, Disney will continue to license out the LucasArts properties (namely Star Wars), but has ceased the development of all internal projects. Some projects (such as the incredible looking Star Wars 1313) may find new homes with other development houses, but their status is currently up in the air.
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