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10 Things You Didn't Know about Mark Nelson

Mark Nelson

Tableau Software's President and CEO Mark Nelson defines Tableau's vision and supervises the company's business operations and procedures. Before becoming President and CEO, Mark served as Tableau's Executive Vice President of Product Development, coordinating the company's international engineering and design teams. Under his management, both groups helped the company expand its industry-leading analytics platform to help customers globally. Before joining Tableau, Mark served as Chief Technology Officer at Concur, responsible for all aspects of product development and hosting operations for their SaaS services and Concur's internal IT function. He also worked at Oracle for seventeen years as a Vice President and Architect. Mark served on Talend's board, a data integration company; also advising a few startups. Mark graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a B.S. in General Engineering and an M.S. in Computer Science. These are ten facts about Mark Nelson.

1. Embracing challenge

One thing Nelson believes strongly in is learning from mistakes. In an article from, he spoke about the necessity of relying on scientific evidence. For example, at the beginning of his tenure at Concur, the company had technical glitches, which he was tasked with fixing. He faced these issues and many others squarely, seeking a better solution while bridging the gap between the product and the customer's needs. A colleague noticed Nelson's strong work ethic and started emulating his approach.

2. Running towards success

Nelson has accumulated workout data throughout his career; a runner who keeps track of his speed, distance, and trails where he runs. Twenty years ago, he gathered information with a stopwatch and entered it into a spreadsheet. He's nixed charts and graphs in favor of Tableau software.

3. Think on your toes

Mark Nelson recognizes that he is taking on the role of president and CEO of Tableau at a critical juncture in the company's history. Although his career is already centered on using science to support and build, the pandemic impacts many companies, including Tableau. Therefore, he thinks that giving insight firmly into the numbers affected by the pandemic and finding a path to preservation is the company's best path forward. In addition, he hopes to lead to an increasingly better understanding of data.

4. Experience matters

Mark was in charge of all aspects of product design at Concur and organized operational processes for their SaaS services, and Concur's internal IT feature. He previously worked at Oracle for more than 16 years, most recently as Vice President and Architect, where he was in charge of much of the corporation's cloud infrastructure. Nelson's substantial cloud computing knowledge also qualifies him for a role on the Advisory Board of SkyTap, a cloud service provider committed to enhancing traditional enterprise applications.

5. To the top

Mark Nelson accepted a position with Tableau as a leadership team member, building his reputation for three years. He contributed Tableau quadruple its value through bold actions such as transferring from perpetual licenses to subscription licensing, enhancing its augmented intelligence assets, and broadening its cloud presence. In addition, CEO Adam Selipsky's departure left an opening that Nelson quickly filled. When asked why the company chose Nelson to lead the company through a period of significant transition, Protocol stated that his close relationships with clients and staff are among the determining factors.

6. Core values

Currently, Tableau is focusing on several factors to take the company to the next level. According to, These include empowering users to seek data-based decisions, quicker access to data, easier usability, and sticking to an operational model. He has focused on similar features throughout Nelson's career, so he feels confident embracing these challenges.

7. Big picture

Jackie Yeaney, chief marketing officer, agrees with Tableau's decision to promote Nelson to this vital position. In an interview with, She cites the ability to see the numbers, corporate range, and how those elements work together. Additionally, she feels that Nelson's 25 years of technology experience is a unique asset that will make him successful in the company and propel it forward during a time of uncertainty.

8. Skills to succeed

One of Mark Nelson's goals is consumer's effective use of data. His extensive experience is the main factor in Tableau creating AI-powered analytics—this predictive tool frames data without code knowledge. Additionally, Salesforce introduced Einstein Discover analytics, another project where he'll undoubtedly expand his data science model to business.

9. Expanding for the future

While global business has entered a period of dramatic change, business fundamentals have remained essentially the same. From acquiring new customers to securing existing ones, the crucial structures of intelligent business are the same as they were a decade ago. However, the tools for accomplishing the basic principles have dramatically changed—SaaS delivery is among the fastest-growing trends due to rising consumer demand for speed and flexibility. When businesses manage their computing infrastructure, they can focus their initiatives purely on the most significant things; offering their services to customers.

10. Company restructure

Along with Mark Nelson's new position heading the company, the Einstein and Tableau leadership teams started spending a part of the first day of TC20 explaining their vision for Tableau CRM. Suppose there was a positive lesson to be learned from their message. In that case, the Einstein and Tableau products are complementary in nature, and that Tableau CRM will ultimately align the best of both technologies. According to Mark Nelson, Executive Vice President of Product Development at Tableau, the primary objective is to keep both products alive while also improving their strengths as these platforms are woven together.


A merger and a change in CEO might seem like too much for a company. However, the wide range of products and Mark Nelson's long career are a perfect match for Tableau's future vision. The company's wide range of data-driven products shapes how consumers use analytics and enjoy more focused data.

Allen Lee

Written by Allen Lee

Allen Lee is a Toronto-based freelance writer who studied business in school but has since turned to other pursuits. He spends more time than is perhaps wise with his eyes fixed on a screen either reading history books, keeping up with international news, or playing the latest releases on the Steam platform, which serve as the subject matter for much of his writing output. Currently, Lee is practicing the smidgen of Chinese that he picked up while visiting the Chinese mainland in hopes of someday being able to read certain historical texts in their original language.

Read more posts by Allen Lee

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