Is the Irreplaceable Excel in Trouble?

An analyst at R.W. Baird has a report out claiming that Tableau is a threat to replace Excel:

Shares of data visualization software maker Tableau (DATA) are up $2.74, or 3.6%, at $78.82, after R.W. Baird’s Steven Ashley raised his rating on the shares to Outperform from Neutral, with a $95 price target, writing that his conversations with channel partners “further validated Tableau’s disruptive nature.”

Tableau’s market, rather than the $12 billion in so-called business intelligence, rather its as big as the market for Microsoft’s venerable Excel

What is interesting about this is that Tableau is not disruptive according to the traditional definition, meaning, it’s not a low-end product. It’s actually more powerful than Excel in a lot of ways. The problem for Microsoft, though, is that Office, which itself was originally a low-end product, has by and large retreated into the high-end and sells to a highly-informed and price-insensitive customer. This is the exact sort of environment where a competing product can win on features, particularly as new jobs to be done arise, in this case, analyzing massive data sets.

I don’t know enough about this market to say whether or not this analyst is right, but the market conditions are there for a sudden collapse.