If you've never heard of Workiva (WK -2.23%) or Tenable (TENB -2.83%), you're probably not alone. Both stocks are relatively lightly covered -- The Wall Street Journal tracks just 11 analysts who cover Workiva, and 17 who cover Tenable. 

By comparison, the publication tracks 43 analysts covering Tesla and 54 covering Amazon

Workiva and Tenable are quintessential quiet achievers. They deliver steady, consistent growth without the volatility experienced by the tech giants sitting in most investors' portfolios. Once 2023 rolls around, you'll wish you'd paid closer attention to both of these stocks. Here's why. 

1. Tenable is a cybersecurity powerhouse

Global consulting firm PwC surveyed 722 of the world's top corporate leaders earlier this year and they were clear about one thing: Cyber risk remains the greatest threat to their revenue. More companies are operating online and storing their assets digitally, so the attack surface is broader than ever, and malicious actors can strike from anywhere in the world.

That's why Tenable is such an enticing opportunity. It's the developer of Nessus, the cybersecurity industry's leading threat detection and vulnerability management platform used in tens of thousands of organizations. It's a proactive security tool designed to expose where vulnerabilities might be hiding before they can be exploited. In fact, Nessus protects against over 73,000 known common vulnerabilities and exposures, which ranks it No. 1 in the industry. 

Tenable has a substantial footprint. Its customer base consists of more than 40,000 businesses, but most notable are those spending at least $100,000 per year on its cybersecurity tools, because that segment is growing at a robust pace. It had 1,280 of them at the end of the recent third quarter (ended Sept. 30), which was an increase of 28.6% year over year. 

It helped drive Tenable's Q3 revenue to $174.9 million, which was comfortably above its own forecast of $171 million. That prompted the company to lift its guidance for the full year to $680.6 million at the high end -- the significance of that move shouldn't go unrecognized, as tech companies have routinely slashed their estimates throughout 2022. This really sets Tenable apart, especially going into an uncertain new year.

Nonetheless, even if Tenable does hit its revenue target, it will have barely scratched the surface of its addressable opportunity that it believes is worth $25 billion. Tenable is lightly covered by Wall Street as mentioned earlier, but it's no surprise that not a single analyst tracked by The Wall Street Journal recommends selling it.

2. Workiva is gearing up for a new world

That new world might be ruled by environmental, social, and governance (ESG) metrics just as much as it is by financial metrics. ESG frameworks are part of a push by global governments to make companies track their impact on society, rather than just on their shareholders. 

Workiva has recently focused on developing its proven data-tracking platform so it can be applied to help organizations design and manage their ESG reporting, enabling them to accurately monitor their progress. 

Its flagship software is the ultimate data aggregation tool that is especially useful within large organizations that have remote workforces. It integrates with major file storage, systems of record, and performance management platforms to seamlessly pull data onto one simple dashboard. 

Imagine one team is using Microsoft Excel and another is working on Salesforce's Tableau -- a manager overseeing the projects would have to tap into both applications, causing fragmented visibility. Now extrapolate that challenge for a large company using dozens of different applications in day-to-day operations. 

Workiva brings them together into one location, solving the visibility issue and allowing for reports to be created faster and with greater accuracy. In fact, Workiva is a publicly listed company's dream because it provides over 350 reporting templates for Securities and Exchange Commission filings. 

It's clear to see why Workiva is well placed to tackle the ESG tracking and reporting challenges that lie ahead.

In the recent third quarter (ended Sept. 30), Workiva's revenue grew by a modest 17.9%. But the company saw a 21% jump in the number of its customers spending at least $300,000 per year (its top spending cohort). It also saw a 25% jump in customers in the $150,000 annual spend category. 

Therefore, the demand picture among large companies is clear, and it will likely grow as more governments mandate ESG reporting over time. The U.K., for example, now requires 1,300 of its largest companies and financial institutions to report ESG metrics specifically around climate impacts. And the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has proposed new rules that could mandate some ESG reporting in the future. 

While Workiva stock is flying under the radar right now, that might not be the case next year (and beyond) as the changing world could shift it directly into the spotlight. Perhaps there is no time like the present to buy in.