What: A broad group of stocks related to big data and cloud-based analytics have gotten utterly crushed today after Tableau Software (NYSE:DATA) reported disappointing earnings and issued soft guidance. As of 12:30 p.m. ET, Tableau was down 48%, salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM) was down 12%, Splunk (NASDAQ:SPLK) was down 22%, NetSuite (NYSE:N) was down 12%, Workday (NASDAQ:WDAY) was down 12%, and Qlik Technologies (NASDAQ:QLIK) was down 15%.

So what: Last night, Tableau said total revenue was $202.8 million, including $133.1 million in license revenue. By the time you got to the bottom line, investors were looking at adjusted earnings per share of $0.33. Tableau added 3,600 new customer accounts during the quarter, bringing its global customer base to 39,000. Technically, the quarter topped consensus estimates of $200.8 million up top and $0.16 per share in adjusted profit down low, but there were some critical areas where Tableau missed.

Now what: License revenue came in below expectations, suggesting that competition from larger players is starting to chip away at Tableau's early lead in data visualization. Even worse, Tableau cut guidance for both the current quarter and the full year, and some of the comments on the conference call contributed to the sectorwide bloodbath.

This quarter should see revenue in the range of $160 million to $165 million, well below the Street's expectation of $179.5 million. Tableau is reducing its full-year outlook, now expecting sales to come in between $830 million to $850 million, down rom a prior range of $845 million to $865 million, which was already below the $871.5 million that analysts were expecting. Operating margins will be pressured this year as Tableau plans to make 2016 an "investment year."

But here's the part that really applies to Tableau's peers. CFO Tom Walker noted that there was noticeable "softness" within enterprise spending trends, particularly in North America. Some customers are increasing usage, but at a slower rate than the company has enjoyed historically. Tableau's conservative outlook is based on the buying patterns that it's seeing from enterprise customers.

Considering current market volatility and investor skittishness, combined with a wide range of global macroeconomic fears, Tableau's remarks are causing investors to flee the sector, particularly those stocks with high valuation multiples.

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