Tableau

Top 5 new Tableau features (from TCC13)

I was unfortunately not present in Washington when the Tableau conference 2013 was kicked off, but I followed part of it on a live video stream and twitter where the activity around the event was extremely high. A lot of new features were mentioned in the keynote (full list here). The five most important for me is:

Integration With R

I am not an R user (yet), but R integration potentially makes it possible to move the last part of the data intelligence into Tableau. As of today you can do the basic stuff in Tableau - with R as the statistical backend, the possibilities are however endless. The modular structure of R allows you to find the newest statistical methods as a package online - and it is free. I will spend the time waiting for 8.1 learning R online.

Easier and Visual Data Connection

Before I watched Jason King announce the new visual data interface, it was my opinion that Tableau had a pretty neat data managing tool. After the new interface was presented I can however see that it will make a lot of tasks easier. Especially the "visual joins" will take a lot of pain out of the process for people who are not familiar with the concept of joins - additionally a more flexible way of assigning default formats, column names etc. can save time in the future.

Folders in the data window

Definitely one of the smaller new features, but for me it was highly requested. It happens that I work with dataset containing 50+ measures and even more if plenty of calculated fields are used. I can't wait to create a folder for "intermediate result" and clean up my measure list.

Story points

Together with an improved presentation mode the story points can be a PowerPoint killer.The new story points makes the report creator able to do a "guide tour" in the dataset and thereby highlight important takeaways. This makes a lot of sense when presenting data for people who do not have the time to do their own investigations.

Tableau for mac (!)

This was also announced on the European Conference in June, but this time Andrew Beers showed it in action. Because I am behind a Retina screen even the bootcamp/parallels option does not work for me. I am really looking forward to being able to use my Mac to do data visualizations.


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