Tableau Software Offers Faster, Deeper Analytics in Version 10

Tableau 10 features a refreshed design and user interface, new analytical and mobile enhancements and new options for preparing data.

Tableau Software, known appropriately on the New York Stock Exchange as "DATA," on Aug. 16 launched the latest edition of its cloud-based business intelligence package, which the company said offers faster and more complete analytics than the previous version.

Tableau 10 features a refreshed design and user interface, new analytical and mobile enhancements, new options for preparing data and a subset of new enterprise capabilities, the company said.

The enterprise-grade, cloud business intelligence package produces analytics in near-real time. More than 3,000 customer accounts around the world use it, including large and small businesses, nonprofit groups and educational institutions, the company said.

More Ways to See Data and Act on It

For its part, Tableau 10 provides more ways for users to see their data in the tools they use every day, with support for easy embedding of Tableau dashboards in Salesforce via Canvas, Tableau said.

Tableau 10 is built on the enterprise-class Tableau Server and features single sign-on for SAP HANA and support for SAP variables, mutual SSL authentication, product updates, scheduled Active Directory Sync, and Rest API updates. This all makes it easier to deliver self-service analytics at scale, the company said.

"The new design makes data the hero. Data integration helps maximize time spent on analysis," said Chris Stolte, chief development officer and co-founder of Tableau Software. "Data analytics innovations, like the drag-and-drop clusters, help people do more advanced analysis of their data without needing to program. And enterprise advancements continue to up the standard for delivering a governed, trusted self-service environment."

User Interface Revamped in Entirety

Every element of the interface was reconsidered for Tableau 10 in order to maximize cognition and let people focus on their visual analysis, Stolte said. He gives the following examples:

--The new color palette has been tuned up to ensure perceptual equality of shapes in complex visualizations and emphasis when needed.

--A new custom typeface was designed in partnership with the renowned typography expert Tobias Frere-Jones. It was crafted to optimize legibility and elegance for the many types of visualizations that are possible to create in Tableau, the company said.

--New default settings help people use visual design best practices for every question, but always give the option to change format so people have the flexibility to be creative and expressive with their data.

Tableau 10's new Device Designer allows users to create dashboards that automatically render the right size and views for a range of devices, including Android phones. It also gives users the option to further customize views in a single file so they can create several device-specific views and publish only once. Offline snapshots refresh in the background while they are connected so that the most up-to-date data is always available.

New Connectors Into Google Sheets and Others

Tableau 10 also has new connectors into Google Sheets, QuickBooks Online and Kognitio, among others, Stolte said. Other new features, such as cross-database join, help people bring together disparate data sources at the row level without the need to start up complicated integration projects. Cross-database filtering now allows a single filter to be applied to multiple data sources in your workbooks, saving time and getting to the answers faster, Stolte said.

Tableau 10 has a host of new analytics capabilities that make complex analysis more accessible.

--Drag-and-drop clustering automatically identifies patterns and groups your data based on k-means.

--A new custom territories feature allows users to do advanced geographic analysis with a few clicks.

--A new data highlighter makes it easy to call particular insight while keeping the rest of the data visible for context. Improvements to bar charts, maps data, geographic roles and radial distance units make data storytelling more natural and intuitive.

--Publishing workbooks and data sources to Tableau Server and Tableau Online is faster with a new flow for publishing. For cloud-based analytics, you can now set a data refresh schedule right in the browser with Tableau Online.

--Tableau 10 gives IT visibility into the usage of Tableau Desktop licenses; thus, IT can also control the login experience for multi-tenant deployments with site-specific SAML IdP configuration.

New APIs have been added to Tableau to enable developers to write custom applications that leverage data or to embed business intelligence into virtually any app or website.

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Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...