By Synectics

Top 12 Features to Help you Getting the Most From Tableau

For data analyst and researchers, Tableau is synonymous with insight. Without interpretation, data are just information without meaning. This data analytics tool provides powerful capabilities to help users visualize ridiculously-enormous sets of data and make it meaningful.

Tableau 10.3, released earlier this year, delivers some exciting new functionality that will likely make an upgrade worthwhile. This paper covers only a few functionalities, but they are the ones which we thought would add the most value to our customers.

Data-Driven Alerts

Using Tableau Server, users will see an alert menu option which, when selected, will allow users to choose a threshold level on a selected measure to receive an email.

Additional Connectors

Tableau adds Amazon Athena (AWS database), ServiceNow ITSM, Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, and MongoDB BI to its already lengthy list of connectors (75 data sources via 66 connectors). JSON connector is also enhanced to indicate when additional fields are detected.

Tableau Bridge

Earlier, you could only create data extracts and publish them to Tableau Online. Now, you can create a secure connection between Tableau Online and your on-premises databases. The Tableau Bridge helps you connect live to local data, even when your data are behind a firewall.

Intelligent Joins

To simplify developing dashboards from numerous tables or data sources, Tableau analyzes aggregate data source usage to popular tables and corresponding join recommendations powered by machine learning algorithms.

Custom Subscriptions

Now you can have control over when subscriptions are delivered to you. Users can finally use the time-based calendar user interface to schedule events whenever they want.

PDF Connector

This has been the most-talked-about update introduced with Tableau 10.3. Now you can connect your PDF files and visualize those in Tableau.

Tooltip Selection

This is a great usability enhancement. This feature enables you to select similar marks in a view from the tooltip by category. Any discrete dimension or measure that is included in the tooltip becomes an active link that you can click on to select other marks in the view that has the same value.

Distribute Evenly in Dashboard

Formatting dashboards can be tricky and frustrating. This feature allows you to make the items it contains evenly spaced using the “Distribute Evenly” command (on the desktop and in web authoring).

Web Authoring Updates

Web authoring updates create and edit stories directly in the browser. Also, improvements related to drilling up on continuous axes control more mapping display options, better number formatting, and allow you to create bins.

Enhanced Union Support

Tableau adds to the list of databases with union support to now include Aster Database, Cloudera Hadoop, Hortonworks Hadoop, IBM DB2, IBM PDA (Netezza), Pivotal Greenplum Database, SAP Sybase ASE, SAP Sybase IQ, and Teradata.

Automatic Query Caching

Enjoy faster load times for workbooks that connect to extracts on Tableau Server. Tableau can automatically pre-cache queries for all views in a workbook, directly after an extract refresh, for faster performance on initial user load. You can do all of this via a simple checkbox, “Pre-compute workbooks viewed recently”.

Android Improvements

Tableau Mobile is the fastest way to stay on top of data from anywhere. Tableau has native mobile apps for Apple’s iPhone and iPad and Android tablets and is now available for people around the world who use phones with Google’s mobile operating system. In 10.3 the Tableau Mobile Android app has easy site-switching and an all-inclusive toolbar that creates, even more room for viz.


Stay tuned for more about using Tableau with OBIEE using BI Connector.


One last thing

Did you hear that Tableau Server on Linux is just around the corner?