We had a great customer conference in Washington, DC. Many new 8.1 and 8.2 features were unveiled including the long awaited Tableau for Mac. My teams built a significant number of new features coming in the 8.1 release coming this fall and here are the highlights :
R integration : Always on the cutting edge of data analysis? In Tableau 8.1 you can author calculated fields using R which brings a vast array of statistical libraries to your fingertips!
Box-Whisker Plots : In Tableau 8.1, you can create Box-Whisker plots with a single click. We offer a number of preset styles, color options, plot types (Skeletal or Schematic box plot) and ability to show/hide marks.
Ranking : Adding rank is now a one click operation and how you want to treat the ties is entirely up to you. The options are Competition, Modified Competition, Dense Rank, Percentile Rank and Ordinal Rank (Unique).
Percentile Aggregation : It has been possible to get 50th Percentile using Median aggregation but now you can use the new aggregation Percentile to get 5, 10, 25, 50, 75, 90 or 95th percentile by directly interacting with the pill or any percentile of your choice using the Percentile function in a calculation.
Two-pass totals : Prior to 8.1, Tableau Grand Totals were calculated by applying the same aggregation over the entire dataset. Calculating something like daily average sales from transaction level data (AVG of SUM(sales for a given day)) was not possible using grand and/or subtotals and required a table calculation. Now it takes a single click to do the same! You can specify the type of aggregation and whether or not a total value should be shown per measure.
Custom Start of Week : If you are in the EU, now you can use Monday as your start of week and all the date calculations (DATEDIFF, DATEPART, DATETRUNC…), as well as aggregations respect this setting. If your company or country uses a different day of week, no problem. You can set it to any day! You can also store this information in published data sources making it easy to ensure that all users have the correct standard setting used across the company.
Forecasting Improvements : Forecasting got a whole lot better with addition of support for multiplicative models and prediction bands. Now it works also with measure names/measure values, multiple measures and fiscal calendar.
Stored Procedure Support : Tableau 8.1 supports interacting with Sybase ASE, Teradata and SQL Server stored procedures like accessing tables. You can select the stored procedure just like picking a table in the connection dialog and either type in values for parameters or use Tableau parameters so you can allow users to tweak the inputs to the stored procedures using widgets in your visualization.
SAP BW Aliases : In Tableau 8.1, you can right click on a dimension and pick the alias you’d like to see in your visualization. Key, short name, medium name, long name and their combinations (separated by a dash) are supported.
SAP BW Extracts : Now you can extract data from SAP BW cubes into Tableau’s data engine as well. Tableau retrieves leaf level nodes (not drill-through level data) and makes them into a relational data source. Since multidimensional to relational transformation does not preserve all cube structures, switching back and forth between extract and live connection freely without impacting the state of your visualization is not supported for cube extracts. You will need to make your choice before you start building up your viz. However you don’t have to decide on everything upfront. You can switch between alias options (key, long name etc.) after the extraction.
Join culling : If you have a lot of joins but no referential integrity defined in the database for performance reasons, you are going to love this. Now you can impose Soft RI in Tableau by simply checking a box and Tableau will eliminate unnecessary INNER JOINs, making your queries run faster.
Initial SQL for Aster Data : Starting with 8.1 you can write initial SQL for Aster which will be especially useful for SQL MR functions that require output tables as inputs to later stages of the analysis (e.g. cfilter) and cannot be expressed with nesting in a single query.
Google Analytics Advanced Segments : Tired of down-sampled data because you ended up downloading the entire dataset? Now you can use both default and advanced/custom segments in Google Analytics. Interested in search engine traffic, mobile traffic… just pick what you need.
Google Big Query BQL Support : Say hi to big JOINs and GROUP BYs… Starting in 8.1, you can use BQL in Tableau and take advantage of special constructs that are not supported in SQL 92. You will also notice a number of BigQuery functions appearing in Tableau’s list of calculations when creating your calculated fields that will come in handy for parsing URLs, concatenating strings, converting Unix timestamps to dates (and vice versa) and when you need to use regular expressions.
Teradata OLAP Connector : Tableau 8.1 has a new first class connector for Teradata OLAP with named sets and drill-through support.
Cross-version Compatibility between Server and Desktop: Using a Tableau 8.1 desktop, now you can discover and issue queries against data sources published on a Tableau 8.0 server.
Not to mention over a dozen query performance improvements that will make working with live database connections smoother.
DATA TO THE PEOPLE : Things were hectic in the backstage for the TCC 2013 keynote
This is just the list delivered by my teams. Tableau 8.1 is packed with many more features. Grab a copy of the Beta and share your feedback with us!
And of course… Stay tuned for tutorials on the new features.