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What’s New in Tableau 8?

The StatSlice team recently attended the Tableau 8 Roadshow here in Dallas. The crowd was large and enthusiastic. The presenter, Ted Wasserman (a Tableau Product Manager), summarized the changes into five major categories:

• Visual Analytics
• Speed and Performance
• Any Data
• Business Integration
• Web and Mobile Authoring

JavaScript API. Tableau can now be embedded in Web sites and corporate applications, and portals.

New Data Connectors. You can now easily connect to Google Analytics and data sources.

Browser Editing. The ability to author visualizations right in the Web browser.

Data Blending. Data blending improvements make it easier to use blended data in your analysis because you no longer need the linked field in the view.

Performance. Tableau is touting a much improved product speed and performance, including filtering, highlighting, and other work that can now be done locally in the browser, without waiting for a round trip back to Tableau Server.

Mobile Desktops. The extension of this capability to native apps for iOS and Android and on the Safari browser on the iPad means that the ad hoc analysis previously limited to the desktop can now be performed on devices too.

New View Types. Tableau 8 includes treemaps, bubble charts and word clouds. While these views are not for everyone, they let you fit a lot of data in a small space and provide instant insight. In some organizations, these are familiar view types. In addition there is a new forecasting extrapolation visualization.

Freeform Dashboards. You can now overlap zones on a dashboard. This allows users to produce a new aesthetic in dashboards by putting legends and filters in the view.

Depth with Unprecedented Ease. Tableau 8 comes with the new sets and groups features. Sets are improved and allow the combination of sets as well as easier editing of sets. Grouping now allows “painting in the view,” or easy visual selection and grouping with a click.


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