Launching Tableau 8.0 and Sharing Our Vision

By Chris Stolte March 20, 2013

As we get ready to release Tableau 8.0, we would like to share the vision behind our product direction. Our company’s mission, “to help people see and understand data,” has been at the heart of Tableau’s product direction since our founding. Our mission is articulated in detail on our mission page.

This version includes over 90 new features supporting this mission. Learn more in our Tableau 8.0 Feature Overview.

A big part of our vision is empowering people to answer their own questions from data, whether they are a doctor, scientist, video game designer, business analyst, or executive. To do this we need to develop products that don’t require expertise in SQL, statistics, graphic design, perception, or visualization. We work to build this expertise into our products for you.

The Process of Visual Analysis

To support the natural process of thinking with data, we believe our products need to allow people to incrementally construct a wide-range of visual representations and easily move between them to find just the right perspective. It is this focus on the process of analysis that led us to invent our core technology, VizQL, a language that lets people query databases just by composing drag and drop pictures of what they want to see.

At the high-level, this is our vision: To build products that are simple enough to be used by everyone but analytically rich enough to support sophisticated analysis.

Tableau 8.0

We’re excited to release Tableau 8.0. With 90+ new features put to the test in real world conditions by over 3,900 beta participants, it represents our biggest effort to date to materialize this mission. We have invested in five major themes:

  • Web and mobile authoring. Creative people need to be able to answer questions of their data wherever they are. In 8.0, we’re introducing Web and mobile authoring that lets you answer questions interactively using nothing but a web browser or a tablet.
  • Advancement to visual analytics. We’ve added forecasting, cohort analysis, and set manipulation to give people new ways to discover patterns and make comparisons. And, we’ve extended the set of possible views you can create in Tableau. These include stacked views (like stem-and-leaf plots), treemaps, bubble charts, and word clouds. Some of these views are controversial and should be used sparingly.
  • Access to new data sources. A big part of answering questions with data is access. We’ve added access to cloud sources such as Google Analytics and Salesforce.com. We’re supporting more big data sources out of the box: Cloudera Impala, DataStax Enterprise, Hadapt, Hortonworks Hadoop Hive, SAP HANA, and Amazon Redshift. We also introduced an API that allows programmers to load data from anywhere into Tableau.
  • Deeper integration with the business. We’ve made it easier to integrate Tableau deeply into your existing systems and workflows with a new JavaScript API and with the ability to subscribe to views.
  • Fast performance. As data grows in size and complexity, people want to see more data and more details. Fueled by a new rendering engine, Tableau’s breakthrough unification of computer graphics and databases is faster than ever before. The new engine renders data by leveraging the graphics hardware acceleration available on ordinary computers. On the web, Tableau Server now dynamically determines where rendering will complete faster – on the server or in the browser – and acts accordingly. Dashboards now render views in parallel when possible.

Of course we didn’t get to everything. Every time we release a new version of our products, our development team wishes we had more time and resources. We welcome criticisms and ideas for our products, because that input helps us plan future releases. In fact, right now, our development team is planning for Tableau 9.0 and beyond.

The Road Ahead

We have an ambitious and exciting agenda. Our plan will push forward our mission by investing in several areas:

  • Total access to data. People need a single application that can easily connect to all of their data sources and perform all aspects of data preparation and analysis. Our forward roadmap includes investments ranging from increased connectivity, breakthroughs in direct query of large databases, rapid-fire data transformations, and easy-to-use data integration.
  • Visual analytics everywhere. Our customers are creative people. They start their day at a desktop and then transition to a laptop as they move to a coffee shop in the afternoon. They need easy-to-use analytics on all their devices and all their operating systems. Our forward roadmap will include Tableau on a Mac. It will also include Tableau as a pure Cloud offering.
  • Analytics and statistics for everyone. Effective data analysis is difficult. There are many effective techniques such as aggregation, binning data, and regression analysis. But these techniques are complex and often only accessible to deeply trained people. We are investing in making statistical & analytical techniques accessible and usable by everyone.
  • Storytelling and collaboration. Stories have been an effective means of communicating information over many thousands of years, and our brains are eager to find, tell, and remember stories. But a visualization alone does not tell a story. Our forward plans will include features that support constructing visual narratives and effective communication of ideas.
  • Enterprise + scale + performance. Features to make our product function effectively in very large or enterprise-scale deployments will continue to be critical. Tableau Server will continue to scale to even larger data sizes and ever larger user communities. And we will continue to advance our enterprise integration and administrative capabilities.

In addition to investing in big ideas like the above, we will continue to make investments in making it easy to acquire, install, deploy, and use our products in mission-critical use cases. We will also continue to invest to preserve our core product development values of ease of use, simplicity, beauty, and speed.

As usual, we invite and want your input; feel free to comment on this blog, share your thoughts in the Ideas section of our Community website, or talk to your account manager.

-Chris Stolte and Pat Hanrahan

Comments

Submitted by Ben Sullins (not verified) on

So happy 8 is finally here! Also, really excited about Tableau Desktop coming to my Mac. Any clues if that is a v9 feature or more an 8.1 update? Thanks!

Submitted by Thierry J. on

Taking all the best practices you have applied to "Data Analytics" (with dashboards) I'd love to see Tableau launch a "Report Authoring" tool that would allow us to design great looking reports with total control over the pdf/print layout which could then be scheduled for delivery by email in pdf format (using the new V8 function).

Interactive dashboards and data discovery is crucial of course but there are many instances where a non interactive/plain pdf delivered to my inbox at a certain frequency is all we need/want.

Submitted by DJ C. on

Thanks for combining a clear mission with specific implementations that advance the state of the art in creative ways. I'm looking forward to applying existing and new capabilities to help clients be more successful with key initiatives. Tableau based visualization is a power tool for the DAD (Design / Align / Deliver) method we apply.

Submitted by Daniel P (not verified) on

Do you have a timeline for the Mac release?

Submitted by Sharon O. (not verified) on

Have your sales people call me as soon as you are off Windows (Fusion or Parallels is not acceptable). I'll purchase immediately.

Submitted by Victoria R. on

Me too. We're a Mac office.

Submitted by Christian R. on

Same here - amazed there isn't a Mac OS version after all this time.

Submitted by Jan (not verified) on

About to buy my first macbook and didn't expect Tableau would not have a Mac version. Please have it as a priority on your list. While tableau is an amazing product :)

Submitted by Jack Hu (not verified) on

Hi,I'm a BIG Tableau fan,while I've switched from Windows to OS X.Could you please share us some notices on how's your team's progress on a Mac version? Really looking forward to see Tableau on a Mac,instead of any out of fashion virtual machine lol.

Submitted by richardson (not verified) on

looking for mac release too, so in the meantime for tableau =>
No Mac release, no tableau business. Period.

Submitted by Kathleen G. on

RE: a Mac version - it's on the roadmap!

Submitted by Andrew (not verified) on

I'm a Mac user, and I'm happy using Tableau using Parallels.
Have been for the last three years.
My 10 year old daughter can figure out how to fire it up, with no problems.
Its not an issue.
Its a 60 second detour, to reach the same destination.

For those of you refusing to flex a little, it feels like you are "you're cutting your nose off, to spite your face" ... you could wait another couple of years, but you're loosing benefits you could be enjoying today ... or you could dip your toe in the world of VM's and catch up. Surely, maintaining your personal and business competitiveness is more important that operating system snobbery.

I'd prefer Tableau to spend more development effort on improved ETL and high end Analytics capabilities.

Submitted by Sharon (not verified) on

Andrew, you don't have to wait (see: http://www.bimeanalytics.com/showcase.html. Not perfect but works with Mac and has an easy entry price point). No customer should be required to "flex" a little. Disruption happens every day because a company thinks the customer should bend to their paradigm. Never a winning business model. Tableau's dependency on Microsoft is their achilles heal and they raised money in the public markets to correct it.

Submitted by Jack Dougherty (not verified) on

While it's no problem for me to run Tableau via Windows virtualization on my Mac, that's not true for my undergraduate student Mac users (now over 75% of campus). When a Mac or pure Cloud version of Tableau becomes available, that's when I will consider teaching it as one of our data visualization tools.

Submitted by Cathy Zawodzinski (not verified) on

Just want to know when your product will be available for my Mac.

Submitted by chris_smith (not verified) on

When is the mac version coming out?

Submitted by Regina George (not verified) on

It is completely ridiculous to not have a version for Mac. Our entire office works on the Mac system and to be honest, we've had all kinds of problems with Parallels not working.

Beyond that, in this day and age, we shouldn't have to integrate additional operating systems simply to access software.

Submitted by DJ C. on

I attended first day of Tableau Customer Conference 13 yesterday Sep 10 in DC. One of the key announcements was Mac version (demoed by CTO during keynote) will be in version 8.2 released first half of 2014 as I understood the timing.

Submitted by pete (not verified) on

agreed for authoring AND it would still be nice (or urgent) to have the Reader app, for Mac.

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