See all of 7.0's features in detail here.
New Ways of Seeing
Tableau 7.0 kicked things off with new native visualizations: filled maps and area charts. Both just take one-click to display your data in a beautiful way, whether it's presenting geographic data or dissecting individual changes within trends over time.
But it wouldn’t have been a major release without improving existing features and making them easier to use, such as a redesigned Menu. Or maps that now wrap. Or how about our signature 'Show Me' feature? It's now a dynamic experience, actively suggesting chart types based on the data fields as you select them. It's also an exploratory experience, meaning you can switch between different views on the fly.
And then there's better geocoding. Ever have data that has GB, Britain, UK and a dozen more permutations of the same country? Now they all automatically point to the same place. Always.
What would a new release be without more powerful ways to see and understand your data? With 7.0, we invited a host of new analytical tricks to the party, such as confidence bands, exponential trend models and deeper summary stats.
We also made a number of improvements to already existing features. Tooltips were enhanced with new action-buttons to keep you moving and analyzing your data at the speed of thought. Dates became easier to work with, including some better formatting customizations and even the ability to show dates with no data. And parameters are now just one click away when you want to let the user control reference lines, top N filters and bins.
For many of you, Tableau is about speed. How could we disagree?
The Data Server
As data grows in your organization, you need a good way to keep all those data connections, extracts and other files organized. The new data server in 7.0 is here to help, providing a one stop shop for centralized data management.
This means streamlined metadata. Rename a field, create a calculated field or build a hierarchy. Now, when other users connect to that data, they'll see the exact data as you cleaned it: the same field names, the same calculations, the same--you get the idea. And when you update that data, it will update for everyone else. One version of the truth.
The data server can also store data connections, acting as a proxy between users and databases, which IT will love--no need to install drivers on everyone's machines? Yes, please.
And of course, this is still Tableau Server, which means it's as secure as ever. All data connections will respect any security settings you set, whether in Tableau Server or the database itself. Published data sources can also be secured on a user by user basis.
Multi-tenancy allows Tableau Server to be segmented into separate sites, separating workspaces, content, users and workbooks--all while still using one instance of Tableau Server. Members of one site won't be able to view content from other sites.
If you serve reports to multiple clients via Tableau Server, you don’t want them to be able to see each other’s workbooks, users or projects. In fact, you probably don't want one client to even know the other even exists.
Just one more vote for privacy and security in this digital information age.
See all of 6.1's features in detail here.
Tableau Goes Mobile
Author once, consume anywhere. That’s the Tableau philosophy and we carried it into the mobile frontier with 6.1 with a native iPad app. The app works directly with Tableau Server, which means you have the freedom to view your dashboards anywhere with a touch-optimized interface.
Pinch-to-zoom, swipe to scroll, all the ways of interacting that you’ve come to expect on a tablet are built right in to the experience, no extra work required.
And because no Flash is involved, you can even view vizzes published on the web through Tableau Public using the Safari browser with the same touch-optimized interface.
Fresh, Fast Data
Tableau’s in-memory data engine was already fast. In 6.1, we made it better. Incremental extracts drastically reduce the time it takes to update data you’ve already imported. Don’t have time to wait for that text file to be added to your database? Append it directly to your extract. And that doesn’t include the improvements to viewing data, previewing joins or even extracting data.
Did we mention 'Refresh All Extracts'? Connecting to your data is important--we just made it even easier.
A Truly Global Product
While Tableau is used around the world, many organizations have been patiently visualizing their data with English menus and commands. No longer! For the first time, in 6.1, Tableau was fully translated for the world audience, beginning with French and German with more languages on the road map.
We also added a new localization feature: locales. There are several ways to display date formats, currency symbols, even swapping periods/commas for thousand separators. Now, you can customize all of those--and more--depending on the location of the reader and present data in the way that makes the most sense to them. One less thing to be confused about.
See all of 6.0's features in detail here.
The Data Engine
Do you find your database slow? Do you work with large text files or big spreadsheets? Allow us to introduce the Tableau Data Engine, a system that extracts your data and optimizes it for blazingly fast analytics.
Traditionally, in-memory extracts required all the data fit into RAM. Not so with Tableau's Data Engine, which is always aware of how much RAM is available locally. This means you can load data much larger than what your RAM has space for.
And if you decide you want to go back and directly connect to your data, you can just uncheck a box. Easy, fast and flexible, just the way a data engine should be.
Data doesn't always come neatly packaged in one box. There might be a stray CSV with crucial data you'd love to add to views you've already created. With Tableau's data blending feature, you can combine data from multiple sources together into a single view with a simple drag-and-drop. No code needed.
And you can create features that take advantage of having a combined data source, including filters, calculations, and more that work across multiple data sources.
The most significant addition to analytics in Tableau 6.0 was also one of the most important: user input. Not everyone has the same acceptable threshold for flight delay times, or for discounts applied to product sales. New parameters allow you to set these values and dynamically see the data change. They can also be used to switch between multiple fields, giving users total control of what they see.
We also added a suite of table calculation functions, giving users the power to quickly calculate percent of totals, percent differences, and so much more.
And because speed and ease are so important to us, we took our simple drag-and-drop philosophy into creating ad-hoc hierarchies. Simply drag one dimension on top of another to create a hierarchy and reorder the levels. Not one line of code needed.
As more and more people publish workbooks to Tableau Server, you need a good way to manage everybody's projects, security rights and even how often Server's cache refreshes. In 6.0, we created ways to do all of that, from a new content administrator role to the ability to batch manage users, in addition to other major usability features.
We also made Server itself easier to manage. Simply enter a URL to see the status of Server, along with better ActiveDirectory syncing and improved error reporting.
All to give you a smoother, faster experience when interacting with your data.
See all of 5.1's features in detail here.
There's a lot of data out there--most of it not being used. We want to change that, and Tableau Public is how we plan to get started. With Tableau Public, we're bringing our rapid-fire visualization program to a new audience in a free, consumer application. Anyone can publish a visualization of public data to the cloud and share it with the whole world wide web.
Why enable all of this for free? We believe in promoting data analysis in decision making, whether that's through data storytelling, web applications or simply making a data-informed statement.
We believe in the democratization of data. A free product for all people is just one step towards that goal.
Richer Data Presentations
The tools you use to present your data are often as important as the data itself. How does point A compare with the average? Is a sales manager reaching their quota? To answer these questions, we added reference lines, bands and distributions. Whether you want to see which data points cross a threshold or how many points are within one standard deviation of the median, reference lines can be built and customized to answer any question. They also open up new chart types, such as bullet charts and box-and-whisker plots.
Labels are also more flexible and can be set to show where and when you want them: end of trend-lines, only when points are highlighted, and much more. We also added more color palettes to choose from, giving you more control of how your data looks.
The Power of Customization
In 5.1, we added rich formatting to nearly every aspect you can dream of. Titles, annotations, tooltips, all of them can be customized for various fonts, colors and styles. Text can be made dynamic depending on filters, parameters and more.
But text is only one piece of a visualization. There's dashboard sizes, filter criteria and global dashboard actions. All three can also be customized, whether it's sizing your dashboard for a specific section of your corporate site or customizing how a worksheet filters the rest of a dashboard.
You know how to best present your data. Now Tableau is flexible to let you do so.
See all of 5.0's features in detail here.
Active Views & Dashboards
Dashboards combine views to get a big picture of your data. In 5.0, we took dashboards a step further with active interactivity. Take highlighting, for example, which can be applied across worksheets to identify relationships and trends--whether by category, named individuals, date ranges or even a single data point.
Even individual worksheets on a dashboard can act as filters themselves. Clicking on a point on one sheet filters other sheets to relevant data, opening up many doors for deeper interactivity and faster insights. Actions can even be configured to contain URL links and point to other sites for more information.
Design Analytical Workflows
Rather than just provide static reports, we added a host of new features to create views that guide readers to new insights. There are new filters, such as single-select drop-down menus, search boxes, relative date filters, and more. They can also all be customized--along with legends and tooltips--to inform readers of what actions to take or what information to absorb. Try adding dynamic titles and captions based on viewer selections.
You can even guide viewers from one worksheet to the next using highlighting and filters to move between the sheets. New URL actions also let you lead readers to other sites with more detailed information separate from your data.
And now you can even create dual-axis charts to easily compare multiple measures across dimensions.
Expanded Data Access
You've got a lot of data sitting around, but only want to work with a small subset of it. With updated Tableau extracts, you can aggregate fields, roll-up dates or filter out certain columns altogether. This reduces the size of the data you import, making it much faster to work with.
Even connecting data is easier. In fact, it's as easy as copying and pasting--literally. Find interesting data on the web or in an email? Copy it, open Tableau and paste it right in. It's that easy.
Version 5.0 also adds the ability to import your own custom geocoding. There are many types of datasets that don't follow conventional geographic location, and now all of those can be imported and plotted with Tableau's maps. Think airports, congressional districts, store locations--anything to fit the desires of your analytical mind.
With uses of Tableau Server growing in many organizations, more and more people want access to dashboards at the same time, so we've made Tableau Server capable of multi-threading. Instead of waiting for one request to complete before beginning the next one, multiple users can ask questions of the same dashboard at the same time. This means far shorter wait times.
And in case you find your internal server hardware struggling to keep up with that growth, you can install one instance of Tableau Server and distribute it across multiple server boxes. You're no longer constrained by the limitations of a single piece of hardware.
We've also added the ability to monitor how people are using Tableau Server, giving you the power to optimize it based on your organization's specific use case. When do people access dashboards? Which reports are most commonly used? How much space do they take up? And to help make answering those questions even easier, Server will now create database repository of its own data, which you can query using Tableau Desktop itself! How people view data is data on its own--now you can analyze it.
See all of 4.0's features in detail here.
Integrated, One-Click Maps
Maps are powerful ways to visualize geographic data. In 4.0, we made maps a one-click visualization type. Using built-in geocoding, Tableau automatically recognizes geographic fields such as country, state and even zip code, and can plot them on a map immediately. No latitude or longitude required.
Our maps also have custom codings. You can add streets, borders and geographic names. We've also included 30 different demographic variables you can layer on top of maps, such as housing unit growth, economic data and more.
And of course, maps are first-class visuals, which means you can use all of Tableau's great features, such as small multiples, filters and even the pages shelf to see trends.
Enhanced Marks & Dashboards
At the core of every release is a new way to look at your data. With 4.0, we added new chart types with Pie Charts alongside major upgrades to the way your data is presented. Think mark transparency, custom mark shapes and other visual cues for easier data manipulation.
We also upgraded dashboards to support web pages, URL actions and custom images. On top of that, we've made dashboards more flexible both in and outside of Tableau. You can embed documents directly into dashboards to support your data visualizations, or even embed dashboards into other programs such as Powerpoint through third-party plugins.
A New Embeddable, Flexible Server
You can embed Tableau Server views into your network, portal, or any internal web page and application. We even provide the flexibility to include or exclude toolbars, comments and quick-filters.
We've also enhanced the overall experience to Server. See a great dashboard but don't want to bookmark the link? You can create a series of favorites. Want to focus on only a subset of the data? You can customize dashboards, save those views and then access them later.
Ultimately, Tableau Server is about extending interactivity and data discovery to everyone in your organization. To that end, Server inherited several features from Tableau Desktop, such as highlighting and interactive hierarchies, empowering users to dive into the data and discover new insights.
You've analyzed your data and discovered new insights. Now you want to share them. Introducing our second product, Tableau Server, a business intelligence application that provides browser-based analytics everyone can learn and use.
Anyone in your organization can view your published work online, so long as they have the proper security permissions. Interactions are live and on the fly, including filtering, highlighting and drill downs. And it's all in the web browser; no downloads, plugins or coding required.
Welcome to rapid-fire business intelligence.
Dashboards are a fundamental tool for presenting your data. You've used Tableau Desktop's worksheets to explore your data and perform valuable analysis. Combine all of those worksheets onto a dashboard to provide the big picture of your data.
We've also enabled our analytics capabilities to work across all worksheets in a dashboard. Take quick filters, for example. They can be used to filter all of your data on a dashboard at once with a couple clicks of a mouse, no coding required.
Improved Visual Styling
Visual information is at the heart of Tableau's products, and this release improved many aspects of how information is presented. This includes better default positioning, including the orientation of text and numbers. Even the physical layout of filters, legend cards and charts are more intuitive and adapt for each item's size.
Color legends are also interactive. Selecting one color highlights all selections of that color while graying out all others. This easily allows you to home in on the data that is important to you.
Improved Data Connectivity
Data is at the core of what you do, and now we help you do it even better. Even if your data is in one database, it often exists in multiple tables. Now you can use Tableau Desktop to connect to joined tables. Quickly add and remove tables, or even change how joins are performed on the fly.
But what if you're offline and not connected to your database? Tableau can now create extracts of your data, letting you take your work offline. You can even work with just a subset of your data. In some cases, extracting data also adds additional features, such as distinct counts and medians.
Ultimately, this gives you flexibility in working with your data. You're free to maintain a live connection to your database, extract the data to work offline, or seamlessly switch between the two.
New Visual Encodings
There are many ways to encode your data to make rapid comparisons. Color came with our initial release version, and now we've added size. Just drag any field to the size shelf, and watch as your marks are sized according to the category they belong to or the relative numerical amount of that point.
Also new is the Pages shelf, which allows you to flip between data from different categorical fields, such as date. It can also be animated to automatically show how data changes, often highlighting very impactful occurences in your data set as you watch.
Don't forget to try one-click reference and trend lines too. These make for simple and easy ways to compare data points against set benchmarks or even see the strength of a regression.
Calculations and math functions are the foundation of manipulating your data. New calculated fields allow you to augment your data in Tableau, whether you want to modify dates, use trigonometric functions, and much more. We've even added custom SQL expressions and cube database calculations using MDX queries.
In the spirit of fast analytical insight, table calculations are just one-click away. This is an easy way to perform running totals, various types of percent calculations, moving calculations and much more.
The very first release, built on the revolutionary technology that makes Tableau what it is today. Tableau Desktop is built on the idea that you can work with data by using pictures, not just numbers and code. Use your mouse and a few click to drag and drop and analyze your data.
Tableau is built on years of research to build a system that supports people's natural ability to think visually. Every change you make is shown in pictures you can instantly understand. This includes building charts, swapping axes, filtering information, and much more.
Welcome to business analytics anyone can learn and use.
Say Goodbye to Coding
Tableau's breakthrough technology, called VizQL, allows you to visualize your data without needing to even touch your keyboard. As you use your mouse to drag and drop to create charts, Tableau translates your actions into database queries and then expresses the response graphically. .
Shift fluidly between views, following your natural train of thought. No wizards, code, or other intermediate scripts. You maintain a constant view of your data without having to lift a finger off your mouse.
Easy & Useful, Fast & Beautiful, Ubiquitous
Tableau was built on these three principles. Anyone should be able to work with their data and derive usable insights out of their data. It should also work fast, as fast as you can think--all the while outputting beautiful graphics that humans intuitively understand. Finally, this tool should be usable anywhere, and with any kind of data you have.
This first release of Tableau Desktop was a giant first step towards fulfilling these principles. You can perform powerful database queries without knowing how to write them. The results are visual graphics, not code. And you can connect to spreadsheets, databases and cubes.
But it's a first step. As you look through our subsequent releases, you'll see each one brings us closer and closer to making those principles even more of a reality, and ultimately towards accomplishing our mission: to help people see and understand their data.