Explosive announcements at TC17. New features coming to Tableau Software: A new data engine, Project Maestro, Extensions API and more

Categories Analytics, TC17

 

The first Keynote Talk of the TC17 started explosively, as Adam Selipsky, Tableau CEO, and other executives from the company made some amazing announcements for the analytics community, starting with a new update: Tableau 10.5.

 

Tableau 10.5 is officially in Public Beta, immediately available for download. The update comes with a incredible new data engine: Hyper, which will be a lot faster than the previous one, and will be able to process vast amounts of data in a much time frame.

 

Tableau announced proudly that the days when you’d have to wait dozens of minutes when you imported vast amounts of data are over. Their engineers actually proved Hyper’s speed, which ‘shamed’ the previous generation data engine and managed to compile with stellar speed.

 

Another important update for Tableau will be the addition of tooltips, plus at least 20 new features asked by the analytics community.

 

 

“Hyper will let you analyze billions of rows of data fast, it takes performance to new heights. THe best way to understand the power Hyper brings to you and to Tableau”, said Francois Ajenstat, Chief Product Officer at Tableau.

 

Even if data processing became a lot faster, analysts still usually spend up to 80% of the time doing data preparation and only 20% analyzing it.

 

Tableau made another grand announcement at the TC17: Project Maestro, which they say it will ‘reinvent data the Tableau way’. Project Maestro will be a visual tool, deeply integrated with Tableau, so you can quickly interact with data.

 

 

The new tool, which will be launched this quarter, will help analysts prepare data a lot faster than before.

 

Anushka Anand, Senior Product Manager Maestro said that preparing data is becoming an instant job. You will be able to review the list of changes you’ve done. You can even trace down time and see the impact on your data. You can build trust in your data prep process.

 

With Maestro, analysts will be able to simply drag and drop to union data from different sources or tables in different databases. You simply drag it in, select union and watch the profiles update.

 

Normally, when you join datasets, there are common issues you work out. However, Tableau says that Maestro gives you a visual experience to help you understand the impact of a join. Every operation in Maestro is visual and direct. Plus, all miss-matched fields are shown visually different so they immediately pop-up.

 

“If any value seems wrong, you can just come in, fix it, and watch the join update. Not losing sales data anymore! A simple mistake like that in the data could have taken you hours to figure out”, said Anushka Anand.

 

Three coordinated views from Maestro give a complete picture of your data. You will be able to interact directly with your flow, data profile, or row level data, according to Tableau. “The choice is yours, based on what you are trying to do. With direct interactions, you can fix problems on the spot and instantly see the results, across all three views.”

 

Image source: Tableau Software

 

On top of everything, you will have advanced algorithms to empower you. Project Maestro automatically shows errors and outliers in data and employs fuzzy clustering to help you with the common, repetitive tasks like fixing spellings errors or reconciling entities across data sources. “With smart defaults, it’s easy to stay in the flow. Now you can spend less time on tedious and receptive data prep operations, and more time focused on your analysis.”

 

 

Image source: Tableau Software

 

Project Maestro will also provide seamless integration between data prep and analytics. It shares the same calc language and governance structure as the rest of Tableau, so you can get started easily. Also, with a streamlined sharing experience to Tableau Desktop, Tableau Server and Tableau Online, you can quickly switch between data prep and analysis.

Another grand announcement at the keynote talk was the launch of Extensions API.

With the new Extensions API, developers can create dashboard extensions that enable customers to integrate and interact with data from other applications directly in Tableau.

Here’s what Tableau says about the new use cases of Extensions API:

  • Create an extension that has write-back functionality, so users can modify data in a viz and have that change automatically update the source data in the database or web application
  • Build custom viz and interactivity types such as a filter replacement with a custom interface and network diagram
  • Integrate 3rd party functionality inside the dashboard

As a benefit, you can interact with data from other businesses and applications directly in Tableau, but you can also customize Tableau’s Desktop environment for a specific team’s workflow. We do not know yet an official release date, but you can join the developers’ preview starting today.

We do not know yet an official release date, but you can join the developers’ preview starting today.

Sebastian is a journalist and digital strategist with years of experience in the news industry, social media, content creation & management and web analytics.


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