Tableau is a software that helps people see and understand data, transforming the way it’s used to solve their problems. It makes analysing data fast and easy, beautiful and useful, to ensure that data makes an impact.
This is Tableau’s goal: translate data into value for business with a positive impact.
There’s a new version being launched, Tableau 2019.3 Beta, and installing this version we can see an interesting set of new capabilities. Using the new version, we were able to improve on our goals. Below we’ve highlighted the features we liked the most:
- Explain Data— A new feature to help you understand the ‘why’ behind unexpected values in your data;
- Tableau Catalog — A new capability of the Data Management Add-on to ensure you are using the right data in the right way.
Explain Data provides explanations, using Bayesian statistical methods, for unexpected values in data. With this feature is possible to identify causes and see new relationships between data and it’s enabled on all the existing workbooks for Creators and Explorers. No data prep or setup is required.
It’s very simple: select a mark and learn more about it.
The figure below presents a possible example of an explain data from a selected mark.
In this example, we are analysing a visualisation of products and their average profits. We can see that the product Copiers has a profit way higher than the others. With Explain Data, we learn that this happened because in the product records there is a really high value that increases this measure. This feature also displays a few visualisations related to this explanation, such as the first table that shows the record with this higher value.
The panel displayed by this feature presents the following components:
- Selected Mark Information – indicates what mark is being described and analysed;
- Measure Selection – shows the measures available to select the one in use for explanation;
- Expected Range Summary – describes whether the value is unexpected or not given the other marks in the visualisation;
- Explanation List – displays a list of the possible explanations for the value in the selected mark. Selection an explanation in the list will display more details in the Explanation Pane on the right;
- Explanation Pane – displays the selected explanation using a combination of text and visualisations.
This new feature aims to help organisations manage their data better, because we are facing a time where is very hard for users to find and trust that they’re using the right data in the right way. This feature will be available for Tableau Server and Tableau Online.
With Tableau Catalog it’s easy to get a complete view of all of the data being used in Tableau, and how it’s connected to the analytics. Data owners can automatically track information about the data, including user permissions, usage metrics and lineage, as shown in the figure below.
In this example, the view with this feature is as though we’re looking into a catalog of data on this database. We can see the warnings that appear when there are errors in data quality (a), such as missing fields, and we can see the lineage of the data (b), such as which tables are related, and the workbooks and sheets the data is being used in.
Tableau Catalog also helps to build trust in the data across an organisation, creating a panel with data details (shown in the figure below):
- Data Quality Warnings is where users can quickly see when there’s an issue with data being used in a dashboard – such as a missing field or maintenance interruption.
- Definitions and additional metadata can be added in order for users to have a better understanding of the data itself.
These data details are included alongside the dashboard, enabling users and viewers to understand the source and lineage of data from within a visualisation.
In conclusion, with these new features, Tableau aims to:
- Eliminate duplicate content, time wasting and prevent analysis based on bad data with Tableau Catalog. With the data quality warning, you may be more aware when there is something wrong with the data values and resolve them. One of the biggest changes is being able to see all the data sources that are being used, helping to avoid publishing duplicate data;
- Provide faster explanations for unexpected values in data with Explain Data. This feature provides more detail about the data, especially outliers, and lets you explore other scenarios that can be further explored/investigated, saving data exploration time, especially when there is a data set with lots of data.
With these new features, Tableau is getting stronger in the market, bringing unique characteristics to bear against its competitors. This is an advantage because nowadays there are many solutions levelling up, and it is necessary to try to make a difference.
For more information and further details on the new features of Tableau 2019.3, click on the following link.