Tableau bolsters product roadmap with machine learning, data processing tools

The company laid out a three-year product roadmap aimed at bolstering its suite of data visualization and analytics tools.

At its annual customer conference Tuesday, Tableau laid out a three-year product roadmap aimed at bolstering the company's suite of data visualization and analytics tools.

The roadmap covers a bevy of hot-button concepts, including cloud computing, natural language processing, machine learning, and collaboration, which Tableau hopes will carry the company throughout 2017 and beyond.

Among the most notable items is a new data engine based on the in-memory Hyper technology acquired when Tableau bought German data processing startup HyPer back in March. The Hyper database system provides the ability to analyze datasets of all sizes in near real-time. It's slated for availability next year.

Tableau says the Hyper data engine will speed up the rest of its products, including a new data preparation tool codenamed Project Maestro. The goal with Project Maestro is to make it easier to prepare and integrate data simply and quickly.

Once available in 2017, Project Maestro will integrate with the rest of the Tableau platform, letting allowing users to publish data to Tableau Online or Tableau Server or analyze it in Tableau Desktop. The Tableau Server is also getting an update with the release of a new version for open-source Linux, which adds new features such as certified data sets.

Tableau is also bolstering its investments in natural language processing, with a new functionality that lets users type in questions about data sets and see their dashboard view update automatically via its new instant analytics tool. As for machine learning, Tableau says it plans to add a new machine learning recommendations engine to its platform that will help algorithms surface contextually relevant data.

In terms of collaboration, Tableau teased upcoming capabilities that will help businesses add self-service at scale. Users will be able to collaborate and discuss insights directly within an analysis to drive better business outcomes, Tableau said. Tableau also showcased a new live query agent that it says will act as a secure tunnel to on-premises data.

"TC16 is an opportunity to share our long-term vision for how we help our customers do more with data," said Tableau CMO Elissa Fink. "Our customers craft their personal learning journey and network with others who have a passion for transforming their organizations and the world with data."

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