Tableau launches Ask Data natural language processing system

By leveraging natural language processing and algorithms Tableau is hoping to deliver analytics by gauging a user's intent without knowing data dimensions, measures and structure.

Tableau on Tuesday launched Ask Data, a natural language processing tool, to enable customers to ask conversational questions to improve analytics.

The features are available in Tableau 2019.1 beta.

Ask Data is a move to make queries more natural. For instance, a customer could type a question like 'what were sales last month?' and Tableau will produce a visualization without knowing data dimensions, measures and data structure.

According to Tableau, Ask Data is built on algorithms focused on a person's intent instead of keywords. With Ask Data, Tableau is trying to understand a question, anticipate needs and provide visualizations.

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Tableau said Ask Data will be integrated into Tableau Server and Tableau Online. Ask Data will also work with published data sources without additional setup. Ask Data is available in beta for Tableau Creators and Tableau Explorers.

In addition, Tableau launched Tableau Prep Conductor, an add-on product, that enables enterprises to schedule and manage self-service data preparation.

Tableau Prep Conductor centralizes administration and scheduling as well as monitors data prep flows. Tableau Prep Conductor is a licensed add-on product to Tableau Online and Tableau Server.

The software also automates data cleansing within Tableau Prep.

The company also outlined other 2019 features including:

  • Data modeling tools that will automatically recognize data relationships stored in Oracle and SQL Server databases. The system will also use common data warehouse standards.
  • Tableau will handle multiple levels of detail in one data source so customers can slice data without specialized calculations.
  • A new developer program so independent software vendors can integrate and customize Tableau. The developer platform is free and includes a Tableau Online sandbox as well as documentation and sample code.
  • An entry level certification program via a Desktop Specialist exam.