Tableau launches Tableau Prep to take pain out of data preparation, Creator, Explorer and Viewer versions

Tableau is looking to expand its reach into enterprises by automating more of data preparation and launching new flavors of the analytics software designed for various business roles.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

    Tableau is looking to automate and simplify data preparation and expand its subscription products based on a user's role in the data science and analytics food chain.

    The company launched a data preparation platform called Tableau Prep. Tableau Prep aims to make it easier for customers to combine, transform and clean their data. The effort features a visual interface to preparing data with automation to streamline common tasks.

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    Data prep has been an ongoing issue for enterprises and analytics vendors have been looking to automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate the cleansing of data. Tableau Prep will automate joins, unions, pivots and aggregations via a drag and drop interface.

    Francois Ajenstat, Tableau's chief product officer, said Tableau Prep is designed to address a common data management problem: 80 percent of time is spent on data preparation and only 20 percent on analysis. "The high value task is analyzing," said Ajenstat. "Prep is designed as a self-service tool to reshape data without any scripting or coding."

    Tableau Prep can shape data by using automation to address common characters--Honda vs. HONDA--manage pivot tables, move columns and rows and combine data sets.


    Tableau Prep.


    According to Tableau, Tableau Prep will be included in its highest end subscription offering called Tableau Creator. Customers of Tableau Creator can use Tableau Prep for free for the next two years.

    As for the subscription plans, Tableau said its new model will help enterprises scale usage of analytics by role. Tableau launched the following options:

    • Tableau Creator, which provides all the features in the current Tableau Desktop as well as Tableau Prep. Tableau Creator has the company's full slate of analytics tools, dashboards and visualization. Tableau Creator is designed for analysts taking enterprise data and making it available to business and technology execs.
    • Tableau Explorer is designed to enable people to create new dashboards and collaborate under a governed data model and self-service analytics. The general idea is that Tableau is allowing business users to explore data without being able to add and manipulate data sources.
    • Tableau Viewer fits a broader enterprise by allowing workers to interact with dashboards and visualizations and get alerts to better make decisions.

    The company said that its subscription plans are available for software as a service, on-premises and various cloud deployments.

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    Tableau Creator will run $70 per user per month on premises or cloud like Tableau Desktop today. Explorer will run $35 per user on-premises and $42 in the cloud. Viewer is $12 per user on premises and $15 in the cloud.

    Ajenstat said the role-based offerings advance Tableau's mission "to bring data to every single person at every company." Ajenstat also noted that Tableau has traditionally been limited to the power user and enterprises would have to buy licenses so line of business executives could consume data.

    He added that Tableau is looking to expand its market and usage with the new versions of its software. "In the past, casual users haven't been able to work with data because it cost too much," he said.

    Indeed, the new price points are likely to mean that Tableau becomes more of an analytics standard in the enterprise going forward.

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