Tableau's latest update aims for AI enhanced augmented analytics, broader access to data

Salesforce's Tableau has more integrations with Salesforce as well as Google Cloud BigQuery and Amazon SageMaker and support for Linux-based containers.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Tableau is integrating more artificial intelligence into its platform to broaden the base of people, roles and skill levels able to access analytics.

The augmented analytics functions in Tableau 2021.2 cover improvements to the Ask Data feature with personalized experiences, Explain Data with a new user interface and natural language search tools and reporting integrations with Salesforce. Salesforce has said it is increasingly selling Tableau along with its core clouds

Among the key functions in Tableau's latest release:

  • Ask Data, which allows people of varying skill sets to answer business questions in natural language, is getting tools to guide users on how to ask relevant questions as well as personalized dashboards. Ask Data is available to all roles and users for Tableau Server and Tableau Online.
  • Explain Data is getting a new UI designed for a wider audience that highlights drivers behind a data point. Explain Data will search for explanations in a data source beyond what's in a visualization.
  • Ask Data for Salesforce is enabling Salesforce users to ask any question in Tableau CRM using natural language and semantic search. Answers will appear as insights, reports and recommended dashboards.
  • Einstein Discovery for Salesforce Reports, which will analyze data from Salesforce reports and surface insights with charts and explanation.

Francois Ajenstat, Chief Product Officer at Tableau, said the new tools are aimed at democratizing data and creating an analytics-driven culture. He cited customers such as Jaguar Land Rover that scaled Tableau deployments to 70% of the business in 9 months after the CEO requested that all board reporting be done in Tableau.

Ajenstat said:

Through AI-powered augmented analytics, we're lowering the barrier to entry for more advanced analytics in the hands of more people. Tools like augmented analytics are critical to helping organizations build and sustain data cultures by addressing the growing disconnect between business leaders expecting a data-driven organization, and employees who either aren't comfortable questioning metrics or leveraging data analysis to drive actions.

Here are two screen shots of the Tableau and Salesforce integrations. 


Ask Data for Salesforce. 


Tableau 2012.2 also includes Collections, which organizes content on Tableau Server and Tableau Online. The company is also adding an integration tab that will make it easier to connect and analyze data from Salesforce Sales and Service Cloud on Tableau Online.

In addition, Tableau added transition tools from web authoring to Tableau Desktop to improve workflows.

Other items in Tableau 2021.2 include:

  • Entity search, a new search experience in Ask Data to explore what's in data.
  • Ask Data Lenses, a new content type that makes it easier to curate data sources by role. Ask Data Lenses can hide unnecessary fields, add synonyms and create custom visualizations.
  • Area spatial data calculations to joint spatial joins and calculate things like total acres and population densities.
  • The ability to run Tableau within a Linux container. Tableau 2012.2 will support Kubernetes and Docker containers for Linux.
  • Writing to Google BigQuery from Tableau Prep.
  • Amazon SageMaker for Tableau, which will provide the ability to communicate and share machine learning models. Machine learning models built on SageMaker can be implemented directly within Tableau Dashboards.

Explain Data view. 

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