Tableau's three lessons for data visualistion tools

It’s been a busy year for Tableau Software — the data visualisation firm has pushed out what amounts to more product updates than at any time in its past.


It’s almost as though big data analytics and visualisation technologies have become more widespread than ever, or something.

The firm has this month made available Tableau 9.2 with new data preparation improvements, customisation for maps, enhanced security and a new iPhone app.

Users could always use their iPhones with their Tableau dashboards and visualisations, but the Tableau Mobile app now makes it easier to interact with and access data on the go.

The heads-up pointer for software application developers here is:

1) data visualistion tools are becoming increasingly widespread.

1) data visualistion tooling needs to be presented in modern applications.

3) data visualistion from Tableau can be implemented ‘inside’ other new modern apps

“Tableau 9.2 advances our mission to help people see and understand data, making it easier to prep data, tell stories with maps and stay on top of your data, right from the iPhone,” said Chris Stolte, chief development officer and co-founder of Tableau Software.

“Expanding our mobile app to the iPhone was one of our most requested improvements. We’ve also made it easier and quicker to interact with data and continue to provide more ways to keep data fresh and secure,” he added.

Tableau also introduced geolocation, which makes it possible orient a map around your current location with a tap on a Tableau map in a mobile browser or on the Tableau iPad and iPhone app.

Also in this release… improvements to the REST APIs let administrators set, view and remove default permissions for a project and easily control default project permissions programmatically through custom applications and scripts.

Data preparation enhancements

New data preparation features in 9.2 are intended to cost users less time preparing and searching for data and more time analysing it. The data interpreter now cleans Excel spreadsheets and automatically detects sub-tables and converts them to tables that can be analysed in Tableau.

Data grid improvements make it easier to craft the ideal data source and quickly move on to analysis and the enhancements to the Data pane help people take fewer steps to find and update metadata.