Looking Ahead at Tableau 2020.3

Soon Tableau will be releasing its newest update: Tableau 2020.3. In this article, we highlight some key features and how they pertain to different user groups to give you a better look at what’s to come.

Aquestion that constantly arises in analytics discussions is “how do we get our data in the hands of our everyday users?” As an industry, we’re moving towards self-service analytics where employees don’t have to wait for reports or dashboards to be generated but can quickly access the data to answer their own questions.

Tableau has aided in making this possible with their entire suite of tools that help users access, prepare, serve, display, and analyze data. Tableau is getting ready to release Tableau 2020.3 and with that, there’s a lot of new features to discuss. I want to break down several of these features by identifying how they affect different types of Tableau users:

  • The admins that prepare and serve data to users

  • The developers that are responsible for building dashboards

  • The users that will interact with the dashboards and data

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While these groupings are somewhat subjective, it should provide a good framework for reviewing these changes to Tableau.

Improvements for Admins

The term “admin” can encompass a lot. To clarify a bit, these are new features that help users create datasets, manage user access, and moderate content.

Write to external databases in Tableau Prep

Tableau Prep helps data stewards build the new datasets from different sources and share them with developers. Being able to write to external databases adds flexibility to organizations as they determine where Tableau Prep fits into their data architecture.

SAP HANA connection improvement

This update includes improved integration and an official certification with SAP HANA for Tableau Desktop, Prep, Server, and Online. Tableau provides a lot more information on this feature in a white paper that can be accessed here.

Union spatial files

Being able to union spatial files simplifies the process of analyzing spatial data. Data stewards can use this to create better spatial datasets for analysts.

Assign user roles at sign in

With this update, user roles can be granted to individuals and whole teams as soon as the user signs in. It’s crucial that users have the right access to the right data and content. This update will make this process easier.

tableau 2020.3 features

Tag Stale content

Admins will be able to flag visualizations that are out of date or need to be reworked. This will make it easier for admins and content owners to review materials and ensure all content is presentable.

Improvements for Developers

The following are some of the new features that will help developers who create workbooks in Tableau Desktop.

Predictive Modeling Functions

Advanced analytics is becoming even easier to perform. Tableau is including a couple of new functions that perform predictive modeling. This enables developers to quickly perform table calculations that provide insightful results.

tableau 2020.3 features

IN operator for calculations

With this new release, developers can check to see if a value exists in a custom list. While this is a fairly straight forward update, it provides developers more flexibility when creating custom calculations.

tableau 2020.3 features

Relationship improvements

The ability to join tables on calculated columns gives more freedom to developers when analyzing new datasets.

Background maps improvements

Developers will have more options for map backgrounds and can choose the best background to fit with the UI of the whole dashboard.

tableau 2020.3 features

Data pane search improvements

Users will now be able to search for fields by the type of field or the comments in the field. This becomes extremely useful when working with datasets that contain large amounts of fields.

Improvements for Users

Lastly, Tableau has made some updates to help users view and interact with the data and other content.

Improvements to Ask Data

The Ask Data feature allows users to type in questions about the data, such as “which region has the most sales”, and Tableau will return visualizations that answer those questions. New updates for this include the ability to provide suggested questions to users and editing the display text with terminology that’s familiar to users, just to name a couple.

tableau 2020.3 features

Explain Data improvements

The Explain Data feature provides AI-driven insights that seek to provide explanations for specific points of data. Tableau has refined their model to help users get the most out of their data.

New “Shared with me” tab

Users will be able to quickly see content that other users have shared with them. Users can also customize this area, making it easier for them to access the data that’s important to them.

tableau 2020.3 features

These were just a few highlights of the updates in Tableau 2020.3 release that I think will be important to multiple kinds of Tableau users. View the full list updates to come here.

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