Tableau Software is expected to release the next major upgrade of its popular data visualization software, Tableau 10, within a couple of weeks. Version 10 will feature better data-mashup capabilities, drag-and-drop clustering, more mobile-friendly dashboards, support for Google Sheets and additional enterprise management tools, the company has told its customers.
The version 10 beta has been the company's largest, with more than 13,000 customers involved in testing, according to Francois Ajenstat, Tableau's vice president of product management. Tableau has posted a number of blogs about the new release in advance of general availability, such as cross-database joins, one of about 30 features requested by the user community that were included in this latest version. This is aimed at allowing easy dataviz creation from multiple data sources, such as a SQL database and structured data in Hadoop.
"Cross-database joins & wildcard joins are a huge win," an IT manager at a major industrial company said by email. He asked to remain anonymous so as not to tip off competitors about tools his company uses.
The cross-database join feature in Tableau 10 allows easy dataviz creation from multiple data sources.
"We need to analyze data that's across multiple Excel files," the IT manager explained. "In the past, we'd have to merge all files into a single spreadsheet to do the analysis. That was a real hindrance to effective analysis as sometimes one file wouldn't be merged, or maybe a file would be erroneously merged twice. Now, all we need to do is tell Tableau to use a certain set of files and away we go . . .
"We also have to build viz's from different data sources and, in the past, we'd have to 'somehow' get them all into a single location. Not any more: we can link different data sources in the same viz to see everything together. This has the potential to take weeks off a project as we no longer need to figure out how to get x number of data sources into one place."
Corey Turner, application development analyst at the Spokane, Wash., public schools, is another Tableau 10 beta user happy about the multi-source joins. "Between Level-of-Detail calculations introduced in version 9 and cross-database joins now in version 10, it reduces the need for a lot of database prep work that you would have to do in other products to structure your data properly," he said by e-mail. (Level-of-Detail expressions allow the combination of overall data with grouped data in one statement, such as comparing a single store's sales with an overall average.)
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