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The Tableau community held a Tableau Day in Mumbai, India, yesterday. The community announced some upcoming and exciting developments in Tableau. Some of the highlights of the Tableau Day include an in-depth explanation of the new Tableau Prep Builder and Conductor, how Tableau plans to move on to Augmented Analytics, and many others.

The conference also included a customer story from Nishtha Sharma, Manager at Times Internet, who shared how Tableau helped Times Internet in optimizing their sales, revenue, managing cost per customer, and business predictions with the help of Tableau Dashboards.

She further said, Times Internet was solving around 10 business problems with 7 dashboards initially; however, due to success with Tableau initially, they are now solving close to 30 business cases with 15 dashboards.

Let us have a look at some of the highlights below.

Augmented Analytics: The next step for Tableau

Varun Tandon, Tableau Solution consultant explained how Tableau is adopting intelligent or Augmented Analytics. Tableau may be moving into adopting augmented analytics for its platform where ML and AI can be used to enhance data access and data quality, uncover previously hidden insights, suggest analyses, deliver predictive analytics and suggest actions, and a lot of other tasks.

A lot of users came up with questions and speculations based on Tableau’s acquisition of Empirical Systems last year and whether Ask Data, Tableau’s new natural language capability, a feature included in Tableau 2018.2, was a result of the same. The representatives confirmed the acquisition and also mentioned that Tableau is planning on building analytics and augmented analytics within Tableau without the need for additional third-party add-ons. However, they did not clarify if Ask Data was a result of Empirical System’s acquisition.

With Empirical’s NLP module, Tableau users may easily gain insights, make better data-driven decisions, and explore many more features without knowledge of data science or query languages.

Doug Henschen, a technology analyst at ConstellationR in his report, “Tableau Advances the Era of Smart Analytics” explored the smart features that Tableau Software has introduced and is investing in and how these capabilities will benefit Tableau customers.

Creating a single Hub for data from various sources

The conference explained in detail with examples of how Tableau can be used as a single Hub for data coming from various sources such as Netsuite, Excel, Salesforce, and so on.

New features on Tableau Prep Builder and Conductor

Tableau’s new Data Prep Builder and Conductor, which saves massive data preparation time, was also demonstrated and its new features were explained in detail, in this conference. Shilpa Bhatia, a Customer Consultant at Tableau Software, conducted this session.

Questions were asked if Tableau Prep Builder and Conductor would replace ETL. The representatives said that Data Prep does a good job with data preparation; however, users should not confuse it with ETL. They have called the Tableau Prep Builder and Conductor, a Mini ETL. Tableau is also coming up with monthly updates since the tool is still evolving and it will continue for the near future.

A question on the ability to pull the data from Data Prep to Jupyter notebook for building data frames was also asked. However, even this isn’t possible with the Prep Prep Builder and Conductor. They said Data Prep is extremely simple to use; however, it is a resource heavy tool and a dedicated machine with more than 16 GB RAM to will be needed to avoid system lag for large datasets.

The self-service mode in Tableau

Jayen Thakker, Sales Consultant at Tableau explained how one can go beyond dashboards with Tableau. He said, with the help of Tableau’s self-service mode, users can explore and build dashboards on their own without the need of waiting for the developer to build it for them.​

Upcoming Tableau versions

The conference also revealed that Tableau 2019.2 is currently in Beta 2 and is expected to be released by the next month. Also, there will be a Beta 3 version before the final release. Each release of Tableau includes around 100 to 150 changes, and a couple of changes were also discussed including Spatial data (MakePoint and MakeLine), some next steps on how it will move beyond ‘Ask Data’ and will include advanced analytics and AI features, and so on. Tableau is also working on serving people who need more traditional reporting, the representatives mentioned.

To know more about the ‘Tableau Day’ highlights from Mumbai, watch this space or visit Tableau’s official website.

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