Top Tableau Features which will make you enjoy being a BI Developer

Tableau is the golden standard of BI Tools. Below are some of the features I have listed:

1. Colours

Tableau gives you way more options to customise your colours. In previous versions the default continuous colour was green. The design team at Tableau changed this to include a much more softer blue. We think this new colour jumps less to the front and therefore keeps you in the flow even more.

2. Fonts

Fonts also make an introduction in this version of Tableau. Gone are the days that you needed to find a font that would suit all devices and operating systems, now Tableau includes a new custom font that is specifically built to make your vizzes look beautiful, even legible in the smallest size and across all devices.

3. Formatting

Another really useful new feature in Tableau 10 is workbook level formatting. This means that you can set the font of your whole workbook and therefore you don’t have to copy formatting or set the formatting for each individual sheet. Thank you Tableau!

4. Highlighting

Whenever you have a lot of marks in your view, for example in a scatter plot, it might be hard to find a particular customer or product. Tableau 10 ships a new feature called the ‘highlighter’, which is a free text field and dropdown menu that can be used to quickly find and highlight your data. This means you don’t need a parameter or a colour legend to find what you are looking for and therefore does not clutter or alter your viz. We can already see some great possibilities of the highlighter in combination with reference lines or together with another new feature called clustering.

5. Cross-data source filtering

The fifth new feature we are really excited about is cross-data source filtering. Yes, you’ve read this correctly, you can now filter across multiple data sources without using a rather tedious parameter. This has been on our wish lists for quite some time and finally it’s included in Tableau. Cross-data source filtering works as follows: whenever you have a workbook that contains more than one data source that has various common fields. Take for example a dimension called Customer. If you drag this dimension to filters on one of your sheets you can now set the filter to be across all using related data sources. This will then filter down over all of your views that have this Customer dimension. The good news is that you can also set this to particular sheets, which means that there is a lot of flexibility to customise your dashboards.

6. Groups in Calculations

You can now use groups in calculated fields. The previous solution to this issue would be a long-winded approach either going back to the datasource to generate a new column in the datasource or writing out very lengthy IF statements. Now you can just drag a newly generated group into a calc and get going. Just like in any other IF statement, make sure you use the same case in the statement as the alias you create in the new group. It’s also worth knowing that you can now also include groups in your LoD calcs!

7. Device Specific Dashboards

We’ve all spent a serious amount of time trying to get dashboards to fit each and every screen that it could be viewed upon, often having to make compromises on the content of the dashboard. V10 introduces multi-screen/device sizing; allowing you to create a dashboard that will fit a mobile, a tablet and a desktop screen size. In a couple of simple steps you’ll be able to use your initial dashboard design as a default design, then rearrange, resize and remove sheets from your original template. Just open up your dashboard on any of the 3 devices and it will automatically display your custom dashboard size.

8. Custom Territories

Who doesn’t love mapping in Tableau? O.K. so there may be some people out there who have been frustrated with the way that Tableau’s filled maps are restricted to the default geographical ranges. Not any more! You can now simply create a group of multiple geographical shapes and use that as your new filled map outline. Measures will now aggregate up to the newly created grouped boundary. Simple to use and very effective, the Tableau way.

9. Clustering

Tableau are constantly trying to develop the software’s analytical capability. V10 is no different, you’ll now be able to do advanced clustering analysis with your data by just dragging and dropping it into the view. Tableau uses k-means as the method, one of the most robust clustering techniques, and can either automatically generate the clusters or you can suggest the number of clusters you’d like. This powerful new feature will help guide your analytics by describing how your data is spread and may even reveal aspects of your data you weren’t already aware of. Have fun exploring clustering! (For a detailed explanation about how clustering works in Tableau see Bora Beran’s excellent blog on the topic here.)

10. Dashboarding on Tableau Server

Along with getting a really neat make-over, v10 Tableau Server allows you to quickly create a series of vizzes and set them out together on a dashboard. A thorough analysis often requires more than one viz and for that you need a dashboard. We’re pretty pleased with this feature as it will only help to speed up and broaden a company’s analytical capability.

For more visit: Tableau.com

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