Greetings from Tableau Conference 2023 (TC23) in Las Vegas, and beyond. Beezwax’s Data Analytics & Tableau Developer team is attending, both in-person and virtual.
TC23 is designed to reveal and inspire, with new product information, plus Tableau (and Salesforce) company roadmaps. More importantly, there’s plenty of insight from TC23 sessions including technical topics, case studies, thought leadership, cool demos, community inspiration, and hands-on learning.
Here we’ll briefly cover the keynote and mention Tableau product news, then focus on highlights from the range of TC23 sessions. Some of these sessions are recorded, so these highlights also serve in part as a checklist toward future learning and review.
TC23: “A New Day For Data” (Keynote / Products)
• AI, in the form of Tableau GPT was featured heavily in the TC23 keynote today with features like Tableau Pulse, an improved and augmented layer of metrics that are easily digestible and more intelligent than the current Tableau Metrics. Yet, even if GPT is an engine driving innovation…
• …Tableau is emphasizing access, trust and security alongside the new features. For example, we heard in one TC23 session that Tableau GPT was not, and will not be, trained on any data provided by Tableau users (and, of course, we’ll read the fine print to confirm the privacy).
• Along these same lines, the Tableau user experience is built to make sure that people drive the use of AI-augmented features. For example, Tableau GPT may provide options for new visualizations but ultimately, it’s the user that decides to use, or amend, the vizzes.
New in Tableau (Keynote / Products)
A Meatball With Noodles
• Our favorite developer-focused feature was the use of the ‘meatball’ to enable multi-dimensional relationships to be defined in the datasource relationship graph. The metaphor works, culinarily, as Tableau relationships are known as ‘noodles’. This solves many-to-many relationship issues we’ve encountered. I guess this means we’re in store for many meatballs in the future (and perhaps some Lady And The Tramp relationship advice).
• Native address geocoding drew quite a round of audience applause at TC23. This means no more text wrangling and transformations to get true GPS coordinates for address strings. What a time saver! As a bonus, Tableau Prep adds the ability to create geospatial joins to do things like mimic map layers.
• Probably the ‘neatest’ feature showcased, right at the end of the keynote, was Tableau Gestures. As earlier suggested by the Tableau Research team, this grants regular humans gestural control over their data. This will be compared to Minority Report, and may grow into a “functional” (analytical) tool. For now, it’s positioned as a “communicative” (presentation) tool, for pointing out and framing data, such as while in a live web conference.
Tableau Gestures looks…beyond cool. But also looked a bit finicky in the demo. While we won’t be stepping in for Tom Cruise (yet), we imagine this feature will be quick to improve.
Day 1 Done … Day 2 Coming Up
Overall, there’s been quite an innovative feeling start to TC23. There truly are some compelling features and improvements being shown off. Integration with Salesforce products and services continues to be a major theme, as well.
Tableau Conference 2023 – Day 2
We dove into some hands-on sessions on Augmented Analytics, and Set Actions, and heard about modernizing the data enterprise. We wrapped up with the famous Flerlage Twins for some nifty-neat stuff in Tableau. Crowds and lines grew at TC23 today; here’s hoping that’s a sign of continued growth of Tableau, and the returning demand for learning and connectedness in the #DataFam community.
In our Augmented Analytics session we heard from the Tableau team on where their roadmap is head with features like Ask Data, Explain Data, Data Stories and the newly announced Pulse.
Augmented analytics provide additional insight and context alongside analytics products. The latest available feature in this field, Data Stories, is powerful and also flexible to provide useful plain language summaries of visualizations. It is ‘smart’ enough to adapt to user interaction even if it’s generated by rule-based algorithms. But Pulse, powered by Tableau GPT, will bring these three types of augmented analytics together and provide additional context and target tracking to end users. We heard that Salesforce is “doubling down” (we’re in Vegas, remember) on this new feature as the modern way to provide universal metrics that can easily be used by business users. Expect a Fall 2023 preview of the feature – we’ll keep you posted.
Set Actions are YAFF (Yet Another Favorite Feature) for us in Tableau, even if they’ve been around for a while. We find them particularly useful for hierarchical drill-down, and simple user-driven categorization for various use-cases. Nothing brand new in this arena, but it’s good to exercise these foundational muscles that can provide powerful results.
How To Do Cool Stuff In Tableau
We rounded out Day 2 with some quick tips from the fun Flerlage Twins. If you’ve ever wondered how to color dimensioned bar charts alongside Row Grand Totals that also display colored stacked bars, all in one worksheet (whew!), check out a stream of the presentation available via the Tableau Conference site.
If you’re already wondering about next year, Tableau Conference 2024 (TC24) will be in San Diego — so get ready for the beach!
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