tableau logo

See, Manage and Ask Data in new Tableau release

Tableau Software (NYSE: DATA), the leading analytics platform, today announced the general availability of Ask Data, which leverages the power of natural language processing to enable people to ask data questions in plain language and instantly get a visual response right in Tableau.

This patent pending capability makes it easier for people, regardless of skill set, to engage with data and produce analytical insights they can share with others without having to do any setup or programming. Ask Data is available as part Tableau’s newest release, Tableau 2019.1.

Customers can simply type a question such as, “What were my sales this month?,” and Tableau will return an interactive visualisation that they can continue to explore without limits, either with iterations, new questions, or drag and drop gestures. There is no need to have a deep understanding of the data structure, no setup required and no programming skills necessary. Ask Data uses sophisticated algorithms that are driven by an understanding of the person’s intent, not keywords, which helps Tableau return more relevant results.

“Data is the currency of Singapore’s new digital economy. In the upcoming Budget announcement, the government is expected to offer help for businesses to adapt to technological disruption and support tech adoption. We believe data should be accessible to all and with Ask Data, we’re making it easier than ever for anyone, regardless of expertise to analyse data,” said Leslie Ong, Country Manager, Southeast Asia at Tableau.

“Ask Data is a new, integrated natural language capability that provides a more intuitive and natural way to interact with data, lowering the barrier to entry for analytics and allowing people to ask questions in plain language and get insights faster. First pioneered by Tableau with drag-and-drop functionality, Ask Data is the next stage in the evolution of self-service analytics.”

Ask Data Technology Translates Simple Questions into Analytical Queries

Ask Data uses sophisticated algorithms that are driven by an understanding of the person’s intent, not keywords, which helps to understand a person’s question, anticipate needs, and allow for smart visualisation selection. For example, when someone types in “APAC furniture” for their sales data, they want to filter “Product Name” to “Furniture,” and “Region” to “Asia Pacific.” Ask Data combines statistical knowledge about a data source with contextual knowledge about real-world concepts: “Furniture” is a common value for the “Product Name” field and “APAC” is an acronym of “Asia Pacific.”

Additionally, Ask Data’s sophisticated parser automatically cuts through ambiguous language, making it easy for people to ask questions in a natural, colloquial way. This means, if a question could be interpreted multiple ways, Ask Data will combine knowledge about the data source with past user activity and present a number of valid options to choose from, with the ability to refine the results if needed.

Tableau Expands Platform with Prep Conductor in New Data Management Package

Tableau also announced today the general availability of Prep Conductor, a new product that enables organisations to schedule and manage self-service data preparation at scale with no programming or complicated set up. Tableau Prep Conductor is part of a new subscription package called Tableau Data Management.

Prep Conductor automates flows created in Prep Builder (the renamed Tableau data prep product already Prep Builder is already in use by more than 11,000 customer accounts, and Prep Conductor will help organizations use it more broadly.) to ensure that clean and analysis-ready data is always available. It also gives people greater confidence in their data by providing added visibility and detail behind cleaning history and data connections, as well as alerts when processes are not operating as scheduled. 

Tableau Prep Conductor gives IT the ability to monitor and set up automatic cleaning processes (flows) for their data across the entire server. It also allows customers to build permissions specifically around data flows and data sources in order to maintain control and meet data compliance standards and policies.

Tableau will add more data management capabilities, such as data cataloging, to the subscription package later this year. These capabilities will enhance data discoverability for end users, making it easier to find the data they need for analysis. From a single location, customers will be able to search for many types of data and can leverage enhanced metadata for additional context and detail to ensure they’re selecting the correct data. These data cataloging capabilities will also give IT better visibility and control to maintain their environment. IT will be able to see lineage between data and workbooks, so they can easily track the impact of any changes to the data. This saves time and avoids costly breakages on production workbooks, allowing for a more collaborative evolution of data sources.

The Data Management package is available today as an add-on to Tableau Server for $5.50 per user per month. To purchase the Tableau Data Management package, customers will need to upgrade to Tableau 2019.1 and purchase it as a licensed add-on product.

Tableau 2019.1 New Features include Google Ad Connector and PowerPoint Export

The first release of 2019 also includes a Google Ads connector, which will help marketers analyse their website data more easily and blend it with other data sources across their organisation. This connector adds to the more than 65 native connectors available today like Google BigQuery, Salesforce, Amazon Redshift, PDFs and SAP Hana. With the new Export to PowerPoint feature that resizes visualisations and dashboards to slides, customers can present their analysis with the click of a button.