Tableau updates data visualization tool to add support for mobile editing and APIs for a variety of cloud-based data services.
Big Data Analytics Masters Degrees: 20 Top Programs
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Tableau Software Thursday released Tableau 8, a major update of its data visualization tool.
Topping the list of 90 new features is support for mobile, drag-and-drop authoring, via a browser -- either using HTML5 or older Dynamic HTML browser technology. Formerly, the data visualization company's mobile offering supported consumption but not editing.
"We're making analytics fast and easy, beautiful and useful," Chris Stolte, chief development officer and Tableau Software co-founder, said in a statement.
Clearly, Tableau hopes the ability to modify queries and answer questions on the go will attract more users. The company claims about 10,000 installations of its desktop and server products worldwide.
There might emerge a different class of user, Francois Ajenstat, Tableau's director of product management, told InformationWeek in a phone interview. "[They] aren't going to build deep analytics but they can filter, add dimensions, change visualization and see sophisticated calculations," he said.
"I buy the argument it'll expand their base," Cindi Howson, founder of BI Scorecard, told InformationWeek. She added that by offering a data visualization tool requiring minimal IT setup, Tableau is challenging traditional vendors of ad-hoc query tools, such as Business Objects and Cognosis, which also come in mobile versions.
Still, Howson said it wasn't entirely clear yet how customers would embrace these on-the-go systems.
In a separate announcement also aimed at adding customers, Tableau earlier this month said students could use its $2,000 desktop tool for free for one year.
Another important update in 8.0 are a number of new "connectors" for cloud-based data sources. These include connectors for Google Analytics, Google BigQuery and Salesforce.com.
The Salesforce connector might be especially important to customers, Howson said, given an issue with Saleforce.com's own reporting tool. "Right now, reports in Saleforce are pretty inflexible," she said. "Salespeople who aren't sophisticated BI users will now be able to look their data in a new way." She added Tableau is among a relative few BI vendors with native connectors to Salesforce.
Tableau said it had also updated its free application, Tableau Public, with all of the new analytical and visualization features of the latest release.
Tableau, which premiered 8.0 at its customer conference last fall, said about 4,000 of its customers participated in the beta program for the new release.
Can data analysis keep students on track and improve college retention rates? Also in the premiere all-digital Analytics' Big Test issue of InformationWeek Education: Higher education is just as prone to tech-based disruption as other industries. (Free with registration.)
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security EnterpriseTo learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Digital Transformation Myths & TruthsTransformation is on every IT organization's to-do list, but effectively transforming IT means a major shift in technology as well as business models and culture. In this IT Trend Report, we examine some of the misconceptions of digital transformation and look at steps you can take to succeed technically and culturally.