Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tableau 6.0 is released

Here are three things amongst many that I like about version 6.0. Let's start with combo charts. You can now have lines and circles and bars and shapes all on the same viz. No real limits here, except good common sense and taste. We'll be seeing lots of junk charts as a result of this feature set. You take the good with the bad. Below we have a disk drive viz, showing writes per second. The dotted line is a user-controlled moving average. Using a margin of error calculation, we have also shaded the upper and lower bands, which themselves are also controlled by the end user.)

Next up are variables (the example above had one). These are handy little helpers to make your calcs and visuals come to life. With this new parameter concept, Tableau provides specific datatype support for dates, strings, numbers, and booleans. Tons of nifty cool things you can do with these! In the next viz we are given the ability to select the fields we want to display. This is a quick and easy way to create one single visual which can serve many different purposes.

The third item I'm really enjoying is hierarchies in conjunction with the new super fast data engine (which replaces firebird).The viz below shows a hierarchy in action. Tableau Groups, Bins, Calculated fields and regular fields can all be added to a hierarchy. In our hierarchy, we even have a parameter-driven calculated field!

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