Tableau adds data storytelling to its revamped cloud platform
The Salesforce company wants to make data more accessible with a set of self-service tools built into its new-look Tableau Cloud platform.

Tableau wants to make it easier for enterprise users to tell stories using their data with a set of new capabilities being added to Tableau Cloud, the new name for its software-as-a-service (SaaS) analytics platform.

The new features include simplified self-service tools like Data Stories, smart suggestions through Einstein Discovery, and collaboration tools to work on shared data models.

Tableau Online is being rebranded as Tableau Cloud as of this week, with Tableau CEO Mark Nelson telling the press this week that its managed SaaS option will provide enterprise customers with improved analytical tools, advanced management capabilities, better governance, tighter security, and easier ways to share your data.

“We’re all having a front row seat to this data revolution,” Tableau’s chief product officer, Francois Ajenstat, said during the same press conference.

More self-service data tools

A direct result of Tableau’s acquisition of Narrative Science late last year, Data Stories uses natural language commands to generate explanations of Tableau dashboards, increasing the number of people who can work with the data.

To create a data story, users simply drag and drop the desired dataset and then use a set of customizations to format it in their preferred way, be it to present to colleagues or clients.

Tableau is also adding a Model Builder tool, which aims to help teams to build, collaborate on, and deploy predictive AI models, a Text Clustering tool to extract keywords from large text fields, and Bias Detection for existing models.

Having been acquired by Salesforce in 2019, Tableau is also deepening ties with its parent company’s AI capabilities, which are branded as Einstein. Built in to Tableau Cloud, Einstein Discovery provides predictions and recommendations for users, without having to employ data scientists to write bespoke predictive models.

“By harnessing these insights, even beginners can see beyond the what of their data and understand the why. You can see what could happen in the future, and what you should do about it,” Nelson said.

Advanced governance

Aside from the more eye-catching analytics capabilities, Tableau is also adding some new data governance and management features to Tableau Cloud.

Advanced Management allows enterprise customers to manage their own encryption keys, access an activity log that tracks how Tableau is being used across the whole organization, and admin insights into dataset usage, license adoption and visualization load times for up to a year.

Tableau Cloud is available to customers today, with Data Stories and Model Builder set to be made available later in the year.

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