By Ellie Fields May 2, 2009

At the heart of good analysis is good data. In this version we’ve added more ways for you to work with and access data.

Cut and Paste into Tableau

One of the coolest new features of Tableau 5.0 is the ability to cut and paste from the web or flat files into Tableau. For example, I’m interested in the results from the Summer Olympics in Beijing. I find a chart of the final medal count on Wikipedia and copy the table. Then I bring up Tableau 5.0 and paste the data in directly, without saving it to a file first. Within one minute I’ve got a visualization of all the medals earned by each country, ordered by the country’s final rank:

This feature is great for ad-hoc analysis. Simply by cutting out a few of the steps, it’s easier to pick up data from an email, the web, or a flat file and find trends or patterns.

There are over 50 new features in Tableau 5.0. You won't believe what we've done with extracts, but we’ll save that for later. Next post: authoring rich experiences.