Your Ideas Turned into These Features in Tableau 9.1

By Tracy Rodgers 2015/08/20

The ideas section of the online Tableau Community is one of the biggest sources of product feedback. Tableau developers often look to this space for inspiration when creating new features and improving existing ones.

Tableau 9.1, currently in beta, is no exception. Close to 20 ideas posted on the Community have been marked as "Released."

A Way to Connect to Any Web Data

Tableau user Simon Morris had the most popular idea with his call for the “ability to connect to Google spreadsheets as a datasource.” Simon's idea, which received 218 upvotes, has made its way into Tableau.

In addition to Simon's idea, we received three similar requests all calling for the same feature. And if you also consider the post by Tamas Foldi on how to connect prior to Tableau 9.1, the call for this capability was overwhelming.

Thanks to the Web Data Connector, we can now connect to Google spreadsheets more easily. You can also use the Web Data Connector to “connect to JSON data sources,” which makes accessing any web data possible.

We plan to launch the new Developer Community space with Tableau 9.1. Bookmark the site so you can check out the connectors others have built and get inspired to build your own.

Product Updates: A New Form of Notifications

The theme of this release is enterprising data. The Web Data Connector definitely gives organizations more access to data, but from an administration perspective, the community was asking for more.

Prior to Tableau 9.1, Tableau users needed to follow the Release News forums or periodically check the Release Notes page to stay on top of Tableau's latest releases.

With Tableau 9.1, thanks to ideas like “notification of new releases” and “software auto update,” Tableau users will be notified when they can upgrade to a later version.

The community also told us that while it was great to update users on your Tableau Server using tabcmd, the task could be done more easily. So now, you have the ability to “manage AD group sync via web admin.”

Improved Mapping Features

And then there’s the mapping.

Ever tried viewing a Tableau map on a mobile device only to have the map move all over the place and cause you to lose your data points? That should no longer be an issue, thanks to Mark Jackson’s idea of having the “option to lock the axis on maps (i.e. disable panning)."

And maybe some of the quickest turnaround on an update to maps is the Distance Measurement feature. Radial selection was just added to Tableau 9.0 in March, yet there was a need to add more. Four ideas, all created this year, helped spur the developers to “add a scale to radial selection,” making maps an even more robust viz type.

These are just a few of the ideas we've incorporated into Tableau 9.1. Thank you for providing us with a better understanding of your wants and needs. We see the ideas section as a treasure trove of feedback, and we hope you continue sharing your thoughts so we can continue improving the tool you love.

Learn More about Tableau 9.1

Product Updates Enabled in Tableau 9.1
Tableau 9.1 Includes SSO Support for SAP HANA
Staying Secure Is Simple with Tableau
Stay on Top of Your Data with Tableau Mobile 9.1
Use the New Web Data Connector to Reach Any Data


It's exciting to see the ideas that we users, create, debate, and discuss make their way into the product. This is one of the things that makes Tableau so great! Keep it up!

Submitted by Cliff B (not verified) on

It amazes me how fast and nimble Tableau Developers are bringing updates to us, as end users!

Submitted by Michael P. (not verified) on

Any chance you want to enable this workbook for download as a Tableau Workbook? Some pretty slick functionality you've got built into it, would love to take a look at how you built it.

Submitted by Emmanuel (not verified) on

Work with days more natural
Same period last year , etc, etc.