New in Tableau 8: Deep Visual Analytics

By Ellie Fields 2013/02/19
Tableau 8 is packed with powerful features from a new JavaScript API to local browser rendering. But what gets us really excited about 8 are the visual analytics features. Not only beautiful, they're also smart-- they let you ask deeper questions of your data.

New View Types

Tableau 8 includes treemaps, bubble charts and word clouds. These are important because they let you fit a lot of data in a small space and provide instant insight into the most important of that data. They are also familiar view types to many people, so can help you in communicating your ideas broadly.

And of course, like everything we build in Tableau, it’s got all the flexibility you expect—like the bar chart of treemaps above, that shows a breakout of GDP by country with a treemap-bar for every year.

Freeform Dashboards

Another innovation in Tableau 8 is the ability to overlap zones on a dashboard. This seemingly minor change will let people produce a new aesthetic in dashboards. From simply saving space by putting legends and filters in the view to creative new ways of creating dashboards, we can’t wait to see what people do with this feature.

For a simple example, click on one of the marks above. You’ll see a chart appear with details for that country. It’s actually a view on top of another view. The legend is also overlapping the main view.

Depth with Unprecedented Ease

Another set of significant advancements in 8 comes with the sets & groups features. Sets are much more powerful, allowing combination of sets as well as easier editing of sets. Grouping now allows “painting in the view,” or easy visual selection and grouping with a click.

Crave More?

You’re in luck. Over on the Tableau Public blog there’s a series of posts focusing on what’s new in Tableau 8, mostly on the Visual Analytics features.

Tableau 8 Roadshow: A Date with 8

To introduce Tableau 8 properly to the world, we’re taking it on tour. The Tableau 8 Roadshow is an all-day affair, kicking off at 10 am with coffee. There will be breakout sessions, hands-on training and time for you to meet your local user group.

Know someone who needs Tableau? Bring ‘em. The Tableau 8 Overview is a great introduction for those just getting into modern day analytics. And you and your friends should stay for our reception at 4 to have a drink and ask any last questions.

Find roadshow dates here and check back for new dates often. Visual Analytics is only one of the five themes of Tableau 8. We’ll be posting in this blog on the other four, and check back here to find out when Tableau 8 goes live and get detailed information on every single feature.


Submitted by Dan Murray (not verified) on

Nice post Ellie! I will be giving a talk on V8 performance recorder at today's Atalanta Tableau User Group meeting.

Great Dan! How'd it go?

Submitted by Wade Stokes (not verified) on

Speaking of gorgeousness, I like the new design on the website. May I ask what font Tableau is using now on the main menu bar ("Products Solutions Learning Support......")?


Submitted by Kathleen V. on

Hi Wade, I believe the font we're using is GillSans Light (or a close web font approximation).

Submitted by Mark H. on

Viz/Chart not visible with IE browser. Had to use Chrome to view it.

Submitted by Kathleen V. on

Hi Mark, Thanks for letting us know. What version of IE wasn't showing you the viz? I was able to view it in IE 9 but perhaps you're using an older version?

Submitted by Ahmed (not verified) on

When v8 is going to be released, from various blogs I found there are few enhancement in data blending functionality. Desperately waiting!

Submitted by Robert Junior (not verified) on

Honestly, visually Tableau graphics still fall behind from Fusion / Dundas components or even from QlikView / Microstrategy. I was expecting the gauge graph (speed), and more elaborated graphic details (such as 3d, shadow,etc) and moving effects.

Submitted by Dan Murray (not verified) on

With all due respect to Robert Junior, 3d and shadow effects ARE NOT improvements. Moving effects can enhance visual representations (mostly on maps) and are supported by Tableau. Any mention of things like speed gauges clearly indicate to me that Robert Junior needs to refer to Stephen Few's website for further insight into why those are normally the WORST way to make a one-to-many comparison.

Submitted by Robert Junior (not verified) on

Hi Dan. First, I do understand that enhancing visual effects is somehow a improvement, a visual one in the case, right?. Thanks for the website. Very good. Although I still believe that speed gauges in some cases are still the best form to interpreter faster and easier the meaninig of information (othewise by now cars/airplanes industry would have changed them), and I experimented with quite sucess those in some projects. Of course, all of this is not a 'must have' but a 'nice to have' observation. I agree does is better to have a simple and clean graph that works rather than a fancy one that takes forever for rendering and/or cause visualization problems with distinct plataforms. That's why I was wondering if Tableau works toward to keep this balance.

Submitted by Bamgboye Afolabi (not verified) on

Hello Dan and the entire Tableau Team,
I just want to request that you should not leave us behind in Africa. I have written many time to purchase your fantastic product but I have not been having much positive response from you. I would like to patronize Tableau for my research works. I think it is fantastic, beautiful and explanatory.

Dr. Bamgboye M. Afolabi
Paediatric Epidemiologist
Medical Research Consultant

Submitted by Abhishek K. on

Hi All ,

Can we have sample workbooks for these new features , which we can download and analyze for our better understanding.

Thanks and Regards,

Abhishek Khard

Submitted by Ademola O. on

Hi Dr Bamgboye,

You may get in touch with us if you need Tableau. Kindly send me your details ( and we can discuss your Tableau needs.

Ademola Osindero

non-humans click here