A Theory of Discovery: Tableau Customer Conference 2013 Keynote

By Ellie Fields 09 Set, 2013

Christian Chabot, never one for a standard tech conference keynote, (hint: you might never hear him say "I'm so excited to be here") brought to #TCC13 a series of thoughts on discovery. How do humans discover new things?

Christian walked into a loud house, and a full house. He began by looking at the works of some of the greats-- Biologist Ignaz Semmelweis, astronomer Henrietta Leavitt, chemist Dmitri Mendeleev, and physicist Albert Einstein.

"The great discoverers are jazz artists— they combine logic with intuition." Discoverers feel, they chase, they shift perspectives and they relate different ideas.

Every day our organizations are faced with our own Mayan code to decode. "Data is an incredible resource for human improvement."

But traditional enterprise business intelligence works in exact opposition to the way great discoveries are made. It is heavy, inflexible and hard to use.

Tableau is a page-1 rewrite of the book of business intelligence. We are trying to create the software that helps people make new discoveries.

Chris Stolte and Developers on Stage

Tableau's Chief Development Officer then came out to show off some of the new innovation coming in the next two releases. Chris continued on the theme of discovery, with more stories and nods to the history of computing, as well as chemistry and biology and space exploration.

And he said that tools matter to augment human intelligence. The best researchers can't do much when using a pencil with a brick attached to it. And traditional enterprise business intelligence is like a pencil taped to a brick.

"We won't live up to our full potential," Chris said, "without tools that help us augment our ideas."

Then a series of developers came on stage to show off new features coming in 8.1 and 8.1. There were hats and pineapples, grapefruit and calendars. The rock star features that got the most applause were: date parse, box plots in show me, R integration and story points. A full feature list is below.

What brought down the house was Andrew Beers demo'ing the native Mac version of Tableau, coming up in version 8.2.

Was it a keynote or a party? I still don't know. Ask your favorite #TCC113 attendee.

Full list of features mentioned in keynote

Features that got a lot of applause are starred.

Seamless access to data

  • Data connection interface *
  • Visual joins *
  • Dateparse function *
  • Easier metadata

Visual analytics for everyone

  • Boxplot *
  • Percentiles as a new aggregation
  • Forecasting improvements- and new prediction bands
  • Ranking *
  • New totals- two-pass totals
  • R *

Fast, easy beautiful

  • Folders in the data window
  • More db transparency on titles and legends
  • Formatted quick filters
  • Better presentation mode
  • Calendar control
  • Apply button
  • Copy/ paste sheet

Storytelling: Story points, a new feature to help you organize views in a story flow.


  • Improved performance & scalability
  • External load balancers
  • 64bit- server and desktop
  • SAML- single sign on for Desktop and Server
  • ipv6

Visual analytics everywhere

  • Tableau online
  • Web authoring enhancements: moving quick filters, iPad improvement, color encoding *
  • Tableau on the Mac in 8.2**** and the crowd goes wild.


Submitted by John M. on

Ellie, great post, and nice pics! Any chance of getting this list broken down by 8.1 and 8.2?

Submitted by Nemir O. on

hi, is there any snapshot, video, slideshow of this keynote?

Submitted by Ellie F. on

@John, most of the features will land in 8.1. Notably Mac, new data connection window and story points will be later, and a few of the others will land there too.

Submitted by Nemir O. on

hi Elie, is there any chance to get video of the keynote?

Submitted by David Shea (não verificado) on

Great post, sharing it. Can't wait for the Betas! :-D

Submitted by Andrei (não verificado) on

more about this keynote here: http://apandre.wordpress.com/2013/09/09/tableau-8-1-announced/

Submitted by Sam Held (não verificado) on

Ellie - nice recap but will the video of at least this keynote be posted on the web site for non-attendees?

Submitted by Guest (não verificado) on

Keynote video is here...


Submitted by Ellie F. on

Thanks guest! I was looking for that.

Submitted by Peter S. on

I attended TCC2013. There was mention that the sessions would be available online. Where would I find them? By the way, I had a fantastic time!

Submitted by B.J. M. on

Peter, you can view recordings of individual sessions by logging into the TCC13 website (http://tcc13.tableauconference.com/) with the link in the top right corner. Once logged in, go to the Sessions page and look for sessions that have a little play button icon next to them. These sessions should have videos that you can watch on the site.

Note that you must have attended the conference and must use the email address you used to register for the conference in order to log into the site and access the videos.

Submitted by Edward R. on

Any chance a recording of "tips and tricks from a tableau jedi" will be made available? I believe Marc said it had been recorded but don't see the video available just yet..

Submitted by Ellie F. on

Edward, I checked with Marc and he said "it's on its way." Check back in a few days and you should find it!

Submitted by Christopher Weed (não verificado) on

I noticed on Monday (9/16) that there were a LOT more pre-recorded session videos available than there are today (9/18) ...

Any chance that they will be returning?

Submitted by Dustin S. on

Hi Christopher - we're editing a bunch of the videos for audio quality and hope to be re-posting them over the course of the next week.

Submitted by Vik (não verificado) on

Infographic representing the keynote. Anyone who missed it or wants the cliff notes version. bit.ly/1blPKd5