By Ross Perez 09 Nov, 2010

We’re well into 6 Education Day, and some of you may still be wondering: What’s the big deal? What does it all mean? In fact, Leonard puts it perfectly:

What is the "Joy of 6"? Does the number "6" come from "Tableau 6" or something else? What are the new features of Tableau 6? Who can benefit from Tableau 6?

Leonard, you’re absolutely correct: 6 refers to our new product, Tableau 6.0. Tableau 6 has more than 60 new features that will make your Tableau experience quicker and more valuable. You can see every one of those features on our microsite.

But what it boils down to is this: Tableau is bringing its signature speed, ease-of-use and visual analytics to world-class BI problems—even if you don’t have world-class IT resources at your disposal. Courtesy of a new, powerful data engine, massive data and blazing fast speed are now an integral part of the package. Cool! Here are some highlights:

Big, Fast Data

Size shouldn’t matter when it comes to data. Whether your data is big or small, 6 is about making the best of what you have. And, when it comes to 6, you don’t have to wait around for your query to be ready. So, whether it’s 700 or 700 million rows, it’s always the right time to go for it. It’s truly speed-of-thought analysis.

Data Blending

When one data set is begging to be merged with another data set, it’s a tragedy to deny that. With Tableau, the Montagues and Capulets find it’s easy to ignore their their differences, and a magical thing happens called data blending, which fundamentally changes what you can do with data. Do you have two different data sets, in two different locations and in completely different formats? With 6, that’s no problem at all. What was previously a six-week integration project is now just a drag-and-drop operation.

In-Memory Plus

Tableau 6 is not for people who like to spend hours massaging their data; it’s about getting the job done quickly. With 6, you get all the benefits of in-memory analytics, without the usual limitations. This means you can import data and get a huge performance boost, and integrate all sorts of disparate data sets in a sandbox. But Tableau also set out to solve two things customers disliked about in-memory solutions:

  • Choice. With Tableau you can pick between in-memory or live connect. Even within one company there is a legitimate need for both cases.
  • Everyone. Because other in-memory solutions require all the data to be loaded into memory, they have big, expensive hardware requirements. That’s why they are always asking you to buy more servers. Tableau is like MS Office. We just brought massive in-memory performance to the average Dell laptop. And then there's the question of who can do it. Other systems require scripting, training and expertise. Not so with Tableau - anyone can create an in-memory extract.

We call our solution “architecture-aware in-memory.” With our in-memory plus direct connect strategy, you don’t ever have to move your data.


We all need control over our life, and Parameters give you even more of it. By allowing users to seelct a variables value, you can now perform powerful "What-If" analysis and even pass the capability on to consumers.

There is way more than that to 6 though! Check out the microsite for more in-depth info.