Tableau 8.1: Fast, Easy, Beautiful

This is the third in a series of blog posts on the Tableau 8.1 release.

We generally like to use products that help us accomplish goals and produce results. We also generally like to use products that are, well, fun.

Those two shouldn't be at odds with each other, but they often are.

Tableau’s goal is to empower you to analyze data, and to have fun while doing it. Tableau is always exploring ways to make working with data easier, and with your help and ideas, we aim to not only empower you to analyze data, but to have fun while doing it. To that end, I’d like to show you some of what’s coming in Tableau 8.1, in one of our major themes we like to call, “Fast, Easy, Beautiful.”

Let’s take a look:

Fast, Easy

No matter your project, the tools you use should be easy to use so that your focus is on your goal, not learning the tool.

Fields in the data window now have new on-hover feedback to respond to your mouse to make it clear that these fields can be dragged onto the worksheet, as well as new visual cues to let you know you can edit the properties of each field.

Speaking of the data window, part of working with your data is keeping it organized, like the workspace of any artist or designer. To that end, you can now group data fields into folders, whether it’s hierarchies, groups, geographies, dates, anything. Organize your data however you want to.

Also new to 8.1 is the ability to copy content between workbooks, whether it’s a worksheet or a dashboard. If the data source doesn’t exist in the workbook you’re pasting to, it’ll copy that over too. It’s pretty common to want to bring a worksheet from one workbook onto a dashboard of another. Now you can in just a couple mouse-clicks, without having to rebuild the whole thing from scratch.


Finally, let’s talk about design freedom and customizable options. Good design can be foundational to good insight, and new 8.1 features put more design power into your hands. First up are new dashboard transparency options. Legends, text boxes and images can all be transparent when you float them on top of other content.

We’ve also opened the door for more flexibility when designing various objects, such as quick filters. You can format them to make them match the design and style of your dashboards. You can also customize the experience of using multiple-value quick filters with an apply button.

Let’s cap this post off with a feature that helps you show off your work: presentation mode. The 8.1 update now centers your viz and removes almost all of the UI and replaces it with a white background. This puts more of the focus on your content, and less on everything else. It works with sheets, dashboards, and even the very cool Story Points feature that will ship in 8.2.

It’s worth mentioning the source of a lot of these features: you. We pay very close attention to what our customers say about what they’d like to be able to do in Tableau, in particular, the Ideas Forum. In fact, at least 30 of the upcoming features in 8.1 can be traced to customer ideas. So if you have something you’d like to see, head on over there and cast your vote.

There’s still more to come in Tableau 8.1, so stay tuned.

(The original post described an automatic data modeling feature that has been moved to a future version.)

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