Year in review: 10 features that delighted the Tableau Community in 2021

We’re headed into the new year feeling incredibly grateful for the Tableau Community—2021 was an amazing year in Tableau innovation and we owe so much to you, our incredible #DataFam. We are driven every day by your unrivaled passion, brilliance, and generosity in helping us make Tableau even more powerful and intuitive. So thank you for your partnership, your time, and your honest feedback—we couldn’t do this without you.

Now, there’s no better way to kick off a new year than with some reflection. So let’s look at some of the features released throughout 2021 that got our #DataFam abuzz in the Twitterverse. 

1. Quick LODs

Level of detail (LOD) expressions allow you to compute values at the data source level and the visualization level. Quick LODs make it easier for analysts to create calculations, bringing some extra speed to their analysis. For less experienced business users who don’t use LOD calcs often (or may not remember the correct format), Quick LODs make calculations more approachable.

2. Einstein Discovery in Tableau

We hope you’ll follow Cesar's lead and learn more about Einstein Discovery in Tableau if you haven't already. With Salesforce's core AI and ML capabilities integrated into Tableau Prep, calculations, and dashboards, you can bring the future into today's decisions—without writing code!

3. Spatial support for Snowflake

If you love flexible, cloud database schemas and analyzing maps, then Tableau offered you a lot in 2021. Our first release of the year introduced support for spatial data in Snowflake, followed by map layer control and area calculations with 2021.2, spatial join improvements with 2021.3, and multiple data source support in map layers with 2021.4.

4. Collections

Collections are like playlists for your data. This feature introduced the opportunity to curate and organize your data and analytics content exactly the way you like. And it made it easier to group and share related content, too—all without duplicating anything or changing permissions.

5. Ask Data and Explain Data for Viewers

Expanding Tableau augmented analytics capabilities means more people can get valuable insights fast—even if they aren't expert analysts. Ask Data offers you powerful, intuitive natural language query, while Explain Data helps you understand the "why" behind a data point with one easy click.

6. Tableau notifications in Slack

When work flows, insights grow! Tableau kicked off its Slack integration with notifications about your data right in Slack. And that’s just the beginning—learn more about what else is coming in Slack-first analytics.

7. Linked tasks in Tableau Prep

Last year was full of great investments in data prep and data management—among them, the ability to set your prep flows to run in a sequence. This eliminates the manual work of scheduling and executing multiple flows that are dependent on one another. 

8. Improvements to Metrics

Metrics are not only easier to embed now, but also easier to get value from at a glance. New color indicators can tell you if your measures are trending up or down, so you can more quickly spot a status change!

9. Virtual connections

Secure access and sharing data just got easier with the introduction of virtual connections. A “VConn” creates one common, managed connection that can access multiple tables in the same database, reusable across data sources and workbooks like any other content in Tableau. Additionally, new data policies enable centralized, row-level security that's simpler to manage.

10. Tableau Accelerators

Formerly known as Dashboard Starters, Tableau Accelerators got a huge boost at the end of last year. These pre-populated dashboard templates provide starting points for a wide variety of use cases specific to industries, departments, and partner technologies. This helps more people get value from their data faster—so no surprise that folks are excited about the Tableau Exchange continuing to grow and inspire!

What would you like to see in Tableau innovation this year? 

Head over to the Ideas forum to join the conversation—submit your feature requests, vote on others’ ideas, and help us make Tableau even more amazing. Thank you again, Tableau Community, for your continued support!

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