Dude, where's my workbook?

Update: Tableau 9.3 is here! Download now to try out the feature outlined below. 

More and more companies are using Tableau to create data visualizations, to share insights with their peers and to be all-around data rockstars! As the amount of shared content increases in organizations, so does their need to be able to find the right content.

In Tableau Server and Tableau Online 9.3, we are improving content discovery by using—wait for it—data!

Content usage metrics

All of the ways that you and your team members interact with content—tracked through the number of views, favorites, and subscriptions—provide valuable insights into the popularity and quality of your content.

In Tableau 9.3, we are collecting metrics on viewing activity, and on the favorites counts for workbooks and views. These metrics inform an improved search experience and the ability to sort and filter through large numbers of workbooks and views.

Search relevancy and UI improvements for workbooks and views

In Tableau Server 9.2, search results are sorted alphabetically. Often the content that people are looking for is not at the top of an alphabetical list. Unfortunately, this can push people to resort to naming their workbooks and views with prefixes like "_" or "*" or "@" as these symbols will precede a workbook named "aa_MyAwesomeWorkbook."

In Tableau 9.3, we are using a combination of metrics—number of views, recent activity, favorites—to calculate a simple search relevancy score. It doesn’t rival Google’s search algorithm (yet), but we hope it will help bring the most relevant content higher up in search results.

We have also made UI improvements to the quick search results on the server. You can see, inline, preview thumbnails along with the viewing activity, and favorite counts for workbooks and views.

If you don’t find what you need in the top five search results, click on "see all." On the resulting page, you’ll see the content is still sorted by relevance by default. As long as the search context is active, you can switch back and forth between different sort orders, including relevance.

Check out search in Tableau 9.3 and tell us know in the comments below:

  • Are you consistently finding what you are looking for in the top three to five search results?
  • Do you think sorting the results by relevance is better than alphabetically for your usage?

Sort workbooks and views by number of views

When you are browsing for a workbook or a view, you can choose to browse in a grid of preview thumbnails or in a list. In Tableau 9.3, you can now sort these pages by the number of views. When “all-time views” is too wide of a time range, you can choose to see the number of views in the last one, three, or twelve months.

In list view, you can also see a new column showing the number of views in the selected time period. And since we believe in the power of representing data visually, we show bars that are relative to the number of views.

If you are curious to know how the number of views has been trending, hover over a particular workbook or view in the thumbnail view to see the sparkline for the last twelve weeks.

That’s what we have for you for Tableau 9.3. We are continuing to work on adding more features to make it easy to find content in Tableau Server and Tableau Online.

Do let us know if you have any feedback. You can visit the Ideas Forum and tell us about content usage metrics that are important to you and your team. We'd also like to hear your ideas for features you'd like to see in Tableau. And if you have a question or feedback about the current functionality, please leave a comment below.

Want to join the beta?

Check out our beta program to learn more and sign up. Not all functionality described above is available today. Some features will be added in the coming weeks. The beta program is available for existing Tableau customers. Customers with an active maintenance license can upgrade for free when Tableau 9.3 is released.

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