Explain Data, Tableau Catalog, and Project McKinley now in beta

Tableau 2019.3 beta is here with tons of new capabilities for you to try out. From Explain Data to Tableau Catalog to Project McKinley—check out the latest updates.

Update: The latest version of Tableau is here! Explore the newest innovations in this release.

Tableau 2019.3 beta is here with tons of new capabilities for you to try out. Let’s look at the highlights:

  • Explain Data — A new AI-powered feature to help you understand the “why” behind unexpected values in your data.
  • Tableau Catalog — A new capability of the Data Management Add-on to ensure you are using the right data in the right way.
  • Project McKinley — A new offering to help you run Tableau Server at greater scale.

Tableau 2019.3 also includes enhancements such as encryption at rest, the ability to embed Ask Data, and connect to/join published data sources in Prep Builder. Let’s take a deeper look at what’s coming.

Go from what to why with Explain Data

We are always trying to understand “the why” in our data. We typically do this by coming up with potential explanations and then validating them with the data. This process is time-consuming, and is limited by the explanations we can think of. That’s why we are introducing Explain Data, to provide explanations for unexpected values in your data.

When you are creating a viz, simply select a mark, and start using Explain Data from the tooltip. Behind the scenes, Tableau uses powerful Bayesian statistical methods to generate explanations. Hundreds of potential explanations are evaluated, and the most likely ones are delivered as a viz, so that they can be further explored with the full power of Tableau. By combining domain expertise with Explain Data, you can identify causes and see relationships you didn’t know existed.

Explain Data is enabled on all existing workbooks for Creators and Explorers. No data prep or set-up is required.

Build trust in your data with Tableau Catalog

Today, organizations are capturing more data than ever before. With all this data, it is harder for users to find and trust they are using the right data in the right way. This wastes time, creates duplicate content, and can even lead to analysis based on bad data. We’re introducing Tableau Catalog to help organizations better manage their data. Tableau Catalog will be available for Tableau Server and Tableau Online, as part of the Data Management Add-on.

With Tableau Catalog, it’s easy to get a complete view of the data being used in Tableau. Data owners can automatically track information about the data (i.e., metadata), including user permissions, usage metrics, and lineage. There’s no need to set up indexing schedules, configure connectivity, or reset permissions—it’s all done automatically.

Tableau Catalog also helps build trust in the data across your organization. With data quality warnings, users can quickly see when there’s an issue with data being used in a dashboard—like a missing field or a maintenance interruption. Definitions and additional metadata can be added so users have a better understanding of the data itself. These data details are included alongside your dashboard, making it easy for everyone to feel confident about the data behind their analysis.

Enhanced management at scale with Project McKinley

Many organizations are running critical deployments of Tableau Server, supporting thousands of users. When operating at this type of scale, you have unique needs when it comes to security, manageability, and scalability.

Project McKinley makes it simpler to run large, mission-critical Tableau Server deployments. With Project McKinley, you can react to the changing needs of your business, and to save time by streamlining the management process. This new offering provides enhanced security, manageability, and scalability capabilities for Tableau Server. Let’s take a look:

  • New applications for enhanced Tableau Server management — Get the most out of your deployment through new Tableau Server monitoring and content management apps. Our performance app provides increased visibility into items like hardware utilization and data query performance, it’s easier to understand and precisely tune your deployment. We’re also making it easier to manage your workbook and data source content workflows with a content deployment app. You can automate the movement of content between dev and production or between multiple environments—no scripting needed.
  • Improved scalability with external repository hosting and node optimization — For Tableau Server deployments hosted on AWS, you can now increase scalability and availability by hosting your metadata repository on Amazon RDS Postgres. You can also optimize Server performance by customizing which nodes process background jobs like extract refreshes and subscriptions. This configuration gives your deployment dedicated capacity for your high priority backgrounder workloads.
  • Enhanced security with AWS key management integration — For customers looking to do more with extract encryption at rest, you can integrate Tableau Server with AWS Key Management Service, providing an enhanced level of integration and security.

Try these capabilities with Tableau Server 2019.3 beta today. Project McKinley will be a separately licensed add-on, and we’ll continue to add more capabilities with every release.

Please note: Project McKinley is not available for Tableau Online, as we manage everything from scaling, performance, and security on behalf of our Tableau Online customers.

Other highlights of Tableau 2019.3

There are dozens of other features included with Tableau 2019.3 Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Extract encryption at rest — For additional security, you can now encrypt your extracts at rest on Tableau Server. You can also think of this as object-level encryption. It’s easy to use—simply toggle it on per extract or at the site level. Tableau Online is already fully encrypted at the service level.
  • Embed Ask Data into your content — Embed Ask Data into your company portal or wiki, and you can enable even more people in your organization to be asking questions of their data.
  • Join published data sources with Prep Builder — You can now integrate published data sources into your prep flows. Connect to them like any other data source. Create joins, pivot your data—the full power of Tableau Prep Builder is at your disposal.

Be part of the latest and greatest

We’re working hard to get Tableau 2019.3 out the door, but we need your feedback! Join the Tableau beta program today to try out these new capabilities.

Note: We advise customers to make their purchase decisions based upon features currently available and upgrade to the latest version of Tableau to enjoy the latest capabilities.