Transforming Ideas into Features: Tableau's Commitment to Community-Driven Innovation

Learn how community ideas are prioritized and built into Tableau product features.

If you use something every day, it's likely that you've thought of ways to make it work better for you and your needs. We had this in mind when in 2011, Tableau created the Ideas section of the Forums to help you share Tableau product features you’d like to see created. The ideas section allows anyone to view your submission, comment and hit the ‘like’ button to signal support.

We're excited to share the progress we've made releasing and responding to community ideas and provide insight into how our product teams work with the DataFam to build the features you want.

Since 2011, more than 11,000 ideas from almost 4,000 community members have been shared on the Forums, including more than 430 new ideas in 2023 alone. If you shared an idea on the Forums, voted on ideas, provided feedback to our product teams, taught others how to use new capabilities, or helped us understand the impact of these features on you—thank you! The Tableau Community inspires our work and helps us innovate further.

As the people who are working with the product day in and day out, we are bursting with knowledge about what additional features can take our Tableau vizzes to the next level. Collaborating with the Tableau development team gives us the opportunity to work directly with the people building the product. What better way to effect change in this platform we love so much!

Our Tableau teams have worked to implement 31 ideas within the 2023 product updates—bringing the total number of ideas released to 1,167 to date. Another data point for you—the 1,167 ideas were supported by over 40 thousand community votes!

So how does an idea become a feature and how is the community involved in that process? There are still more than 7,000 open ideas on the Forums and our product managers are listening. We’ve asked three Tableau product team members to share how the most popular ideas we released in each update were launched: Dynamic Axis Labels (23.1), Create Different Type Of Lines For Line Graphs (23.2), and Tableau Prep Table Calculations (23.3).

Dynamic Axis Ranges, Submitted by Shawn Wallwork

Dynamic Axis Ranges in Tableau

"The community inspired and supported the development of Dynamic Axis Ranges. Once we completed some internal architecture work to more easily enable such dynamic features, we turned to the community for inspiration on which scenarios to tackle. Prior to Dynamic Axis Ranges we also released Dynamic Axis Titles. During development, we sourced feedback from Tableau Ambassadors and Visionaries to ensure we would be delivering an experience our community would love.

Thank you to Jim Sun, Ewald Hoffman, Kelly Bellinghausen, and Andrey Gerasimov on Team Tableau for their work on Dynamic Axis Ranges."  - Joe Chirilov, Product Management Director

Dashed and Dotted Lines

Dashed and dotted lines in Tableau

Wilson Po headshot

"Expanding on Tableau visual grammar is no small feat and often comes with a slew of questions about opportunity cost. The community's advocacy for the impact of this feature helped us make the case that this feature was worth the investment. Conversations with Visionaries provided us with the domain of use cases and potential accessibility needs where line patterns are talked about for the Tableau community. For planning, it gave us fuel to discuss the concepts to focus on experimenting with and how use cases would be tackled as a long-term roadmap we can continue to iterate on.

Thank you to Tableau Team for your contributions: Jialin Le, Bryn Feddern, Roger Dubbs, Chris Suley, David Schneider, Michael Lounsbery, Rodion Degtyar, Brett Webber, Donna Zheng." - Wilson Po, Product Management Senior Manager

Multi-Row Calculations in Tableau Prep Submitted by Joshua Milligan

Multi Row Calculations in Tableau Prep

Inspired by Joshua Milligan’s idea, multi-row calculations enable you to reference previous/next rows and compute table calculations while preparing your data. Our product and development teams collaborated with over 20 community members throughout the design and implementation process to perfect the visual and direct interfaces that make multi-row calculations easy to validate and understand!

Thank you to the Tableau Team for working to make multi-row calculations happen—Rachel Liu, Alec Malcolm, Sean Campbell, Clinton Crick, Yuwen Li." - Libby Knell, Product Manager

Looking forward

In the months ahead, we’re excited to deliver on some of the game-changing features announced at Tableau Conference 2023, like Tableau Pulse and Einstein Copilot, and also deliver community favorites like spell check on Tableau Cloud and address geocoding. We know that each new feature leads to even more big ideas and we can’t wait to continue to innovate together.

How to get involved and help us build products you love

In addition to delivering ideas you love, we also created an update on the Tableau Forums for each release, allowing you to provide feedback on ideas we’re considering, sharing popular, recent Community Ideas, and highlighting Community Ideas that were updated. 

Tableau is committed to updating and bringing transparency to Ideas. This year, we have updated the status of 1,556 ideas by flipping them to released, archiving, or notifying the community by marking them as ‘not planned’. 

Every day, Tableau’s product teams engage with our community to understand how they use our products and what could help them more successfully see and understand data. If you’re interested in sharing your ideas and feedback, we’ve put together a list of ways for you to do so below. We can’t wait to hear from you!