Upgrade to Tableau Prep Builder 2019.2.3

What you need to know when upgrading to Tableau Prep Builder 2019.2.3

Overview

Introduction to Tableau Prep Builder

Tableau Prep Builder is a Tableau product designed to help everyone quickly and confidently combine, shape, and clean their data for analysis.

How to Get Tableau Prep Builder

Tableau Prep Builder is included alongside Tableau Desktop in the Tableau Creator offering. Existing Tableau Desktop customers with maintenance can also get Tableau Prep Builder as part of their maintenance benefits.

Start using Tableau Prep Builder:

What's New in Tableau Prep Builder 2019.2.3

Start by reading this blog post by Dr. Anushka Anand,, Senior Product Manager at Tableau

New in Tableau Prep Builder: Visual filtering and improved data standardization

Note: Starting in version 2019.1.2, Tableau Prep is now called Tableau Prep Builder. This name change is to distinguish it from the new Tableau Prep Conductor which runs on Tableau Server as an add-on. With the launch of Conductor, the work you do in Prep Builder running on your Tableau Desktop, can be saved to run in a centralized, scalable, and reliable server environment so your data is always up to date and easy to share.



Clean and Shape Your Data

Recommendations for fixing invalid Data Role items (Fuzzy Match)  


We have upgraded the ability to automatically fix data values that are invalid given the assigned Data Role and given it a new name Pronunciation and Spelling. Now, the top recommendation for a field that has a Data Role assigned will be based on the fuzzy matching to valid values using the Pronunciation and Spelling algorithm. Now Tableau Prep Builder recommends the best way to fix data quality issues when customers add semantic context or real-world meaning to data fields with Data Roles. 

Currently only applies to the following dictionary-based data roles: 

  • Airport
  • City
  • Country / Region
  • County
  • State / Province

Conductor Compatibility 

 
Recommendations are only visible during authoring a flow in Prep Builder, so this does not affect Conductor, and for the time being the fuzzy match algorithm is limited to English language data. (The Pronunciation and Spelling algorithm is a hybrid grouping algorithm that uses Metanome3 and Levenshtein distance to match values that sound the same and have similar spellings, but this algorithm is only useful on English data.)

For more information, see Examine and Filter Your Data


Select grouping algorithm for Fuzzy Match


Users can now use fuzzy matching algorithms to automatically match/replace invalid values with the known/expected value in the Data Role. For instance, data values “Allabama”, “Alabamma” in a State field will not just be grouped together but will be assigned to the target value “Alabama” (a new out-of-sample target value will be created if the expected data value does not exist in the data set). This helps users standardize a field against expected values with confidence. (This algorithm uses Levenshtein distance just as the fuzzy groupings, so it matches values that differ by adding, removing or substituting characters and is applicable to non-English data values as well as English values.)

Currently only applies to the following dictionary-based data roles: 

  • Airport
  • City
  • Country / Region
  • County
  • State / Province

Conductor Compatibility 

 
Applying fuzzy matching creates a list of groupings (source -> target) and these are stored in the Change list in a flow. Fuzzy matching like fuzzy grouping only captures the list of groupings for data seen in Prep Builder during authoring of the flow. Running the flow would just apply those groupings and not re-execute the grouping algorithm. Therefore, these grouping/matching changes in a flow will run fine on Conductor 2019.2 and 2019.1. 

For more information, see Examine and Filter Your Data.


Examine and Filter Your Data

Discrete value filter 


Users now have a visually direct way to filter out individual domain values in each column. While a customer can filter out an individual value using the context menu of on the bars in the profile cards, this new filter allows users to filter values not in the data sample. A user can find the new feature by navigating to the column’s Filter menu and select the Selected Values filter.   
Conductor Compatibility 

This feature will be available in a future release.


Duplicate a field 


Most user calculations are simple duplications of a field. In order to make this process easier, a user can now duplicate a field with a single click by using the Content Pane toolbar or the Profile Card drop-down menu. Just navigate to any column, select that column, and click on the Duplicate Field item in the Profile Card drop-down menu.  
Conductor Compatibility 

This feature will be available in a future release.

Compatibility

Tableau Prep Builder is a stand-alone product that works seamlessly with Tableau Desktop, Tableau Server and Tableau Online. At any point while working in Tableau Prep Builder, you can create an extract of your data, publish your data source to Tableau Server or Tableau Online, or even open Tableau Desktop directly from Tableau Prep Builder to preview your data.

  • Tableau Prep Builder works on Windows and Mac. It can create Tableau Extracts (.tde and .hyper) and CSV files that can be used in Tableau 10.0 and later versions of Tableau.
  • In Tableau Prep Builder you can connect to many of the same data sources available in Tableau Desktop, Server and Online. For a complete list of Tableau supported data source, click here.
  • With some data sources, you may need to install drivers before connecting to your data. If this is the case, see the Driver Download page.

New Workspace for Faster Speed to Insight

Tableau Prep Builder uses Tableau’s data connectors, calculation language, and governance structure, making it possible to get you up to speed quickly and ready to collaborate at any point in the analytical process.

The Tableau Prep Builder workspace consists of the connections pane, the changes pane, and three coordinated areas designed to help you interact with and explore your data:

  1. Connections pane: The Connections pane shows the databases and files you are connected to. Add connections to one or more databases and then drag the tables you want to work with into the flow pane. 
  2. Flow pane: As you connect to, clean, shape, and combine your data, steps appear in the flow pane. You can hover over the icons at the top of each step to see what changes were made. 
  3. Profile pane: The profile pane in the center of the workspace shows a summary of each field in your data sample. This is where users can see the shape of the data and quickly find outliers and nulls.
  4. Changes pane: Tableau Prep Builder keeps track of any changes you make, in the order you make them, so you can always go back and review or edit those changes if needed.
  5. Data grid: The data grid shows the row level detail for your data. The values displayed reflect the operations defined in the profile pane. You can filter, keep only, and exclude individual field values in this grid plus drag and drop fields to change the display order.

For complete descriptions, including a video, see Workspace in Product Help.

Saving and Sharing Outputs

Defining Output

Tableau Prep Builder can save three types of files:

  1. .tfl files containing a flow
  2. .tflx files containing a flow and local file-based data sources, such as Excel and text files
  3. Output files containing the results of running a flow

Output files can be saved in .hyper, .tde and .csv formats, and are defined in the Output Step. The output files can be opened in Tableau Desktop, and published to Tableau Server or Tableau Online.

Tableau Desktop

Running the flow on Tableau Desktop results in a Tableau Data Extract file, either a .tde or .hyper depending your version of Tableau, either one saved in your Tableau Repository in the Datasources folder. It can also be output to .csv files, if you need to use your prepared data for other tools or processes.

Note! Once an extract has been created, whether .tde or .hyper, and a workbook based on it, the same compatibility rules for use with different versions of Tableau applies as in other usage situations. For more information, see Make Workbooks Compatible Between Versions.

Tableau Server

To publish your output to Tableau Server, use the Publish menu in Tableau Prep Builder. The Tableau Server REST API must be enabled in order to receive publish requests from Tableau Prep Builder. For more information see REST API Requirements.

Tableau Online

You can also use Tableau Prep Builder's Publish menu to publish your output to Tableau Online as a .hyper extract, .tde extract, or .csv file, and provide centralized access to the data you have cleaned, formatted, and combined.

Faster Updates to Tableau Prep Builder

We’re moving fast and will be launching new features frequently for Tableau Prep Builder, independent of the Tableau Desktop, Tableau Server or Tableau Online release cycles. Customers will need to upgrade to the latest version of Tableau Prep Builder to take advantage of new features and product fixes.

With regular intervals, this site will post new links to community user scenarios, product information, and not least tricks of the trade for the latest fast, fun and efficient data prep.

Additional Resources

How can I get Tableau Prep Builder?

Tableau Prep Builder is a subscription only product included in the Tableau Creator offering. Existing Tableau Desktop users with maintenance will be able to download and use Tableau Prep Builder as part of their maintenance agreement. If you haven't downloaded Tableau Prep Builder already, you may do so by visiting this page or simply clicking the download button at the top of this upgrade page, which always points to the latest version of Prep Builder.

Unsure of your license situation? Start by reading Maintain Licenses for Tableau Desktop and Tableau Prep Builder.

Try Tableau Prep Builder first for free!

You can download a free 14-day trial of Tableau Prep Builder here.

Review Tech Specs

Technical requirements for Tableau Prep Builder can be viewed here.

Tableau Prep Builder Release Notes

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