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Top 3 New Features in Tableau Desktop 2022.1

New year, new Tableau release! I’m going to do a video walk-through for 2022.1 and a brief text summary below.

Walk-through video

Top 3 New Features in Tableau Desktop

1. Workbook Optimizer

Wondering why your workbooks aren’t performing as expected? Before this you would have to open up a PDF or web page with suggestions for designing more efficient workbooks. Then you guess at what you could do better.

For the really hardcore performance tuning, you might have even done performance recording to see what exactly is going on with hard data.

But gone are those days! Now Tableau will give you a quick breakdown of things you did well and things you can get better on.

P.S. If you’re doing performance recording, there can be significant differences between performance you see on Desktop and that same workbook’s performance when you publish to Server. If you’re experiencing this, reach out to me here.

2. Customize View Data

The old View Data window was stuck in the Windows 95 era. In 2022.1 you have much more control over that window and improved look and feel.

3. Swap with Root Table

If you’ve ever used complex data source models in Tableau with multiple relationships, you’ll know exactly why this is a big deal.

Instead of having to erase everything and start from scratch when you want to switch table position in your model, you now have the menu option to have Tableau swap that table position with root (or other tables).

Thanks for reading this far. Are you banging your head against a wall trying to build analytics solutions for your business? Are you struggling to assemble a full-stack data team with the resources you have available?

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Wrapping Up

Thanks for reading. Hopefully this post and video helped you understand the newer features in Tableau 2021.4. Feedback or questions? Post a comment or send me an email!

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Tableau 2021.4 top new features

Like the last time I walked through the top new features (for 2021.2), I’m going to do a video walk-through for 2021.4 and a brief text summary below.

Walk-through video

Summary of top features

Tableau Desktop and Web Editing

1. Copy and Paste in Dashboards

If you’ve been using Tableau, you’ve always scratched your head as to why this isn’t a feature. Copy and paste on Dashboards is now possible. It is only with objects that don’t contain any worksheets in them. But still, this is a huge productivity gain.

2. Edit Published Data Sources

In my opinion, one of the biggest discouragements from publishing a data source with standardized calculated fields was the difficulty in editing that data source. Well, now you can directly edit published data sources without downloading it and then republishing.

3. Tableau Exchange – Tableau Accelerators

Tableau… I mean Salesforce.. has bigger goals for Tableau. It’s clear they want to grow the marketplace of resources to make development and adoption easier.

Enter Tableau Exchange. Specifically Tableau Accelerators. These “Accelerators” are to give you basic templates to kick-start your development so you don’t have to start from zero.

It’s not a silver bullet since you still have to customize it to your data, but it’s a step in the right direction.

4. Multiple data sources in map layers

Break free from a few of the data prep complexities when building map visualizations! Now you can use multiple data source as map layers in a single worksheet.

5. New Metrics Improvements

  • You can now embed Metrics into apps, corporate portals, and webpages
  • You can now set things like the comparison period, date range, and color status indicators for each Metric

Tableau Online/Server (Specifically for Data Management Add-On)

1. Virtual Connections

In both Server and Online, you can now create and share access to tables, embed service account credentials, define data policies, and extract data centrally.

Bolded items are ones that really get me charged up.

2. Inherited Lineage Descriptions

This one feels like a further play to compete with 3rd party tools for data management. Now, everywhere a data source or workbook is used, the description will be consistent.

Tableau Prep

1. Parameters in Flows

This one is like a small seed that has the potential to sprout into a fruit-bearing, full-grown avocado tree.

You can now add some rudimentary parameters in Flows. This means you can run flows for specific inputs that are chosen at run-time.

If you’re familiar with Alteryx, this is a feature they have for both local and Alteryx Server apps. It allows users to run customized reports based on choices or data they enter before the flow is run.

While Tableau has a very basic implementation of parameters, I expect the functionality to converge with parameter features that exist in Desktop. So things like setting parameter options to the unique values of a field (like the data set’s date range).

Thanks for reading this far. I run, a consultancy that empowers businesses with automation and data.

If you’re frustrated or overwhelmed with your daily processes and feel like you’re not getting the most out of your analytics investment, reach out to us.

Wrapping Up

Thanks for reading. Hopefully this post and video helped you understand the newer features in Tableau 2021.4. Feedback or questions? Post a comment or send me an email!

Success! You're on the list.
Meta Tableau

Top 5 Most Impactful Tableau Server 2020.3 Features

Recently I made a post on the 5 most impactful Tableau Desktop features released in 2020.3. Now it’s time for Tableau Server! Tableau released 20 new features for Tableau Server. Most of these features are also applicable to Tableau Online as well (if you were wondering). This post will go over the 5 features that will have the most impact on both developers and users interacting with Tableau Server. I’ve ranked them in the order of the biggest impact for users or developers based on the size of the problem the feature solves.

Keep in mind, Tableau categorizes some of its new features in multiple categories (like Tableau Desktop and Tableau Server for the IN operator). I’ve not included features I covered already in my Tableau Desktop 2020.3 post, so go take a look if you’re curious what those are. This makes sense because features aren’t made in a bubble usually, and will have an impact on other parts of the Tableau stack. It just might be a little confusing at first if you aren’t aware of the interactions between the different Tableau pieces.

1. “Shared with me” tab

Navigation on Tableau Server and Tableau Online can be frustrating at times. The UX has significantly improved over the years and this new feature is another giant leap forward. Now there is a dedicated tab on the left navigation bar that lets you see all materials shared with you on the site (including views). This is kind of like Google Drive and streamlines navigation to critical content.

Why it’s important: Better navigation for both experienced and novice Tableau Server users.

Screenshot from

2. Grant license on sign-on

If you haven’t been a Server admin, it’ll be difficult to appreciate this one. If you have been one (especially of a large organization), get the champagne ready. Now you can set up your Server to have specific users, teams or departments to automatically be assigned a license on first login.

Why it’s important: Thousands of users? A revolving door of users? No problem, automatic license assignment for first sign-ons. Thousands of man hours saved.

3. Web authoring improvements

The new features include relative date filters, and creating/editing/removing data source and viz filters in the browser.

Tableau continues its alignment with modern tools by beefing up its web authoring capabilities. It’s still a far cry from Tableau Desktop, but the gap is shrinking (slowly). More and more customers are looking towards web authoring rather than full Desktop licenses, and this will make those customers happy.

Why it’s important: For anyone trying to do more than the very basic visualization, web authoring is a no-go with its limited feature set. These new capabilities raise the limitation ceiling ever so slightly.

4. Subscription timing with extracts

The subscriptions feature has been one of the most popular features I’ve introduced to clients utilizing Tableau Server and Tableau Online. People are used to seeing things in their inbox on a regular basis, and they always want the same capabilities with their dashboards. A constant challenge is making sure that data refreshes and subscription emails sync up correctly. Subscriptions that trigger too early means stale data for end users.

This new feature from Tableau enables subscriptions to only trigger once data is done refreshing. No more worrying whether timing is right.

Why it’s important: The more extracts and users you have, the more performance will vary for when extracts actually finish. By making subscriptions have a type of sequential firing option that only happens after extracts complete, the guesswork is removed.

5. New connectors in the extension gallery

While this might not be applicable to too many people at the moment, it’s an important feature trend. Tableau is expanding its extension gallery to include connectors made by third parties. This will slowly minimize the effort of connecting to data for analysis.

Like Zapier or similiar tools, opening the platform to support third party extensions will only grow adoption and options for developers.

Why it’s important: If you’ve ever run into a data source that doesn’t have an out of the box connector in Tableau, it can be a decent amount of extra work to get everything working right.

What are your thoughts on the new releases in Tableau 2020.3 Server and Online? Do you think Tableau is on the right path in their development efforts? The company continues to actively seek user feedback and has been implementing the most requested features. What would you like to see improved next?

Meta Tableau

Top 5 Most Impactful Tableau Desktop 2020.3 Features

Tableau released 2020.3 on August 12th, 2020 with 12 new features for Tableau Desktop. All are useful, but these are the 5 that will have the most impact on developers’ workflow and capabilities in my opinion when creating dashboards. I’ve ranked them in the order of the biggest impact for developers and the challenges or questions they face frequently.

1. The IN operator for calculations

Ever do giant IF or CASE statements with nested CONTAINS? Well your life just got a little easier. You can now use the IN operator to compare a field to a list of values.

Why it’s important: Easier readability, shorter and more efficient calculations.

2. Search improvements in the data pane

With the new Relationships features and data modeling capabilities, the data pane had to be redesigned to allow for multiple tables. This removed the separation in the pane between dimensions and measures. That was quite a shock to many Tableau users as it was an efficient way to separate those field types. In 2020.3, there is now the ability to filter your fields in the data pane by field name, type, or comments. It still feels like a compromise but after a few weeks of use, it probably won’t even be a noticeable difference from the original data pane.

Why it’s important: The new data pane to handle Relationships felt like a step back. This is a step forward in making the data pane easy to use again.

3. Relationship improvements

If you’ve jumped into the new Relationships feature earlier in 2020, you’ll quickly realize its powers, and quickly realize its (few) shortcomings. One of these shortcoming has been fixed in 2020.3. You’ll now be able to relate tables using calculated fields and/or using inequality operators (like <>).

Why it’s important: Running into the serious limitations of operators or calculated fields in earlier versions minimized the usefulness of Relationships. These improvements significantly expanded Relationships use cases again.

4. Predictive modeling functions

I really wanted to put this one higher, but ultimately most developers still won’t get into predictive modeling. I’d highly recommend adding general predictive modeling skills to your toolbox with something like Python, but ultimately predictive modeling inside Tableau will be great as well.

Why it’s important: Making the leap from descriptive to predictive and prescriptive analytics provides huge value to your users and customers. This new feature makes the gap between descriptive and predictive much smaller to bridge.

5. Additional viz export capabilities

Users are always requesting various ways to export dashboards and their underlying data. Back in the day, strange hacks and/or extensions would have to be used to provide the desired output. With 2020.3, you’ll be able to export crosstabs from dashboards into Excel formats to preserve formatting, provide easy export buttons for this feature, and customize PDF subscription layouts for your dashboards.

Why it’s important: This new feature expands the export capabilities, showing that Tableau is still focused on improving some of the most frequent end user requests.

What are your thoughts on the new releases in Tableau 2020.3? Do you think Tableau is on the right path in their development efforts? The company continues to actively seek user feedback and has been implementing the most requested features. What would you like to see improved next?