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Salesforce-owned Seattle, Washington analytics company Tableau wants to make deriving insights from large data sets as easy as clicking a button. To this end, it today announced the general availability of Explain Data, in Tableau’s latest release — 2019.3 — that analyzes corpora and highlights the most relevant factors driving any given data point. Separately, Tableau debuted Tableau Catalog, a features suite designed to provide an overview of all data used in Tableau, and Tableau Server Management Add-On, an offering that helps manage enterprise-wide Tableau Server deployments.

“With Explain Data, we’re bringing the power of AI-driven analysis to everyone and making sophisticated statistical analysis more accessible so that, regardless of expertise, anyone can quickly and confidently uncover the ‘Why?’ behind their data,” said Tableau chief product officer Francois Ajenstat. “Explain Data will empower people to focus on the insights that matter and accelerate the time to action and business impact.”

Boiled down to basics, Explain Data leverages statistical methods to evaluate hundreds of patterns across all available data, and deliver potential explanations in seconds. Users select the data point they wish to analyze, after which they’re able to view the results within interactive visualizations. As an added benefit,  Explain Data reduces the risk of error from human bias, Tableau says, by taking into account every dimension of corpora. That’s as opposed to conventional solutions, which are typically constricted by predetermined hypothesis.

“As the amount of data increases and the pace of decision-making accelerates, the need for data management has never been more critical to foster a thriving data culture,” said Ajenstat. “With Tableau 2019.3, we’re integrating data management directly into the analytics experience, making it easier for customers to curate and prepare all the data needed for analysis and improving visibility and increasing trust in the data for everyone within an organization.”

Tableau Server Management Add-On is a different beast — it’s a tool set targeting security, manageability, and scalability challenges in enterprise Tableau deployments. The included resource monitoring tool collates things like hardware utilization, VizQL sessions, data query performance, backgrounder workloads, and more, while the content migration tool simplifies the movement of data across sites or Tableau Server environments. Meanwhile, the new external repository hosting feature optimizes Tableau Server deployments on Amazon Web Services (AWS) by letting customers host metadata repositories externally with Amazon RDS Postgres. And thanks to AWS key management service integration, admins can centralize their key management program with Amazon’s Key Management Service.

The Tableau Server Management Add-On is available for Tableau Server starting at $3 per user per month.

As for Tableau Catalog, it allows IT team members to curate the information populating Tableau and to track its path around their organization, and to notify users using or viewing it of changes or data quality issues. That feature joins the enhanced Ask Data, Tableau’s natural language functionality, which can now be embedded within a company portal or Intranet page. Additionally, Tableau Server 2019.3 can encrypt data extracts at rest and connect to Databricks via a new connector, and it’s available in localized versions for Italian.


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