When it comes to mobile apps -- especially highly visual ones like data analytics -- few things are more important than an appealing interface. This is no doubt why Tableau is introducing a native app for the iPhone with its latest analytics software release, Tableau 9.2.
The new app "will dramatically improve the mobile user experience," said Ellie Fields, Tableau's vice president, Product Marketing, noting that the app includes a touch-optimized experience, the ability for users to view offline snapshots of their favorites dashboards, geolocation and faceted search to find content.
Expanding the company's mobile app to the iPhone was "one of our most requested improvements," said Chris Stolte, chief development officer and co-founder of Tableau.
"While the app is currently iOS only, that will change, Fields said. "We are definitely planning on supporting Android phones and will evaluate other platforms as well."
Tableau also introduced geolocation, which allows users to orient maps around their current locations by tapping on a Tableau map in a mobile browser or on the Tableau iPad and iPhone app. In addition, the software now offers more options for controlling map behavior and customizing maps with Mapbox integration in Tableau Desktop.
Tableau is expanding its support for international postal codes with the addition of Japanese postal codes and other data updates such as U.S. congressional districts.
"We have a lot of users asking for more detailed maps to analyze location-based data, Many data sets have some kind of 'where' information. Putting data on a map can help people gain deep insight," Fields said. "For example, seeing every customer's sales and profitability by zip code can help you understand your business better."
According to Tableau, its data interpreter now not only cleans Excel spreadsheets but automatically detects sub-tables and converts them to tables that can be analyzed in Tableau. Data grid improvements make it easier to craft a data source, and improvements to the Data pane help people take fewer steps to find and update metadata.
Improvements to Tableau Server and Tableau Online, Tableau's cloud solution, include toolbar tweaks and redesigned menus that provide new ways to set permissions and provide more ways to access content and keep data fresh.
Permissions on projects are now defined in a more granular and flexible way, according to the company, while a new option to lock project permissions to an administrator-defined set will provide increased security for sensitive data.
New support for OpenID Connect means users are automatically signed into Tableau Server if they are already signed into an OpenID Connect identity provider such as Google. Additionally, Tableau Online sync client to refresh data on the server can now take advantage of SAML identity providers for authentication.
Finally, improvements to the REST APIs let administrators set, view and remove default permissions for a project and easily control default project permissions programmatically through custom applications and scripts.