Posts Tagged 'analysis'

Tableau adds Maps and Web Application Integration

Last week I was wishing we could integrate Tableau interactive reports into our own web applications, and today I got an e-mail that appeared to be granting my wish. Tableau 4.0 was just released, and it includes the ability to integrate interactive reports into web applications.

They’ve also added maps to their feature-list–and the ability to auto-detect geographic data in a dataset and produce a geo-analytic report. What’s interesting about their maps is they don’t just use standard map backgrounds like Google Maps. They specifically created map backgrounds that won’t interfere with the view of the data–because these maps are for analysis, not navigation. I like how they keep their purpose first and foremost and tend to the needs of the user.

The other thing I was pleased with was they included four tabs of info about their new release–and one of them is labeled “usability”. It’s clear from looking at their solutions that the company pays a lot of attention to usability, but it’s always nice to see “Usability” called out as a key component of a software release.

What about licensing? The same pricing model applies, so each user of the application you integrate Tableau with has to be a licensed user of Tableau. Sigh. The salesperson says in the next version they’re planning more fully integrated applications … unfortunately, I don’t think we can wait that long … darn it! Why did they have to tease me like that?

 

Other posts on Tableau and Data Visualization / Metrics / Reporting:

Something to make Analysts Wet Their Pants

Visual analytics softwareI’m trying not to be too excited about this, but I am an analyst at heart and so it’s really hard for me to contain myself over this data visualization product I stumbled upon this morning. If I only knew how to link to our data sources, I would be exercising their 30-day trial to the max.

My task for the moment is to figure out how to build and deploy an operations metrics portal. Our biggest client wants real-time access to sales pipeline, product sales, and transaction numbers at the top level, but with the ability to drill-down into the data so he can see just how each customer is doing if he wants. We are using SugarCRM for our customer relationship management, so we were hoping to utilize that, but it just doesn’t meet our needs. Besides that we’ve discovered it’s pretty glitchy in some areas–it’s driving our QA guy (who happens to be my hubby) batty. I was thinking we may have to develop our own solution, which isn’t really even an option because our developers are completely swamped.

So I spent hours yesterday just searching for solutions that could help us. I looked at charting software like Visual Mining, Corda, Dundas, and Easy Charts. I looked at portal software, including Traction Teampage, DynaPortal, Intranet Dashboard, JBoss, Liferay, Metadot, DotNetNuke, and Apache Jetspeed. And it’s not that all these don’t offer good solutions–it’s just that they don’t make it really simple to analyze, visualize, and publish dashboards–in my case, operations metrics, but it’s extensible and useful for analyzing ANY data.

Ok, Ok, what is it already?

It’s Tableau. They offer a couple different products that I’m really itching to try: Tableau Desktop, which is what you use to build the visualizations, and Tableau Server, which allows you to publish your visualization to the web, with full Web-2.0-style interaction, filtering, and drilldown–in real time. What got me excited was:

·         It looks extremely powerful, easy, quick, flexible and does not require any programming time.

·         You can create many different kinds of data visualizations with their desktop product, then publish to the web.

·         There’s full application-level, view-level, and data-level security. You can publish to 1, 100’s or 1000’s of users.  You have full access control for every user at all levels. You can control who has access to the data, how they interact with the data, and how much/which data they have access to.

·         It can link to any data source: oracle, all sorts of other database formats, and even excel spreadsheets.

·         It has dynamic drilldown and filtering.

·         You can easily view the underlying data and copy/paste right into Excel–or copy a graph or chart for use in a powerpoint presentation.

I watched the Tableau Server demo and am just amazed at all the things this software can do by dragging and dropping and a few clicks of the mouse.

I immediately e-mailed some of my geeky analytical friends and am hoping they’ll try it out and tell me what they think of it. Anyone out there tried it yet? Please comment and let me know what you think.

Of course, I’ll post my thoughts (after I convince my boss to let me try it).