#DataFam Tableau Wishlist

What are features our community wants to see in upcoming Tableau releases?

We love Tableau and its quarterly enhancements of features. Sometimes, those features come from us via the Ideas site. The problem is that a tiny percentage of submitted ideas get implemented.

Ideas Added: 913 | Ideas Implemented: 9 (or less than 1%)

Ideas Added: 963 | Ideas Implemented: 30 (~3%)

Of course, more recent suggestions take time to implement and can be applied to future releases. Regardless, the percentage is low. Here is the visualization released by Tableau for you to access.

I am an optimist. I believe Tableau is strongly committed to enhancing the customer experience.

It got me thinking a little more and made me wonder what some significant enhancements of anything regarding Tableau (Desktop, Prep, Server/Online, TableauCRM) others want to see and check out, so I polled our #DataFam on Twitter and LinkedIn. I was excited to see many beautiful ideas to boost the experience factor.

Gathering feedback from the community and applying their ideas is essential to the growth of Tableau. The #DataFam are the most supportive, thoughtful, and die-hard practitioners of the tool. They are so familiar with the application; they know what would make their (and their end users’) lives easier or boost the wow factor.

There were dozens of suggestions — here are my favorite 18 Suggestions in no particular order…

This request has been made since the beginning of time. People tend to need to write offline in a word editing document and then push on to Tableau. Rather than that, most people would love to keep their focus on the tool and not on multiple applications when developing. Even working with a company like Grammarly for a plug-in would be a wonderful improvement.

There are work arounds for these, but not simple or as performant as having an out-of-the-box solution. One of the earliest pieces new developers work on are date filters for reporting. Having more flexibility and ‘smarter’ date filtering functions, will help encourage early adoption for those users.

Tableau provided a lot of insight and a cool AI / curated feed with “Discover”, but many people really love to see what they explicitly subscribed for with the old Activity Feed — a great compromise is to add a separate tab or ribbon for “Activity”, so people can find what they subscribed to a little easier, and increase engagement of those you are following.

Check out her fabulous blog on the topic here. I would make it more of a weekly feature given the less frequent posts when compared to Tableau Public visualizations.

This is not a difficult process to do in Tableau, once you know your way a little bit around the tool, but would be a nice help for those pushing crosstabs out quickly to do this instead of doing it in a couple of additional steps.

Great idea and would make working with the tool a little more intuitive and user-friendly. It’s can be a minor inconvenience to a time-eating one to go back and forth between sheets from a dashboard depending on the number of sheets feeding it.

I would like to consider this as a hierarchy action. Being able to control and manage how a hierarchy behaves with your end-users would help people out and reduce some pain points.

A person can effectively do this by creating and saving workbooks, but would even be a sounder solution to be able to pull from a preferences or style, so one can work with any new or old workbook from their desktop rather than searching for a workbook in the desired format.

This will help the developer to fine-tune the design and provide additional accessibility to end-users looking at a smaller text or digging in deeper for insights.

100% agreed on this one. It’s a point of pride for a lot of people handling containers and hierarchies, but is such a frustrating issue for a lot of people working with dashboards; both new users and veterans.

If Tableau made modern complex visualization out-of-the-box, it would be a game-changer for people who want to wow and dazzle their end users. To me it’s a little bit of a mixed blessing as they may be overused at a certain point and make so many wonderful blog tutorials a little outdated.

Knowing which font to use and when is very challenging. Fonts frequently change in appearance depending on the browser and where published. There are such a limited amount of safe fonts to use. This leads people to use additional tools like Figma and PowerPoint to incorporate into their visualizations — having robust font options and/or a preview function to see how they would appear on Server/Online or Tableau Public would help a lot of people out. For more on Tableau and fonts, please check out this post by Ken Flerlage and another one by Judit Bekker.

Tableau Prep is an incredible, but limited community excitement because users have no place to really show off their work unless they blog or create YouTube videos on it. Many people, may want to download or test a prep flow from other users to learn easier and more effectively.

Square or rectangle container shapes are the simplest for creating tiled containers and limiting ‘wasted’ space, but modern design techniques includes white space and having curved containers. Like with font limitations, people are using different tools like Figma and PowerPoint to create these shapes. Not having to do that, would help elevate some design possibilities in-tool.

“Show Me” has not changed in many years — at least since I worked with the tool. It could use a complete overhaul. Most experienced users do not use it. Besides having an extensions capability in “Show Me”, create a customizable “Show Me” with links to example visualizations utilizing the charts. In addition, having more capabilities like bringing favorite extensions or extension preview opportunities to a custom “Show Me” experience would help modernize a feature and make it more useful to many of various experience levels.

Showing what filters are applied is a workaround that’s a bit clunky. Having a feature to click on and show what filters are applied (like an object that could floated or tiled) could help reduce confusion for end users and aid in literacy.

Brian Moore wrote about creating cascading parameters in Tableau using set actions in Sons of Hierarchies and is a great resource, but having this part of an out-of-the box experience can make it even easier and result in more powerful and capable dashboards.

Working with floating objects in dashboards can be a bit frustrating as they can end up in places unintended. A developer needs to test on devices to verify the items work as expected. Being able to force-fix it or apply a percentage of height/width of a dashboard — especially when creating an automatic-sized layout can help ensure the stability of these objects.

Please check out my Twitter and LinkedIn feeds on this topic (including a couple of my ideas).

Please add your ideas to the Ideas page at Tableau. I’m sure Tableau will be scanning your ideas like this…

Credit: The Office (US) and NBCUniversal/Comcast

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Adam Mico

Principal, Data Visualization and CoE at Moderna | Data Leadership Collaborative Advisory Board Member | Tableau Visionary + Ambassador | Views are my own