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7 Top Takeaways from Tableau Conference 2024

Tableau Conference 2024 is in the books! Every year, we’re clued into all the exciting new things to come for the future of Tableau. As a perennial Tableau Ambassador, and an annual Iron Viz hopeful, I wait every year to see what they have in store! Take a look below to see my key takeaways from this year’s conference.

1. San Diego was a welcome change of scenery

After two consecutive years in Las Vegas, Tableau Conference made the move to sunny San Diego this year. The new location turned out to be quite the draw, as it was the biggest Tableau conference crowd in years. Every session, from technical to conceptual, was well attended. Some sessions had lines that began queueing a half hour before they even started!

Pictured: Atrium and Medidata’s session: Redefining Data Strategy to Accelerate BI and Analytics Maturity in Finance

I also found myself getting my steps in like never before. The San Diego Convention Center is HUGE. With sessions taking place in the content pavilion and Data Village, attendees were racking up steps like Tableau Prep generates rows. (Note to self, wear comfortable shoes.)

And it sounds like San Diego is here to stay. With the Keynote mentioning that Tableau Conference is booked in the Golden State for the foreseeable future, get ready for an even bigger and better conference next year!

2. Everyone was pulsing with excitement for Tableau Pulse

Generative AI was the name of the game this year at Tableau Conference. I can’t tell you how many customers I spoke to who wanted to know what Pulse is and how they can get it in their environment. While Pulse is still a Tableau Cloud exclusive, it will no doubt entice some Server customers to make the move.

Tableau also announced a number of new features for Pulse. Last year, when the tool was first released, its insights were confined to reports that were separate from dashboards. Soon, you will be able to customize Pulse and embed it into your dashboards. Pulse and generative AI are the future of Tableau. (You just have to get on Cloud first!)

3. Tableau Cloud is putting us on Cloud 9

We’ve been saying it for years, but Tableau Cloud is still the name of the game. And the majority of the new features coming to Tableau in 2024 are going to need to be on the Cloud. In addition to Tableau Pulse, Einstein Copilot, Tableau’s AI assistant, continues its integration with Tableau Cloud.

Tableau Cloud will also provide semantic recommendations to ensure your data sources are easy to use and clear. It allows for field labels and metric names to be unified and makes data governance easier. Administration is also about to get a lot easier, as they roll out Admin insights to help manage the users and permissions in your org. If you’re anything like me, you just want to focus on building beautiful dashboards, so anything that will save me from spending time on admin tasks is a welcome feature. (But again, you’ll need to be on Cloud first!)

4. Tableau finally relates data sources

I’ve been saying it for years, why can’t we relate data sources in Tableau? Sure, you could make your joins in Tableau Prep, or create Parameters to bridge two data sources together, but we were missing the benefits of one of Tableau’s greatest features — relationships.

After teasing the change last year, that gap is finally getting filled.

Introducing Tableau Data Source relationships! Just like you could do before with a single data source, now you can grab tables from multiple published data sources and relate them together. It may sound small on paper, but this is a game changer for us Tableau viz builders. I just about jumped out of my seat when I saw it!

5. Tableau is finally starting to look like Salesforce

It may be hard to believe Salesforce purchased Tableau 4 years ago. The interface for Tableau has looked relatively the same since then. Not anymore! Tableau — and especially Tableau Web — is beginning to adopt the traditional Salesforce design elements.

While the format is still the same (you have your marks card, you have your filters panel), you might do a double take; you’re not in CRM Analytics, you’re in Tableau! The familiar save button and navigation are much closer to traditional Salesforce than ever before. Could this be a clue for the future of both products? It sounds like there is more to come at Dreamforce 2024. (The Atrium team will be there and we’ll have lots to discuss!)

6. Tableau Prep fills the gaps

As someone who’s worked with both CRM Analytics and Tableau, it’s hard not to notice the similarities between Tableau Prep and Data Recipes in CRMA. For years, CRMA had a leg up on Prep. With each new release, Tableau Prep was becoming more and more like recipes. With the upcoming release, Prep might finally have a leg up on recipes.

One of the key features missing from Tableau Prep was the ability to create multi-row or windowing functions. This major gap has been filled, as Prep debuts the long-awaited Partition function. No more multi-join offset functions for us!

They didn’t stop there however, as this year’s keynote was also the debut of Einstein Copilot in Data Prep, to make building out those Prep Flows even easier. Copilot has been one of the hottest features over the past year in Tableau, and with its expansion into Tableau Prep, there is little that Prep can’t do (as long as you’re on Cloud)!

7. Atrium’s happy hour was the hottest ticket in town

Tuesday’s Happy Hour at Rustic Root had over five hundred registered attendees and a four-hundred-person-deep waiting list! The happy hour brought data professionals from Tableau, partners, and the industry together to share the ways that data makes their business grow.

I had never seen a happy hour quite like this. Did I mention it had fireworks? If you didn’t make it to the happy hour this year, you’ll just have to see what we get up to next year. Looks like the word is out that Atrium is Tableau’s premier partner, so sign up early!

What’s next for Tableau?

Tableau Cloud, Pulse, and Prep — those are the three key areas where we’re seeing the most expansion this year. AI has been the buzz since last year, and that was more and more apparent at this year’s conference. It looks like they’re banking on Pulse and Einstein Copilot, to push everyone toward the cloud.

Don’t forget about that new interface! Such a drastic visual change, one of the biggest in Tableau’s history, reminds us all that we’re living in the Salesforce ecosystem, and Tableau is a key piece of that CRM puzzle.

I can’t wait to see where the product goes next. (See you at next year’s Atrium Happy Hour!)

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