Tableau Desktop 2020.1 was recently released, and it may be the greatest release since Hyper. This one is packed full of features both practical and salesy that viz developers have been clamoring for: Dynamic Parameters, Viz Animation, and Buffer Calculations are the big deals in addition to fixes to bugs and turkeys.
Dynamic Parameters get me excited. I have been creating visualizations since 2015 and I lean heavily on parameters. I have had to create some interesting work-arounds over the years due to a lack of truly dynamic parameters. What’s the big deal? Consider this quote from Kevin Flerlage at Unifund:
“Each month, I manually update the parameter values of a dozen dashboards. Dynamic parameters will allow those parameters to be updated automatically, saving me hours every single month. This is the most requested feature in the history of Tableau and it is a complete game-changer — I cannot wait to see how others use it!” -- Kevin Flerlage, Unifund
I too am eager to see how others use this feature, but for me the greatest change will come to my Research Sandbox workbook. I will upload this to Tableau Public at a later date.
Viz Animations are, to the visual designer, just as important as the Dynamic Parameter. For years, we viz builders have been able to place marks on the Pages Shelf and watch the animation of marks over time, but this is different. Now viz developers can publish dashboards with animations that are not only cool, but educational as well. Viewers of these dashboards can now gain further insight into the history of the data points. We can see whether changes took place rapidly or more slowly over time, and that’s just one use. I am sure this will be a valuable tool in helping our clients to understand and gain insight from their data.
If you love building maps as much as I do, then you are going to be overjoyed with buffers. For years I have been creating circles on maps to show the number of customers within a particular radius of warehouse locations. These visualizations have never been easy to create, but they make a great impact. Now, with Buffer Calculations, we give the calculation a location, distance and buffer/boundary. The only problem I see with this is that everyone will be working with circles. I will just have to make mine unique in some way.
Tableau 2020.1 is an awesome release. Download the trial or update your current installation and give these new features a try. You are going to love them. I honestly cannot wait to see what’s next.