What's New in Tableau Desktop and Web Authoring

Browse summaries of new features for the current release.

Tableau Desktop Release Notes(Link opens in a new window) | Known Issues(Link opens in a new window)

New in version 2020.4

Connect to and Prepare Data

Find partner-built connectors

Tableau has great connectivity that allows you to visualise data from virtually anywhere. In addition to dozens of built-in connectors for Tableau, you'll find more connectors built by Tableau partners in the Tableau Extension Gallery(Link opens in a new window). For more information about using partner-built connectors, see Use Partner-Built Connector from the Extension Gallery.

Design Views and Analyse Data

Build maps with multiple data layers: marks layers for maps

With 2020.4, we are introducing a new way to work with geographic data. Instead of being limited to two layers of data through a dual axis map, now you can add as many layers of geographic data as you want. Simply drag your geographic data to the view and drop it on the "Add Map Layer" control that appears in the view. Each layer can be customised independently using the marks card, giving you new levels of flexibility in map creation.

For more information, see Create Geographic Layers for Maps.

Enhancements to dynamic parameters: refreshable parameter ranges

In 2020.1, we introduced dynamic parameters, which makes it possible to set a parameter’s current value or list of values to the result of a view-independent calculation every time the workbook opens. Now, you can also create dynamic parameters for “range” parameters. This means that min and max values for a parameter’s range will automatically update every time the workbook is opened. Tableau will query all values in a field’s range and users can pick any value within the range, even if that value is not in the field’s discrete set of values.

For more information, see this blog post on dynamic parameters. Also, see Create Parameters.

More models supported for predictive modelling functions

In 2020.3, we introduced the MODEL_QUANTILE and MODEL_PERCENTILE table calculation functions. By default, these functions use linear regression to generate predictions and explore relationships within your data. Now in 2020.4, you’ll be able to leverage two more models: Gaussian process regression and regularised linear regression. With more models supported, you have greater flexibility and can choose the model that best fits your use case.

For more information, see Choosing a Predictive Model and How Predictive Modelling Functions Work in Tableau.

Extend date ranges into the future

You probably already know that when you’re working with dates, Tableau only shows the values that are represented in your data. Until now, users have been able to show missing values to indicate incomplete data in the underlying data source, but this only applies to dates within the boundaries of the existing data source. In addition, in 2020.3 we introduced the ability to perform calculations on missing values when you select Analysis > Infer Properties from Missing Values.

In 2020.4, we've added a simple menu option that lets you easily generate and display marks beyond the existing date range. To do this, simply open the context menu of a continuous (green) date pill, and select Extend Date Range.

Extend Date Range dialog

To see an example of this, check out Predictive Modelling Functions in Time Series Visualisations.

Get notified when features won't animate in a browser

If a workbook contains features that won't animate in a web browser, such as maps, polygons and density marks, you now get notified at the bottom of the Format Animations pane. For more information, see Unsupported browsers and features.

Prepare, Author and View Data on Tableau Online and Tableau Server

Use Salesforce data sources for web authoring

Creators can author and edit workbooks connected to Salesforce data sources in Tableau Server and Tableau Online.

Create highlight actions in Tableau Online and Tableau Server

Now you can create advanced highlight actions while authoring in Tableau Online and Tableau Server, from both dashboards and individual sheets. For more information, see Create Advanced Highlight Actions.

Create fixed sets in Tableau Online or Tableau Server

In 2020.3, we introduced the ability to create dynamic sets on the web. Now in 2020.4, you can create fixed sets in Tableau Online and Tableau Server, too – right in the web authoring environment – with no conditions. To do this, simply open the dimension’s context menu and select Create > Set.

Menu showing Set option

For more information on sets in Tableau, see Create Sets.

Apply filters to worksheets in Tableau Online or Tableau Server

Until now, when authoring on the web, applying a single filter to multiple sheets has been cumbersome. As of 2020.4, Tableau Online and Tableau Server customers can now apply a filter to selected worksheets by using a brand new dialog. In addition, the entire experience is keyboard accessible. To try it out, go to a filter’s context menu and select Apply to Worksheets > Selected Worksheets.

Add labels to your marks in Tableau Online or Tableau Server

You can now choose which marks to label in a visualisation while authoring in Tableau Online or Tableau Server. The same options that are already available in Tableau Desktop are now available in web authoring. This means you can label all marks, only the minimum and maximum values, just the line ends, the most recent values or only the selected or highlighted marks in the view.

For more information, see Show, Hide and Format Mark Labels.

Animation showing mark labels

Refine date ranges with Ask Data

Now you can precisely adjust date ranges in the user interface. Simply click "between", "starting" or "ending" in your questions, and change range type, date detail, and start and end points.

For more information, see Adjust date filters.

See vizzes as stacked bar charts with Ask Data

Stacked bar charts provide a great way to see how different categories contribute to your overall data. Ask Data automatically displays stacked bar charts with data best visualised that way. But you can display any query this way by adding "as a stacked bar chart" to your question or choosing "Stacked Bar" from the viz-type menu.

For more information, see Change the viz type.

Edit synonyms for field values with Ask Data

Synonyms ensure that Ask Data returns relevant vizzes, even if users' terminology differs from field names and values in a data source. Using data roles that apply across multiple data sources, you could previously edit synonyms only for field names, but now you can edit them for field values as well.

For more information, see Edit field name or value synonyms for a data role.

Image download improvements

When you download an image in Tableau Server and Tableau Online, selections made in the Page Setup dialog in Tableau Desktop (such as showing/hiding captions or legends) no longer apply. For more information, see Download Views and Workbooks.

Collaborate and Explore with Tableau Online and Tableau Server

New ways to see and manage custom views

Quickly access and manage your custom views on Tableau Online or Tableau Server in one place. When you look at a workbook in Tableau Online or Tableau Server, you can use the new Custom Views tab to see your saved custom views as well as custom views others have made visible to others. As the workbook owner or administrator, you can use the Custom Views tab to see all custom views on the workbook as well as view count and when the custom view was last accessed. For more information about custom views, see Use Custom Views.

Organise items in a collection (limited preview)

Collections are like playlists that let you organise your Tableau content. Create private collections for easy access to the workbooks, views and metrics you need for your different work projects. Or make a public collection with getting started resources for new employees on your team. Collections are available as a limited preview that your administrator can sign up for on Tableau Online only. For more information, see Organise Items in a Collection.


Tableau Catalogue updates – part of the Data Management Add-on

Tableau Catalogue is included in the separately licensed Data Management Add-on for Tableau Server and Tableau Online. For more information, see “About Tableau Catalogue” in the Tableau Server(Link opens in a new window) or Tableau Online(Link opens in a new window) Help.

The following features are included in this release:

Data Quality Warning History admin view - Site administrators can see how data quality warnings are being used on the site using the pre-built admin view, Data Quality Warning History. For more information, see "Data Quality Warning History" in Tableau Server(Link opens in a new window) or Tableau Online(Link opens in a new window) Help.

See quality warning details in Tableau Desktop - Tableau Desktop users can hover over the warning icon on the Data tab to see details about the data quality warnings affecting the data in their workbook. For more information, see ‘Set a Data Quality Warning’ in Tableau Server(Link opens in a new window) or Tableau Online(Link opens in a new window) Help.

Metrics appear in lineage and show data quality warnings - Data quality warnings now appear on metrics affected by a warning. Metrics also appear in the Lineage tool, enabling you to see how a metric might be affected by data changes when performing impact analysis. For more information, see ‘Embedded asset appears in External Assets’ in Tableau Server(Link opens in a new window) or Tableau Online(Link opens in a new window) Help.

Install and deploy Tableau

Turn off Web Page objects in Tableau Desktop

If, for security or other reasons, you don't want Web Page objects in dashboards to display target URLs, you can turn these objects off in several ways:

CPU requirement update

Beginning with version 2020.4, Tableau requires you to have CPUs that support SSE4.2 and POPCNT instruction sets. These CPUs have been common for more than 10 years and are installed on most newer computers. Tableau products are also not currently compatible with Apple Silicon processors.

If you attempt to install or upgrade Tableau on a computer that does not support these instruction sets or that uses the Apple Silicon processors, the installer will not allow you to continue.

To see a complete list of supported technologies, see tableau.com/techspecs(Link opens in a new window).

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