Explain Data gives you a new window into your data. Use it to inspect, uncover, and dig deeper into the marks in a viz as you build, explore, and analyze your data. When you select a mark while editing a view and run Explain Data, Tableau builds statistical models and proposes possible explanations for the selected mark, including potentially related data from the data source that isn't used in the current view.
For information on running Explain Data and exploring explanations, see Get Started with Explain Data.
Note: This topic describes how Explain Data works in Tableau 2021.2 and later versions. If you have a previous version of Tableau, read this topic in version 2021.1 of Explain Data help(Link opens in a new window).
Select a mark and run Explain Data from the tooltip menu. The Explain Data pane opens with possible explanations
As you build different views, use Explain Data as a jumping-off point to help you explore your data more deeply and ask better questions. For more information, see How Explain Data helps to augment your analysis. For information on what characteristics make a data source more interesting for use with Explain Data, see Requirements and Considerations for Using Explain Data.
Access to Explain Data
Explain Data is enabled by default at the site level. Server administrators (Tableau Server) and site administrators (Tableau Online) can control whether Explain Data is available for a site. For more information, Disable or Enable Explain Data for a Site.
Authors who can edit workbooks and have the Run Explain Data permission capability for a workbook can run Explain Data in editing mode.
Authors can use Explain Data Settings to control whether Explain Data is available in viewing mode in published workbooks and which explanation types are displayed in the Explain Data pane.
When Explain Data is enabled by the author of a published workbook, all users with the Run Explain Data capability can run Explain Data on a mark in viewing mode.
For information on controlling access to Explain Data, explanation types, and fields, see Control Access to Explain Data.
Explain Data is a tool that uncovers and describes relationships in your data. It can't tell you what is causing the relationships or how to interpret the data. You are the expert on your data. Your domain knowledge and intuition are key in helping you decide what characteristics might be interesting to explore further using different views. For related information, see How Explain Data Works and Requirements and Considerations for Using Explain Data.
For more information on how Explain Data works and how to use Explain Data to augment your analysis, see these Tableau Conference presentations:
- From Analyst to Statistician: Explain Data in Practice (1 hour)(Link opens in a new window)
- Leveraging Explain Data (45 minutes)(Link opens in a new window)
- Explain Data Internals: Automated Bayesian Modeling (35 minutes)(Link opens in a new window)
- Machine Learning, Explainable AI, and Tableau (45 minutes)(Link opens in a new window), Session Materials
- Making Business More Bayesian (45 minutes)(Link opens in a new window)