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 2021.3

Install and Deploy Tableau Desktop

Replace Tableau sample workbooks with custom sample workbooks

You can now create custom sample workbooks and show them on the Start page and Help menu, replacing the sample workbooks that Tableau provides. A maximum of 5 workbooks can be shown. Only packaged workbooks are supported.

For more information, see Replace Sample workbooks with custom workbooks(Link opens in a new window) in the Tableau Desktop and Tableau Prep Deployment Guide.

Design Views and Analyze Data

See color-coded data types and simplified filter phrasing in Ask Data

As you create queries in Ask Data, you'll see helpful color-coded icons that identify data types such as numbers, text strings, tables, and so on. Phrasing for limiting filters and sorting has been simplified too, making Ask Data's interpretations of your queries more clear.

For more information, see Ask Data from a lens page or dashboard object.

Identify elements used in interpretations for Ask Data

Ask Data has added visual feedback on how your inputs are used in interpretations. Ignored words are grayed out; hovering over remaining words highlights how they're incorporated in the interpretation above.

Add or replace recommended visualizations directly from the toolbar in Ask Data

If you're a lens author viewing a generated visualization in Ask Data, you can now quickly change the list of recommended visualizations directly from the toolbar. For more information, see Add or replace a recommended visualization

Get tips for optimizing Ask Data lenses

As you create an Ask Data lens, a list of tips that helps you optimize it will appear.

To access these tips for an existing lens, simply click the circled "i" to the left of the text box.

For more information, see Create Lenses that Focus Ask Data for Specific Audiences.

Discover missing data in a mark with the Null Values explanation in Explain Data

The Null Values explanation type calls out situations where there is a higher than expected amount of missing data in a mark. For more information, see Null Values in the Explain Data Explanation Types topic.

Use axes animations to see and understand changes in scale

As of Tableau version 2021.3, axes animations are available in Tableau Desktop, Tableau Online, and Tableau Server. For example, when you filter your viz to include a new data group, you’ll see that the scale of the axis changes because a new value was added. Axes animations allow you to see scale changes in context so you can make better conclusions about your data. For more information, see Format Animations.

Animation of axes changing when categories are filtered

Tableau Desktop Features Now in Tableau Online and Tableau

Use the same action dialogs across Tableau Desktop, Tableau Online, and Tableau Server

Tableau Desktop now reflects the same action dialog boxes found in Tableau Online and Tableau Server, increasing your efficiency as you move across products. For more information, see Actions.

 

Use advanced filtering across Tableau Desktop, Tableau Online, and Tableau Server

From wherever you use Tableau, you can now use advanced filtering that was previously available only in Tableau Desktop. Use Wildcard filtering to filter for strings that match your filter criteria. Or, author Formulas that work with Conditions or Top N filters. For more information, see Filter categorical data (dimensions).

Unique Features in Tableau Online and Tableau Server

Reorder any dashboard object in Tableau Online or Tableau Server

In Tableau Online and Tableau Server, you can now reorder both tiled and floating objects in the Item Hierarchy list. You can also drag items both within their current containers, and into other containers at any level. This lets you nest items with more flexibility than editing on the canvas, which limits you to placing objects in the innermost container. For more information, see Reorder objects.

Control access to Explain Data with new site setting and Run Explain Data permission capability

Site administrators can now control the availability of Explain Data in site settings. Prior to 2021.3, the ability to enable or disable Explain Data was controlled at the server level only using the tsm configuration set option ExplainDataEnabled.

Authors can now control the availability of Explain Data at the workbook level using the Run Explain Data permission capability. For more information, see Control Access to Explain Data.

Note: To make Explain Data available in viewing mode, a workbook author must also select the option Allow Explain Data to be used in this workbook when viewed online in the Explain Data Settings dialog box.

Share, collaborate, and keep up with your Tableau data in Slack

You can now see Tableau notifications in your Slack workspace with the Tableau for Slack app. Tableau in Slack will send you notifications when someone shares content with you, when you’re @mentioned in a comment, or when data meets a specified threshold. The Tableau for Slack app also lets you see snapshots of visualizations you have access to, with links back to your Tableau site for further exploration. For more information, See Tableau notifications in Slack..

Save workbooks in Personal Space

All web authors now have a private place to save their work, explore data, and draft analysis before they’re ready to share. Within Personal Space, Explorers and Creators can edit workbooks privately. You can save your web authoring workbooks directly to Personal Space or move site workbooks you own into Personal Space. When you’re ready to share with others, you can move your workbooks into a project. Favorite Personal Space content to add it to your favorites, and use search to find content in your Personal Space. For more information see Create and Edit Private Content in Personal Space.

Rename published data sources

In Tableau Online and Tableau Server, you can now rename a published data source for which you have Save permissions. To rename a published data source, click the More actions menu, and choose Rename—just like renaming workbooks. You can also rename a published data source using the Update Data Source REST API. When a published data source is renamed, all workbooks that use that data source will use the new name after the next data source refresh is complete. For more information, see Best Practices for Published Data Sources.

Set your workbook data freshness policy

Strike a balance between performance and data freshness by using workbook data freshness policies. While cached data is great for the performance of live-connection workbooks, seeing stale cached data in a viz can cause confusion and frustration for workbook users. Now with data freshness policies, workbook owners or administrators can choose granular data freshness policies, so the freshest data appears when your business needs it.

From the Workbook Details dialog in Tableau Online or Tableau Server, choose Edit Data Freshness Policy. Then, choose one of the following:

  • Site default (12 hours in Tableau Online)
  • Always live (Tableau will always get the latest data.)
  • Ensure data is fresh every...then, set your interval, such as every 12 hours.
  • Ensure data is fresh at...then set your days and times, such as Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. at 09:00 AM Pacific time.

Data freshness policies allow you to optimize workbook performance on a schedule that meets the needs of your business. For more information, see Set a Data Freshness Policy.

Add-ons

Tableau Catalog - part of the Data Management Add-on

Inherited descriptions appear in web authoring - When a description for a field exists upstream from the field, it now appears in web authoring with information about where the description is inherited from. For more information, see Manage Web Content.

Assets in personal spaces are indexed - Tableau Catalog indexes assets in personal spaces, but users who browse through the lineage tool see Permissions required instead of information about workbooks in personal spaces.

Data quality warnings appear in subscription emails - Subscription emails can include data quality warnings for workbooks or views if their upstream assets have warnings. For more information, see "Set a Data Quality Warning" in the Tableau Server(Link opens in a new window) or Tableau Online(Link opens in a new window) Help.

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