The Golden Age Of Data Skills

Tableau wants to make analytics more powerful, trusted, collaborative, and easier to use. This broad vision was articulated at its recently concluded Tableau Conference last week. The annual event saw Tableau unveil new features and top brands share how building a data culture had helped them succeed in today’s digital-first world.

The ability to work with data

“We’re in this golden age of data. [For example], every company, as we go into this all-digital world, has more data at their fingertips. And the ability to work with that data is more important than ever,” said Tableau CEO and President Mark Nelson.

“We're going from a world [where] working with data has been a skill for a very few and a specialized job, to now where it's a skill for everyone. And that's a combination of people getting more familiar with it, the tools getting way better and way easier. And that just makes it all very much more approachable.”

To be clear, a recent IDC study found that data itself does not guarantee success, but enterprises with strong data cultures are more likely to have a competitive advantage, increase profits, and retain customers.

“By now, every organization should recognize the importance of creating a strong data culture,” said Chandana Gopal, a research director at IDC. “Whether it's increased revenues or optimized operations, data cultures are proven to make a positive impact on businesses of all sizes. The challenge now is enabling people with the right technologies to drive value and become insights-driven.”

Tableau also announced a new integration that lets users interact with Tableau from Slack. Questions will be parsed by Tableau’s natural language query interface, and the entire Tableau platform including dashboards and data sources will be accessible, according to Francois Ajenstat, Tableau’s chief product officer.

While there have been other interactions between Slack and other analytic solutions, the ability to bring Slack and Tableau together via natural language is new and can potentially open up analytics access for millions of users who might lack the data skills to dissect Tableau analytic outputs, said an analyst to TechCrunch.

Apart from making Slack the de facto user interface for Tableau, it is understood that the new integration builds on Einstein Discovery for Tableau. Released as part of Tableau’s 2021.1 update, it allowed Tableau to take advantage of Salesforce’s AI engine.

Salesforce acquired Tableau in 2019 before going on to buy Slack at the end of 2020.

Image credit: iStockphoto/Smileus