It was an exciting day. Tableau launched their first completely new product in years. If that wasn’t enough, the opening volley included new bundling models and pricing plans. I’m not going to get into what I think this all means for Tableau, there are way too many others jumping all over that.
If you’ve been following Project Maestro, well, you’ve been excited for Tableau to put their magic touch on the field of data preparation/cleansing. It doesn’t have all the features as some other products -- and I’m not sure it will ever need to match them feature-for-feature. But it’s going to help bring a lot of people into the space who may have been holding out because of price or software complexity. Those are both gone!
However, Tableau Prep still may not for everyone. I say that because it takes a certain type of thinking to break a problem down into individual steps to reach a final outcome. If your brain lines up that way, Prep works brilliantly for you.
Here’s my surprise idea. I think (almost) EVERYONE will use Prep to look at the data to understand it’s makeup — even if they don’t use any of the features to prep data for Tableau. They will quickly be able to know things like:
- What elements are in the dimensions?
- What is the range of each measure?
- Does it look like there are too many nulls?
- Is there data missing from a certain time?
Here's one of my favorite NYC Open Data sets in the first stage of 'prep.' It's great to see that the highest number of violations aren't directly tied to food and a most of those related restaurants received an A grade. It's safe to be hungry in New York.
You've probably been doing this type of analysis in Tableau Desktop. In the same way Desktop increased the speed of analyzing data, Prep dramatically decreases the time to understand your data.
Prep makes it easy to catch the gremlins that get into your vizzes and make you crazy. I am hyped (pun intended) to see if this becomes a powerful, new component of how people start working with data.
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