Tableau 10, Where have you been?!

Tableau 10 is on the fourth beta, which means the Tableau devs are getting really close to production release (as far as I know, there’s no announcement yet of an official date, but it’s almost certainly a matter of weeks or maybe even days!)  And I’m excited!  There are so many great new features — and not just features that are “wow, that might be nice.”  But features that make me shout, “where have you been!”


Brace Yourselves for Tableau 10 New Features

I can’t wait to start using Tableau 10 to solve real world issues that I’ve encountered over the past few years (and see below for videos of these features & more!)

Custom Territories

  • Custom Territories in Tableau 10

Do you know how many times clients have asked me if I could make custom territories for them?  I’d say, “sure…. but we have to create some shape files and then convert to polygons and then maybe use some blending to avoid level of detail issues and…” and then they’d say, “forget it” (most of the time).  Or, I’d resort to “poor man’s geocoding” which works, but is also a little complex and brittle.

But now, I’ll build custom territories in Tableau using either ad-hoc (select and group right on the map) or include it in the data and create a custom geographic role (use the drop down field on the field in the data pane and select Geographic Role > Create From > [existing geographic field].

That’s easy!


Cross Database Joins

  • Cross database joins in Tableau 10

Got most of your data in SQL Server, some in text files, some in Google Sheets and want to analyze it all as one data source? (check out the connection shown here – SQL Server table joined to a union of text files and Google Sheets – all live!)  Need to supplement your Oracle data with Excel?  Want to reshape some data from a server data source?  Now you can!  This is a game-changer.  The possibilities are nearly endless.


Cross Data Source Filters

There are so many times this would have saved me over the past few years.  I thought it was a great idea to have an aggregate data source (for performance) and a detail data source (for drill down) until I couldn’t filter both easily.  But Tableau 10 makes that a great option!

Sick of using parameters or action filters to go across data sources?  Tired of the limitations those approaches have?  The Tableau devs have you covered in Tableau 10!  Just set a filter to apply to All Related Data Sources (and edit the relationships from the Data menu if needed) and you are good to go!


  • Clustering

This is the feature I didn’t even know I needed.  And my clients don’t know they need it yet either.  But the possibilities of finding patterns, uncovering opportunities, and discovering hidden relationships are incredible!  Sure, I’ll need to brush up on my statistics and make sure I’m using the feature in truly meaningful ways, but wow!

And, if you haven’t yet, make sure to check out Bora Beran’s fantastic post detailing how clustering works in Tableau.


Device Specific Dashboards

This is another feature that clients have been begging for.  And I’d say, “well we could design different dashboards, then use some JavaScript to change them out, then maintain each one individually…”  And then, when the feature was announced at TC15, I’d start saying, “let’s just wait for Tableau 10… maybe it’ll have the capability…” but I knew the next question would be, “when is it coming out?”

My answer sounds a lot better when I can say, “in a few weeks!”



And there are so many more features.  And it’s not just the HUGE ones, I love seeing all the little things the devs have slipped into the tool without even saying anything. What features are you looking forward to the most?


I recently demonstrated these features (and more!) in detail for the Austin and Dallas/Fort Worth Tableau User Groups.  Here are the recordings of two sessions and the workbooks I used:

Tableau 10 Overview 

Tableau 10 Deep Dive

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