• David Goldstone

Tableau 2018.3 New Features

Now that 2018.3 is out in the big wide world, it has been tried and tested by the public, here is the run down of what to expect in this new release.

Help Redesign

Search, navigation, and layout improvements

Search results within the product help have been expanded to include results for all Tableau products and help articles. Help layout and navigation, such as table of contents placement and breadcrumbs, have been updated to create a more consistent cross-product help experience.

Connect to and Prepare Data

Store extract data in multiple tables

You can configure your extract to have its data stored in multiple tables. Storing your extract data in multiple tables can potentially improve performance and help reduce the file size.

There is also a new Other Databases (JDBC) connector

Use the Other Databases (JDBC) connector to connect to files or database types not listed under Connect and that use a database driver that implements the JDBC (Java Database Connectivity) standard.

New supported spatial files

Use the Spatial Files connector to connect to TopoJSON files, Esri File Geodatabase, and multi-layer KML (Keyhole Markup Language) files using the spatial file connector. 

Design Views and Analyze Data

Build density maps and charts

Create and interact in Tableau Desktop, Tableau Online, or Tableau Server.

Use the density mark to create maps and charts that can help you identify "hot spots" in your data. The density mark lets users see insights into densely populated data and visualize it as a smooth surface which can reveal patterns or relative concentrations that might otherwise be hidden due to overlapping marks. 

Use set actions to let your audience change set values

Create in Tableau Desktop for interaction in Tableau Desktop, Tableau Server, or Tableau Online.

Let your audience select what values are in a set by directly interacting with marks on a viz. You can use set actions to visually drive calculations and create visualizations with multi-faceted comparative analysis like proportional brushing.

Set actions can be used across multiple sets for more complex interactions. 

Set actions must be created in Tableau Desktop to be available for use in Tableau Online and Tableau Server.

Encrypted RServe connections

Connect to RServe as an external service over an encrypted channel from Tableau Desktop. Transfer data with an SSL/TLS secured connection for RServe integration.

Navigate from dashboards more easily

Two new dashboard features make navigation much easier:

The Button object provides a quick way to navigate from one dashboard to another, or to other sheets or stories. To reveal a button's destination, add a custom image and informative tooltip text that appears when users hover over the object.The Go to Sheet action, which you can create only in Tableau Desktop, lets users navigate to other dashboards, sheets, or stories when they click on a mark or a tooltip menu item.

Transparent worksheet backgrounds in dashboards

Create and interact in Tableau Desktop, Tableau Online, or Tableau Server

Make worksheets transparent by setting the worksheet background color to None. Combine transparent worksheets with transparent filters, highlighters, and parameters for a consistent look across your entire dashboard.

Automatically rearrange phone layouts

As you adjust dashboard items on a phone layout, click the pop-up menu to the right of Phone, and select Rearrange layout to optimize the placement of filters, remove white space, and more.

New geocode data for maps

The geocoding database behind your Tableau map has been updated. While most maps will appear the same as earlier versions of Tableau, in some cases, the shape of the data may look slightly different, or contain different geocoding data. 

You can now add images to dashboards when authoring on the web. The new Image object lets you adjust image fit, add a target URL that opens when the image is clicked, and add alt text, which improves the accessibility of your dashboard for those who use screen readers.

While viewing a dashboard on the web, click Edit. From the Objects section at left, drag Image to the dashboard on the right.

Duplicate as Crosstab

To create a new cross-tab sheet based on the data in the current sheet in Tableau Online or Tableau Server, right-click the sheet tab (control-click on Mac) and select Duplicate as Crosstab. This inserts a new worksheet into your workbook and populates the sheet with a cross-tab view of the data from the original worksheet.

Create, move, and resize annotations

Create and delete annotations by right-clicking the view (in a worksheet or dashboard), and then selecting the type of annotation: point, mark, or area. Click the annotation to select it, then drag to move it, or click a selection handle to resize it. Right-click the annotation again to edit or remove the annotation.

For more information or help with your dashboards, please email

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