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Analytics platform Tableau is bringing data analytics and AI together in a suite of new and expanded augmented analytics features.

Tableau’s latest release will empower more people with the right technology to make smarter and faster decisions regardless of their role and skill level, a release said.

According to New IDC research, a strong data culture creates numerous benefits including increased collaboration, innovation, and measurable value like trust and accountability, regardless of industry or region.

However, gaps persist between expectations and reality —83 percent of CEOs expect their organisations to be more data-driven, but only 33 percent of employees are comfortable using data analytics to support their decisions.

“Organisations can drive growth and foster innovation by pairing the right technology investments with a focus on data culture,” said IDC Research Director, Future of Intelligence, Chandana Gopal.

“Technologies like embedded AI and augmented analytics are promising tools that can democratise analytics beyond the traditional BI and advanced analyst user, and empower all workers to become more data-driven in their decisions,” he added.

Key new augmented analytics functions from Tableau include:

  • Ask Data is now available to all roles and users for Tableau Server and Tableau Online with several significant updates. Ask Data helps more people, regardless of their role, answer business questions using natural language. With a new input experience that guides users on how to ask the most relevant question and dashboard integration for an integrated, simple and personalised experience.
  • Explain Data is now available to all roles and all users for Tableau Server and Tableau Online. It helps answer the ‘why’ in data by using powerful statistical methods and machine learning to surface understandable explanations behind data points. Now with a UI optimised for a wider audience, business users can quickly understand the drivers behind a specific data point. Explain Data also reduces the risk of error by searching for explanations in the entire data source, beyond what is shown in the visualisation.
  • Ask Data for Salesforce helps Salesforce users ask any question in Tableau CRM using natural language and semantic search to get answers instantly in the form of insights, instantly generated reports, and recommended dashboards, tailored to the context of their business. Because Ask Data for Salesforce automatically learns directly from Salesforce data and users, minimal admin setup time is required, enabling all users to start using data for decision making.
  • Einstein Discovery for Salesforce Reports auto analyses data from Salesforce reports quickly and thoroughly to explore and identify the most important insights, surfacing them with charts and explanations that are easy to understand. It helps reduce the barrier to machine learning by enabling direct access to the associated Einstein Discovery story, where users can analyse further.

“There’s a growing disconnect between business leaders expecting a data-driven organisation, and employees who aren’t comfortable using data to make decisions,” said Tableau Chief Product Officer Francois Ajenstat.

“Building truly data-first organisations requires unlocking the power of data for as many people as possible. AI-powered analytics will help more people use data to answer questions, make meaningful decisions and, ultimately, transform their business,” he added.

Through augmented analytics, Tableau tackles the data skills gap by guiding people to uncover insights they wouldn’t otherwise see or discover.

“Ask Data opens up an opportunity to close the gap between advanced analysts and a broader, general business audience, allowing anyone to connect and explore data,” said ‎Siemens Data Analyst & Visualization Team Lead Ilya Kovalenko.

“By leveraging Tableau’s modern and fast natural language processing technology, our colleagues are reaching insights faster than ever before. With Explain Data, our team is not only able to see data trends, but can easily identify and understand what’s driving them,” Kovalenko added.

The newly expanded Ask and Explain Data features are now available in Tableau 2021.2. Ask Data for Salesforce will be available early next year, the release added.




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