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Tableau 2020.4 crams pretty chart chops into browser so you can evict chunky client from storage real estate

Regularised linear and Gaussian process regression thrown into predictive models too

Data visualisation big fish Tableau is promising users the ability to get their hands dirty without having to download its seriously weighty desktop client.

The popular show-and-tell data tool provider said that allowing customers access to data prep via a browser would help them "combine, shape, and clean" their data before they analyse it and produce their pretty bubble charts.

FWIW, Gartner has placed Tableau, which was gobbled up by Salesforce for $15.7bn 18 months ago, way out ahead in its "magic quadrant" along with Microsoft.

The browser data drag-and-drop feature available in the 2020.4 release will simplify "the experience for organizations while allowing IT administrators to centrally manage deployment and version control without manually updating individual machines."

Basically, analysts can now connect to a data source, clean and prep data, and share it without a desktop client.

Philip Carnelley, associate veep, software research at IDC Europe, said: "Companies are spending more time on data preparation tasks than ever before. Analytics and AI, machine learning have all become more important in recent times."

He said that changes in patterns of demand and supply have changed dramatically as the global COVID-19 pandemic has hit all areas of the economy. Businesses were finding the need to re-examine their analytics models and include more recent data to make them more accurate.

"It's always been a kind of a truism in the industry that data scientists spend 80 per cent of time preparing the data and only 20 per cent of the time actually doing the analysis," he added. "Our recent research implies that the situation is getting more extreme, not better. Anything that makes it easier and quicker is a good thing, dropping the underlying story.

"The Tableau desktop thing is quite a big, chunky application. If you don't need to download it for everybody, that will make things a bit easier."

Also new to the 2020.4 release is a Resource Monitoring Tool for the Linux server edition, promising customers with the Server Management Add-on the ability to "proactively monitor and troubleshoot the health of their deployments," Tableau said.

In terms of statistical analysis, Tableau has also added regularised linear regression and Gaussian process regression to the list of predictive models. ®

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