3 Replies Latest reply on Jul 30, 2018 5:59 AM by Jonathan Drummey

    Thoughts on Tableau Prep

    Alex Kerin

      Having just taken Tableau up again, I've dived straight in with Tableau Prep. I've really enjoyed using it to solve interesting problems at work and here on the forums (Re: Calculation to count duplicate values within a string). However, without the ability to publish a flow, schedule it (https://community.tableau.com/ideas/8677)  either locally via command line or on server, and embed passwords, its use is really limited for me unfortunately. I hope this functionality comes soon..


      Any other enhancements people are hoping to see?

        • 1. Re: Thoughts on Tableau Prep
          Joshua Milligan



          I'm really enjoying Tableau Prep!  What it lacks, for now, in maturity it has in a strong paradigm for visually prepping data.  I definitely look forward to seeing how it evolves over the next few iterations.


          I participated in alpha/beta testing and have used it for some personal projects and to prove out how I might have been able to do previous work projects.  But just this week I actually started using it in the "real world" on a client project and for the most part have been very pleased with how easy it has made what otherwise would have been very tedious.


          Here are the Tableau Prep ideas from the community so far.

          In addition to publishing and scheduling flows, my top list would be:


          Best Regards,


          • 2. Re: Thoughts on Tableau Prep
            Alex Kerin

            Yes - table calcs would be perfect because they could be set exactly as needed with no concern with them being incorrectly applied down the line. Being able to look up and down rows with previous_value would be another nail in the coffin of Excel for me.

            • 3. Re: Thoughts on Tableau Prep
              Jonathan Drummey

              Hi Alex, nice to (virtually) see you!


              In talking with different people I've been imagining 3-ish user populations in the overlapping Venn diagram of user populations for Prep:


              - Users who have historically used Excel & exports/downloads from other systems to manually prepare analyses. Prep even at v1 seems to work pretty well for this population.


              - Departmental and/or enterprise users who have more complex data needs. They might presently use scripting tools and/or ETL tools like Alteryx, etc. These users find some interesting things in Prep as it exists today but some to many also find missing features that are showstoppers.


              - Departmental and/or enterprise users who need to run large (volume & complexity of inputs & outputs) flows on a scheduled basis. They find even more showstoppers.


              Personally I'm in the 2nd/3rd group, the users that I support are in the 1st and 2nd groups. The key features that we're looking for for the 1st group are:


              - Better data profiling in Prep. We have to use Tableau Desktop or other tools to understand the data structure, we can't presently do enough of that in Prep.

              - Spatial file support Spatial file support in Tableau Prep (basic joins, unions, calculations, & output)

              - Crosstab aka "pivot to wide" https://community.tableau.com/ideas/8707

              - The "table calculations such as Index() and Previous_value()" idea (which in Alteryx is handled with the Multi-Row Formula tool & Record ID tool) Table Calculations such as Index() and Previous_Value()

              - "start at row" support https://community.tableau.com/ideas/8676


              Beyond that the major features that I'd need as someone in the 2nd/3rd group are:


              - Scheduling flows https://community.tableau.com/ideas/8677

              - Write to databases https://community.tableau.com/ideas/8963

              - Dynamically control output file names.

              - Support for notifications e.g. emailing, Slack, etc. The use case here is when we identify a data quality issue we want to flag it and notify the person(s) responsible for that particular data.

              - Being able to dynamically rename columns based on an additional input column or flow. Theoretically this could be done with creative use of a crosstab tool.



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