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 In Articles, DataBlog, Features, Link, Photography, Projects, Uncategorized, Viz

You want to visualize the evidence from your nonprofit program, conveying great performance to donors, but don’t have a designer on staff, and can’t afford and are unsure of trying Tableau.

This is where the new features of Tableau Desktop Public Edition 9 come in. This April 7, 2015 software release offers nonprofits outstanding advantages that weren’t available previously.

UPDATE: May 2015.  All Tableau Public Users now have access to the premium features.  This means that the data you visualize on Tableau Public is no longer automatically downloadable.  You can choose what level of access the public has to your data.  This is a game changer for non-profits who need low cost yet professional level data visualization.  Thanks Tableau!

Tableau can, with a moderate amount of design knowledge, generate good looking and accurate graphs, plots and maps. It’s a web-based platform that allows anyone to use their own data, or any publicly available data, to create visuals and upload them to the Tableau Public website. Each visual comes with shareable code that allows you to tweet it, share it on Facebook, or embed it in your organization’s website.

Datassist has been using Tableau for some time now, and recently came up with some quick visualizations to assess current issues in the news, regarding women in government in light of Hillary’s Clinton’s bid for U.S. President, and Canada’s National Pay Equity Day.

Tableau is extremely easy at first try, making it one of the most successful data visualization software packages. This is great for most non-profit organizations, which don’t have full-time designers and analysts on staff. As users gain a deeper understanding of the program, the data visualization that Tableau can produce is impressive in its complexity and professional look. For example, Tableau is one of the very best ways for non-technical organizations to set up dashboards that provide high interactivity with the organization’s performance results.

Though Tableau does offer special non-profit pricing, even at a quarter to a third off the regular professional price, the price of a proprietary Tableau license is often out of range for most non-profits. So those organizations opt for the free version, “Tableau Public”. Here you can explore the features and benefits, as well as download the free Public version.

The beta version of Tableau Version 9 was released in January, and many Tableau fans, from writers to data scientists to viz enthusiasts, have since been discovering and touting these new features. Among the new features of Tableau 9 in visual analytics, speed, data preparation, story-telling, enterprise, cloud data-sources, and mobile use, there are my favorites, including a new data interpreter that helps you get the fastest and best value out of your data by cleaning up merged cells, titles, footnotes, blank rows and other messy data with a click of a button. A great new feature for non-profits, the new Tableau Data Interpreter is a handy feature that will help you wrangle your data into shape so that you can understand it and get the greatest value out of your visuals.

Among the other great enhancements of Tableau 9 are the query performance improvements. Tests show that there are significant query time improvements in: individual query time by 10x, dashboard query time by 9x, query fusion time by 2x, and query caching time by 50x.

Other great new features in Tableau 9:

  1. You can now connect directly with statistical data – including SPSS and R.
  2. The color picker now allows you to customize colors much more specifically. You can use your brand’s colors.
  3. In the “Split” feature, the new Tableau basically recreates Excel’s “text to columns feature” that is a lifesaver for so many of us, separating out different pieces of data that are contained in a single cell.
  4. Tooltips now have an on/off switch, depending on the level of detail you want to make accessible to your viewer.
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