Tableau’s 2013 week long sales kickoff meetings are winding down today, and we got a real treat yesterday. 4-5 different members of the product team stopped in and spent the day walking us through all of the goodness that is Tableau Version 8.
It was like a day-long “Devs Onstage”, except we got to follow along on our machines. My eyes were pretty much bugging out the whole time, and I was amazed at the amount of care and focus that went into improving the user interface.
Some of you may already have discovered this, but I thought it was quite cool. Take a look at this treemap:
Note the grouping is by continent and that each country in that continent is encoded with a color from the same family.
I’m used to seeing treeviews that look like this:
To get the effect in the first screen shot, all you need to do is SHIFT-SELECT the two dimensions in the dimension list and drop them on the Color Tile.
Or you can also SHIFT-DRAG a dimension from the dimension list and drop it on color, and this action becomes additive rather than replacing the original dimension in color. This was the big news to me.
After using this technique, the treemap-as-barchart becomes much more interesting to look at:
..and I have to say I just love the way the labels automatically change color based on background shade in order to make the text more readable. Very smart and case in point about how carefully this has been thought out.
Note for the dataviz purist:
I have to admit that countries within a continent are already quite distinct in a treeview. Encoding country-as-slightly-different-color could actually confuse the viz consumer, making them think that the various shades show some sort of performance metric.
But in this case, I don’t care. I’m the boss of me and it makes me happy.