Tableau Readies New Visual Analysis BI Software

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One of the biggest knocks against business intelligence software is that most products are just too difficult for the average information worker to use. Vendors and their channel partners are sometimes hindered in their efforts to increase BI software sales beyond a relatively small number of "power users."

Later this month, Tableau Software plans to ship version 3.0 of its Tableau visual analysis software that information workers can use to create interactive dashboards -- without programming or IT support -- for monitoring and comparing data from multiple sources.

Tableau 3.0 includes a new class of data filters that dynamically update dashboard and worksheet displays. The new version also enables users to build presentation-ready tables that maintain their live connection to underlying data sources, as well as to add free-form comments and dynamic data labels to visual displays.

The new release supports IBM DB2, PostgreSQL and Firebird databases, in addition to previous support for Oracle, SQL Server, SQL Server Analysis Services, MySQL, Hyperion Essbase, Access and Excel data sources.

Tableau has been aggressively expanding its base of channel partners for reselling its software, said marketing vice president Kevin Brown. The Seattle-based company, for example, developed a version of its product that works with Microsoft's Dynamics CRM application, which is sold through some 600 certified Microsoft solution providers.

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