New Tableau Release Taps Into Salesforce’s Einstein Discovery For Predictive Analytics

Creative genius?: The integration of Tableau with Einstein Discovery, designed to bring predictive modeling and machine learning to a wider audience of business users, is the latest move to integrate Tableau into the Salesforce universe following the 2019 acquisition.


Tableau has unveiled a new edition of its business analytics and data visualization platform that incorporates Salesforce’s Einstein Discovery predictive modeling and machine learning technology, boosting Tableau’s predictive analysis capabilities.

Under the name “Business Science,” the new functionality in the Tableau 2021.1 release brings Einstein Discovery’s data science and predictive modeling to a wider audience of business users and analysts, allowing them to develop AI-powered predictive analytics applications without the need to write code.

“By bringing together Tableau and Einstein Discovery we’re going to help people bring trusted predictions and recommendations to the users inside of their business. And do this with automated analytics with clicks, not code,” said Tableau CTO Andrew Beers in an interview with CRN.

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“I think this is going to help a lot of these companies that are trying to move faster in their use of data and analytics…and transform themselves into a more data-driven organization,” Beers said.

CRM application giant Salesforce acquired Tableau in 2019 for $15.7 billion. While Salesforce already had some business analytics tools that specifically worked with its applications, over time the company been integrating its cloud software with Tableau.

Last October Mark Nelson, Tableau executive vice president of product development, offered a roadmap for incorporating the Einstein predictive analytics technology within Tableau and this first major release of Tableau in 2021 fulfills that promise.

With the new Tableau release, business users can use models and calculations built with Einstein Discovery within Tableau, according to Beers. They also can access Einstein Discovery via a Tableau dashboard extension and they can leverage Einstein’s capabilities when using Tableau Prep data preparation tools.

“We see an opportunity to democratize advanced analytics and get some of these techniques that the data scientists use into the hands of your business experts – the people who are [working with] the data already – which will let them take some of these techniques and their results to that last mile of analysis,” Beers said. “And to do it quickly and to do it with some confidence in ways that they can apply their judgment about the context of the business.”

Beers said Tableau’s systems integration and data analytics consulting partners will benefit from the new predictive analytics and machine learning capabilities in Tableau 2021.1. “This is another tool in the tool belt that partners and their customers can leverage,” he said

The 2021.1 Tableau release, which will be available by the end of March, also provides improved connectivity to Microsoft Azure for Tableau users to access data in Azure SQL Database. Users also can now natively connect Tableau to Salesforce Customer 360 Audiences software.

A new extension gallery in 2021.1 helps users search for connectors and dashboard extensions within Tableau. The release offers redesigned notification capabilities, which display a user’s shares, comments, extracts and prep flows. And it provides a quicker, easier-to-use “Level of Detail” expressions function.