AI and machine learning capabilities developed by Salesforce are now available in Tableau, marking the first integration between the vendors since the CRM giant acquired Tableau.

Tableau rolled out its 2021.1 platform update on Tuesday, and included is Einstein Discovery, a no-code tool within Salesforce’s Einstein Analytics platform that uses augmented intelligence and machine learning to enable predictive modeling and prescriptive recommendations.

With Einstein Discovery now included in Tableau and generally available, users will be able to develop predictive models, create what-if scenarios and forecast within Tableau’s environment and without having to write code. The inclusion of Einstein Analytics in Tableau, meanwhile, marks Tableau’s introduction of business science, the vendor’s term for providing business users with data science capabilities using AI and machine learning.

Tableau previously was one of the innovators that ushered in the era of self-service analytics, helping make business intelligence accessible to more than just highly trained data analysts. Now, with the concept of business science enabled by the combination of Einstein Discovery and Tableau, the vendor aims to do the same with complex data science.

A sample Einstein Discovery dashboard in Tableau predicts the likelihood an organization's shipments will be made on time.

A sample Einstein Discovery dashboard in Tableau predicts the likelihood an organization’s shipments will be made on time.

Business science is about lowering the barrier to advanced data science by enabling regular business people to build predictive models, build simulations and do scenario planning. It’s all about bringing the power of data science to those business users.

Including Einstein Discovery in Tableau also adds advanced analytics capabilities Tableau was lacking that some competitors already have as part of their platforms.

While Einstein Discovery’s inclusion in Tableau 2021.1 is the most important feature in the update, it’s not the only one. Among the more than 20 new capabilities are:

  • improved connectors to Microsoft Azure that will enable users to access data in Azure SQL Database and Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2;
  • support for Azure Active Dictionary through existing connectors to Azure Synapse and Azure Databricks;
  • a new Extension Gallery that helps users search for connectors and dashboard extensions within Tableau so they can gain access to additional databases and applications;
  • an update to Ask Data, Tableau’s natural language query feature, that adds a help center to centralize onboarding and administrative information;
  • a redesigned notification experience that unifies users’ shares, comments, extracts and prep flows in a single dedicated space of their choice such as directly in Tableau or in their email; and
  • the ability to create Level of Detail expressions more easily by using context menus or dragging and dropping measures.

Meanwhile, Tableau and Salesforce will work to hone the integration between Einstein Discovery and Tableau, tweaking it to make it even easier and more seamless, as well as add more features, according to Francois Ajenstat, Chief product officer, Tableau.

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