Time to Talk: Tableau Extensions
As described in a couple of the subsequent sessions at #data17 there are two classes of activities that this new API will enable on the dashboard. Closing the loop and lighting it up. Closing the loop activities are going to allow you to use the insights you have gained to take actions and make changes, that can then be reflected in the data.
Light it up activities will add new features to illuminate aspects of your data, either through advanced analytics and machine learning, or through something as simple as a custom d3.js viz.
The API is by now means complete and extensions are only available in the developer preview at the moment, so it could be many more releases before they become fully available. There are a couple of areas that need to be ready before they go out into the wild, the first is that they need to be fully enabled on server and online, without them the use cases are going to be limited, but this is on the roadmap for implementation and looks like it should be out before release. The other aspect of these extensions that needs to be fully realised before release is security, enterprise users need to have the confidence that they can:
Choose if they will allow extensions
Manage and audit extensions that are in use
I would also add a couple of wishes for the API itself, I’d like to be able to access the workbook as well as dashboards within the workbook, and definatly be allowed to manipulate which tab is ‘active’ in the workbook, giving us the power to develop real buttons. It's not the most optimal visual analysis tool but the button paradigm is by now well understood and widely used in the business context.
Another thing i’d like to be able to do through the API is manipulate the pills on shelves, specifically the drill up/drill down on hierarchies, and the date pill formats. (this may already be in the API but I haven't been able to find it yet)
So that's my first take on the new API, it's got a lot of exciting opportunities for changing how we interact with and view data in Tableau and building out Tableau fully into a visual analytics platform that's flexible and extensible. So the future is green, the future is .trex!