Tableau Software: Connected Care, Healthy Outcomes
The entire big data economy stands on a tenuous assumption— that anyone can be empowered with data, analyze and understand it and create reports and value. Sadly, in reality, it is not that simple. Until the recent past, databases were synonymous with numbers and data. However, three youngsters—an Academy-Award winning professor, an astute business leader with a passion for data and an ingenious computer scientist—ushered a revolution with the idea that databases should be more than just a bunch of numbers, involving data visualization features into the databases making them interactive and comprehensible like never before. Voila! Tableau Software [NYSE: DATA] was born.
"Tableau can create a broad range of visualizations, from bar and line charts to maps and sophisticated linked views"
Tableau Software was conceptualized in an era when Cognos, Business Objects, Microsoft Excel, and others, were already leading their game. Having started from scratch, with its humble beginnings in Seattle, the company rose to prodigiousness in a short span. “The company is positioned to become the new world standard in analytics,” says Adam Selipsky, President and CEO at Tableau. Selipsky—who has over a decade-long experience building Amazon Web Services— sets the vision and direction for Tableau, and oversees all company strategy, business activities, and operations. The pharmaceuticals and biotech were one of the earliest industries to have tasted the prowess of Tableau Software. For long, the industry has been crippled with the concerns related to drug investment, bringing new drugs to market, streamlining sales and clinical operations, and finding the biggest risks to their product portfolio. It’s no surprise that 2018 reveals a pent-up demand for better healthcare IT, and analytics that drives higher efficiencies. As a result, the demand for better and more efficient ways of leveraging data has been growing exponentially in hope to unleash millions of opportunities in disease research, education patterns, industrial efficiency, patient care, and government spending to improve people’s lives. Governed by a simple mission to “help people see and understand their data,” Tableau helps organizations uncover the answers instantly by empowering them with the capability to analyze data at their fingertips and display it in a manner that is easily comprehensible. Tableau’s solutions excel in tranforming underutilized asset into competitive advantage by amalgamating visual analysis with data science. Following the simple notion of ‘what you see is what you understand,’ the company’s solutions can be leveraged by clients without having to learn about the technical coding and jargons.
Tableau’s VizQL is a patented query language that translates actions into a database query and then expresses the response graphically. VizQL creates a visual representation of data quickly, giving visual feedback while analyzing the data.
Tableau gives very useful insight into what’s going on, and that’s leveraging both the unstructured and structured data
Tableau takes the pain out of healthcare provider analytics by allowing organizations to quickly and easily connect to all of their healthcare data. The solution can be connected to every existing data source and allows all levels of employees and C-suite executives to visualize and explore the data with a drag-and-drop visual experience—without the need for scripting. Based on the breakthrough technology—VizQL— the company has built Tableau Desktop that enables pharma and life science companies to connect to data, visualize and then create interactive dashboards all with a few clicks. Using simple drag and drop reference lines and forecasts, clients can quickly build powerful calculations from existing data and review statistical summaries. Using trend analyses, regressions, and correlations for tried and true statistical understanding, clients can ask new questions, spot trends, identify opportunities, and make data-driven decisions with confidence. Tableau Desktop can seamlessly connect to data on-prem or in the cloud—whether it’s big data, a SQL database, a spreadsheet, or cloud apps like Google Analytics and Salesforce. Based on client’s preferred data sources, analysis begins.
Further, enterprises can design, customize, and publish optimized dashboards for desktop, tablet, and phone through Tableau’s Device designer tool. Worksheets, actions, and formatting are shared across device layouts and the default dashboard. This creates a single dashboard that’s optimized for viewing across devices. Since each device layout can have its own sizing behaviors, clients can control the worksheets that are displayed as well as their respective sizes. Once users publish dashboards with Tableau Desktop, they can share them throughout the organization securely using Tableau Server or Tableau Online. Tableau Server is browser- and mobile-based insight anyone can use. Whether data is on-premise or in the cloud, Tableau Server gives the flexibility to integrate into existing data infrastructure. Businesses can guarantee themselves the freedom to explore data in a secure environment—without limiting to pre-defined questions, wizards, or chart types. Businesses get the ability to centrally manage all metadata and security rules while gaining visibility into usage to optimize their environment. Likewise, Tableau Online is an analytics platform fully hosted in the cloud. With most processes already in the cloud, the platform eliminates the time and cost spent on hardware setup while giving complete flexibility to add users instantaneously. This way users need not configure servers, manage software upgrades, or scale hardware capacity.
The Break-Through Data Engine
In keeping with the theme of visual analysis, Tableau created Data Engine, a high-performing analytics database on the client’s PC. The database gives the ability to do an ad-hoc analysis of millions of rows of data within seconds. The Data Engine has the speed benefits of traditional in-memory solutions without the limitations of fitting the data in memory. Clients can use the data engine without any custom scripting, which makes it easily accessible. Businesses can seamlessly integrate the data engine with existing corporate data warehouses and infrastructure to support the process of visual analysis. It is designed with a query language and query optimizer designed to support the queries typical of on-the-fly business analytics. The Data Engine is unique in that once your data is loaded into the data engine, it only reads the data in which the queries actually touch. The Data Engine is a breakthrough analytics database designed to overcome the limitations of existing databases and data silos and to support the process of visual analysis truly.
Repeating the History of Innovation
Tableau is preparing for further innovations in its product line through various partnerships. The recent partnership is with ClearGraph, a company enabling smart data discovery and data analysis through natural language query technology. Through this partnership, Tableau plans to integrate ClearGraph’s technology into its products. This will make it even easier for more businesses to interact with their data by using natural language to ask questions and search for insights. Another target in Tableau’s to do list is a new data engine based on the in-memory store that Tableau obtained through its acquisition of German startup HyPer. And Tableau is also planning to introduce artificial intelligence features alongside the engine to streamline dashboarding activities even further. The main highlight is an “instant analytics” capability that will automatically display various contextual details as users interact with their data.
Tableau has expanded its data visualization capabilities with the recent launch of Tableau Prep (previously known as Project Maestro). The brand new product is designed to help the pharma and life sciences industry seamlessly combine, shape, and clean their data for analysis. Tableau Prep is built around three coordinated views—a data grid to see your row-level data, a profile pane to look at profiles of each column, and a flow pane to understand your entire data preparation process. “As we add capabilities for our customers, deepen our enterprise presence, and expand into the cloud, our mission remains unchanged—to help people see and understand their data,” Selipsky concludes.
June 22, 2018