Tableau Angles for Public Sector with PDF Data Tool, Other Updates

The data visualization tool will now let users pull data directly from PDF tables, among other things.

by / June 2, 2017
A Seattle crime map, created using Tableau.City of Seattle

Tableau does not exist specifically to serve the public sector. But the data visualization company is very much keeping state and local government in mind as it builds up its products.

With the latest update to its visual analytics platform, Tableau has added a few features it’s hoping will be useful to government. They include a series of “connectors” that allow users to pull data from more sources — one of which siphons data out of tables in that ubiquitous government file format, the PDF.

“Organizations want to do more with the vast data they have at their disposal,” Tableau Chief Product Officer Francois Ajenstat said in a press release. “It’s not just simple analysis our customers are seeking, it’s the power to unlock all of their data with ease and efficiency.”

Tableau’s update also includes an alerts feature where users can choose to receive notifications when data reaches certain thresholds, as well as an option to more easily connect data hosted on-premise to cloud-based work. Although state and local governments are moving toward the cloud, many still have data in on-premise systems — and many of those systems are old.

Also wrapped into the update is machine learning-powered “join recommendations.” The idea is that as users work with data, Tableau will recommend data sets the user might not have thought of including in their project.