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Tableau Pulse Goes GA, Uses Generative AI to Make Data More Accessible

Tableau Pulse Goes GA, Uses Generative AI to Make Data More Accessible

The News: Salesforce announced the general availability (GA) of Tableau Pulse, an AI-driven experience based on the data visualization platform Tableau. The platform is designed to make data more accessible to workers, regardless of their level of experience with data visualization platforms or tools.

According to Salesforce, which acquired Tableau in 2019, Tableau Pulse was first announced in an early preview in May 2023 and then was made available in a limited beta in December 2023. Tableau Pulse uses natural language queries and data visualizations to surface important metrics, trends, and recommendations specific to each organization’s data.

Tableau Pulse is included for free with all Tableau Cloud editions and Embedded Analytics solutions. Existing Tableau Cloud or Embedded Analytics customers simply need to turn on Pulse within the application’s settings and then turn on the Insights Summaries within Pulse to enable generative AI functionality.
Tableau Cloud licenses are priced as follows:

  • Tableau Creator is $75/user/month
  • Tableau Explorer is $42/user/month
  • Tableau Viewer is $15/user/month

Tableau Pulse uses generative AI to surface insights in both a natural language and visual format, making it easier to tie data to a real-world business context. The product’s AI capabilities are run through the Einstein Trust Layer, Salesforce’s secure AI architecture natively built into its platform, which enables Pulse users to benefit from generative AI without compromising their customer data. You can read the press release detailing the announcement on the Salesforce website.

Tableau Pulse Goes GA, Uses Generative AI to Make Data More Accessible

Analyst Take: For many business users, the rise of the dashboard was viewed as the pinnacle of information interfaces. Instead of trying to decipher hundreds or thousands of cells contained within a spreadsheet, or mind-numbing fumbling around with pivot tables, dashboards represented a way to easily capture, represent, and digest data in a more visual, compelling way, which, in turn, made it easier to spot data patterns, identify anomalies, and extract key business insights.

However, in this nascent yet fast-moving era of generative AI, where business applications are infusing natural language-driven assistants that let users interact with data in a more natural way, manipulating and extracting data and insights from that data from within a natural workflow has become the new goal for application developers. Further, through the use of generative AI querying, Tableau Pulse is designed to help workers and organizations assess the current pulse of an organization’s business, identify potential business issues, and act on them before they become problems.

Tableau Pulse Incorporates Several New and Refined Capabilities

The general availability release of Tableau includes the following capabilities:

  • Tableau Pulse Insights Platform: This feature automatically detects drivers, trends, contributors, and outliers for the metrics business users care about, within their flow of work, to help them make informed and proactive decisions. For example, Pulse can proactively alert marketing leaders to a dip in campaign performance using natural language and simple visual explanations and then provide recommendations to address and improve the performance of the campaign.
  • Tableau Pulse Slack Digest: As both Tableau and Slack are Salesforce companies, it is no surprise that Pulse is now able to share AI-generated summaries and contextual insights about key business metrics within a Slack channel using the Tableau for Slack app. This feature is particularly useful for ensuring that all stakeholders within a specific business unit or project team are continuously updated without forcing them to open a separate Tableau session.
  • Tableau Pulse Metrics Layer: This feature assists business analysts with creating standard metric definitions, which are driven by a set of metadata that establishes meaning and business context of a metric. Because Tableau Pulse permits only one metric definition for a set of metadata, these definitions provide a single source of truth for users across departments and functions.
  • Tableau Pulse on Mobile: This mobile extension proactively provides users with data insights in natural language directly on their mobile device, including Tableau Mobile, Slack, and email. Mobile device applications are all the rage now and can be useful for ensuring that business professionals are able to remain up to date on insights and information regardless of their location.

New Capabilities for Tableau Cloud

Tableau Cloud, Tableau’s analytics platform, has also been outfitted with several new capabilities, including Amazon Web Services (AWS) Marketplace Availability, which lets customers manage Salesforce offerings through AWS Marketplace. Meanwhile, Visual Segment Creation in Data Cloud lets data analysts create segments in Data Cloud directly from their visual data exploration within Tableau. Data Cloud enables companies to bring all of their trapped data into Salesforce to build a 360-degree view of customers across all products, services, and interactions. In addition, customers are able to access up to 1 TB of data storage with Tableau Cloud, and up to 5 TB with Advanced Management.

Data Everywhere, for Everybody, at Any Time

My takeaways among all of these features and enhancements within Tableau Pulse is that the product team realizes that today’s organizations are quickly pivoting to a model where it is expected that insights and predictions are paramount, and they need to be available to all stakeholders, in the flow of their daily work, at all times. The period of waiting for a report to be delivered are long gone, and visualization tools such as Tableau are being viewed as tools to help facilitate this process of surfacing and delivering insights, rather than as a centerpiece to which users flock.

The new capabilities provided within Tableau Cloud also support these aims, letting users leverage the power and capabilities within one application and then automatically extend that functionality into other applications to ensure it is used as a single source of truth that is available to all stakeholders, at all times, and in all places.

As I noted in my initial research note about Tableau Pulse back in May 2023, AI will continue to become embedded in many of the software and systems used across the enterprise. We are starting to see it being done in a more complex way that leads to significant business benefits, beyond simply reducing effort or the amount of repetitive work that needs to be done.

Disclosure: The Futurum Group is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of The Futurum Group as a whole.

Other Insights from The Futurum Group:

Salesforce’s Slack AI Becomes the Latest Generative AI Assistant

Salesforce Announces New Data and AI Innovations for Retailers

The Enterprise Application Market Outlook for 2024

Image Credit: Salesforce

Author Information

Keith has over 25 years of experience in research, marketing, and consulting-based fields.

He has authored in-depth reports and market forecast studies covering artificial intelligence, biometrics, data analytics, robotics, high performance computing, and quantum computing, with a specific focus on the use of these technologies within large enterprise organizations and SMBs. He has also established strong working relationships with the international technology vendor community and is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and events.

In his career as a financial and technology journalist he has written for national and trade publications, including BusinessWeek, CNBC.com, Investment Dealers’ Digest, The Red Herring, The Communications of the ACM, and Mobile Computing & Communications, among others.

He is a member of the Association of Independent Information Professionals (AIIP).

Keith holds dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Magazine Journalism and Sociology from Syracuse University.

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