Vizable Review – Tableau’s new iPad app
Tableau’s brand new IPad app Vizable is a fast, intuitive and intelligent application that understands measures, dimensions and time series. This user friendly product allows customers to look into their data in either a bar chart or over time in the TimeWorld section and the colours which were intentionally chosen by Tableau enable your outliers to stand out within your datasets. Shown below are examples of the two views using the data ‘Movies’ given by Tableau inside the app.
The product works similar to the way of an apple device; using your fingers to pinch, tap, swipe, drag and drop. You simply pinch out to add new columns and pinch in to remove them then the user can flick through calculations by flicking upwards on the column changing from sum to average and even minimum and maximum. On the TimeWorld section you can select a particular date and drag across to analyse trends and quickly see the change numerically, this is shown below. You can see from this image by selecting 2010 and dragging across to 2012 that the sum of Global Box Office ($) has risen by 20% this feature is really simple to use and takes seconds.
Furthermore you can swipe left and right to move through the fields in the bar chart view and then easily swipe left any data that you want to remove from the view, this will then be added to the filter. Sorting is also made easy by pulling down on any column, if pulled down multiple times it will alternate between sorting that column ascending and descending. Moreover you can tap and hold a column to rearrange the order and there is also undo/redo arrows in the corner to help you go back and forward steps. Finally a feature I have found useful is the ability to share any snapshot or as Tableau calls it a ‘Moment’, this button in the right hand corner allows you to instantly share any useful insight with the world via email or social media such as Twitter or Facebook.
Vizable is made simple by minimising menus and showing a single graph on the screen however this product may appear too simple as you are unable to compare two different graphs. On the other hand you are able to add multiple measures if using the same dimension and also add more dimensions to group them visually; this was explained earlier using the pinching method. Here is an example again using the Movies data grouping the Movie Titles by Director and showing both the sum of Int’l Box Office (%) and U.S. Box Office (%).
Although this product appears to be complete there are future plans in place; as mentioned in the conference being held in Las Vegas, where this application was first introduced. The creators spoke about their future plans to implement advanced features of which users would have to purchase as at the moment this IPad App is completely free. Although they didn’t mention what these advanced features would be they did state that the app would be available to other platforms in the near future as currently it is only available on Apple IPad as well as the fact that the product does not connect to Tableau Server or Tableau Online directly however they anticipate tighter integration even though they say the separation between Vizable and their other products was ‘intentional and opportunistic’.
Some potential improvements that have been discussed on the Vizable Community include the use of bookmarks which would enable users to flick through different views within the application. In addition to this the product lacks a clear all button in terms of the filters or resetting the original view of the data as each filter has to be individually swiped away, this could become hassle when using large data sets and lots of different filters. Also when filtering it would be nice to include a search object to find a particular filter as this could be a pain to flick through and find what you want to filter by.
This product essentially is not aimed at data professionals and is directed more at everyday individuals who have lots of data and are unable to use it effectively. Taking into account that today’s mobile devices are more powerful than ever Tableau wanted to create something that was solely used on a hand held, portable device. Some examples of potential users include restaurant owners analysing their products and prices for example times of year a particular product sells more of or something that perhaps doesn’t make enough margin. Moreover it was suggested this application could be useful to school teachers who could analyse class marks and see what areas need more work or even an individual who needs more attention in a particular subject. The possibilities are endless and this fun app could be used in everyday life as well as encourage more to get involved with data.