Top 5 features of Tableau 2018.3

Written by Maria Georgiou - 24-12-2018

Tableau continues to change rapidly.  Not ready to slow down yet, it announced the rollout of some game-changing features that accompany the new Tableau 2018.3. From design tweaks to features, the new version is absolutely a huge performance, interactivity, and analysis improver!

Feeling overwhelmed with all the new updates? We’ve got you covered! Here’s a quick round-up of the top five features that we think you should definitely check out!


Having troubles identifying concentration patterns?  Not any more! Density is the new potent mark type that turns this previously somewhat complicated process into a single-click option. In just a few seconds, you are now able to replace a cluttered mass of data points with a meaningful and visually impressive depiction. All you need to do is set the mark type to ‘density’, and let Tableau do its job.

Tip: For a better experience, use this feature on maps and scatterplots.


Dashboard navigation button & navigation actions between sheets

A new object, called ‘Button’, is here to change the rules regarding navigating across a workbook.  Simply drag and drop it on the dashboard view for a smoother navigation experience. Determine the preferred path, and navigate your viewers to the targeted dashboard, worksheet, or story.


Take this feature to the next level by assigning an image of your choice to the ‘Button’.  Enhance the viewers’ experience with the addition of an explanatory tool tip.



However…a seamless navigation is not only limited to using a dashboard and a desirable destination! Tableau 2018.3 has also introduced a new run on action, ‘Go to sheet’, that enables effortless navigation in rapid time across the different sheets. You can find this option in the ‘Actions’ dialog box in both the worksheet and dashboard menus.

Transparent background

You can now step up your Tableau game with the option of choosing a completely transparent background for your worksheets! Combine this feature with the already introduced transparent filters, highlighters, and parameters - all of which accompanied the rollout of Tableau 2018.2 - and you have the power to create visually appealing dashboards at your fingertips. The combination of these two powerful features not only enables all of the key information of your analysis to really shine, but it also harmonizes the appearance of your dashboard. In short…a beautiful dashboard has never been easier to build!

Set actions

Looking for interactivity to the ultimate? This is a big goal of Tableau…and one that it’s been able to achieve!  Never stopping to surprise its users with improvements, this time it also includes a run on action, known as ‘Change Set Values’, introducing sets to a whole new world of interactivity.

After determining the functionality – a straightforward 3 step process that you can see displayed below – all you need to do is select the marks on your view, and this will instantly select the values to include in the set. Change the values of the set by directly interacting with your view.  Proportional highlighting and comparative analysis are now a walk in the park, without any sophisticated calculations needed!  But let’s look at an example in order to gain a better understanding of how this powerful new feature performs.

As previously mentioned, a three-step process is needed in order to enable the use of set actions.

i) Create a set

ii) Drag set to marks pane

iii) Determine functionality

Before this addition, it was possible to filter your view based on your field of interest. However, analysis would be focused on that field alone. In this case, you extract some additional information - the proportion of sales within your region of preference, in comparison to all the other regions. Upgrade your analysis by keeping all of the fields in the game!


Multiple table storage for extracts

Last but not least, another huge performance improver, when it comes to extract connection, is included in Tableau 2018.3. With ‘Multiple tables’ storage option, all of the tables in the data pane are separately stored in a single .hyper extract file. This ensures that they fully reflect the structure of your data. Previous versions included only a ‘Single table’ storage option, which implied the creation of a single output data table, without considering the number of tables in the data pane. If you want to enhance your understanding of this concept, take a look at the diagram below.

And keep in mind that Tableau 2018.3 offers you the choice to select between the two storage options. This is particularly useful, as each of the two options on offer has the potential to perform better in various circumstances and conditions that may arise.

These are the most powerful Top 5 features that caught our eye, and which made us want to share them with you.  Are you ready to take them for a test drive? Follow the link to start your free trial of Tableau 2018.3.