Tableau, the popular interactive data visualization tool, is coming out with a new 8.1 update, and it will include integration with the R language. Access to R is a feature that has been requested by Tableau users for some time, and was met with rapturous applause when it was announced at the recent Tableau customer conference.

When released, Tableau 8.1 will make it possible to use R packages and functions in Tableau calculated fields. This will unlock all of the capabilties of R when creating Tableau charts. For example, you will be able to:

  • Use results of R functions to annotate points on a chart (e.g. use the mvoutlier package to color-code or filter outliers in a Tableau scatterplot).
  • Use the output of R’s statistical functions to in charts, for example to color points by cluster using R’s k-means clustering function.
  • Create interactive applications based on custom R scripts. For example, a business analyst could enter parameters to control an R script developed by a data scientist. The business analyst will see the results directly in Tableau without the need to know the R language themselves.

You can see a quick example of how this works in the video below:

This connection brings all of R’s data analysis cababilities to Tableau, bringing almost limitless statististical capabilities to data visualizations in Tableau. Tableau 8.1 with R integration is currently available for beta test, and you can read more about the new R functionality at the Tableau blog linked below.

Tableau blog: Tableau 8.1 and R

Tableau adds integration with R
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