Okay, it might not be winter wonderland yet, but it is getting colder and it’s time – at least for us in London – to dig out the boots and the winter jacket. While I am still resisting the fact that it is getting darker and colder I must admit I am enjoying a night in my chair with a cup of tea and, my blanket and playing with the latest Winter18 features in Einstein Analytics. In this release we are again seeing changes to the UI; this time the import wizard. But the new features that made my top 4 are dataset fields, dashboard pages, inspector performance and edit steps.
Up until now, you couldn’t quickly see the available fields in your dataset. I always switched to a values table and looked in the JSON to find the developer names. Of course, there are many ways to get this information, but my point is it was annoying and a slow process when you wanted to modify JSON and SAQL. With Dataset Fields you can with a quick click in your lens see the different field labels and developer names. What makes this feature even greater is that you can modify each field; you can change the field label, the format of your measure or hide a field. All something you would have to do in JSON or via “Wave Labs” prior to this release.
Something that hasn’t been possible before now is dashboard pages. Within a dashboard, you can create different pages that you can link to using the link widget. I’m still to find all the good use cases, but I really like the idea as it will become easier to make your dashboard simple but drill down into data. I did see a brilliant use case by Carl Brundage where he uses dashboard pages to do step swapping – see the video here.
In my Summer17 release blog, I mentioned the introduction of the Inspector as one of my favorite features. In Winter18 it’s been improved and you can now quickly see if and how to improve your dashboards. As you may know, all steps need to run before your dashboard is loaded and sometimes you might not have created the most efficient dashboard. Well, the Inspector will tell you how to optimize it by running a “Performance Check”.
This might sound like an obvious feature in Einstein Analytics; edit existing steps in a dashboard. Well, to be honest before this release you had to either clone your step or modify it in the dashboard JSON. So for me, this is a great addition to the Dashboard Designer that will make it easier for all to make changes to steps and avoid redundant steps because of a forgetful mind that doesn’t delete unused steps.
So while I love the addition of these 4 new features I am looking forward to what Dreamforce has in store for us in the Einstein Analytics department.