Tableau is a leading data visualization tool used for data analysis and business intelligence. Gartner’s Magic Quadrant classified Tableau as a leader for analytics and business intelligence. This Tableau tutorial will cover a wide range of how-to topics, including how to create different charts and graphs, in addition to visualizing data through reports and dashboards in Tableau to derive meaningful insights.
Data Visualization Expert Master's Program
Make Data-Driven Decisions Like a ProStart Learning
What is Tableau?
Tableau is an excellent data visualization and business intelligence tool used for reporting and analyzing vast volumes of data. It is an American company that started in 2003—in June 2019, Salesforce acquired Tableau. It helps users create different charts, graphs, maps, dashboards, and stories for visualizing and analyzing data, to help in making business decisions.
Tableau has a lot of unique, exciting features that make it one of the most popular tools in business intelligence (BI). Let’s learn more about some of the essential Tableau Desktop features. Now that we know what is tableau exactly, let us understand some of its salient features.
- Tableau supports powerful data discovery and exploration that enables users to answer important questions in seconds
- No prior programming knowledge is needed; users without relevant experience can start immediately with creating visualizations using Tableau
- It can connect to several data sources that other BI tools do not support. Tableau enables users to create reports by joining and blending different datasets
- Tableau Server supports a centralized location to manage all published data sources within an organization
Read More: When Shamanth Kumar’s journey took him from Industrial Engineer to Assistant Manager for Data Analysis, he knew he wanted to learn more about data than just Excel. His search took him to our Tableau Certification Training Course. Read more about this journey and his experience with our course in his Simpliearn Tableau Course Review.
Tableau Product Suite
Tableau Desktop helps to create reports, dashboards, and stories using different charts and graphs. The workbooks and the dashboards created using Tableau Desktop can be shared locally or publicly.
Tableau Server is mainly used in organizations to share workbooks and reports that are created using Tableau Desktop applications across different teams. You can ask questions with natural language, and you will receive AI-driven explanations for your data.
The Tableau Online analytics platform is hosted on the cloud, and it helps users publish dashboards and share discoveries with anyone. You can connect to cloud databases, like Amazon Redshift and Google BigQuery. It automatically refreshes data from web apps, like Google Analytics and Salesforce.
Tableau Public is free to use, but the workbooks created cannot be saved locally. They can be saved to Tableau's public cloud, which anyone can access and view. Due to the lack of privacy options, any user can download and access the files saved to the cloud.
Tableau Reader is a free desktop application that enables users to open and interact with reports built using Tableau Desktop.
Tableau Mobile provides interactive previews where users can check data and reports anytime from anywhere. You can select, filter, and fine-tune the data with a tap of your finger using the mobile app.
Data Science Career Boot Camp
The Ultimate Ticket to Top Data Science Job RolesExplore Course
Installing Tableau Desktop
Knowing what is tableau is the first step, however how to install it follows right after. The following are the steps for downloading Tableau Desktop:
- Click on the Products Download and Release Notes page and select the version you want to download.
- Select the DOWNLOAD TABLEAU DESKTOP version option and select your operating system.
- Once you have downloaded the file, go ahead and install it.
- Launch Tableau Desktop, and it will show you the Tableau registration form, which is where you can register and activate your product.
- Enter your product key, or sign in to Tableau Server or Tableau Online to activate your Tableau license. Upon successful activation, you can start using Tableau Desktop.
File Types Used in Tableau
Next up in the what is tableau tutorial, we will learn about the various file types. In Tableau, you can save your work using various Tableau-specific file types. The following are the different types of files that Tableau supports:
The most commonly used file type in Tableau that has information about worksheets, dashboards, and stories.
Tableau Packaged Workbook
A packaged zip file that enables users to share their work with those who don't have access to the original data.
Tableau Data Source
These files are shortcuts for quickly connecting to the original data that you use often. It does not contain the actual data, but has the information needed to connect to the real data and any modifications you've made to the data.
Tableau Packaged Data Source
A zip file that has the data source file and any local file data, such as extract files (.hyper or .tde), text files, Excel files, Access files, and local cube files.
Tableau Data Extract
.tde or .hyper
This contains a local copy of a subset or entire dataset that can be used to share data with others when you have to work offline and improve performance.
This enables you to save worksheets and share them with others so that they don’t have to create a new worksheet from scratch and can use it in their workbooks.
Data Types in Tableau
Tableau primarily supports seven different data types. The data type indicates the type of information stored in a particular field.
Text (string) values
Date & Time values
Learn Data Analytics From IBM Experts!
Data Analyst Master’s ProgramExplore Program
Connecting to Data Sources in Tableau
Tableau is capable of connecting with a wide range of data sources. It can connect to files present in your system, such as Microsoft Excel, text files, JSON, PDF, etc. It can also work on data present on a database server, such as Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, Oracle, Teradata, etc. There are other saved data sources that Tableau can connect with. It also can connect and fetch data from cloud sources, like AWS, Azure SQL Data Warehouse, and Google Cloud SQL.
The following is an example of importing an excel file to Tableau Desktop.
Under Connect, click on Microsoft Excel. Locate the Excel file present in your system, which will export the dataset into Tableau. As you can see below, we have imported the Sample - Superstore dataset. Now, drag the required sheets under the “Drag sheets here” space.
Now, if you click on Sheet1, you can see all the fields of the dataset under Dimensions and Measures.
Tableau Desktop Interface
Next up in the what is tableau tutorial, let us understand all about its interface. Tableau Desktop’s interface, or the workspace, consists of menus, a toolbar, cards, shelves, data and analytics pane, different sheets for creating reports, dashboards, and stories.
The following is what the Tableau Desktop interface looks like:
Free Course: Introduction to Data Visualization
Know Data Visualization Principles & FindingsEnroll Now
Dimensions and Measures in Tableau
Once you load a dataset, Tableau automatically divides the data into dimensions and measures. You can see this in the workspace area under the data pane.
Dimensions are usually categorical fields that cannot be aggregated, while measures are numerical fields that can be measured, aggregated, or manipulated.
Dimensions are marked in blue, while measures are marked in green.
What is Tableau Tutorial: Creating visualizations
1. The following is a simple table that will analyze sales and profit for different subcategories of products across various regions.
2. The horizontal bar chart below shows sales of different subcategories of products with the color of the bars indicating the profit. Sort the sales axis in descending order and change the color of the bars using a different palette.
Phones made the highest amount of sales, while copiers had the highest profit.
3. The side-by-side bar chart is used to visualize sales and profits for different subcategories of products under each category.
4. A dual-axis chart will analyze sales and profits by order month. Drag the order date field on to columns shelve and profit field on the right corner where you see a green rectangle. Synchronize the profit axis and change sales to bars.
The month of November had the highest amount of sales, while January had the least.
5. A blended axis chart is used for comparing two measured values against the same axis.
The blended axis chart enables users to forecast the data for making future predictions. Go to the analytics pane and double-click on forecast.
Tableau enables users to create hierarchies using data fields, which makes it easy to break down the visualization and organize data in a logical order. The following is an example of creating a location hierarchy using country, state, and city fields. You need to drag a field and drop it directly on top of another field and give a name to the hierarchy.
Data Analyst Master's Program
In Collaboration With IBMExplore Course
6. The highlight table in Tableau helps users compare data using colors.
7. Maps in Tableau help users visualize geographic data and analyze certain measure values. The following is an example of analyzing sales and profits across different states in the US. Drag the country field on to the view and expand it to see all states.
Drag sales on to the size card and profit on to the color card. Increase the size of the bubbles for sales and edit the color.
States marked in green made the highest profit, while those marked in orange made the least amount of profit. This shows that California has the highest sales and profit, followed by New York. It also reveals that Texas made a decent amount of sales, but overall, made the least amount of profit.
You can also change the map into a filled map by selecting “map” from the marks card.
Building Dashboards Using Tableau
A Tableau dashboard is a collection of several charts and graphs from different worksheets. It provides a single view for analyzing the entire business dataset.
To create a dashboard in Tableau, click on the “New Dashboard” tab at the bottom.
Drag all desired worksheets to the dashboard view and adjust all the sheets so that everything looks clean and organized.
As you can see, we have four sheets placed on the dashboard. There is a bar chart, a dual axis chart, a map, and a treemap that provides a clear picture of sales and profit across different regions, states, order dates, categories and subcategories of products.
You can use them as a filter to view the visualizations for a certain category of product, region or a state. In our demo, we’ll use the state wise sales for our filter.
We have selected California to filter data across different visualizations on the dashboard. The dashboard reflects the sales, profit, and other measures for different categories of products in California.
Master data visualization, business intelligence tool and advance your career in analytics with theTableau Certification Training Course. Enroll now.
In this what is tableau tutorial, we covered all about what is tableau exactly, how to download it to file types to data types and so much more. We wrote this comprehensive guide to help users with creating interactive reports and dashboards using business data, which derives meaningful insights for making important business decisions.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment below To learn more about what is Tableau, the following video provides an in-depth guide to this all-inclusive data tool: : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fO7g0pnWaRA&t=1223s
Want to Become An Expert Tableau User?
If you’re an aspiring data analyst or data scientist, knowing Tableau is a must. Check out our Tableau Certification Training Course today to learn everything you need to know about this powerful tool.
Should I learn Tableau in 2022? ›
Tableau is one of the best business intelligence tools trending in 2022. It helps companies to analyze and process a massive amount of data. These remarkable tools have been gaining popularity from small to giant companies to analyze the data of a large company.What is the best way to learn Tableau? ›
- Look at Tableau Graphs and Data Visualizations Online. ...
- Follow the Tableau community. ...
- Read up on Tableau offline. ...
- Identify and Align Skillsets. ...
- Practice. ...
- Find free datasets. ...
- Create a Tableau portfolio. ...
- Build a Tableau project footprint online.
The Tableau Product Suite consists of 1) Tableau Desktop 2) Tableau Public 3) Tableau Online 4) Tableau Server and Tableau Reader.Can I learn Tableau in 2 months? ›
Tableau is considered a relatively easy-to-learn data analysis and visualization tool and can be mastered by anyone with enough time and practice. On average, it takes most people between two and six months to learn this software. This process can take even longer if you're looking to master all of Tableau's functions.Can I learn Tableau in 2 days? ›
You can learn tableau by taking an online course for a few days and dedicating one or two hours daily to it. However, learning tableaus is not some static business. You can keep on learning and gaining mastery over months or years.Can you self teach Tableau? ›
Flexible, self-paced eLearning is also available online for the Desktop I, II, III, and Prep I training courses. Hands-on activities and knowledge checks will keep you engaged as you learn Tableau any time, anywhere, at your own speed.Can a non IT person learn Tableau? ›
You don't need any technical knowledge to learn Tableau. In this Tableau dashboard tutorial, you will get a step-by-step understanding of this top business intelligence and tableau data visualization tool. Using Tableau, you can answer any business question provided the data exists for it in some format.Is Tableau harder than Excel? ›
Both Excel and Tableau allow users to create nice-looking, basic charts and graphs, but the process is simpler in Tableau.Do I need to know Excel to learn Tableau? ›
One of the core skills that can help you learn Tableau faster is a solid understanding of spreadsheets, such as those in Microsoft Excel. Spreadsheets provide a platform where you can see the data, which helps you to better understand the structure and contents.Do you need to know coding to learn Tableau? ›
Tableau is said to be one of the fastest evolving business intelligence and data visualization tools, which is very fast to deploy, easy to learn, and easy to use by a customer and also it does not require any coding, technical knowledge, or basics of using any tools. So, we can say that tableau is very easy to learn.
What is Tableau not good for? ›
However, Tableau still has several limitations: Tableau focuses primarily on visualization and cannot work with uncleaned data. In order to efficiently use Tableau, you need to do proper data cleaning in the underlying database first. Lacks data modeling and data dictionary capabilities for Data Analysts.What are the main topics in Tableau? ›
- Tableau Calculations.
- Tableau - Operators.
- Tableau - Functions.
- Tableau - Numeric Calculations.
- Tableau - String Calculations.
- Tableau - Date Calculations.
- Tableau - Table Calculations.
- Tableau - LOD Expressions.
Rule of three
Don't make a lot of important information compete for attention. Most of the time, more than three visualizations on one dashboard is too many.
Acquiring Tableau skills and getting certified can take anywhere from 1 to 6 months–or more. Some people learn very quickly, while others may take longer, due to other life commitments. It all depends on your timeline and your dedication to learn Tableau at the pace you want.What is the easiest Tableau certification? ›
This certification validates the skills of tableau like preparing data, connecting data sources, exploring and analyzing data, sharing patterns and insights. The Tableau Desktop Specialist certification exam is available in seven languages. It is the easiest level of certification that Tableau offers.How difficult is Tableau? ›
It is very fast to deploy, easy to learn and very intuitive to use for a customer. Here is a learning path to all those people who are new to Tableau. This path will help you to learn Tableau in a structured approach. Beginners are recommended to follow this path religiously.Can I get a job just knowing Tableau? ›
A person with knowledge of Tableau can get many roles like data analyst, business analyst, and Tableau consultant. Further in Business Intelligence, one can get roles like Business Intelligence Analyst, Business Intelligence Developer, and Business Intelligence Manager all of which are highly paying roles.How can I practice Tableau for free? ›
You can download your free Tableau for Students license or free Tableau for Teaching license today. For the knowledge seekers: Head to the Tableau Forums to get your Tableau questions answered, collaborate with others and a space to help you get the most out of Tableau.How can I improve my Tableau skills? ›
- Use Tableau everyday. ...
- Get Tableau certified. ...
- Present your work. ...
- Publish your work. ...
- Get other technical skills. ...
- Think about your soft skills. ...
- Put yourself out there.
SQL is not required to learn Tableau and work with Tableau; however, it is essential for securing a job because once you have an offer and begin working on a task, you will need to create the Tableau dashboard by using data.
What skills do you need to use Tableau? ›
Accessing, synthesizing and sharing data as a modern data analyst specializing in Tableau requires technical, analytical and communication acumen. Rocking this linchpin role requires mastery of interdisciplinary domains ranging from statistics, to hands-on computer skills, color theory and facilitation.How do I get a job in Tableau with no experience? ›
- Download Tableau Public or Tableau Desktop.
- Build and publish Tableau dashboards with publicly available data.
- Read good books on data visualizations.
- Take a class.
- Get certification.
- Attend Tableau User Groups.
- Talk to people at Tableau User Groups.
Not only there is a great demand for Tableau experts, but there are also huge rewards on offer as well.Which industry uses Tableau the most? ›
Who uses Tableau?
Tableau helps people and organizations be more data-driven
As the market-leading choice for modern business intelligence, our analytics platform makes it easier for people to explore and manage data, and faster to discover and share insights that can change businesses and the world.
Tableau helps turn insight into action, cut down analysis time, and change behaviors that help everyone be more data-driven across the business. Pfizer deployed Tableau to 25,000 users so teams could collaborate with data using self-service analytics.What is the disadvantage of Tableau? ›
Tableau does not provide the feature of automatic refreshing of the reports with the help of scheduling. There is no option of scheduling in Tableau. Therefore, there is always some manual effort required when users need to update the data in the back-end. Tableau is not a complete open tool.Will Tableau replace Excel? ›
Tableau was not designed to replace Excel but instead to augment it. Tableau can perform visualizations very easily, perform exploratory analysis, and share information, but it cannot create data.Which tool is better than Tableau? ›
Power BI offers better reporting and customization options than Tableau. Obtain Personalized Updates: View what you need at a glance with custom visualizations, similar to Tableau.What are the top 5 critical skills that a successful Tableau developer should possess? ›
- Excellent analytical skills to analyze business needs.
- Problem-solving skills to resolve the issues that appear during development.
- Good written and communication skills.
- Excellent team-building skills.
- Good knowledge of handling databases and proficiency in SQL.
Can Tableau do everything Excel can? ›
Best of all, Tableau natively connects to Excel spreadsheets to make data analysis fast and simple. Tableau allows Excel users to keep their spreadsheets while greatly enhancing their ability to analyze their data, all while delivering simple to build, simple to read visualizations that convey information clearly.Is R or Python better for Tableau? ›
Which programming language is better for visualization – R or Python? Python makes it quite easy to embed with code and shows the visualizations by importing parameters and libraries. And the R programming language makes it quite easier with the built-in functions.Why use Tableau over Excel? ›
Excel works well when you have to create quick, one-off reports. Tableau is helpful when you want a more detailed analysis of your business reports. Gain expertise in the latest Business analytics tools and techniques with the Business Analyst Master's Program.What are two advantages and two disadvantages of Tableau? ›
|High Performance||Poor Versioning|
|Mobile-Friendly||No automatic refreshing of reports|
|Extensive customer resources||Need manual effort|
|Excellent mobile support||Not a comprehensive solution|
The road to the mastery of Tableau begins with three essential concepts. We will consider each of the following in turn: Dimensions and measures. Row level, aggregate level, and table level.What are the challenges you faced in Tableau? ›
- Easy learning in short amount of time.
- Free Tableau Public.
- Classifies and stores Big Data.
- Connects to any type of Data Source.
- Works on any Data.
- Easy to Use.
- Growth of an Individual.
- Growth of the Organization.
Tableau has its own proprietary language called VisQL (similar to SQL), but most of the desktop code is written in C++.What is the most commonly used rule of three? ›
The Rule of Three is a powerful technique or principle required for writing or speaking. It states that any ideas, thoughts, events, characters or sentences that are presented in threes are more effective and memorable. Hence, it is called the Rule of Three.How do I merge 3 columns in Tableau? ›
To combine the fields, select multiple dimensions in the Data pane and then right-click (control-click on a Mac) the fields and select Create > Combined Field.Is Tableau good for future? ›
The Future of Tableau Developers
With so much crucial data to deal with, small and large organizations need resources who can interact and analyze data based to gain vital insights from it. You will be amazed to know that Tableau is considered as the jewel among IT working professionals.
Which is the best Tableau in 2022? ›
The tableau of Uttar Pradesh has been selected as the best tableau among the 12 States/UTs which participated in the Republic Day parade on January 26, 2022. The tableau of Uttar Pradesh was based on the theme 'One District One Product and Kashi Vishwanath Dham'.Is studying Tableau worth it? ›
Certified Tableau professionals have an edge over others in terms of getting hired by top MNCs for various roles, such as Visual Analyst, Data Scientist, Business Analyst, Certified Tableau Analyst, and more, and getting higher salaries than their peers.Is Tableau still relevant? ›
Tableau , is a useful tool, primarily for Business and Data Analysts. Some positions at companies even have a designated Tableau Developer that will only focus on creating reports and dashboards for their respective audiences or stakeholders.Who is the competitor of Tableau? ›
Tableau's competition includes industry giants — Oracle, Microsoft, Qlik and MicroStrategy.Can I get a job by only learning Tableau? ›
A person with knowledge of Tableau can get many roles like data analyst, business analyst, and Tableau consultant. Further in Business Intelligence, one can get roles like Business Intelligence Analyst, Business Intelligence Developer, and Business Intelligence Manager all of which are highly paying roles.Is Tableau good for career in 2022? ›
The data visualization tool has been gaining popularity in companies big and small, and hence, Tableau careers are uber-in. Looking at google trends, it seems there can be no better time than “now” to get certified in Tableau and build a career in Business Intelligence and Data Analytics.