What is Tableau? A Beginner's Guide to Data Visualization | Intellipaat

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What is tableau
Updated on 12th Sep, 23 4.5 K Views

Tableau with a motive to change the way you think and understand data!

This is the reason why you can find an increasing demand for Tableau Certification Training Course in the IT market.

Before digging deep into Tableau, let’s understand, ‘Why data visualization is important?’

The answer is quite simple. Data visualization is important because human beings understand things that are visually well descriptive and interesting. So, working with data visualization tools like Tableau will help anyone understand data better, as it gives one access to the amount of data in easily digestible visuals. Also, well-designed graphics are usually the simplest and the most powerful way to present any data.

Watch this video on Tableau Training for Beginners:

Tableau Uses

Usage of Tableau software are listed below:

  • Business Intelligence
  • Data Visualization
  • Data Blending
  • Data Collaboration
  • Query translation into visualization
  • To create no-code data queries
  • Real-time data analysis
  • To manage large size metadata
  • To import large size of data

Ever since it was introduced, this data visualization tool is used for the Business Intelligence industry. Organizations like Amazon, Walmart, Accenture, Lenovo, and so on widely use Tableau. Join Tableau training in London and excel in your career!

Why use Tableau?

Tableau is a popular data visualization tool that is used by businesses of all sizes to quickly and easily analyze data. It allows users to create dashboards and visualizations that can be used to share insights with stakeholders. Tableau is also used by data scientists to explore data with limitless visual analytics.

Why use Tableau?

Features of Tableau

  • Tableau Dashboard
  • Collaboration and Sharing
  • Live and In-memory Data
  • Data Sources in Tableau 
  • Advanced Visualizations 
  • Mobile View
  • Revision History
  • Licensing Views
  • Subscribe others
  • ETL Refresh and many more make Tableau one of the most famous Data Visualization tools. 

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Data Visualization in Tableau

Data visualization is a pictorial representation of a dataset or information using maps, graphs, charts, and other visual elements. Data Visualization helps in an easy understanding of the trend, insights, patterns, and other connections in a Dataset. Tableau is one of the most popular Data Visualization tools used by many enterprises and businesses to gain better insights into their data to offer the best customer experience. 

Also, Check out the blog on Looker vs. Tableau.

Working of Tableau

The major work of Tableau software is to connect and extract the data stored in various places. It can pull data from any platform. Tableau can extract data from any database, be it Excel, PDF, Oracle, or even Amazon Web Services.

Once Tableau is launched, ready data connectors are available which allow you to connect to any database.

The data extracted can be connected live to the Tableau data engine, Tableau Desktop. This is where a Data Analyst or a Data Engineer works with the data that was pulled up and develop visualization. The created dashboards are shared with users in the form of static files. The users receiving dashboards view the files using Tableau Reader.

The data extracted from Tableau Desktop can be published to Tableau Server, which is an enterprise platform where collaboration, distribution, governance, security model, and automation features are supported. Using Tableau Server, end users can access the files from all locations, be it a desktop or a mobile phone.

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As it can be seen in the image below, Tableau Business Intelligence and Data Visualization tool has been placed in the Leader’s quadrant for seven consecutive years in the Business Intelligence and Analytics platforms by the IT research firm, Gartner.

How Does Tableau Work

How Does Tableau WorkHow Does Tableau Work

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms

Following are the two ways in which Data Analytics of Tableau can be described:

  • Developer Tools: Tools used in the development, like designing charts, dashboards, reports, and visualizations, come under this category. The major Tableau products in this category are Tableau Public and Tableau Desktop.
  • Sharing Tools: By the name, you would have understood what these tools do. Well, they are used for sharing reports, visualizations, and dashboards which are created using the developer tools. The main products that fall in this category are Tableau Online, Tableau Reader, and Tableau Server.

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Now, let’s move on to understanding Tableau Product Suite, where you’ll learn about ‘What is Tableau Server?’, ‘What is Tableau Desktop?’, ‘What is Tableau Reader?’, ‘Tableau Public’, and others, one by one, from very basics.

Tableau Product Suite

Tableau Product Suite

Tableau Product Suite includes Tableau Server, Tableau Desktop, Tableau Reader, and so on. Let’s understand what exactly is meant by these terms in the following sections:

  • What is Tableau Server?
  • What is Tableau Desktop?
  • What is Tableau Reader?
  • Tableau Online
  • Tableau Public

Tableau Desktop

This product allows one to code and modifies the reports. Starting from creating reports and charts to combining them to form a dashboard, all this work is done in Tableau Desktop.

Tableau Desktop is classified into the following according to connectivity and data sources:

Tableau Desktop Personal

The development features of the Tableau Desktop Personal version are close enough to that of the Tableau Desktop. In this particular version, the workbook is in private mode and the access is limited. That means, these workbooks can’t be posted and are for personal use only. Therefore, they have to be divided either on Tableau Public or Offline.

Tableau Desktop Professional

This version is very much like Tableau Desktop, only that the work generated or created in Tableau Desktop is published on the Tableau Server. In this version, there would be full access to all sorts of data types. It is great for people who wish to publish their work on the Tableau Server.

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Tableau Reader

It is a tool that allows one to view visualizations and workbooks generated using Tableau Public or Tableau Desktop. This data can easily be filtered, yet modifications are limited. Since anyone getting the workbook can view it using Tableau Reader, there is no security.

Career Transition

Tableau Server

This is mainly used to share visualizations and workbooks which get generated in the Tableau Desktop application throughout the organization. The work will become accessible once it is uploaded to the respective servers.

To increase sharing of dashboards in Tableau Server, you should publish your work beforehand in Tableau Desktop. Though, it’s not completely mandatory for licensed users to have an installed Tableau Server. They just need the login credentials using which they can verify these reports.

As the security of Tableau Server is high, it is convenient for fast and effective data sharing in the organization. If you have any doubts or Queries related to Tableau, get them clarified by BI Experts in BI Community.

Go through our blog on What is Tableau Server to learn in detail.

Tableau Online

As the term ‘online’ suggests, Tableau Online is a sharing tool. It has a similar usage as Tableau Server, but the data is saved on servers that are provided in the cloud and maintained by the Tableau group.

The data that can be published on Tableau Online has no storage limit. Tableau Online and Server, both need workbooks that are created by Tableau Desktop to broadcast the data. Data streamed from web applications, be it Salesforce or Google Analytics, are supported by both, Tableau Online and Tableau Server.

Tableau Public

Tableau Public is specially built for money-saving users. As the word ‘public’ suggests, the created workbooks can’t be locally saved, rather it is sent to Tableau’s public cloud which can be accessed by the general public. This is an economical version that is very good for people wanting to learn and share their data with people.

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Tableau vs Excel

Tableau vs Excel

Excel and Tableau, are data analysis tools, but both of them have a unique approach to data exploration. Where Excel works with columns and rows in spreadsheets, Tableau explores the Excel data using its drag-and-drop feature. It formats the data in graphs and pictures that are easy to understand.

TableauMS Excel
Tableau is basically a data visualization tool that provides pictorial and graphical representations of data.Excel is basically a spreadsheet for working with data in rows and columns. You need to first represent your data in a tabular format and then you can apply visualizations on top of it.
In Tableau, you can gain insights that you never thought possible. You can play with interactive visualizations, deploy data drilling tools, and explore various data that is available, and you don’t need to have any specific knowledge of the insight you are looking for.When it comes to Excel, you need to have prior knowledge of the insight that you want and then work with various formulae in order to get there, along with that tabulation is also needed.
With Tableau, it is all about an easy and interactive approach.In Excel, you need to have some programming in order to come up with real-time data visualization.

Interested in learning Tableau? Check out this Tableau tutorial!

Advantages of Tableau

Fantastic Visualizations

You can now work with a lot of data that doesn’t have any order to it and create a range of visualizations. Well, thanks to the in-built features of Tableau which help you create visualizations that surely stand out from the crowd. You also have the option of switching between different visualizations to bring about a greater context, ways of drilling down data and exploring the data at a minute level.

In-depth Insights

Tableau can help enterprises futuristically to analyze data without any specific goals in mind. You can explore visualizations and have a look at the same data from different angles. You can frame ‘what if’ queries and work with data by hypothetically visualizing it in a different manner and dynamically adding components for comparison and analysis. When you are working with real-time data, then these capabilities are highlighted in a huge manner.

User-friendly Approach

One of the standout features of Tableau is its user-friendly design, catering to individuals without technical skills or coding expertise. This accessibility makes it possible for anyone, regardless of their background, to leverage the tool’s capabilities. With Tableau, users can effortlessly perform various tasks, even without prior skill sets. Its drag-and-drop interface simplifies the process of creating visualizations, making it intuitive and self-explanatory. By embracing Tableau, individuals can unlock the power of data visualization and easily communicate insights without the need for extensive technical knowledge.

What is Tableau? User-friendly Approach

Working with Disparate Data Sources

Tableau has a powerful reason to be included by various organizations in today’s data-driven world where data can come from any point and any disparate sources. Tableau has an edge over other Business Intelligence and Analytics tools as it lets you work by connecting to various Tableau data sources, data warehouses, and files that exist in the cloud, big data that exists in spreadsheets, and non-relational data, among other types of data. Tableau effortlessly blends all different types of data to help organizations come up with compelling visualizations.

Adding Datasets

Be it a database or an Excel workbook, with Tableau, one can easily add new datasets which get automatically blended with Tableau using common fields.

Switching Between Visualizations

Tableau is a powerful data visualization tool that helps businesses derive valuable insights from their data. It allows users to create interactive dashboards and visualizations that can be used to explore data at a granular level. Tableau is used by many of the Fortune Global 500 companies, and it is considered to be one of the leading data visualization tools on the market.

Prepare yourself for the Top Tableau Interview Questions And Answers.

Become a Business Intelligence Architect

Tableau is a user-friendly data visualization tool that requires no technical knowledge or programming skills. Its drag-and-drop interface makes it easy to create interactive dashboards and visualizations, even for non-technical users. This makes Tableau an indispensable tool for businesses of all sizes that are looking to gain valuable insights from their data.

Check out Intellipaat’s Tableau certification in India to get a head start in your Business Intelligence career!

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