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Tableau Tutorial for Beginners

With data serving as the brick and mortar of modern day organizations, it has become inevitable for them to make the maximum sense of data sources. However, data is made available in its complex raw form. Therefore, understanding it with the basic human eye becomes difficult. This is where Tableau comes in. This effective data visualzation tool takes in data and generates intuitve reports based on data inputs. The average salary of a Tableau expert is around $106,000.

In this Tableau tutorial you will learn Tableau from the basics. Tableau is a powerful business intelligence and data visualization tool. It is extensively used for creating and distributing highly interactive and powerful reports and dashboards that depict the data in a visually appealing form like trends, variations, charts, graphs, plots and so on. Tableau can connect to a large number of files, relational and big data files to acquire and process the data. The tableau tool can blend all types of data like relational, unstructured and big data sources for acquiring and processing of data. In this Tableau tutorial you will learn Tableau which makes it easy for business professionals to work with real-time collaboration and making it easy for analysis. Tableau is a distinct leader in the business intelligence and analytics platform as per the Gartner Magic Quadrant.

Watch this Tableau 10 video

Recommended Audience

This Tableau tutorial is designed for all those learners who want to work in the business intelligence domain. Anybody who wants to be in data analytics, data visualization, project managers can go through this Tableau Tutorial to learn Tableau.


There are no prerequisites as such to learn from this Tableau tutorial. If you have a basic idea of various visualization options like graphs and charts, then it is beneficial.

What is Tableau?

Criteria What makes Tableau unique
Technical skills No technical skills needed to work with Tableau
Get fast answers Possible
Types of data Tableau can work with any type of data
User experience Extremely user friendly

Tableau is one of the top business intelligence and analytics tool as confirmed by none other than Gartner. It is extensively used by organizations to make sense of data in a visually insightful format. Tableau can work with any kind of data be it structured, unstructured and semi-structured. Also Tableau is able to connect with a lot of other tools, platforms like Hadoop, R and so on. You don’t need any technical knowledge to learn Tableau. In this Tableau Tutorial you will get a step-by-step understanding of this top business intelligence and data visualization tool.

Using Tableau, you can answer any business question provided the data exists for it in some format. Tableau has scores of features using which you can dice and slice the data and then convert it into stunning visualizations. Once the data is depicted in the form of bars, charts, graphs, plots you will be able to shed more light on the same data.  You can detect hidden patterns, relationships, trends, and new meaning so that you can make a well informed and valuable business decision.

Why is Tableau so widely used?

Tableau is one of the most widely used business intelligence and data visualization. Most of the Fortune 500 organizations wholly rely on this Tableau tool to make sense of their complex data and make informed decisions. The reason why Tableau is so widely used are as follows:

  • You can create highly interactive visualizations within no time
  • You don’t need to have any programming skills to work with Tableau
  • You can deploy visualization on desktops, tablets and mobile interfaces
  • The number of features that Tableau offers is unparalleled
  • It can handle extremely large amounts of complex data
  • To do complex table calculations you can use even use Python or R
  • The user experience is outstanding thus helping to gather quick insights
  • It has pre-built data connectors and excellent aesthetics as well.

Components of Tableau

Tableau Desktop:

Tableau Desktop is where all the analytics happens. Anybody can use the Tableau desktop feature since it is extremely user-friendly. It has an easy user interface, and you can also connect to disparate types of data and then convert into valuable business insights by converting it into Tableau reporting.

Tableau Public:

Tableau is a proprietary tool but there is a free version of it with limited features and it is called as Tableau Public. Along with the Tableau Public you can have access to the Tableau Public Server and the Tableau Public Desktop. Some of the limitations of the Tableau Public are that you cannot save your Tableau Workbook anywhere else but the Tableau Public Cloud. All your data sources should be extracts and if you have table rows that exceed one million then Tableau Public is ineffective.

Tableau Reader:

Tableau Reader is a free desktop product that was created by Tableau to help analysts to distribute the content the built using the Tableau Desktop. There are some limitations of Tableau Reader like it can be only built into the Tableau Desktop and it cannot be connected with the Tableau Server. Some of the benefits of Tableau Reader include the ability to drill down your data , deploy data discovery and do data filtering.

Tableau Server:

Whatever analysis and data visualization that you do with the Tableau Desktop you can then relay it to other collaborators with the help of Tableau Server. It lets you seamlessly distribute your workbooks to other people. With the help of Tableau Server, you can effortlessly edit your workbooks, dashboards, visualizations and other data stories. When you are working with the Tableau Server all your data will be updated and all this means you can derive valuable insights on the fly.

Tableau Online:

Tableau Online is an excellent feature that lets you host your Tableau Server in the cloud and share it with anybody you want. You can run an entire business intelligence solution in the cloud with all the features of Tableau directly into the cloud. It is extremely fast, flexible and can work with any kind of data. You can share your solutions and Tableau Dashboards will all the analytics and data visualizations that you have created with your customer and partners on any device including mobile devices and thus garner valuable business insights.

Applications of Tableau

Tableau is such a powerful tool that it can be used in any industry since the best part is that Tableau can work with any kind of data. So here in this Tableau Tutorial we will list some of the applications of Tableau in the real world.

  • Come up with quick visualizations and insights on disparate sources of data
  • You can leverage the power of your databases& optimize query performance
  • Work with statistical analysis like trending and forecasting features
  • Deploy extreme data discovery and come up with unknown insights
  • Easily connect with computer programming languages for powerful table calculations
  • Work with data in the most intuitive, interactive manner through Tableau dashboards

Why should you learn Tableau?

Tableau is one of the most demanded business intelligence tool in the industry today. So due to the widespread use of this top data visualization tool, there is a shortage of professionals who can work with this tool. Thus the salaries for Tableau professionals are among the best in the IT industry. This is one of the most powerful reason why you should learn Tableau. Other than that, you should learn Tableau for the following reason:

  • Data visualization and predictive analytics is a norm in every industry today
  • Tableau can work with any data warehousing and ETL tool making it highly versatile
  • Tableau is constantly updating making the future for a career in Tableau highly promising
  • Tableau has a big growing community thus making it easy to learn Tableau and excel
  • You don’t need any specialized skills or programming languages to learn Tableau.

Tableau Top Features and Strengths

Here we list some of the most important strengths and salient features of Tableau which makes it a highly desired tool in the corporate world today:

  • Highly interactive data visualization
  • Easily implementable
  • Handling large amounts of data
  • Use of other scripting languages
  • Responsive dashboard and support
  • Different products for different users
  • High performance technology
  • No need of any technical expertise.

Tableau provides solutions for all kinds of industries, departments, and data environments. Following are some unique features which enable Tableau to handle diverse scenarios.

  • High speed analysis: It requires a high level of programming knowledge. If you have access to data then you can start deriving value from it.
  • It is reliable: It does not need a complex software setup. The desktop version is used by most for installing the features for starting and completing of the data analysis.
  • Visual Discovery–This is a top feature of Tableau that helps you explore and analyze the data using various parameters like charts, colors, trend lines and graphs. All the aspects are done by drag and drop and very little scripting is required.
  • Blending Diverse Data Sets–You will be able to blend the various data sets like relational, non-relational, structured, semi-structured data sets without the need for integrating the data. You can do all these without knowing how this data is stored.
  • Device agnostic – Tableau works exceedingly well with various kinds of devices. You don’t have to worry about the various software and hardware configurations.
  • Collaborate in real-time – You can collaborate with your peers in real-time and come up with stunning visualizations.
  • Real-Time Collaboration − Tableau can filter, sort, and discuss data on the fly and embed a live dashboard in portals like SharePoint site or Salesforce. You can save your view of data and allow colleagues to subscribe to your interactive dashboards, so they see the very latest data just by refreshing their web browser.
  • Centralized Data − Tableau server provides a centralized location to manage all of the organization’s published data sources. You can delete, change permissions, add tags, and manage schedules in one convenient location. It’s easy to schedule extract refreshes and manage them in the data server. Administrators can centrally define a schedule for extracts on the server for both incremental and full refreshes.

Table of Content

Introduction of Tableau

What is Tableau?

Tableau Software is an American computer software company headquartered in Seattle, WA, USA. It generates interactive data visualization products which focused on BI. The company was established at Stanford University’s Department of Computer Science between 1997 and 2002. The different products which tableau has built are: Tableau Desktop (Business analytics anyone can use) Tableau Desktop is a Read More

Installation of Tableau Desktop

Steps to install Tableau

Step 1 - Use this link  to install Tableau Desktop. Step 2 - Run .exe file. Step 3 - View the License Agreement, check the acceptance box and click the "Install" button. Step 4 - Click "Start Trial Now". Learn Tableau online to be a sought-after professional in the Business Intelligence domain.Read More

Tableau Architecture

Architecture of Tableau

Tableau has a highly scalable, n-tier client-server architecture that serves mobile clients, web clients and desktop-installed software. Tableau Desktop is the authoring and publishing tool that is used to create shared views on Tableau Server. Tableau Server is an enterprise class business analytics platform to level up thousands of clients. Tableau Server presents powerful mobile and browser-based Read More

Tableau Server Components

Components of Tableau Server

The work of Tableau Server is directed with the following four server processes: Application Server: It processes (wgserver.exe) hold browsing and permissions for the Tableau Server web and mobile interfaces. When a user opens a view in a client device, that user begins a session on Tableau Server. Then the Application Server thread begins and verifies Read More

Tableau Environment

Working with Tableau Environment

Here, we will see the working environment of Tableau: Opening and Closing the Application The first thing to understand is how to open and close the application. Open Tableau There are several ways to open Tableau from your computer. Firstly you have to open the application by doing one of the following: Double-click the Tableau icon Read More

Tableau Workspace

Starting with Tableau Workspace

It includes toolbar, menus, Data window, cards that hold shelves and legends and sheets. Sheets can be dashboards or worksheets. Worksheets hold shelves which are where you drag data fields to build views. You can alter the default layout of the shelves and cards to suit your requirements including resizing, moving and hiding them. Dashboards hold Read More

Build views in Tableau

Build a Basic View to Explore Your Data on Tableau

To build views in Tableau you can drag fields from the Data window and drop the fields on the shelves which are part of all Tableau worksheet. Nested Table You can easily modify the Tableau view from Basic View by making some changes -To show quarters in addition to years use following methods: Read More

Connect to a Data source in Tableau

Data source Connection in Tableau

If you want to connect to a Data source in Tableau there are many ways. In this session we will take a glance on Basic as well as advanced connection types. Basic Connection To examine your data, firstly you have to connect Tableau to one or more data sources. A data source can be as easy Read More

Data Blending in Tableau

Tableau Data Blending

On a single worksheet when data is blend from multiple data source that is Data blending. The data is attached on common dimensions. It does not create row level joins. And this is not a way to add novel dimensions or rows to your data. It should be utilized when you have related data in many data Read More

Joining Tables in Tableau

How to Join Tables in Tableau?

Various relational data sources are composed of a collection of tables that are connected by particular fields. Such as, a data source for a Company may have a table for employee that contain the first name, last name, phone number, etc. of employees. Get to know more about Performance of The Tableau Server that can help Read More

Extracting Data in Tableau

How to Extract Data in Tableau?

To improve performance and data to allow for more advanced capabilities and to analyze offline you can use extracts which are saved subsets of a data source. You can make an extract by defining filters and limits that contains the data you want in the extract. After creating an extract you can refresh it Read More

Data Bin’s in Tableau

Tableau Bins

Sometimes it is very useful to systematize the values of a measure into bins. For e.g., if you have a measure that holds the ages of clients ranging from 18 to 90. If you wanted to examine how client’s value breaks down by different age groups, you would bin the data. Also, to create a histogram you must first Read More

Creating Dashboards

Creating a Simple Dashboard in Tableau

When you’re ready to create a dashboard in an existing workbook, right-click on the tab list or filmstrip view and choose New Dashboard from the context menu, click the New Dashboard tab along the bottom of the  workspace, or choose Dashboard | New Dashboard from the drop-down menus. A blank dashboard will appear with Read More

Tableau Cheat Sheet

Tableau-Desktop User Handbook

Tableau is one of the hottest tools for data visualizations and data interpretation. Having a handy reference, containing all the basics of Tableau Desktop will only make your work easier, faster and spare you some time while working with Tableau. Keeping that in mind, we, at Intellipaat have come up with this tableau desktop Cheat Sheet for Read More

Tableau Desktop Shortcuts Cheat Sheet

Tableau Desktop Shortcuts User Handbook

If you are getting confused or finding it hard to remember all the short cuts and terminologies used in Tableau-Desktop then this cheat sheet is going to be your go-to option every time you face this problem. At Intellipaat, we understand that it is rather very common, even among the professionals, to sometimes get confused Read More


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"4 Responses on Tableau Tutorial - Learn Tableau Programming from Experts"

  1. A good tutorial to learn Tableau from basics.

  2. Eli says:

    Good introduction to the tableau concepts and its installation.overall, an excellent guide for all.

  3. Roma says:

    A good tutorial to learn Tableau from basics. All the concepts are well explained.

  4. Jacob says:

    Found one of the best guide for tableau with easy to understand, and clearly explained topics.

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