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Introduction to Tableau

What is Tableau :
  • Tableau is software founded in 2003 by Chris Stolte, Pat Hanrahan, and Christian Chabot. Tableau is an American interactive data visualization software company .

  • Co-founders developed and patented Tableau's foundational technology, VizQL—which visually expresses data by translating drag-and-drop actions into data queries through an intuitive interface.

  • Tableau aimed to improve the flow of analysis and make data more accessible to people through visualization. It has become one of the most popular business intelligence tools, enabling users to transform complex data into actionable insights quickly and easily.

Types of Tableau :

  1. Tableau Desktop – It is used for commercial purposes.

  2. Tableau Public – It is available free of cost to the user.

  3. Tableau Reader - It is used for monitor the analytics.

Given below is the difference between the three versions.

Tableau Desktop

Tableau Public

Tableau Reader

All listed data sources can be connected .

It can only connect to excel and text files.

It does not need to connect data sources.

It is used for professional and enterprise level.

It is used for a personal level.

It is used for professionals only to read data.

The file can be published in Tableau Server as well as Tableau online only.

The file can only be published in Tableau public profile.

​Nobody can see the files unless Provided with access.

Security is available in Tableau Desktop.

There is no security as it is available in public.

Security is available in Tableau Reader.

Unlimited rows of data can be stored , processed and shared.

1 Million rows of data can be stored, processed and shared

Unlimited rows of data can be read in static view.

There is a cost involved .

It is free of cost.

It is free of cost.

Features of Tableau :

  1. Data Connection : Tableau allows users to connect to various data sources and combine them to create powerful dashboards and reports. It supports a wide range of data sources, including cloud-based services like Google Analytics and Salesforce.

  2. Drag-and-Drop Functionality: Tableau provides drag-and-drop functionality, making it easy for users to create visualizations without any programming or technical expertise.

  3. Provides Great Security: Tableau takes extra precautions to protect data and users. For data connections and user access, it features a fail-safe security system based on authentication and authorization mechanisms. Tableau also allows you to connect to other security protocols like Active Directory and Kerberos.

  4. Forecasting tool: Forecasting in Tableau uses a technique known as exponential smoothing. This tool capture the evolving trend or seasonality of your data and extrapolate them into the future.

  5. Advanced visualization Capability: Tableau allows you to create visualizations as simple as a bar chart or a pie chart, as well as more complex ones like a histogram, Gantt chart, Bullet chart, Motion chart, Tree map, Boxplot, and many others. By selecting the visualization type from the Show Me menu, you can simply pick and create any form of visualization.

How Tableau Works:

Tableau works by connecting to data sources, creating data visualizations, and creating interactive dashboards. Here's a brief overview of how it works:

  1. Connect to Data -Tableau connects to a wide range of data sources, including spreadsheets, databases, cloud services, and big data platforms. Users can connect to their data using a drag and drop interface.

  2. Create Visualizations - Tableau provides a range of visualization options, including bar charts, line charts, scatter plots, maps, and more. Users can create custom visualizations using its drag and drop interface.

  3. Create Dashboards and story -Tableau enables users to create interactive dashboards or story that allow them to explore their data and gain insights in real-time. Users can filter, sort, and drill down on data to uncover hidden insights.

  4. Share Insights - Tableau provides a collaborative platform that enables users to share their insights and dashboards and story with others. It allows multiple users to work on the same project simultaneously and provides access controls to ensure data security.

Pros and cons of Tableau:

Tableau is a powerful data visualization tool. While there are many benefits to using Tableau, there are also some drawbacks to be aware of. Here, we will explore the pros and cons of using Tableau.

Pros of Using Tableau:

  1. Easy to use - Tableau is known for its ease of use and intuitive interface. Even users who are not familiar with data analysis or visualization can quickly learn how to use Tableau.

  2. Data visualization - Tableau offers a wide range of visualization options that help users to analyze data more effectively. The interactive charts and graphs make it easy to spot trends and outliers.

  3. Data handling - Tableau can handle million of rows of data. It can connect to various data sources, including spreadsheets, databases, and cloud-based applications. This means that users can easily integrate data from multiple sources into one report or dashboard.

  4. Time saving - Using drag-n-drop functionalities of Tableau, the user can create a very interactive visual within minutes. It allows users to quickly create reports and dashboards without the need for extensive coding or technical skills. This can save businesses a lot of time and resources.

  5. Mobile support and responsive dashboard -Tableau automatically understands which device is the user is viewing the report on and make adjustments to ensure that the right report is served to the right device. Tableau Dashboard has a great reporting feature that allows you to customize dashboard specifically for a certain device such as a mobile phone or laptop.

  6. High performance -Users rate the overall performance of Tableau as good and stable. With ease, it can handle millions of rows of data. The benefit of Tableau is that it is possible to construct various forms of visualization in one shot.

CONS of using Tableau:
  1. cost -Tableau is not a cheap tool. The cost of the software can be prohibitive for small businesses or individual users.

  2. No automatic refreshing of report - In Tableau, there is no choice for scheduling. Without the aid of scheduling, you do not get an automatic option for refreshing your reports. Therefore, there is some manual effort needed to update the back-end data.

  3. Poor versioning - Only recent Tableau versions support revision history, whereas, for the older ones, package rolling back is not possible.

  4. Screen Resolutions On Tableau Dashboards - The layout of the dashboards gets disturbed if the tableau developer’s screen resolution is different from end user’s screen resolution.


Tableau is a powerful business intelligence and data visualization software that enables users to create interactive and visually appealing dashboards, reports, and charts. Its easy-to-use interface, wide range of visualization options, and collaborative platform make it a popular choice for data visualization across various industries. With Tableau, users can gain insights from their data and make informed decisions that can impact their organization's success.

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Mar 13, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

A good read about Tableau.


Mar 10, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.


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