If you have been looking for a business intelligence tool for your analytical efforts then you must have stumbled across Tableau.

But... What is Tableau actually?

Tableau is a trending and market-leading BI tool used to visualize and analyze your data in an easily digestible format. It allows you to work on live data-set and spend more time on data analysis rather than data wrangling.

This tool is created in such a way that you can simplify the uncooked data into an effortlessly logical format with null coding familiarity and technical skills.

You can make a very quick analysis of data using Tableau and the visualizations created are displayed in the form worksheets and dashboards.

Any level of professional in a company can understand the data through Tableau. Even a non-technical user can simply create a customized dashboard. And that’s the beauty of Tableau. Tableau also permits the users to deploy data, alter calculations and modify situations in real-time.

Well this was just an overview of Tableau, now let’s proceed and understand what is Tableau.

Main Benefits of Tableau

  • Speed of Analysis: as it does not require a high level of programming expertise, any user with access to data can start using it to derive value from the data.
  • Self-Reliant: It does not need a complex software configuration. The desktop version that is used by most users is easily installed and contains all the features required to initiate and complete data analysis.
  • Visual Discovery: User explores and analyzes the data using visual tools like colors, trend lines, tables and graphs. There is a tiny script to be written as almost everything is done by drag and drop.
  • Blend Various Data Sets: It allows you to blend different personal, semi-structured and raw data sources in real-time, without expensive up-front integration costs.
  • Architecture Agnostic: It works on all types of devices in data streams. Therefore, the user need not worry about hardware requirements or specific software to use Tableau.
  • Real-Time Collaboration: It can filter, sort, and discuss data on the fly and add a live dashboard in portals such as SharePoint site or the sales force. You can save the display data and allow others to subscribe to your interactive dashboards, so they see the latest data by merely updating their web browser.
  • Centralized Data: the server provides a centralized location Tableau to manage all data sources published by the organization. You can delete, change permissions, add tags and manage schedules in one place. It is easy to extract cooled to plan and execute the data server.

So how does Tableau work?

Tableau connects and extracts the data stored in various data sources.

Basically, it can pull data from almost any platform imaginable.

It could be as simple as excel or PDF, to a complex database like Oracle, a database in the cloud such as Amazon Web services, Microsoft Azure SQL database, Google Cloud SQL and other data sources can be extracted from Tableau.

Use Cases of Tableau

There are various consulting options and applications of the tableau. The compact placement completes the setup within no time as this software facilitates running start options. Tableau provides receptive business pricing with both clouds hosted editions and on-premise, paid annually. However, this module price depends on the number of users you involve.  Let us look at different products of this software and its uses.

Tableau Desktop:

With the help of tableau desktop anybody can create the reports and dashboards on the Tableau Server and work with by blending it into the system browser. Creating reports, charts and more is all done through tableau desktop. It allows you to connect with various types of data and converts it into simple understandable tableau reporting. Tableau dashboard and tableau data visualization can be accessed even through mobile devices. The product of desktop product helps to create a great visualization, data stories, data analysis formation of workbooks etc.

Further, based on the connectivity to the data sources, tableau desktop is divided into two parts:

  • Tableau Desktop Professional: Tableau desktop professional is best suitable for those who wish to publish their work in Tableau Server. It is quite similar to tableau desktop. The only difference is its online publication in the tableau desktop. In this version, there is full access to all data types.
  • Tableau Desktop Personal: The access personal version of the tableau is limited. It keeps the workbook private that cannot be published online. Its progress features are similar to tableau desktop. Therefore, it is divided either in Tableau public or offline.

Tableau Public:

This version of Tableau is particularly built for cost-effective users. The workbooks created are not saved locally in this version. In fact, it is saved to the tableau’s public cloud which can be sighted and accessed easily by anyone. Anyone can download and access it effortlessly. Basically, there is nothing like privacy to these documents saved to the cloud.  People who want to learn tableau and wish to share their information with the public can use this version.

Tableau Online:

The administrator tableau server handles the access to servers provides permissions to the different data sources and protects data.  The data is stored on servers hosted in the cloud which are maintained by the Tableau group. It also helps you manage security, team worker and execution of Tableau products. In other words, it allows you to publish Tableau Dashboards on the Tableau Online and share the data discoveries with anybody and can access and explore the various features like interactive visualizations, explore hidden opportunities and so on.

Tableau Server:

The tableau server is used for sharing visualization created in desktop application across the organizations. In order to share dashboards on the server, it is required to publish work in the tableau desktop. It will only be accessible to the licensed users, once the work is uploaded to the server.

But, the licensed users are not necessarily required to have a tableau server installed. All they need is to log in the permit that allows them to check reports through a web browser. The security system in this version is high; therefore, it makes it suitable for quick and effective sharing of data in an organization.

Tableau Reader:

It is a free tool that allows editing and modifications of data created using Tableau Desktop or Tableau Public. You can easily view the workbooks and visualizations. But, the security level here is not the same as tableau online. The receiver should have tableau reader to view the document, in order to share the dashboards.


We hope this article gave you more information about Tableau and how it’s used.

If you’re enthusiastic about data science then you should check out some of our free courses too.