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What is Tableau: Uses and Application

Tableau is one of the most efficient data visualization tools used for business intelligence and data analysis. You will be able to access different reports, dashboards, charts, and graphs using Tableau. Dive into this article to learn more about Tableau and its uses. 

 

Table of Content:

  1. What is Tableau?
  2. Brief History of Tableau
  3. Tableau Product Suite
  4. How is Tableau Used in Different Industries?
  5. How Can Tableau Help with Data Visualization and Analysis?
  6. Key Features of Tableau
  7. Advantages and Disadvantages of Tableau
  8. How to Get Started with Tableau
  9. Tableau vs. Other Data Visualization Tools
  10. Conclusion
  11. FAQs

 

What is Tableau?

Tableau is a rapidly growing data visualization tool in the industry. It can simplify raw data in a way that’s easy to comprehend for professionals at different levels of an organization. The tool ensures that even non-technical users can create customized dashboards.

Tableau enables powerful data discovery and exploration so that users can answer important questions quickly. Tableau can connect to different data sources that other business intelligence tools cannot. Users can blend different datasets to create detailed reports using Tableau. 

Brief History of Tableau

In 2003, Stanford University students Chris Stolte, Pat Hanrahan, and Christian Chatbot created Tableau. The primary intention of creating it was to make the database industry comprehensive and interactive. Since its inception, Tableau has been continuing to grow quite steadily. In 2016, Tableau declared Adam Selipsky as the CEO and President of the company. 

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Tableau Product Suite 

Let’s see the tableau product suite in detail:

Product Version Description
Tableau Desktop  Paid
  • Helps create dashboards, reports, and stories using different charts and graphs
  • Workbooks and dashboards created using Tableau Desktop can be shared publicly or locally
Tableau Mobile  Free
  • Offers interactive previews to let users check data and reports anytime from anywhere
  • Select, filter, and edit data with a single tap on the mobile app
Tableau Public Free
  • Workbooks can be created and saved to Tableau’s public cloud, which is accessible by everyone
  • The lack of privacy options ensure that you can download and access the files saved to the cloud. 
Tableau Online  Paid
  • Analytics platform hosted on the cloud
  • Enables users to build dashboards and share discovered with everyone
  • Ability to connect to cloud databases like Google BigQuery and Amazon Redshift
  • Refreshes data from web apps like Salesforce and Google Analytics
Tableau Server  Paid
  • Used share reports and workbooks across different teams
  • Receive AI-driven explanations for your data
Tableau Reader Free
  • Enables users to access and interact with reports created using Tableau Desktop 

How is Tableau Used in Different Industries?

If you are wondering what is Tableau used for, learn about its applications in a few major industries:

Manufacturing Industry

The Tableau data visualization tool makes manufacturing businesses fulfill the demand of modern customers with data-driven decisions. If you know what is Tableau, you will understand that it offers operational insights to manufacturing businesses. The valuable insights can be used by manufacturers for the following:

  • Enhanced agility of the supply chain
  • Real-time insights regarding how manufacturing businesses operate on a macro and micro scale
  • Use of predictive analysis for smart decisions
  • Performing market analysis
  • Detecting and eliminating bottlenecks in the supply chain

Retail Industry

The retail industry can gain the following insights from the Tableau data visualization tool:

  • Store-wise analysis of net sales, outstanding, and collection
  • Annual profit analysis
  • What-if analysis according to churn rate, additive rate, and business growth
  • Day-to-day comparison according to a specific store, region, or month

Finance Industry

The finance industry benefits greatly from using the Tableau data visualization tool. Tableau helps the finance industry in the following areas:

  • Identifying financial frauds
  • Easily spotting market trends
  • Making decisions with the help of facts and figures
  • Performing deep analysis to find various answers

How Can Tableau Help with Data Visualization and Analysis?

Tableau can pull out data from different sources with the help of data connectors. The number of data connectors supported by Tableau depends on its version. The extracted data can be connected live or sent to the data engine of Tableau. 

Data analysts and data engineers can work on Tableau Desktop to visualize extracted data. They can create different dashboards for data visualization and share them with users in a static file. The user receiving the files can access them through Tableau Reader. 

The data visualized on the Tableau Desktop can also be published to the Tableau server. It is an enterprise platform that supports features like distribution, collaboration, maintenance, and automation. The Tableau server ensures that end-users can access files from all locations. 

Key Features of Tableau

The primary features of the Tableau tool are as follows:

  • Drag-and-Drop Interface

    The drag-and-drop interface Tableau makes it easier for many people to access it. The drag-and-drop feature ensures that users can create visualizations without writing any code.  

  • Interactive Dashboards

    Tableau tools help you create interactive dashboards to visualize your data. The tool also makes it easier for you to filter data and gain a deeper understanding of underlying data.

  • Real-Time Data Analysis

    If you know what Tableau is used for, you won’t be surprised to know that the tool supports real-time data analysis. It ensures that users can understand and evaluate dynamic data with high velocity. 

Advantages of Tableau

If you know what is Tableau, you should learn about some of its advantages:

  • Supports complex data blending, computation, and dashboarding
  • Easy drag-and-drop features for interactive visualization
  • Ability to connect different data sources like SQL
  • Mobile compatibility and a responsive dashboard
  • Ability to use different scripting languages like Python and R to perform complex table calculations

Disadvantages of Tableau

The Tableau data visualization also has some disadvantages:

  • Does not support automatic report scheduling
  • Lack of custom visual imports
  • Parameters have to be updated manually when data gets changed

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How to Get Started with Tableau

 

Once you know what Tableau is and what it is used for, you will have to focus on learning how to get started with it. The steps to get started with Tableau are as follows:

 

  • Step 1: Connect to the data you have collected.
  • Step 2: Use the drag-and-drop feature to check out the first look.
  • Step 3: Check your results and employ various tools to gain insights from them and refine them. 
  • Step 4: Perform a geographical analysis of data to look for trends and patterns.
  • Step 5: Check out the details of the data and focus on creating a Top filter.
  • Step 6: Develop and format a dashboard to reveal the visualizations you have created.
  • Step 7: Build and format a story to show your findings.
  • Step 8: Share your findings on the Tableau server, cloud, and public.

 

Tableau vs. Other Data Visualization Tools

Power BI is another popular tool for data visualization. Let’s compare the Tableau data visualization tool with Power BI.

Category Tableau Power BI
Cost Pretty expensive with the Pro version starting at $35 per month per user Low-cost software with a professional version that costs less than $10 per month
Function Can handle huge volumes of data faster and comes with extensive features for data visualization Performs better with low data volumes and slows down while handling data in bulk
Customer Support Large community forum for discussions and excellent customer support Limited customer support available with a free Power BI account
Language Supported Fully-integrated support for Python and R Supports R-based visualizations
Suitability Best for medium-sized and large corporations Best for small and medium-sized organizations
Embed Feature Embedding reports is challenging Easy and secure embedding of reports in internal web portals
Query Editor Feature Not available Makes a lot of functions easier
Availability of data sources and servers Supports multiple data sources and servers Supports various data sources but provides limited access to servers and databases
Licensing Flexible licensing with an n-tier client server architecture Stringent license with SaaS infrastructure
Operating System Supported on Windows and Mac Can only run on Windows because it is a Microsoft application

Conclusion

Data has a massive potential to transform businesses as long as people know how to use it. Tableau is one such tool that can help with driving valuable insights from data. Multiple industries are already using Tableau, and several others will soon start using the data visualization tool for its multiple benefits. 

 

 

 

FAQ's

The Tableau server is useful for hosting and managing data sources, reports, workbooks, and dashboards. You will be able to access the Tableau server using your desktop browser.
Tableau is considered a leading data visualization tool for business intelligence and data analysis.
Tableau is useful for making organizations and people more data-driven.
The Tableau product suite includes Tableau Online, Tableau Desktop, Tableau Reader, Tableau Server, and Tableau Public.

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