What is Tableau? | Introduction to Tableau

Introduction to Tableau

Excel keeps your data in an organized manner. Whenever one thinks about organizing the data and draw insights from it or to keep the data in a predefined format, Excel is the one tool that comes to rescue. But what if You can visualize this excel data into an actual chart! Sounds interesting, right? So for organizing the data to preparing, cleansing and modelling to present it in a visual form, Tableau is capable of doing all.

Data Visualization is essential as it helps to generate the insights of the business to help it move forward in this competitive era. Visualization helps in understanding the language of data to the business people.

Tableau helps in developing proper visualizations without having any knowledge of coding.

In this Tutorial you will learn following:

  • What is Tableau Used for?
  • What is Tableau & How It Works?
  • What is Tableau & Where can I Learn Tableau?
  • What is Tableau Software?
  • What is Tableau Prep?
  • What is Tableau Desktop?
  • What is Tableau Server & Reader?
  • What is Tableau Online & More

What is Tableau?

Tableau is one of the best visualization software in the market and 7 years in a row as a leader in a Gartner Magic Quadrant for analytics and Business Intelligence platforms. Tableau simplifies raw data and converts it into an understandable format.

Data Visualization is important as it helps to generate the insights of the business to help it move forward in this competitive era. Visualization helps in understanding the language of data to the business people. Tableau helps in developing proper visualizations without having any knowledge of coding.

Tableau analyzes the data very quickly. It can connect to any data base and can pull the data from any platform.

Tableau is solely built for interactive visuals believing in ‘seeing and exploring’ philosophy. Tableau is designed to quickly answer any question asked by the user about its data by quickly manipulating it with the help of tools available. Tableau offers much more than only generating reports.

Process of Tableau

The following is the process of Tableau:

  • The primary function of Tableau is to extract and pull the data from various sources
  • It can pull the data from a data source like simple databases, complex databases and even from cloud
  • Once the Tableau is launched the connectors already comes with it. Only the number of Connectors differs according to its version.
  • The data analysts or data engineers then work on this pulled data to prepare reports and visualization dashboards
  • The pulled data is directly connected to Tableau Desktop
  • The files created are then shared with users via tableau Reader
  • The file created can also be published on Tableau Server
  • This file can then be accessed within the organization via Tableau Server

Tableau Product

So, here is the different types of Tableau Products, 

1. Tableau Desktop

Tableau desktop is used to create reports, prepare visualizations and dashboards. It allows to modify reports and prepare charts. According to the connectivity offered by data sources, Tableau Desktop is differentiated into two categories:

  • Tableau Desktop Personal: It is close to Tableau Desktop in functionality. Tableau Desktop Personal is for personal use only, and the access to its workbooks is also limited. Thus, it needs to be distributed via Tableau public or by offline.
  • Tableau Desktop Professional: This is close to Tableau Desktop and the work generated is published on Tableau Server. It has access to all types of data and is good for the people who want to publish their work on Tableau Server.

2. Tableau Prep

Tableau Prep is used to prepare your data quickly, unlike the traditional way of analyzing and preparing the data. Tableau combines, cleans and shapes the data and converts them into interactive visuals. For scheduling the process of data and keep a check on the flow of data Tableau Prep conductor is used and Tableau Prep Builder for data flow building.

3. Tableau Online

Tableau online tool’s functionalities is same as Tableau server. It shares the file on cloud maintained by the Tableau group. It has an unlimited storage limit. To publish your workbook on Tableau cloud, it should be prepared on Tableau Desktop.

4. Tableau Server

The primary function of the Tableau Server is to share the Workbooks and reports generated by Tableau Desktop. Once the files, reports and workbooks are published on the Tableau Server, it becomes accessible to all respective users. The security of Tableau Server is very high, and thus, it is useful and convenient to share the reports and workbooks in the organization.

Importance of Tableau

Now, lets discussed Importantce of Tableau, 

  • Tableau is capable of Data Blending and Preparing
  • Tableau Analyzes Data in real-time
  • Tableau has the feature of Data Collaboration
  • Tableau allows working without a technical background
  • Tableau is designed in a way that it can prepare impeccable Visualizations

Due to the above reasons, Tableau is the favorite tool of business industries.

Different Types of Connectors offered by Tableau

Tableau can be connected to Files, To Servers and Saved Data Sources primarily but it offers a vast pool of Data sources when clicked on more in the connect tab.

Companies using Tableau

Comparison of Analytics Tools

The following table provides the comparison of different analytic tools such as Power BI, Qlik, Sisence with Tableau. Let us compare all according to the features and specifications.

Specifications Microsoft Power BI Tableau Desktop Qlik Sisense
Limited Trial Free Version
Mobile Version
Analytics (Point-in-time) X
Analytics (Real-time) X
Analytics (Predictive)
Prep tools for Data
Tools for Data (Join, integrate, blend)
Social media analytics
Advanced Visualization feature X X X
Sharing/Collaboration Tool

It can be noticed from the above-stated comparison table that the features are best for Tableau and hence, so popular that it is adopted by most of the analysts.

Want to know more about the differences between Tableau and Microsoft Power BI in more detail?


The wait time is over for the best tool Tableau. Make most of your working skills by working hand in hand with Tableau. Follow the tips to download Tableau. But before starting you can first Download Tableau in your PC or Desktop