Don’t Buy Into These “Trends” About What Is Tableau?

Tableau fits squarely into this data visualization/dashboard realm. Whereas standard business intelligence tools for corporate and enterprise reporting abound, newer visualization tools, such as Tableau, are just coming of age. Now in its ninth major release, Tableau continues to sit at the leading edge of this growing segment of information technology.

Although Tableau 9 improves on the previous eight major releases of the software, the core approach to visual design remains the same: connect to the desired data source, and drag various data fields to desired parts of the Tableau screen.

The result is a simple visualization that can then be enhanced and modified by dragging additional data fields to different destinations in the workspace. Beyond this simple visualization approach, Tableau’s Show Me feature allows quick choices of predefined visualizations by just selecting relevant data fields and clicking a thumbnail.

For more advanced requirements, Tableau features a complete formula language, as well as more robust data connection options. There are two primary Tableau benefits you’ll want to keep in mind as you explore the tool:

Visualization of data Tableau excels at displaying data visually. Whether it’s a simple bar chart or a more complex dual-axis, multimarket visualization, Tableau’s core purpose is to help you conclude from your data visually.

Although Tableau can mimic a traditional spreadsheet by analyzing data with rows and columns of numbers, you’ll be wasting Tableau’s potential if this is your primary focus.

 Speed of analysis Analyzing data in Tableau is incredibly fast.

Once you master the basic paradigm of the Tableau Data pane, shelves, and cards, you can answer your “what if” and “how” questions as quickly as you can think of them. What used to take traditional Business Intelligence (BI) tools hours to reveal can be discovered in Tableau in seconds or minutes.

 How to create a Configuring Projects in Tableau

When you first start Tableau, you are presented with the Start Page. The largest portion of the Start Page is reserved for thumbnails of recent workbooks you have used. Simply click any one of these to open the workbook (like Microsoft Excel, Tableau’s format for storing data on your disk drive is in a workbook, with a .twb or .twbx file extension). You may also open sample workbooks included with Tableau by clicking the desired thumbnail at the bottom of the Start Page.

Opening Existing Workbooks 

You may open two types of existing Tableau workbooks. Click an existing thumbnail on the Start Page, or use File | Open.

 Standard Tableau Workbook (.twb file)

This workbook contains worksheet and dashboard definitions only. Any data sources and external files (custom background images, image files in dashboards, and so forth) are not saved in the .twb file. For example, if the workbook connects to two data sources (such as a standard SQL database server and an Excel file located in a folder on your C drive) and references an image located on a network drive, another Tableau user who opens the workbook will need to be able to connect to the same SQL database, will need to have the same Excel file on their C drive, and must be able to access the image file located on the same network drive.

Tableau Packaged Workbook (.twbx file)

A packaged workbook is a self-contained workbook with any necessary external files embedded in it. It contains worksheet and dashboard definitions, as well as file-based data sources, image files, custom shapes, and any other external files necessary to interact with any sheet or dashboard. If the workbook is based on a file-based data source (such as an Excel workbook or text file), the file is copied and embedded in the .twbx file. Any external files referenced in the workbook, such as background images, images added to dashboards, and custom shapefiles, are also copied and embedded in the .twbx file.

Creating New Workbooks

If you want to create a new workbook, you must first connect to a data source (types of data sources Tableau works with include industry-standard databases such as Oracle or Microsoft SQL Server, cloud-based data such as Google Analytics, Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, text files, and so forth).

Unlike spreadsheet or word processing programs, Tableau must connect to some existing data before you can create a visualization. Predefined data connections, known as saved data sources, will appear on the lower left side of the Start Page.  To Get in-Depth Knowledge about Tableau from tableau online training

These “pointers” to an existing data source can be selected by simply clicking them. If you want to connect to a different data source, click the desired data source type within the To A File or A Server section under the left Connect column on the Start Page. Once you’ve connected to a data source, the Data Source page will appear, where more specific data choices are made. Once you’ve made any data source adjustments, click the Sheet 1 tab at the bottom of the screen to display the Tableau workspace where you can drag and drop desired data fields.

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