Step by Step Guide to Tableau

By ganpati | Getting Started

Mar 16

Why Tableau is such a popular BI Tool?

There are numerous tools available to perform data visualization, then why Tableau?

The answer to this question may take a complete post but I’d like to summarize it in 4 points:

  • It helps you to analyze virtually any type of structured data
  • It’s highly interactive
  • It provides awesome visualization capabilities in the form of graphs, dashboards and reports in a quick manner
  • It’s fast and easy to use

Step-1: What Products does Tableau Offer?

Tableau offers five main products catering to diverse visualization needs for professionals and organizations. They are:

  • Tableau Desktop: Made for individual use
  • Tableau Server: Sharing dashboards and data for Collaboration
  • Tableau Online: It’s a Cloud solution that helps you get rid of hardware setup
  • Tableau Mobile: for getting insights on tablets and phones
  • Tableau Public: Publish interactive data on web
  • Tableau Reader: To read files saved in Tableau Desktop.

Using Tableau Products

Tableau Public and Tableau Reader are free to use, while both Tableau Server and Tableau Desktop come with a 14 days fully functional free trial period, after which the user must pay for the software.

You can visit here to download the Tableau public and get started.

Step-2: Getting Started with Tableau Public

Tableau provides Free Online, Live and Classroom (paid) training programs. Here I’ve provided some free resources for initial understating and getting started with the public product.

With Tableau Public you can create amazing interactive visuals and publish them quickly, without the help of programmers or IT. You can register with the Tableau site and access these videos to get started:

Step-3: Connecting to Data

Tableau can connect with various data sources such as text, excel file, csv and multiple tables. In this section, we will look at the basics and advance feature of data connectivity with different sources. It covers connection to databases, joins, custom SQL and data source filters. Then you will get and understanding of editing connections, editing metadata, extracts, joins, blending and integration with Salesforce, Google analytics etc.

This section has 12 videos and total durations is around 55 minutes.

Connecting with Data

Step-4: Visualization of data

Tableau has multiple options to represent data in different views using drill down and hierarchies, sorting, grouping, creating sets, working with sets, ways to filter, trend line, reference lines, forecasting and analysis with cube and MDX that you will learn in this section.

This section has 20 videos and total durations is around 114 minutes.

Visual analytics

Step-5: Dashboards with Tableau

Till now, we have looked at data connectivity, various objects and views creation in Tableau. The next step is to give form to those views and analysis in the form of dashboards and stories.

This topics covers building dashboards, dashboard layouts and formatting, interactivity using actions, best practices etc.

Dashboard and stories

This part has 6 videos and take almost 33 minutes to cover.

Step-6: Advanced Understanding

In the next few topics you get more elaborate understating of below topics.
All these topics have been covered in 72 videos and will take almost 9 hours to complete.

  1. Mapping- editing unrecognized locations, mapping capabilities, geocoding, background images etc.
  2. Calculations- it covers syntax, level of detail (LOD) expressions, table calculations, aggregate calculations, date calculations, data types, aggregation and replication with LOD expressions, and nested LOD expressions. This topic also covers how to integrate R and Tableau and using R within Tableau.
  3. Tableau Server- discusses various aspects of online publishing, web authoring, installing and configuring the server etc.
  4. Tableau Online- it covers publishing, web authoring, permissions, authorizations etc.
  5. How to- covers various techniques like Bollinger bans, waterfall charts, Bump charts, Benford’s Law, Funnel charts, Box plots, Parreto charts, control charts, treemaps, histograms etc.
  6. Why is Tableau doing that- it explains pill types, ratio calculations, sorts etc.
  7. APIs- Covers various topics like on API’s

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(2) comments

Kam July 30, 2016

Can you do a PackedCircle chart in Tableau where you control the outer shape and/or flow of the elements?

    ganpati August 7, 2016

    Try playing with sorting on your circles and you should be able to find an approach where Tableau puts all of the small ones on the inside and the larger on the outside. It doesn’t organize into a clear circular “thread” going from inside to outside, but otherwise it’s not bad.

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