What is Tableau? An Easy 7 Step Guide


You might have heard about data visualization as it is one of those topics that have gained immense popularity in the recent past. Right from its relevance in businesses to be a business opportunity itself, data visualization has all the reasons to be the latest corporate fad. With data visualization comes Tableau. Now the question is, what is Tableau? Well, Tableau is a software that can be used for the process of data visualization. There is other data visualization software, but Tableau is the most preferred because of its features. In this article, we will discuss tableau features, their uses, application, benefits, and various tableau function that can come in handy when using the software for data visualization.

  1. What Is Tableau?
  2. Working Of Tableau
  3. What Is Tableau Used For?
  4. Tableau Application
  5. Tableau Features
  6. Difference Between Tableau vs Excel
  7. Tableau Advantages

1. What Is Tableau?

Tableau is a useful tool, which is used by many professionals for the process of data visualization. Data visualization plays an important role in the company’s growth, and it isn’t easy without using the correct tool. Tableau offers various features that help with the process of data visualization, thus, making it easier. Like Tableau, there are various other tools, but those aren’t as efficient as Tableau.

2. Working Of Tableau

If you are eager to know how Tableau works and how to use Tableau, this part will discuss that. Tableau works on gathering data stored in the database and then extracting them and converting them to the graphical. The data which is collected from the database is then extracted to the Tableau data engine. Then it is the work of the data engineer assigned to work on this data to create the visual graphics. The worksheet for the data, which is analyzed and converted to visual forms, is then created. The users share this spreadsheet. Users will need to have a Tableau reader to work on these files.

3. What Is Tableau Used For?

There are various uses of Tableau in data to day life and businesses as well. Given below are some most common uses for Tableau Application.

  • This software serves the requirements of various organizational needs of a business. The software fulfills the need of the client as well as the product. 
  • Tableau also helps with analyzing the data very well. Tableau helps data scientists by analyzing the data that is essential for the business. This involves extracting, loading, as well as transforming the data. The tool can prove efficient when big data is needed to be analyzed by the brand. 
  • The software provides greater visual dashboards. Unlike other software, Tableau gives different kinds of representation of the data. This makes it easy for one to summarize the data and extract only the useful information. 
  • Another reason for which Tableau is used is because of its multiple database features. These databases include RDBMS, No SQL database, an object-oriented database, etc. 
  • It is quite easier to handle, and it makes the process of data visualization much easier and efficient. 

4. Tableau Application

Given below are some Tableau application and products that one can use-

  • Tableau Desktop- This is one of the most commonly used products of Tableau. Now the question is, what is Tableau Desktop? It is the desktop application of Tableau. It allows users to create reports and use the dashboard on the Tableau servers easily by using your Desktop. This also supports converting various types of data into visualized forms. There are two types of desktop applications for Tableau, i.e., Tableau desktop professional and Tableau Desktop personal. 
  • Tableau Public- This is the cost-effective version of the Tableau used by people who prefer not to spend much on software. However, the data saved in this software is not saved in the database and instead in the public cloud. Anyone can access the data without any problem. Hence, there’s nothing like privacy with this product.
  • Tableau Online- If you are wondering what is Tableau Online, then it is software that creates and stores the data in the cloud server. Unlike the public version, the cloud storage is password protected and cannot be accessed by anyone except the data owner. This is best for very large teams, as it can be really easy to share the data using Tableau online with team members. 
  • Tableau Server- What is Tableau Server? This product of Tableau easily shares the dashboards and data that is created on the Desktop. The data on Desktop is only shared once it has been published in the desktop version. There are various Tableau server benefits, such as the data being secured and accessed only by the users with the license. Moreover, these Tableau server features make it quite popular for the process of data visualization. 
  • Tableau Reader- This tool allows one to read and modify the data made using the Tableau Desktop of Tableau public software. 

5. Tableau Features

There are various Tableau features for which the software is pretty much popular. Some of the features of the Tableau are-

  • One can comment on the dashboard. 
  • The process of creating data graphics is easy. 
  • Tableau for mobile is also available, which makes visualizing the data platform-independent. 
  • One can also share the dashboards with the team. 
  • Security is the top priority when creating and extracting the data using Tableau. 

6. Difference Between Tableau vs Excel

Excel is a pretty good software for analyzing data, but there are various advantages of Tableau over excel, making it more preferable. Excel is a spreadsheet used for manipulating data, whereas Tableau is a data visualization tool for the analysis of the data. Talking about the performance of both the softwares, Tableau is much more optimized to give better performance. Although both of the software have moderate speed, Excel does not have an option to make the process faster, whereas, in Tableau, there are options to optimize the software’s performance. In various aspects, Tableau is much better than Excel when it comes to visualizing the data.

7. Tableau Advantages

There are various Tableau benefits that you should watch out for.

  • This is one of the best and most efficient tools for data visualization. It helps with converting even the complex data to the graphical form.
  • The visual designs that are created are interactive and rather quite easy. With easy to use drag-and-drop functionality, one can easily make interactive visualizations. 
  • The software can very well handle even a large amount of data. No matter what the size of the data is, Tableau can handle it efficiently. 
  • Tableau is also supported on mobiles, making it easier for one to edit and make changes to the dashboard using the mobile application. 


Hope this article helps you understand what is tableau software. There are various tableau dashboard examples that you will find online and how one can implement the software into daily usage.

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