TABLEAU TUTORIAL : 1 – Introduction to Tableau | What is Tableau ?16th August 2018
What is Tableau?
Tableau is a powerful and fastest growing data visualization tool used in the Business Intelligence Industry. It helps in simplifying raw data into the very easily understandable format. Users can create and distribute an interactive and shareable dashboard, which depict the trends, variations, and density of the data in the form of graphs and charts. Tableau can connect to files, relational and Big Data sources to acquire and process data. The software allows data blending and real-time collaboration, which makes it very unique.
Its powerful data discovery and exploration application allows you to answer important questions in seconds. You can use Tableau’s drag and drop interface to visualize any data, explore different views, and even combine multiple databases easily. It does not require any complex scripting. Anyone who understands the business problems can address it with a visualization of the relevant data. After analysis, sharing with others is as easy as publishing to Tableau Server.
Tableau provides solutions for all kinds of industries, departments, and data environments. Following are some unique features which enable Tableau to handle diverse scenarios.
- Speed of Analysis − As it does not require high level of programming expertise, any user with access to data can start using it to derive value from the data.
- Self-Reliant − Tableau does not need a complex software setup. The desktop version which is used by most users is easily installed and contains all the features needed to start and complete data analysis.
- Visual Discovery − The user explores and analyzes the data by using visual tools like colors, trend lines, charts, and graphs. There is very little script to be written as nearly everything is done by drag and drop.
- Blend Diverse Data Sets − Tableau allows you to blend different relational, semistructured and raw data sources in real time, without expensive up-front integration costs. The users don’t need to know the details of how data is stored.
- Architecture Agnostic − Tableau works in all kinds of devices where data flows. Hence, the user need not worry about specific hardware or software requirements to use Tableau.
- Real-Time Collaboration − Tableau can filter, sort, and discuss data on the fly and embed a live dashboard in portals like SharePoint site or Salesforce. You can save your view of data and allow colleagues to subscribe to your interactive dashboards so they see the very latest data just by refreshing their web browser.
- Centralized Data − Tableau server provides a centralized location to manage all of the organization’s published data sources. You can delete, change permissions, add tags, and manage schedules in one convenient location. It’s easy to schedule extract refreshes and manage them in the data server. Administrators can centrally define a schedule for extracts on the server for both incremental and full refreshes.
Difference between Excel and Tableau (Two popular BI tools)
Both Excel and Tableau are data analysis tools, but each tool has its unique approach to data exploration. However, the analysis in Tableau is more potent than excel.
Excel works with rows and columns in spreadsheets whereas Tableau enables in exploring excel data using its drag and drop feature. Tableau formats the data in Graphs, pictures that are easily understandable.
|Purpose||Spreadsheet application used for manipulating the data.||Perfect visualization tool used for analysis.|
|Usage||Most suitable for statistical analysis of structured data.||Most suitable for quick and easy representation of big data which helps in resolving the big data issues.|
|Performance||Moderate speed with no option to quicken.||Moderate speed with options to optimize and enhance the progress of an operation.|
|Security||The inbuilt security feature is weak when compared to Tableau. The security update needs to be installed on a regular basis.||Extensive options to secure data without scripting. Security features like row level security and permission are inbuilt.|
|User Interface||To utilize excel to full potential, macro and visual basic scripting knowledge is required||The tool can be used without any coding knowledge.|
|Business need||Best for preparing on-off reports with small data||Best while working with big data.|
|Products||Bundled with MS Office tools||Comes with different versions such as the Tableau server, cloud, and desktop.|
|Integration||Excel integrates with around 60 applications||Tableaus integrated with over 250 applications|
|Real time data exploration||When you are working in excel, you need have an idea of where your data takes you to get to know the insights||In Tableaus, you are free to explore data without even knowing the answer that you want. With the in-built features like data blending and drill-down, you will be able to determine the variations and data patterns.|
|Easy Visualizations||When working in excel, we first manipulate the data that is present and then the visualization such as the different charts, graphs are created manually. To make the visualizations easily understandable, you should understand the features of excel well.||Whereas in Tableau, the data is visualized from the beginning.|
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