Data Visualization using Tableau

A lot of people lack the ability to understand data in its purest form and that is where data visualization comes in. Visualization plays an important role in the representation of both small and large scale datasets. In this course, you will learn to create easy to read and understand graphs, charts and other visual representations of data.


What are some advantages of Power BI over Tableau?


What should I know in Tableau to get a job?

I would be using following Parameters to answer the question:

Power BI is 9 to 10 times affordable compared to Tableau. Yearly subscription for tableau cost around $1000 compared to Power BI which is around $100. Now this margin is huge.

Again logging in to and implementing Power BI is much easier compared to Tableau.

Power BI has taken great strides to make data access very easy. It is definitely edging out Tableau here.

Ease Of Use:
This is a personal opinion, amongst the two I found Power BI easier to use and one the major reasons why I love it.

These are few points I feel Power BI is better at. However the question you asked may boil down on the nature of business that needs to be governed, in those cases the comparison may be subjective to changes.

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Tableau is easily the best BI and Data Visualization Tool available in the market: These are the points the that are critical from a career perspective:

Data Preparation using Tableau
Data Connection with Tableau Desktop
Basic Visual Analytics
Calculations in Tableau
Advanced Visual Analytics
Level Of Detail (LOD) Expressions in Tableau
Geographic Visualizations in Tableau
Advanced Charts in Tableau
Dashboards and Stories

Is Tableau certification useful?

What are different types of Tableau Certifications?

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Is Tableau worth learning if my goal is to find work as a data scientist?

More and more roles are now stipulating that some form of certification is required to demonstrate a high level of technical skill and ability to work in a timely manner, especially when Certified Professional is required. So in my opinion, it is definitely worth the investment of time and money. With the Tableau community and list of organisations using Tableau increasing the opportunities to use these valuable skills is growing everyday.

The key points covered in exam are:

  • Data connections
    -Organising & simplifying data
  • Field types and visual cues
  • Chart types
  • Calculations
  • Mapping
  • Statistics
  • Dashboards
  • Timeliness

It is recommended that some sort of formal training is taken to make sure you know all of the nitty gritty terminology that Tableau uses. This exam is by no means easy, and with a 2 hour time limit, you need to have your wits about you and be prepared.

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Tableau offers five certifications, namely:

Tableau Desktop Specialist exam is focused on foundational functionality and product comprehension. Candidate must have in-depth knowledge of fundamentals and 3+ months of Desktop working experience, before taking this exam. The fee for this exam is $100.

Tableau Desktop Certified Associate exam is focused on complete fundamentals and advanced topics like connecting data, simplifying and organizing, Chart and graph creation, Analytics, Dashboards, Mapping, Calculations, various tips, and tricks, etc. and the candidate must have 5+ months of Desktop working experience, before taking this exam. The fee for this exam is $250.

Tableau Desktop Certified Professional exam is focused on advanced functionality and application of visual best practices. Candidate must have at least 12+ months of Desktop working experience, before taking this exam. You must first pass the Desktop Qualified Associate exam to take Desktop Certified Professional Exam. The fee for this exam is $600.

Tableau Server Certified Associate exam is focused on administrative functionality and platform knowledge. Candidate must have 6+ months of Server working experience, before taking this exam. The fee for this exam is $250.

Tableau Server Certified Professional exam is focused on architectural knowledge and platform integration expertise. Candidate must have 9+ months of Server working experience, before taking this exam. Also, must have cleared the Tableau Server Certified Associate exam to take this exam. The fee for this exam is $800. All these exams are currently based on Tableau version 2019.2.

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Is SQL needed for Tableau?

Learn it. You only need to invest 2-4 weeks, and you will gain 80% of the good parts of Tableau. You should also learn it because you want to be a data professional:

A data professional knows when to use the right tool. Tableau, R, Python, etc are all tools. If you think Tableau only makes beautiful graphs and dashboards, you do not fully understand the benefits of the tool.

A data professional looks for data, especially how other uses data. Is this a site license? Has your company set this as the enterprise standard? Many companies struggle with having any standards. If this IS how management and departments are monitoring Company KPIs, you better get to know Tableau. Because you will understand what data they care about, what insights they are trying to gain, and how they are calculating (or wrongly calculating) their numbers.

A data professional chooses the right medium of communication. While R and Python can also create beautiful graphs, documentation, etc. 95% of your non technical audience will not appreciate you used Jupyter, ggplot2, seaborn. What they care about is your findings. The majority of time, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, PDF, and BI reports (e.g. Tableau Reports) are what they are looking for, whatever they can easily open and view.

A data professional knows how to pitch his skunkworks. Tableau has R integration. Tableau connects to a variety of data sources, including big data type warehouses. Leverage these options to open doors for you to learn stuff at work. Tableau is just a entrance fee for you to do more data type projects.

A data professional always learn. Kudos to you that you want to prioritize your learning. This will be one of the many items where you need to decide when you are getting diminishing returns when learning Tableau, rather than a binary decision of learning it or not.

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SQL is not need if you want to learn Tableau and to work on Tableau but it is required to grab job because whenever you will get job and start working on project then you need to prepare Tableau dashboard using data.

Now question comes how data will come to you. sometimes you will get data in excel, csv or note files whereas sometimes client will give you access to production server and you will have to fetch data at your own. Now if you need to fetch data from any database then you must have the knowledge of SQL because SQL is the medium to talk with database and get answers in terms of data which you will use in Tableau or Power BI.

Now it does not mean when I am saying SQL then you should have database administrator level knowledge. Only SQL queries knowledge is enough to fetch data as per your requirement. Sometimes you need to prepare Tableau dashboard directly from database. In that case as well you will have to have knowledge of SQL because with the help of SQL you will prepare table in required format in database then you connect you Tableau with SQL Server/Oracle or any other database.

Just to summarize if you are already working in some organization and your manager and client asked you to learn Tableau as new project is about to come. then you need to ask your manager how they will data with you to prepare dashboard. On the basis of your client and manger answer you can decide to learn only Tableau or Tableau with SQL.

If you are looking for to learn Tableau to grab job and you are fresher and you do not have any other data processing software knowledge then you must learn SQL as well because organizations hardly hire anybody with only Tableau knowledge. You can search any job portal and see job description for Data Visualization Analyst or Tableau Developer or Tableau Analyst job. Then you will come to know what organizations are asking for. what you need to learn.

What are differences between Tableau’s Desktop/Server/Public/Online versions? Does Tableau server/online versions need Tableau Desktop?

Which is the best BI tool for your business?

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Well there are quite a few tools in market that help you with BI. It pretty much depends on what are your exact requirements are.

To name a few we have:

Power BI
AWS QuickSight
Programming Languages like (R, Python)

  1. Tableau Desktop: It is a self service business analytics and data visualization that anyone can use. It translates pictures of data into optimized queries. With tableau desktop, you can directly connect to data from your data warehouse for live upto date data analysis. You can also perform queries without writing a single line of code. Import all your data into Tableau’s data engine from multiple sources & integrate altogether by combining multiple views in a interactive dashboard.

  2. Tableau Server: It is more of a enterprise level Tableau software. You can publish dashboards with Tableau Desktop and share them throughout the organization with web-based Tableau server. It leverages fast databases through live connections.

  3. Tableau Online: This is a hosted version of Tableau server which helps makes business intelligence faster and easier than before. You can publish Tableau dashboards with Tableau Desktop and share them with colleagues.

  4. Tableau Reader: It’s a free desktop application that enables you to open and view visualizations that are built in Tableau Desktop. You can filter, drill down data but you cannot edit or perform any kind of interactions.

  5. Tableau Public: This is a free Tableau software which you can use to make visualizations with but you need to save your workbook or worksheets in the Tableau Server which can be viewed by anyone.

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What can Tableau Desktop do that Tableau Public can’t?

What data visualization software is better: Tableau or QlikView?

I have used both Qlikview and Tableau and I like them both for different reasons. Here is how I would characterize them.

Qlikview is about the destination of data exploration and discovery and taking a developer-like approach. If you do things in Excel forms or have done any simple VB programming you will feel right at home.

WYSWIG dashboards are much easier in Qlikview. Each object in Qlikview has a ton of options and properties where you can manipulate nearly everything about the object from a look and feel to the data being processed. In addition, Qlikview comes with its own ETL engine built-in so if you have issues with data, you have that option.

There is an amazing amount of flexibility in how you can set the properties and look the look and feel of your dashboard. All of this comes at a price.

Since Qlikview is all about the destination, you have to know the where you are going. If your questions are vague, you will spend a great deal of time trying to put multiple sheets together and then may have to quickly discard them as one piece of data changes the question. Qlikview is a developer mindset UI, study the problem, program the dashboard, print. Qlikview allows you do wonderful things of looking at the data as long as you don’t change the question on it.
If the data is in different forms, needs to be pinpoint in terms of its printing capability, you know what questions to ask, and are ok with more of a programmer-like UI and mind set, or is more reporting only focused Qlikview may be right for you.

Tableau prides itself on what it calls being “Rapid Fire Intelligence”; I call it being all about the journey of data exploration and discovery by taking a analyst-like approach. If you can do Pivot tables in Excel, you pretty much know how to use Tableau. Tableau allows you to move quickly through data and ask a number of different questions in a number of different ways. Example: if you are looking a some data that’s based on values but want to flip it to dimensional data and look at it in a historgram its literally three clicks. Since its very easy to move data in and around the sheet (again think Pivot table), you can have “fun”, try different views out, flip axis, move particular pieces of data in and out of the sheet, flip dimensional data to values and back and see what it does. Tableau is so easy to use that it practically begs you to try out different ways of looking at the same problem, and since its so easy you can flip back and forth you may see something or find a view that leads to new insight.

However, since Tableau is all about the journey, the destination leaves something to be desired. Once you have put all of these insights together - the trouble starts when you have to go and print it. Tableau is adapted for on-screen presentation and the company will tell you as much. As soon as you want to start printing, you’re back to the early 80s in terms of trying how to get it to print like it is on the screen. So, if your data is pretty decent, the questions are always changing, you do more “exploring” of data rather then “reporting” of data, and need to turnaround insight quickly, are comfortable trying to hagle with the program in terms of getting printed output, and want a more analyst-like UI experience, Tableau may be right for view.

Hopefully this helps you. I would try both since both programs can be downloaded and used in trial form (Qlikview you can actually have a free copy that hits Excel files). My own personal opinion is I like Tableau because getting to insights quickly and dealing with nebulous and generic questions is what I do more of so the application lends itself there. However, I have co-workers that swear by Qlikview so really as long as you are using one or the other your going to be more effective the question just is what is your workflow like and how does it match both applications.