What is Tableau? An Introduction to the Data Visualization Software and Its Features

tableau courses

Tableau is perhaps the most popular data visualization tool for data scientists and analysts. Data visualization makes complex data easy to understand for the human mind. Tableau helps convert numerical data into pictures, graphs, and other visuals for perspective.

It makes Tableau an essential skill to learn for data analytics aspirants. If you want to build a career in data science or data analytics, you must be proficient in using Tableau. You can learn it by enrolling in a suitable Tableau course.

Before that, you must understand what Tableau is, what it is used for, and what are its main features:

What is Tableau?

Tableau is a data visualization tool widely used by business analysts, data scientists, and statisticians. The software aims to convert complex data into easy-to-comprehend visuals. It takes data as input and produces data visualization output very fast. You can create different types of charts, graphs, dashboards, maps, and stories on Tableau that help you analyze data in a better way.

One of the biggest reasons most professionals prefer Tableau is its ease of use. You don’t need to be a tech expert to use Tableau. It allows you to create stunning visualizations simply by dragging and dropping data sources, filters, fields, visual elements, etc.

Products Offered by Tableau

Tableau offers multiple paid and free software. Some most used Tableau products are:

  • Tableau Desktop: It is the primary product of Tableau. Tableau Desktop is a desktop application used to perform unlimited data exploration, create data visualizations, create charts, dashboards, etc. It allows you to connect data in local memory and on the cloud. Tableau Desktop is a paid product by Tableau.
  • Tableau Public: It is a free product offered by Tableau that anyone can access. You can use it to create data charts or other types of visuals. These visualizations can be embedded into web pages, blogs, etc. The only disadvantage of Tableau Public is that you cannot save your visualizations personally. Whatever you create here is visible to everyone on the internet.
  • Tableau Online: Tableau Online is another paid software that you can use to create visuals, charts, and storyboards. These visuals are hosted on the Tableau cloud, not the local servers. You can create data visualizations and share them with others using Tableau mobile app or a web browser.
  • Tableau Server: It is a server product for organizations that you can install on Windows or a Linux server. Companies can use Tableau Server to create interactive visualizations, perform data exploration, and create charts. The platform also makes sure that your organizational data is safe and secure.

Key Features of Tableau

Tableau has become the favorite data visualization tool of more than 55,000 organizations. The advanced features of this software make complex data sets easy to understand for the audience. The following are some key features of Tableau:

Tableau Dashboard

Tableau Dashboard provides you with a 360-degree view of your data. The dashboard presents multiple visualizations and texts on a single screen, allowing you to analyze different visuals. A Tableau dashboard has the following features:

  • Presents data in the form of stories.
  • Provides several layouts and formatting options.
  • Allows you to add multiple views and objects.
  • Allows you to use relevant filters.
  • Provides you with the option to copy a dashboard or its objects from one workbook to another.

Live & In-Memory Data

Tableau allows you to connect both live data sources and in-memory data. You can use data from multiple sources without any restrictions. You can access data from the cloud, spreadsheets, and non-relational data. Tableau can manage and blend all the data received from multiple sources to create detailed data visualizations.

Tableau supports various data connectors, such as Cloudera, Presto, Google Sheets, MemSQL, Google Analytics, Salesforce, Amazon Athena, Dropbox, SQL Server, etc.

Collaboration and Sharing

Tableau also gives the option to collaborate and share visuals, charts, graphs, etc., with multiple online users. You can safely share data from different sources, such as on-cloud, on-premises, hybrid, etc. This feature allows you to get instant feedback and reviews on the prepared visualizations.

Advanced Visualizations

One of the most attractive features of Tableau is its ability to create unique, eye-catching visualizations. You can create basic visualizations such as bar graphs, pie charts, etc., and advanced visuals such as motion graphs, bullet charts, Gantt charts, boxplots, etc. You can create different visualizations by selecting an option from the ‘Show Me Tab.’


The ‘maps’ feature in Tableau has a lot of pre-installed information, such as cities, administrative boundaries, postal codes, etc. With this, you can create and use very detailed maps on Tableau. You can add different geological layers to these maps based on your requirements and create relevant maps with your data. The different types of maps you can draw on Tableau include the following:

  • Flow maps
  • Heat maps
  • Choropleth maps
  • Point distribution maps

Ask Data

The ‘Ask Data’ option on Tableau is one of its most amazing features. It allows you to get answers to your questions just like a Google search. You can type your doubt, and Tableau will present the most relevant content on your screen. These answers are in the form of texts and visuals. This feature makes data easily accessible to you, and you can dig deep into it to get new insights.

Mobile View

As almost everyone uses a mobile phone today, Tableau also provides a mobile version of Tableau software. You can create reports and dashboards that are also compatible with mobile. Tableau provides you with an option to create a custom layout of your dashboard suitable for your mobile phone.

Robust Security

Tableau ensures that your data is safe and secure. The security system on Tableau is based on authentication and permission systems for user access. You also get the freedom to adopt other security protocols, such as Kerberos, Active Directory, etc. The row-level filtering practice of Tableau helps in keeping your data secure.

Also Read: Advanced Tableau Techniques for Data Analysis and Visualization

Learn Tableau with Edvancer

Edvancer is one of the top online platforms for career-oriented learning. Along with different certification courses in data science, machine learning, data analytics, etc., Edvancer also offers a course in Tableau.

The course is named ‘Certified Tableau Professional Course.’ It is a short-term certification that covers all the important topics under ‘Data Visualization in Tableau.’ The key features of this program include:

  • Consists of 7 hours of learning and 25 hours of assignments.
  • Prepares you for official Tableau exams.
  • Allows you to develop practical skills by working on industry projects.
  • Self-paced learning program with faculty support.

You don’t need any technical background to enroll in this Tableau course by Edvancer. The self-paced mode of learning allows you to gain a thorough understanding of how Tableau works. The practical content and flexibility offered by the course set it apart from the others.


1. Is Tableau better than Excel?

Tableau is better than Excel because it can access and manage large amounts of data. Excel is good for creating quick reports. However, if you want more detailed reports and visualizations, Tableau is a far better option.

2. Is Tableau an in-demand skill?

Yes, Tableau is a highly in-demand skill. Tableau or data visualization is a critical skill for a data analytics or data science professional. You can analyze the data using complex methodologies and algorithms. However, Tableau will help you present your findings in easy-to-grasp visuals.

3. What is the basic salary of Tableau professionals?

Tableau professionals earn well and are among the highest-paid professionals today. Tableau professionals can easily get a six-figure salary as a starting package.

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