Updated June 29, 2023
Introduction to Tableau Reporting Tool
Tableau offers the perfect blend of Data visualization and analytics capabilities to Business Intelligence (BI) users enabling them to scale new heights in their ventures. The Analytics part of this tool collects the data from heterogeneous sources and identifies patterns and trends in the data; visualization explicitly highlights the patterns and trends present in the data in an eye-catchy manner, and users, with their cognitive skills and perception, read the insights from the data points. Tableau consistently finds a place in Gartner Magic Quadrant for BI and analytics platforms, along with Microsoft Power BI, Qilk, and ThoughtSpot. Let’s study the features of this product in detail in this article.
What is Tableau?
It is trending, powerful, and fast-growing BI visualization and analytics software. Large and medium organizations often deploy Tableau due to its capability to handle large volumes of data and process them quickly. It supports on-premises and cloud implementation, and it gives its best performance when working with large volumes of cloud data.
Users consume visualizations provided by this tool at all levels to infer business value. Even a non-technical person can create a dashboard on his own. Deployment of Tableau software takes a short time, and the user finds it easy to learn its intuitive features
Features of Tableau
- Tableau connects to any data source, such as Excel, plain text files, PDF, databases, big data, and other unstructured data.
- It can process the connected data in real-time mode to generate results and store the data in its own database in the Tableau server.
- Tableau is popular for its data visualization capability among users, offering 24 different types of visualizations.
- There can be multiple worksheets and dashboards on a screen, and they can remain interconnected internally on common data.
- The user can alter the selection criteria or filter conditions of any dashboard or worksheet, and Tableau automatically refreshes the data in that dashboard and the interconnected dashboard. This way, users can have a holistic view of the data as per the latest selection in all the dashboards without having to change them individually.
Various types of Filters are available to the users, and they are
- Extract filter: It allows changing the conditions of data extractions.
- Data Source filter: It filters data at the data source level, and it is different from the extract filter
- Context filter: It is an independent filter that creates a separate datasetfrom the original data, and more such filters can be used to filter further the dataset created earlier.
- Dimension filter: Filter the records on a dimension field, and it is non aggregated filter
- Measure filter: Aggregated measures of data can be used as filters.
Top 6 Tableau Reporting Tool
Below are the tools in detail:
1. Tableau Products
Products stable of Tableau can be categorized under a. Developer tools used to develop dashboards, reports, charts, and other visualizations. Tableau Desktops and Public fall under this category, b. Deployment tools are used to share charts and dashboards with users in a production environment. Tableau server, Online, and reader are in this category.
2. Tableau Desktop
This tool offers rich features for developing worksheets, reports, and charts; users can test it locally. It provides connectivity to data sources for live reports and allows local or public sharing of the output. The personal version of this tool allows limited access to data sources, and users can share the output offline or using Tableau Public. In contrast, the Professional version has full access to data, and users can publish the results in Tableau Public or Tableau Server.
3. Tableau Public
Workbooks created using this product are saved in the public space and cannot be saved locally. Everyone will have access to the saved content. This version is ideal for budget users, learners, and those who want to publish the content among the general public.
4. Tableau Server
It facilitates sharing the Charts, workbook, and other visualizations created through the Tableau Desktop tool to all licensed users across the organization. The dashboard, before sharing it with all users, must be published in Tableau Desktop. Licensed users don’t have to install Tableau server software on their computers instead, they can view the reports through a web browser after proper authentication. The security level is quite high in the Tableau server, and the administrator has full control.
5. Tableau Online
It is the cloud version of Tableau Server. It provides direct links to over 40 data sources hosted in the cloud, such as Amazon Aurora, MySQL, Hive, Spark SQL, etc. Workbooks, like Tableau servers, should be hosted on a Desktop first before being moved Online. It also supports data streamed from applications like Google Analytics and Salesforce.com.
6. Tableau Reader
It is free software that allows users to view the contents created by Tableau Desktop and Tableau Public tools. Users can filter the contents and view the results, but modifications are not allowed. The reader tool does not pose any security restrictions, allowing users a free view of the data.
How does Tableau Reporting Tool work?
After installing the tool, Data connections will have to be built. Connectors are available to text file, PDF file, databases, data lakes, and many other data streams. Tableau Server can periodically extract data from these sources and store it. Users can view the stored content as static files using Tableau Reader, which allows them to access and interact with the visualizations.
Benefits of Tableau
- It is a self-service tool, and any users can view the data in the way they want
- Multiple views of the same data are possible using this tool, and it provides the best insights into Business.
- Has built-in statistical functionalities, data trends, predictions, and forecasting.
- Extracts value from the data and faster Return on Investment (ROI)
- Creates more Satisfied customers post its implementation.
Users primarily use Tableau as a visualization tool due to its intricate user-friendly features, even though it offers good analytics and visualization functionalities. It is a popular Data visualization tool, and many organizations only deploy it for viewing information from data models built by other analytical tools.
This is a guide to Tableau Reporting Tool. Here we discuss what Tableau is, how it works, and with benefits and features. You can also go through our other related articles to learn more –