What is the Tableau Server?
Data Visualization is a process/effort to help people understand the data better by representing it in a pictorial way. It can include a lot of trends, patterns, correlation. Visualizing the data can bring a lot of insights which goes undetected/unseen.
Data visualization in today’s era goes beyond conventional and standard charts and graphs which used to be plotted in MS Excel. Now there are ample charts available to represent the data in a more efficient way like heatmap, bubble chart, boxplot etc. The images could be interlinked to have dynamic nature and to enable user interaction capabilities. Users can use clicks and drill down features to analyze data in a deeper way. Alert and update features could also be made part of these.
There are multiple tools available in the market for data visualization like Tableau, Watson Analytics, QlikView etc.
However, Tableau is more flexible and possess easy deployment as compared to others. It has both on-premises and cloud options available.
Let’s see some interesting points about Tableau:
- Suits Variety of Organization: Be it an individual user, mid-range organization or a giant organization, Tableau suits every kind.If its individual user. Tableau desktop is the option for you. Tableau desktop resides on your system, to create a variety of visuals which can be saved in form of worksheets. If you want to share this kind of visuals with your peers, you can share your saved worksheet, which your peer can view if they either have Tableau reader/ Tableau desktop available.
- Attractive Dashboards: There are a variety of options available for building charts. These charts can help in understating data, creating attractive dashboards, doing simple statistical analytics, forecasting etc. All the development done in Tableau has been done by keeping ease of user in mind. These all properties help Business professionals brings insights to the table in an efficient way. And that is all the things which set Tableau as a tool stand so unique.
- Handles Many Data sources: Tableau can be connected to more than 40 data sources, plus it can handle excel and csv as well. On top of that OLAP, SQL Server, DB2 etc. makes Tableau win users. Tableau comes with many inbuilt data connectors which come free.
- Connection with Programming Languages: Tableau gets connected with R and Python.
- Tableau Community: You can easily find help from Tableau Community and Tableau Bloggers.
Tableau Server Types
Tableau comes in three kinds:
- Tableau Desktop: Tableau desktop is a standard tool, which helps you to prepare, create, explore and visualize dataset. It empowers you, encourages you to explore data in many ways. Interactive worksheets and dashboards help you uncover the hidden insights from the data through visual patterns.
From my Tableau Workbook
- Tableau Server: Tableau Server comes into the picture when the dashboards created on Tableau Desktop needs to get published. It enables you to publish your dashboards to the right set of stakeholders, hence making the collaboration and sharing of dashboards simple. Tableau Server helps users to publish and share their data sources as an extractor live connection. Here users need not install Tableau on their machine, and they can still interact with dashboards available on a server.
Tableau Server can connect around 100 data sources which include Marketo, SAP HANA, Salesforce.com, Google BigQuery, Oracle etc.
From a deployment perspective, Tableau server can be deployed on premises as well as in public cloud like Azure, AWS, IBM Cloud, Google Cloud Platform etc. It also enables an administrator to track and manage the content, licenses, performance, and permissions for data sources with ease.
Tableau Server supports
- Android apps
- iPad apps
- Mobile Safari
- Web browsers like IE, Mozilla Firefox, Chrome and Safari
- Android browser
There are few server processes which works behind the scene to direct Tableau Server:
- Application Server: It handles and processes the permission for Tableau server web and for mobile interfaces. Application servers work from user’s login session to Tableau server till it verifies the permission.
- VizQL Server: Once View is released, the client sends a request to the VizQL process. The VizQL process is then responsible for sends queries directly to the data source, which returns a result set that is rendered as images and presented to the user. Each VizQL has its own cache, which can be shared with multiple users if needed.
- Data Server: To centrally control and store Tableau data sources, the Tableau data server is needed. Along with that, this also manages the metadata from tableau desktops like groups, definitions, and calculations.
- Backgrounder: It refreshes the scheduled extracts, plus other background activities.
- Load Balancer: If multiple tasks/procedures are configured for any component. The load balancer will come into the picture and shares the requests to the procedures. A load balancer is also known as Gateway. If there is a single server configuration scenario, then every procedure will sit on the Gateway.
- Tableau Online: Tableau Online is the Tableau Analytics, which is hosted on a cloud with absolutely no visibility to hardware and server maintenance at your end. This is accessible over a mobile app or the web via a browser. It helps users publish the dashboards and share “vizzes” with peers, customers, co-workers, and stakeholders. This can ultimately lead collaboration towards finding the hidden insights in the data using interactive visualizations. Administrators here can also manage authentication and permissions to users, data, and content easily like Tableau Server.
Tableau online can also be connected to live connections with many data sources like BigQuery, MySQL etc.
This has been a guide to What is Tableau Server. Here We have discussed basic concepts of Tableau Server like Tableau types, Tableau server supports types etc. You can also go through our other suggested articles –