Friday, September 29, 2023
HomeData AnalyticsBusiness IntelligenceWhat Is Tableau Used For? A Beginner's Guide to This Data Visualization...

What Is Tableau Used For? A Beginner’s Guide to This Data Visualization Tool

In today’s data-driven world, the ability to analyze, interpret, and present complex information is crucial. This is where Tableau comes in as a powerful data visualization tool. Tableau is a leading software in the field, enabling users to create interactive and shareable dashboards that can provide valuable insights.

In this beginner’s guide, we will explore the Tableau meaning, its uses, features, and how to get started with this dynamic tool, as well as discuss the job opportunities it presents for the Indian audience.

What is Tableau?

Tableau is a data visualization software designed to help users easily understand and present their data. Its primary purpose is to simplify the process of creating visually appealing and interactive visualizations, which can be used for various applications such as business intelligence, reporting, and data storytelling. Tableau offers a range of products, including Tableau Public, Tableau Desktop, Tableau Server, and Tableau Online, catering to different user needs and requirements.

Tableau Uses

Tableau has a wide range of uses and applications, which can be broadly categorized into the following areas:

  1. Business Intelligence and Analytics: Tableau enables users to gain insights into their data, helping them make informed decisions based on key performance indicators (KPIs) and trends. This is particularly useful for businesses and organizations that need to monitor and optimize their operations.
  2. Reporting: Tableau simplifies the process of creating customized, interactive reports that can be easily shared with stakeholders. This allows users to convey their findings in a visually appealing and accessible manner.
  3. Data Storytelling: With Tableau, users can create engaging data stories by combining multiple visualizations into a single dashboard. This helps users share their insights and findings in a compelling and interactive way.

Tableau is used across various industries, including retail, healthcare, finance, and education. Its versatility and ease of use make it an invaluable tool for data analysts, business analysts, and professionals who need to work with data regularly.

Also read: What are the concepts of Business Intelligence?

Tableau Features

Tableau boasts several key features that make it stand out from other data visualization tools. Some of these features include:

  1. Drag-and-Drop Interface: Tableau’s user-friendly interface allows users to create visualizations by simply dragging and dropping data fields onto the canvas. This makes it easy for users, even those without a technical background, to start creating insightful visualizations quickly.
  2. Wide Variety of Data Source Connections: Tableau can connect to a diverse range of data sources, including spreadsheets, databases, and cloud-based applications. This flexibility enables users to work with multiple data sources and formats seamlessly.
  3. Interactive Dashboards: Tableau’s interactive dashboards enable users to explore their data by applying filters, highlighting, and drilling down to view more details. This interactivity allows for a more in-depth analysis and understanding of the data being presented.
  4. Data Blending and Real-Time Analysis: With Tableau, users can blend data from different sources and perform real-time analysis, enabling them to gain valuable insights and make data-driven decisions promptly.
  5. Collaboration and Sharing: Tableau makes it easy for users to share their visualizations and dashboards with others, either through the cloud or by embedding them into websites, blogs, and social media platforms.

To get a better understanding of how data visualization using Tableau works, you can explore the Tableau Public Gallery, which features thousands of examples created by users worldwide.

Getting Started with Tableau

Getting started with Tableau is a simple process. Here’s a brief guide for beginners:

  1. Downloading the Software: Visit the Tableau website and choose the product that suits your needs. Tableau offers a free version called Tableau Public, which is perfect for beginners to get started with the software. For more advanced features, you can opt for Tableau Desktop, which comes with a 14-day free trial.
  2. Installation Steps: Once you have downloaded the software, follow the installation prompts to set up Tableau on your computer. The installation process is straightforward and should take only a few minutes.
  3. Understanding the Interface: After installing Tableau, familiarize yourself with the interface. Learn about the various menus, toolbars, and panels that make up the Tableau workspace. This will help you navigate the software more efficiently.
  4. Connecting to a Data Source: To begin creating visualizations, you will need to connect Tableau to a data source. Tableau supports a wide variety of data sources, including Excel, CSV, databases, and cloud-based applications. To connect to a data source, go to the ‘Connect’ pane and select the appropriate option.
  5. Creating a Basic Visualization: With your data source connected, you can start creating your first visualization. Use the drag-and-drop interface to add data fields to the Rows and Columns shelves and choose the chart type you want to create. Tableau will automatically generate the visualization based on your selections.
  6. Customizing and Enhancing Visualizations: Tableau offers various customization options to help you create the perfect visualization. You can adjust colors, labels, and tooltips, as well as add filters and calculated fields to enhance your visualization further.
  7. Saving and Sharing Your Work: Once you are satisfied with your visualization, you can save it as a workbook, which will have a ‘.twb’ or ‘.twbx’ file extension. To share your work, you can either publish it to Tableau Public, Tableau Server, or Tableau Online, or export it as an image, PDF, or PowerPoint presentation.

Different File Types and Extensions in Tableau

When working with Tableau, you will come across various file types and extensions. Some of the most common ones include:

  1. Workbook (.twb): This file type contains the visualizations, dashboards, and data source connections created in Tableau. However, it does not contain the actual data.
  2. Packaged Workbook (.twbx): A packaged workbook is similar to a workbook, but it includes the data source, making it easier to share with others who may not have access to the original data source.
  3. Data Source (.tds): This file type contains the information required to connect to a specific data source, such as connection details and metadata.
  4. Packaged Data Source (.tdsx): A packaged data source includes both the data source connection information and a local copy of the data, allowing users to work with the data offline.
  5. Tableau Bookmark (.tbm): Bookmarks save a single worksheet as a file, allowing users to quickly import that worksheet into another workbook.

Job Opportunities in India and Salary Expectations

As organizations increasingly rely on data-driven decision-making, the demand for skilled professionals in data analysis and visualization has grown exponentially. Tableau, being a powerful and widely used data visualization tool, presents numerous job opportunities for the Indian audience across various sectors, such as business intelligence, data analysis, data science, and consulting.

Some common job titles that require Tableau proficiency include:

  1. Data Analyst: Data analysts are responsible for collecting, processing, and interpreting data to extract insights and make data-driven recommendations. They typically use Tableau to create interactive visualizations and dashboards that help communicate their findings to stakeholders. In India, data analysts with Tableau skills can expect to earn an average salary of INR 4-7 lakhs per annum, depending on their experience and the organization they work for.
  2. Business Analyst: Business analysts use Tableau to analyze business data, identify trends, and make strategic recommendations. They often work closely with decision-makers and stakeholders to help optimize business processes and drive growth. Business analysts in India with Tableau expertise can earn an average annual salary of INR 6-10 lakhs, depending on their experience and industry.
  3. Tableau Developer: Tableau developers specialize in creating custom visualizations, dashboards, and reports using Tableau. They often work with data analysts and business analysts to develop visually appealing and insightful visualizations that meet specific business needs. In India, Tableau developers can expect to earn an average annual salary of INR 7-12 lakhs, depending on their experience and the complexity of the projects they work on.
  4. Data Visualization Specialist: Data visualization specialists are responsible for designing and developing visually engaging and informative data visualizations using tools like Tableau. They often collaborate with data analysts, business analysts, and other stakeholders to create data stories that effectively communicate insights and findings. Data visualization specialists in India with Tableau skills can earn an average annual salary of INR 6-9 lakhs, depending on their experience and the projects they work on.

Also read: What is Data Analytics?

For individuals with a non-technical background, pursuing a comprehensive course such as “The Data Analyst Profession: from scratch to Employment” offered by Coding Invaders can be an excellent starting point. This course covers the essential skills required to become a successful data analyst, including data analysis, visualization, SQL, and Python programming. By completing this course, you can gain the skills and confidence required to enter the thriving data analytics job market in India.

Keep in mind that salaries can vary significantly depending on factors such as the city you are working in, the size and industry of the company, your years of experience, and your educational qualifications. However, with Tableau skills under your belt, you can increase your earning potential and enhance your career prospects in the growing Indian data analytics market.

Additional Resources for Learning Tableau

If you are interested in learning more about Tableau and becoming proficient in using this powerful tool, there are several resources available to help you along your journey:

  1. Tableau’s Official Website: The Tableau website offers numerous resources, including tutorials, webinars, and a community forum. Here, you can find information about the software and its various features, as well as seek support from other users and experts.
  2. Tableau Training and Certification: Tableau offers official training and certification programs to help users become experts in using the software. These programs cater to users at different experience levels and cover a wide range of topics, from data visualization best practices to advanced analytics.
  3. Online Courses: Various platforms such as Coursera, Udemy, and LinkedIn Learning offer Tableau courses taught by experienced instructors. These courses often include video lectures, assignments, quizzes, and projects to help you practice and solidify your Tableau skills.
  4. Books and Blogs: There are numerous books and blogs available that cover various aspects of Tableau. Some popular titles include “Tableau Your Data!” by Daniel G. Murray, “The Big Book of Dashboards” by Steve Wexler, Jeffrey Shaffer, and Andy Cotgreave, and “Tableau for Dummies” by Molly Monsey and Paul Sochan. Additionally, following blogs by Tableau experts and enthusiasts can provide valuable insights and tips.
  5. YouTube Channels: YouTube is an excellent platform to find tutorials and demonstrations of Tableau features. Many Tableau experts and enthusiasts have created channels that offer in-depth explanations and step-by-step guides for various Tableau functionalities.


In conclusion, Tableau is a powerful and versatile data visualization tool that is widely used across various industries. Its user-friendly interface and rich feature set make it an invaluable tool for professionals who need to analyze and present data effectively. By learning Tableau, you can unlock new job opportunities and enhance your career prospects in India’s growing data analytics market.

We hope this beginner’s guide has provided you with a solid understanding of Tableau and its various features and applications. We encourage you to explore this data visualization tool further and take advantage of the numerous resources available to become proficient in Tableau. Good luck on your journey, and happy visualizing!

Anand Singh, Mentor at Coding Invaders
Anand Singh, Mentor at Coding Invaders
Hello! I'm Anand Singh, a detail-oriented and passionate data analyst committed to helping businesses thrive. As an engineering graduate from the esteemed Sir Mvit Institute, I bring a strong analytical background to the table. During my tenure at Entuple Technologies as a Data Analyst, I made significant contributions to a Driver Drowsiness Detection system, where I focused on enhancing the model's accuracy. At LICIOUS, I employed MySQL and Python libraries to perform critical data analyses, which informed the development of new product features. Additionally, I managed the company's business dashboard, monitoring growth and reporting on key performance indicators such as DAU, MAU, retention, funnel analysis, and cohorts. Outside of my professional pursuits, I'm an avid cricket player and a lifelong learner, always eager to explore new topics related to data analysis.

You May Also Like