What is Tableau? Visualizing Data Using Tableau

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May 19, 2017
What is Tableau? Visualizing Data Using Tableau
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What is Tableau?

“Tableau is a trending and market-leading BI tool used to visualize and analyse your data in an easily digestible format. It allows you to work on live data-set and spend more time on data analysis rather than data wrangling.” Well this was just an overview of Tableau, let’s proceed and understand what is Tableau.

tableau-icon - what is tableau - edureka

Data Visualization with Tableau

This blog is the first of the Tableau Tutorial blog series by edureka. In this part of the blog-series “What is Tableau?”, I will explain to you what exactly is tableau and how to work on it, thereby showcasing you the real power of data visualization using Tableau.

Power Of Data Visualization: Anscombe's Quartet

This example of Anscombe’s Quartet will show you the Power of Data Visualization.

Now you would ask “ what is Anscombe’s quartet? ” 

Well, Anscombe’s quartet comprises four datasets that have nearly identical simple descriptive statistics, yet appear very different when graphed. Each dataset consists of eleven (x,y) points.

In the below image, you will notice that the data points in each dataset is very similar, but when you create a graph for the same, each dataset comes up with its own visualization.

Anscombes-quartet-tableAnscombe's_quartet_- What is Tableau - Edureka
Anscombe's_quartet_- What is Tableau - Edureka

But Why Tableau?

Tableau easily connects to nearly any data source, be it corporate Data Warehouse, Microsoft Excel or web-based data

Connection-Source - What is Tableau - Edureka

Tableau allows you to connect and perform analysis on your live data.

Tableau Live Connection - What is Tableau - Edureka

 Tableau is awesome at recommending which visualization to use. Show Me smartly highlights view types (graphs) that work best with the field types (Attributes) in your data.

show-me - what is tableau - edureka

Unlike other BI Tools using Map in Tableau is very simple.You can easily select it from the ShowMe list.

Maps - What is Tableau - Edureka

Establishing Connection

Establishing Connection - What is Tableau - Edureka

Use Tableau and get connected to different data sources from files and servers. You can work on various file formats like CSV, JSON, TXT or even get your data imported from servers like Tableau Server, MySQL, Amazon Redshift & many more.

Establishing Connection in Tableau - What is Tableau - Edureka

Tableau Desktop UI

Since we have established connection with Tableau, now its turn to understand Tableau’s UI and see how fields from the Measures and Dimension (under the Data Pane) play an important role in creating visualization. You will also learn about Page Shelf, Filter Shelf and Marks Card.

Tableau UI - What is Tableau - Edureka

Understanding Tableau's UI and its Terminologies

Measure - What is Tableau - Edureka


Measures are the fields which can be measured, aggregated or used for different calculation purpose. It helps you to answer your business-related questions. Generally, a field containing a numeric value is placed under the measure.

Ex: Discount, Profit, Sales, etc


The dimension consists of those values which cannot be aggregated. It is used for categorizing facts.

Ex: Category, Country, City, etc

Dimension - What is Tableau - Eduerka

Page Shelf

Page Shelf allows you to analyze your data based on the individual values contained within a field. It creates a set of pages, with a different view on each page.

Pages - What is Tableau - Edureka

Filter Shelf

Filter Shelf allows you to add or remove data from your view. You can add Dimensions and Measures from the data pane to filter shelf to filter your data. Once filtered the fields will be displayed on the Filter Shelf.

FIlter Option - What is Tableau - Edureka

Row/Column Shelf

Use Row and Column Shelf to add dimension and measure to complete the visualization. Row is treated as the X-Axis and Column as Y-Axis.

Row-Column Shelf - What is Tableau - Edureka

Marks Card Shelf

Mark Shelf is a region in Tableau where you can drag your fields to set mark properties.It helps you in enhancing visualization by setting colour, size, label, detail, path or shapes.

marks-card - what is tableau - edureka

Marks Card - What is Tableau - Edureka

Creating Visualization with Tableau

I guess by now you are well versed with Tableau’s Terminologies. Lets move ahead and explore some of the visualization which you can easily create in Tableau. Following is an interactive visualization where you can explore the different types of graphs including: Bar Chart, Heat Map, Scatter Plot, Packed Bubble and few others.

I hope you got a fair idea of “What is Tableau?” from this blog. Still hungry for more knowledge? Don’t worry the next blog on Tableau Tutorial will give you better understanding of the tool. I will showcase many real-life scenarios in that blog.

If you are interested in getting certified in Tableau, hit the below button to explore more about Data Visualization Using Tableau Training and Certification by Edureka. You can also subscribe to our YouTube Channel to get more free content from Edureka.

About Atul (7 Posts)

Experienced Research Analyst with a demonstrated history of working in the e-learning industry. Experienced in analysing data with Tableau 10, have worked on Tableau Online and Tableau Desktop. Skilled in Docker, Elasticsearch, Logstash, and Kibana. Strong research professional with a B.tech focused in CSE.

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