Tableau Product Overview
Tableau is a software designed for visualisation and the desktop product is where data vizzes are designed, often to be shared via the wider ecosystem of Tableau.
The product is developed by Tableau software Ltd, based in Seattle and was founded in 2003. Since 2019, the company has been owned by Salesforce. For more information about the components of the product ecosystem in Tableau you can explore their website at www.tableau.com
Figure 1.1: Tableau conceptual product ecosystem
This course focuses on Tableau from the workbook creator perspective, although you will learn a little about the other products in the eco system, and you will have to choose how you will share the visualisations you have created. Tableau desktop is a licensed (paid for) product and is data source agnostic; this means you can connect to a host of different types of data sources from Tableau including files (csv, pdf, excel, json), systems or databases. The desktop product is installed on your local computer, while the data source can be anywhere in the web or contained in a server inside your organisation. What you will need are the credentials and network settings to access those systems and then you can connect to the data from Tableau.
The ways to share your visualisations are shown on the right of Figure 1.1 and are listed below:
- Tableau Public is the free, public version of the product, an extensive online community portal of open-source data, dashboards, infographics and plots. The installed Tableau public app allows users to create reports but with a more limited set of data source connections. Finished workbooks are published to the Tableau public portal.
- Tableau Server is a dedicated company portal for sharing visualisations, dashboards, data sources within the organisation, including access control.
- Tableau Cloud is a hosted version of Tableau Server.
- Tableau Reader is a free application, installed on a local machine, that allows a user to interact with a saved tableau workbook, but does not save changes.
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