Data sources you can connect to | DAL4 RS A3.1 |

In Tableau Public there is a limited amount of data sources you can utilise. There are many more in the paid desktop product, where you can connect to files such as Microsoft Excel and Text files (csv, txt).

Data connections are always indicated by the colour blue, so look for the blue menu or the blue Connect to Data link if you aren’t sure where to start. There is also a Data drop down menu to select from. You should then select your file type, for example Microsoft Excel and browse to the file location.

    Tableau drop down menu with all types of files and images of the Connect to data option (in blue) and the New data source option            

| Image: Tableau menu |

Tableau Public is designed for working with unencrypted data sources. If you do not have any data sources that can be unencrypted for use, search on your browser for Tableau Public resources / sample data. You will find data sets about topics including Entertainment, Sports, Business and Education easy to use.

You also have the opportunity to bring in additional data sources and relate them in an easy, visual way.

In order to successfully relate two data sources, you need to know:

  • Which field(s) do these data sources have in common? This field will normally be named the same and will always have the same data type. It is important that this column means the same thing in both data sources.
  • Are these two data sources at the same level of granularity? Granularity refers to how detailed the data is or how detail-orientated a single record in that data set is.

As an example, consider what would happen if you compared daily Sales transactions and total Sales targets for each salesperson.

Fortunately, in Tableau you can work with Relationships which retain the granularity of each table individually and allows you to relate the data through a logical layer, connecting on something like employee ID, to aggregate the sales transactions per month against the sales target per employee.

an orange line indicating the creation of the relationship between sales transactions against the sales target per employee in an Employee ID shared field

| Image: Relationship successfully created on a shared field|

The orange line indicates a relationship has been successfully created on a shared field (Employee ID) which has the same data type. This works even though the Sales table has thousands of rows and the Employee table just nine rows, one for each salesperson.

Next, let’s see how you can use Tableau to filter data.



1h 20m

Welcome to the Introduction to Tableau part of the training. Here, you'll learn about the software’s main functionalities, how to create visualisations and filtering as well as publishing options. You will also explore the Tableau Public portal and be introduced to the Tableau Public community as well as learn more about searching content, downloading and interactivity options.

About the Author
Learning Paths

A world-leading tech and digital skills organization, we help many of the world’s leading companies to build their tech and digital capabilities via our range of world-class training courses, reskilling bootcamps, work-based learning programs, and apprenticeships. We also create bespoke solutions, blending elements to meet specific client needs.