Tableau dashboard. Portfolio data analysis example

Tableau dashboard is a place where you can see most important measures ant insights of your data set in one place. Here is an example what I have crawled from my p2p lending investment portfolio data set (about 300+ entries):

As you can see there are 5 different parts from different sheets that tells you something (now my map is lacking a lot of villages and small towns, because I have to enter coordinates for all of it manually). Most of the dashboard is irrelevant for planning investments – it is just a cool presentation of what you might find in data with Tableau.

Is data scraping illegal? USA court ruled out LinkedIn appeal against hiQ for scraping their public data

USA court ruled out LinkedIn appeal against hiQ for scraping their data

 A court in USA decided that scraping public data is not a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. 


Few months ago I have concerned about an opportunity to scrap off some data from Lithuanian job search site public database. However, their policy rules stated that it is illegal to scrap data from their site. I have been thinking about it until I’ve seen that LinkedIn lost their case against analytics company.

I believe in a philosophy that the world can thrive when all the public data is put in the hands of smart and generous people that are in power. So this example in which a small company won the case against a giant like LinkedIn proves that law system lets non-confidential information on any site to be crawled by anyone for whatever purposes.

In fact, LinkedIn let hiQ crawl their information for two years before they went to the judge. This continued until they sent a cease-and-desist letter in 2017 demanding that hiQ stop crawling LinkedIn user’s data. LinkedIn thought that hiQ activity contradicts with Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. As higher court overheld lower court ban to scrap data (which had happen first), it also forbade LinkedIn to use technical means that could interfere with crawling process. This happened because hiQ clients relies on the reliability of that data, so “tortious interference with contract” comes to place.

Tableau blending

I will explain how data blending works in this simple Tableau Blending tutorial. I am using fiction data of monthly spending. You can download the excel file here: Steve_And_Karen. The blending operation in Tableau is a left join that can be done on the fly. With data blending you can see instant changes in your visuals when selecting or deselecting possible joins.

Lets say that Steve and Karen are boyfriend and girlfriend, so they are looking at their spending data of last three months to evaluate what their total spending might be. 

Importing data before Tableau blending

In this case you have two data sets (for Steve and Karen) in the different sheets of the same excel file. These are the files for which you want to do Tableau blending. What you have to do after opening your excel file in Tableau is to select on of the excel sheets either Karen or Steve. Then you open your Tableau sheet and press Crtl + D for new data source and select other sheet of the Steve_And_Karen excel file. After that you go to your Tableau Sheet1 and what you have to see is this: tableau blending This means that your sheet is connected to both sides of spending data for girlfriend and boyfriend. Now the first action is to drag Sum, Eu measure to the columns field (remember that we are doing it when Karen part of data is selected as it is shown above). After doing this you only see that Karen’s spending total is 1385 Euros. Now in data selection field you see checkmark at the Karen’s data part icon, this means that visualization is coming from this data source: tableau blending Secondly, we are dragging Karen’s spending and month dimensions to Rows field. Now we can see how she spends money in January, February and March: tableaublending Because we don’t see anything about Steve’s expenditure, we have to select his part of database and drag his Sum, Eu measure to Columns field. Now we see that new right side horizontal bars occurred. The bad thing that we have the same number (1285) for every month and spending type, because it comes from total Steve’s three month expenditures.tableau blending

Blending the data

After dragging Steve’s Sum, Eu to the columns field we see that two grey linking icons appeared: Just press on those crossed links. As you did that, these links became red and visuals in your sheet changed. Now you can see Steve’s side of the chard blended with the primary data of Karen’s. Congrats, you’ve just finished your first data blending. This happened because fields in Karen’s and Steve’s databases had same names, so an option to left join through those data sources (blend) appeared. Below is the final chart (red checkmark indicates that it comes from secondary data source as primary source is Karen’s sheet):

Tableau vs Excel: what are the differences?

Microsoft Excel is one of the most famous and oldest programs for data handling and visualization. On the other hand, Tableau is the new flashy program that more advanced data analysts need to master. There is no right answer to which software is better in a fight: Tableau vs Excel because these two programs have some different features and functionalities. These programs are now bread and butter for pure data analysts.

Tableau vs Excel

Excel vs Tableau: Pros and Cons

Microsoft Excel:


  • Program is top-rated;
  • Excel cost is low, most companies and education institutions have it;
  •  Older people are familiar with it;
  •  Wide selection of formulas;
  •  Intuitive manipulation of cells;
  •  You can edit any data in excel easily; 


  • Incompatibility with non-Microsoft products;
  • Not designed to work with BIG DATA;
  • Does not have a portal for reports;
  • VBA programming.



  • Portal for reports;
  • Interactivity;
  • Modern design;
  • Comprehensive amount of data sources and R programming;
  • Command-line;



  • High initial cost;
  • You can’t edit data easily like in Excel cells;
  • Complicated data preparation.

Tableau vs Excel: Main Differences


The primary purpose of working with Excel or Tableau is to find critical insights that could not be seen without complex analysis. While working with Excel, you mostly will know what understanding you are searching for from the data you have. However, Tableau lets you blend the data from different sources and browse through a wide selection of insights because it is so intuitive. Because of data blending and drill-down features built-in Tableau, you can spot trends and correlations, and then you can work on discovering what caused them to happen.


When working with Excel, you have to manipulate data on cells level before creating visualizations and presentations. To develop good visuals for Excel insights, you need to be an experienced user.

Tableau lets you create all kinds of good quality visuals with no additional data preparation. Just take some dimensions and measures, drag it to columns and rows, and here you have your recommended visual.



Most businesses need to live data from multiple sources to make relevant decisions. Excel and Tableau both support live data, but Tableau is better suited for that.

If you want your Excel data to be automatically refreshed, you need to create macros that update all the data when you open your spreadsheet. If you’re going to create or edit macros, you have to know at least basic VBA knowledge. While with Tableau, all the automation processes creation is much more intuitive and less repetitive.


Tableau is more suited to do business metrics evaluations, while Excel is best for data transformations and new metrics creation. Excel is the best solution while working with relatively small size data, while Tableau can quickly analyze big data problems. While experienced scientists and analysts are still choosing Microsoft Excel for data analysis and visualization, the new trend in business intelligence is to apply Tableau software for finding insights and communicate it to executives of the company.


Tableau, unlike Excel, can be used for free. With Tableau Public You can even use it for free in your company. Just be aware that all the data that you save on Tableau Public is “Public” so be smart and protect any data that can be confidential. Differently, Microsoft Excel is not for free, but most Schools, Universities, Public Libraries, and Offices have this program so you can always find some available version of MS Excel waiting for you.

The solution - Tableau and Excel tandem.

tableau vs excel

What I can say from my experience is that it’s easy to handle datasets in excel before uploading it to Tableau for analysis and visualizations. If you are having a hard time in Tableau not seeing what you are expecting to see, then most probably, you will fix those data source related problems in Excel.
This Tableau and Excel tandem is the best solution for ad hoc analysis that doesn’t have to be updated regularly. If you want daily updates on your Tableau dashboard, it is better to get your data from the SQL server.

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