I have first heard about Tableau when I was analyzing what are requirements for a data analyst in Lithuania. Most of the job ads mentioned that a man for a job needs to know how to use this software. Well, Tableau Software is a company founded in 2003 in Seattle. Nowadays, it generates over 800 million dollars in revenue. The main product of this company is the data visualization program “Tableau”. This program can create all kinds of diagrams and bars. The unique property of Tableau is a custom mapping functionality. You can create your territories by setting map objects using latitude and longitude


Tableau Public is a FREE platform which helps you to connect to your data, make all kind of visualizations, find insights and trends. You can download Tableau Public here. Worksheets that you save will be open to a public eye, but you can change privacy settings for all of your works in your online profile.

Tableau now is a leader in the biggest data analytics market, USA. This is partly because it provides users not only a free platform but also a place where you can see best practices and trends of Tableau. “Viz of the day” category lets you explore best interactive visualizations that people put in Tableau Public.

If really like some visualization that you see in public gallery, then you can download whole workbook (.twbx) which powers that viz with a whole data source. This really helps to learn advances techniques of Tableau.


Data sources

There are numerous data sources that we can use for Public analysis. Those are:

  • Microsoft Excel files;
  • Text files (.txt, csv., .tab, tsv.);
  • .JSON files;
  • Microsoft Access databases;
  • .PDF files;
  • Spatial files (.kml, tab., .geojson., .mif., shp.);
  • Statistical files (.sav, .sas7bdat., .rdata, .rda);
  • Online data (connection to servers);
  • Google sheets;
  • Web data connectors.

For a starter, it is best to use excel or text files because it is easiest to get various data of that type. If you are proficient working with R statistics, then you can connect it to your .rda files. And if you have access to some online SQL server, you can also connect with it.


My Tableau articles and tutorials:

Excel vs Tableau: What are differences?
Tableau blending
Tableau Heat Maps