Is Tableau necessary for data science?

Table of Contents

What is Tableau?

Did you hear about Tableau and data science? How do these two relate? Well, Tableau is a powerful and fastest expanding data virtualization tool that is used in the Business Intelligence Industry. To make it more simple, Tableau is used to aid in simplifying raw data into one of the easiest ways it can be understood.

You are more likely to be told that data analysis is always very fast with the use of Tableau, and the visualizations are always created in the form of dashboards and worksheets. Any data that is always created and presented using Tableau can always be understood by professionals at any given level of an organization. It can also even be used by non-technical users to build a customized dashboard.

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In this article, we are going to discuss if Tableau is necessary for data science. I hope you will enjoy reading this article. With that said, let’s dive in!

Is Tableau necessary for data science
Is Tableau necessary for data science

What are the best features in Tableau?

Do you even know any feature found in  Tableau? If so, what are some of the features that you find to be amazing, and you will definitely list them among your top features? Let’s have a look at some of the best features that you are more likely to stumble upon when using Tableau. These features are not limited to:

· Data Blending

· Real-time analysis

· Collaboration of data

One of the best things that will make you fall in love with Tableau is that it doesn’t require any expert level or even programming skills to operate. This tool of late has been the talk in several online forums, and it has also created attention in almost all sectors such as business, researchers, and even industries.

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Tableau Product Suite

Have you ever operated Tableau before? If so, what does that suite contain? Well, if not, the tableau suite contains:

· Tableau Desktop

· Tableau Public

· Tableau Online

· Tableau Server

· Tableau Reader

You should also know that for you to easily understand the tableau tool, the data analytics is classified into two sections:

1. Developer Tools

2. Sharing Tools


1.    Developer Tools

Here, the tableau tools that are readily available for development include the creation of dashboards, charts, report generation; virtualization also belongs to this category. Again, the tableau products that are found in this category are the Tableau Desktop and the Tableau Public.

2.    Sharing Tools

Just as you can read the name, this tool is used in sharing the virtualizations, reports, dashboards that were previously created using the developer tools. What are some of the products that fall into this category? Well, some of them are Tableau Online, Server, and even Reader.

I think we should have a look at these products one by one.

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Table Desktop

You will absolutely fall in love with the rich features that allow you to code and even customize reports on the Tableau Desktop. Beginning from the creation of charts, reports, and even blending them together to form a dashboard are some of the great and necessary work that is created in the Tableau Desktop.

Do you know that for live data analysis, Tableau Desktop offers connectivity to the Data Warehouse and even other types of files? All the workbooks that are created here can either be shared locally or even publicly.

Based on the connectivity to the data sources and even publishing feature, Tableau Desktop is also classified into two:

·         Tableau Desktop Personal:  Here, the development features are the same as that of the Tableau Desktop. The personal version only ensures that the workbook is kept in private and that access to it is also limited. Again, here you cannot publish a workbook online; hence it can only be shared offline or in Tableau public.

·         Table Desktop Professional:  It is also much the same as the Tableau Desktop. The slight difference is that the work that is created in the Tableau Desktop can be published online or even on the Tableau server. Again, in the Professional version, there is full access to all sorts of data types. Are you looking to publish your work online? If so, then you need to choose this one.

Tableau Public

This Tableau version is majorly built to accommodate cost-effective users. By simply using the word “Public” means that the workbooks that are created are not saved locally and that they should be saved in Tableau’s public cloud that is accessible by anyone.

You should also understand that there isn’t any privacy since the files that are saved to the cloud can be accessed and downloaded by anyone who is interested. Well, does this Tableau version perfectly fit? If you are an individual who is learning how to use Tableau, you can opt for this version as well as anyone who wants to share his or her data with the general public.

Tableau Server

Do you know what a Tableau server is? Well, the software is usually used to share all the workbooks and even visualizations that are created in the Tableau Desktop application across an organization. For you to be able to share your dashboards in the tableau server, you must have already published your work in the Tableau Desktop. Again, once your work has been uploaded into the server, it will be accessible only to those users that are licensed.

Another thing that you need to know is that it’s always not necessary for the licensed users to have the Tableau server installed into their computers. All that these users need is the login credentials so that they can check the reports through their web browser. The security is always so high in the Tableau server, and at the same time, it’s much suited to fast and effective sharing of data in an organization.

The admin of an organization usually has full control over the server. The organization bears the maintenance cost of the hardware and the software.

Tableau Online

Just as the name goes, Tableau online is an online sharing tool that is found in Tableau. Its functionalities are almost the same as those of the Tableau server, but the difference is only that the data is stored on servers that are hosted in the cloud and are maintained by the Tableau group.

Again, do you know that there are no storage limits on data that can be published in Tableau Online? Table online builds a direct link that is used to access more than 40 data sources that are not limited to MySQL, Amazon Aurora, Spark SQL, and several others.

For you to publish both the Tableau Online and the Server, you need to ensure that the workbooks are created by the Tableau Desktop. Other data that is streamed from the web applications such as Google Analytics, are also supported by the Tableau Server and Tableau Online.

Tableau Reader

Have you ever heard about Tableau Reader before? Well, Tableau Reader is a free tool that enables you to view the workbooks and visualizations that are created with the help of the Tableau Desktop or even Tableau Public. You should also know that data available here can be filtered, but one cannot edit or modify anything. What about the security in the Tableau Reader? You should know that the security level in the Tableau Reader is at zero since anyone who has the workbook can view it using the Tableau Reader. Do you want to share the workbook that you have created? If so, the receiver should make sure that he or she has the Tableau Reader to view the document.

How does Tableau work?

Tableau will always connect and even extract data that is stored in different places. This tool can extract data from any platform imaginable. All types of data ranging from simple to more complex can be extracted using this tool. For instance, simple data such as an Excel, pdf and even more complex data such as Oracle, a database that is present in the cloud such as Amazon web services, Microsoft Azure SQL database, Google Cloud SQL, and even other data sources that are not mentioned here can be extracted using the table.

When Tableau is launched, ready data connectors are present, which allows you to access any of your preferred databases. Based on the kind of Tableau that you have purchased, the number of data connectors that are supported by the Tableau will always vary.

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The extracted data can always be either connected live or even extracted to Tableau’s data engine, Tableau Desktop. Here is where the data analyst, data engineer work with the data that is extracted to create visualizations. The created dashboards are then shared with the users in the form of a static file. The users who receive the dashboard view the file with the help of the Tableau Reader.

Any data that is from the Tableau Desktop can be published to the Tableau server. You should also know that this is an enterprise platform that provides collaboration, distribution, governance, security model, and even automation features are supported. With the help of the Tableau server, the end users have the freedom of accessing all the files from all locations such as desktop, mobile, or even email.

Excel Vs. Tableau

Do you know that both Excel and Tableau are tools that are used to analyze data though they have some unique, different approaches when it comes to data exploration? You will notice that the analysis that is found in Tableau cannot be compared to that which is found in Excel.

Excel does work with rows and columns in spreadsheets, while Tableau allows the exploration of data using the drag and drop feature. Again, Tableau formats the data in the form of graphs, pictures that many people find to be so easy to understand.

If you decide to compare these two options, Tableau and Excel, you will notice that Tableau outdoes Excel in major areas such as interactive dashboards, virtualizations, capabilities to work with massive sets of data, and many other more areas.


· Tableau boasts of being one of the most powerful and the fastest data virtualization tools that are used in the Business Intelligence Industry.

· The Tableau Product Suite comprises of Tableau Desktop, Tableau Public, Tableau Online, Tableau Server, and lastly, Tableau Reader.

· Tableau Desktop boasts of its feature that allows you to set and even to code and customize reports.

· In the Tableau public, workbooks that are created cannot be saved locally; hence it should be saved to Tableau’s public cloud, which has no security and can be downloaded and viewed by anyone interested.

· Tableau server is specifically designed to share the workbooks and the virtualizations that are built in the Tableau Desktop application across the organization.

· Tableau online comes with all the functionalities that are present in the Tableau Server aboard, but the data that is kept in the servers is hosted in the cloud and maintained by the Tableau group.

· Tableau connects and even extracts the data that is stored in several places. It has the ability to extract data from any platform that one can imagine.

· The available spreadsheet application is used for manipulating the data while Tableau is a better visualization tool that is majorly used for analysis.

10 Reasons why Tableau is required in Data Science

Some of the reasons that make Tableau necessary for data science are not limited to:

· Tableau helps data scientists to break massive data down into small parts.

· Tableau helps data scientists to represent analyzed data.

· Tableau helps all employees in an organization to understand analyzed data

· Tableau offers more complicated features than any other tool

· Data Scientists can share their analyzed data through Tableau

· Tableau is simple to use and doesn’t require technical understanding

· Tableau helps data scientists extract data from any imaginable platform

· Tableau allows data scientists to extract any given format of data

· Tableau offers better visualization as compared to other tools

· Tableau is known to be so fast and powerful when it comes to analyzing data

10 Reasons why Tableau is not required in Data Science

Some of the reasons that make Tableau not necessary in Data Science are not limited to:

· High Cost

· Inflexible pricing

· Poor after sales support

· Security issues

· Tableau still requires significant upgrades from IT departments for further configurations

· Poor BI capabilities

· Poor Versioning

· Embedment Issues

· Time and resource-intensive staff training

· Too complex at some level

5 Best Tableau Online Courses for Data Science and Visualization

Without wasting your time, we are going to discuss 7 best online courses and certifications to learn Tableau. This will not be limited to courses from Coursera, Udemy, and even Pluralsight that helps teach you how to quickly and even more easily have insights from your massive data.

These courses touch across all the basics of the Big Data systems, and they are also very effective in teaching Tableau Software’s powerful analytics platform.

With much said, here are some of the courses that you need to start thinking about:

1.    Tableau 2020 A-Z: Hands-On Tableau Training For Data Science

Many people usually start with this course when they want to learn more about Tableau. Many people back then were inspired by Kirill Eremenko, whose Data Science course is one of the most favorite trails on Udemy and this always never leaves anyone disappointed. Again, you should also know that this is one of the courses that are recommended to learn Tableau in 2020 for Data Science.

In this course, you will love the step by step tutorials. For instance, Real-Life Data Analytics Exercises and even quizzes aids in helping to learn Tableau. All you need to begin doing is practicing to write your own models, doing exercises. If you don’t do all these, then you are more likely to achieve little, and you should also know that the whole of this course is structured to promote learning by doing something.

Are you thinking about social proof? Well, more than 157,225 people have already taken this course. This course also boasts of an average rating of 4.6 from 40,000 participants. Don’t you have good English? Don’t worry; this course is also available in German, Indonesian, Polish, Romanian, French, and even Italian.

2.    Data Visualization with Tableau Coursera

Another great resource that is always recommended to a data scientist is the data visualization specialization that is provided by UC Davis or even the University of California.

Just like any other Course specialization, it majors on teaching you about the skill by combining all related courses; again, this specialization also covers 5 following courses:

· Fundamentals of Visualization with Tableau

· Essential Design Principles for Tableau

· Visual Analytics with Tableau

· Building Dashboards and Storytelling with Tableau

· Data Visualization with Tableau Project

As you can see from the above-listed courses, this course is worth it! You will agree with me that even its structure is really well to help you understand the basics of the capstone project. Just like other course specialization, you don’t have to pay to access this course unless you want a certificate. You should know that this specialization is always recommended and even Tableau certification if you are after a job with Tableau skills.

You will find the Coursera courses to be more useful because they are built by reputable companies such as Google, IBM, Amazon, and even the best universities across the globe. You can also join Coursera Plus, which is an annual subscription plan from Coursera.

From this single subscription, you will have unlimited access to many of their popular courses, specialization, professional certificate, and even guided projects. All you will spend here is about $399 per year, but you will find that it’s worth your money as you will get several certificates.

3.       Tableau 20 Advanced Training: Master Tableau in Data Science

Are you looking for an advanced course that you can learn about data mining and even tableau 20 in data science by solving Real Life Analytics problems? If so, this course will assist you in learning Visualization and Data Mining by actually doing them.

Have you ever done Tableau 20 A-Z: Hand-On Tableau Training For Data Science by Kirill Eremenko? If so, you will notice that this course will look like a continuation of this course, and you should also ensure that you have Tableau Desktop or even Tableau Public installed.

Are you after a solid practice with Real Life Analytics Problems? If so, then what are you waiting for? Start studying this course today! You should ensure that you get your hands on this course before you decide to appear for any Tableau interviews.

Do you need social proof on this course? Well, as the statistics have it, more than 59,747 students have already realized the benefits from this course, and it also boasts an average of 4.7 ratings from about 6,410 rating participants, which is also phenomenal.

4.       Big Data Analytics with Tableau By Ben Sullins

Are you a beginner, and you want to start your journey of learning more about Tableau on Pluralsight? If so, this course is the right pick for you! In this course, Ben explains deeply the evolution of the Big Data systems and even several other forms of architectures and popular vendors that are present in the space.

Upon learning the pillars of the Big Data systems, you will also have to learn about how to use the Tableau software in relation to Big Data and also visualize in amazing ways that will leave your clients praising your skills.

To get this course, you will have to buy a Pluralsight membership, which will cost you about $29 per month, or you can decide to pay $299 every year. All you need to know is that this course is worth it, and you will have access to more than 5000 highest quality online courses that will enable you to learn more about modern technologies.

5.       Fundamental of Visualization With Tableau- Coursera

This is one of the best courses that one can opt for if he or she wants to learn more about the fundamentals of Visualization with Tableau from the University of California, Davis, or even on Coursera.

Again, you will also notice that this is the first course touching on the Data Visualization specialization, and it will narrow down to teaching you what data visualization is and how you can use it to improve your understanding and also how to use Tableau.

Here, you will learn about the pillar concepts of data visualizations, and also explore the Tableau interface, identify and apply all the various tools that are present in Tableau. It’s highly recommended that you opt for this course if you are new to Tableau, and you should also take other courses from specialization.

Wrapping Up

From this article, it’s evident that Tableau is necessary for Data Science, as clearly discussed in detail above. We have also discussed the Tableau and even some of the best courses that you can choose and begin studying. What are you waiting for? Choose one course that meets your level and start learning how to use the Tableau! Good luck!

Luis Gillman
Luis Gillman

Hi, I Am Luis Gillman CA (SA), ACMA
I am a Chartered Accountant (SA) and CIMA (SA) and author of Due Diligence: A strategic and Financial Approach.

The book was published by Lexis Nexis on 2001. In 2010, I wrote the second edition. Much of this website is derived from these two books.

In addition I have published an article entitled the Link Between Due Diligence and Valautions.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the information published on this website is accurate, the author and owners of this website take no responsibility  for any loss or damage suffered as a result of relience upon the information contained therein.  Furthermore the bulk of the information is derived from information in 2018 and use therefore is at your on risk. In addition you should consult professional advice if required.