A laptop with Tableau open on it and books and learning materials in the background.
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Tips for getting to grips with Tableau

28 Feb 2023

Salesforce-owned Tableau has many useful features such as dedicated e-learning courses, embedded analytics and lots of on-demand resources.

Whether you are a business analyst or a data scientist, you need to have some level of familiarity with datavis. It is a key part of being able to use data comfortably in your working life.

Tableau is one of many tools out there that can assist you with datavis tasks. We mentioned it alongside other tools in a previous article about data visualisation skills and why they are important for business intelligence.

In this piece, however, we will look at Tableau in depth, providing an overview of what it is, what it offers and how you can learn to use it.

About Tableau

Tableau helps professionals that work with data to communicate that data to people in a visual way using software.

It has been around since 2003, when it was founded by Christian Chabot and his Stanford friends Chris Stolte and Pat Hanrahan. The company opened its first office in Dublin in 2013.

The US-headquartered company was acquired by business software giant Salesforce in 2019 for $15.7bn.

At the time of the deal, Salesforce said it was bringing together its CRM platform with Tableau’s analytics offering. The move was thought to be a way for Salesforce to move in on the analytics and business intelligence side of the market. The company also wanted to snap up Tableau to provide an alternative to its competitor Microsoft’s Power BI data visualisation technology.

What does Tableau offer newbies?

Tableau’s website is a fount of knowledge on the topic of datavis in general.

If you check out the website you’ll gain an understanding and appreciation of why data visualisation is important. Tableau’s blog has numerous articles on building a data-centric culture in an organisation, among other topics.

If you’re completely new to datavis and data analytics, Tableau’s website also breaks down a lot of the technical language that data professionals use. You’ll find explanations in plain English of terms like ‘data mining’, ‘data warehousing’, and more.

There is a search engine/knowledge base type feature, too. You can find articles and definitions about anything you want to find out more about using it.

Other features

Tableau shows you how to monetise data with embedded analytics. It has a section on its site dedicated to this, and you can dive in as deep as you need to. Watch tutorials or get an e-book on embedded analytics, depending on your needs.

Obviously, the fact Tableau is integrated with Salesforce makes it a very attractive tool. You can learn more about what Tableau and Salesforce offer in terms of integrations here.

Perhaps Tableau’s most useful feature for people who want to learn how to use it is that it has all the resources and tutorials you’ll need on the Learn section of its website.

There you will find self-paced e-learning paths, as well as live, instructor-led training sessions delivered by Tableau instructors.

The site even provides learners with a recognised certificate in Tableau on completion of certain learning paths.


There are three main pricing plans for Tableau, although you can try it for free.

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Blathnaid O’Dea
By Blathnaid O’Dea

Blathnaid O’Dea worked as a Careers reporter until 2024, coming from a background in the Humanities. She likes people, pranking, pictures of puffins – and apparently alliteration.

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