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An introduction to Tableau for business

This article offers an introduction to Tableau, explains its range of products, ad use-cases, and how to install it.

When it comes to visualising your analysed data, Tableau is the right fit!

The need for business intelligence

Business leaders have long benefited from their ability to make data-driven decisions and, more and more often, the most successful businesses are gathering and processing vast amounts of data on almost every facet of business activity.

When they know more, they make better business decisions. When they make better business decisions, they achieve better outcomes. That’s the fundamental notion of business intelligence (BI).

The more data you have, the harder it is to capture

However, as you know, the more data you have, the harder it is to capture, synthesise, and assess manually. If you can’t do this efficiently, the ability to create meaningful value is compromised.

To solve this problem, software providers have built tools and technologies that make the process simpler and more effective. These business intelligence platforms enable users to import, clean, and analyse data from a variety of sources – and provide access to their results across the business.

EXT and INT connect to the BI platform. Within the BI platform is the Desktop/creator tools and server tools, which are linked by a ongoing cycle of publish/process. The BI platform gives access to data inputs via charts/graphics and other visualisations.

A core component of any BI platform is the ability to present information through a combination of dashboards, visualisations, stories, reports, and other media. Most modern BI platforms provide these tools for mobile and desktop access and support a variety of enterprise-level security and governance models.

What is Tableau?

Tableau Software is an interactive data visualisation company that was founded in 2003 and is based in the USA. Tableau has a range of products, including Tableau Public and Tableau Server, and competes with products from major software companies such as Microsoft (PowerBI) and Oracle (Analytics Cloud).

Tableau Public

In Tableau Public, you can create and distribute interactive visualisations and dashboards that depict trends and properties of data in the form of graphs and charts. As well as visualising data, Tableau Public allows you to manage importing data, and analyse it.

Tableau Server enables organisations to publish dashboards to a common, secure location on an organisation’s network.

What is possible with Tableau?

To find out what’s possible with Tableau, check out the link below. This interactive visualisation provides information about Singapore National Day. As you look around, think about how Tableau helps to communicate insights and provides the ability to dive into areas of the data.

Explore: Singapore National Day 2020 [1]

Would you like to create something like this? In the next parts of the course, you’ll learn how to use Tableau Public to create a range of visualisations, interactive dashboards, and data stories. Let’s get stuck in!

Installing Tableau Public

To get started, and to complete the following tasks and assessment, you’ll need to install Tableau Public.

To install Tableau Public, follow the instructions at the link below.

Read: Install Tableau Public from the user interface [2]

When you’ve installed Tableau Public, watch this video for a brief tour.

Watch: Tableau Public Overview [3]


1. Singapore National Day 2020 [Internet]. Tableau Public; 2020 Aug 7. Available from:

2. Install Tableau Public from the user interface [Internet]. Tableau Deployment Guide; 2020 Mar. Available from:

3. Tableau Public Overview [online]. Tableau. Available from:

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