Data visualization is the art of presentation of data in a way such that even a layman can understand the meaning of that data. Data visualization involves blending of various aesthetic elements like colour, dimensions, labels, etc. which helps to create visually impacting masterpieces that are helpful in revealing surprising business insights that can help business take informed decisions.


Thus, data visualization is an inevitable part of business analytics. It has become very important as more and more sources of data are being discovered and various data visualization techniques are being adopted by businesses across all the functional levels to analyze the trends and make quick business decisions. Presently, the most common and popular data visualization tools being used are Qlikview and Tableau.

Tableau Software

Tableau software is one of the fastest evolving business intelligence (BI) and data visualization tools available in the recent times. It is quick to deploy, easy to learn and has a very intuitive interface.

Tableau connects easily to nearly any data source, be it corporate Data Warehouse, Microsoft Excel or web-based data. Hence, it allows for immediate insight by transforming data into visually appealing, interactive visualizations called dashboards. However, this process takes only seconds or minutes and is achieved with an easy to use drag-and-drop interface.

Tableau Software

The Power of Tableau Business Intelligence

Decisive Factor How Tableau Wins?
Need for Technical Knowledge Technical knowledge is not needed to use Tableau
Get answer to any question Innumerable Tableau features mean businesses can get answers to any questions
Data Visualization Highly evolved data visualization tools making it one of the biggest strengths of Tableau
Sharing insights Runs on any device thus making it possible to gain business insight any time any place

Tableau Desktop

Tableau Desktop is a business intelligence and data visualization tool that can be used by anyone. It specializes in transforming boring tabulated data into eye-catching graphs and representations.

However, with tableau desktop, you can get real-time data analytics by directly connecting to data from your data warehouse. Also, you can easily import your data into Tableau’s data engine from multiple sources and integrate them by combining multiple views in an interactive dashboard.

Tableau Server

It comes with all the features of Tableau Desktop along with networking capabilities. With Tableau Server you can share dashboards created in Tableau Desktop with your colleagues. Therefore, this makes it an ideal choice for enterprise-level projects and reporting. When used in conjunction with real-time data processing this can become a very dynamic and powerful tool ensuring instant communication of data and insights.

Tableau Online

This is a hosted version of Tableau server. It is usually powered with the help of cloud computing to make the software available to everyone. This enables faster and easier access to business intelligence on the go. Hence, you can publish dashboards created in Tableau Desktop and share them with colleagues.

Tableau Public

Even though Tableau is a proprietary tool and priced at a certain level, there is a free version of Tableau available for the people called Tableau Public.

Within the Tableau Public product, we have these two products:

  • Tableau Public Desktop
  • Tableau Public Server

The Tableau Public Desktop has some limitations as compared to the Tableau Desktop, which is paid, like the Tableau workbook must be saved in the Tableau Public Cloud itself. Another limitation is that you can work only with the local data.

The Tableau Public Server is hosted on the cloud by the Tableau enterprise. All the workbooks and data are freely available through Tableau Public Cloud. The limitations are that when it comes to data sources, all of them should be extracts and you cannot have rows exceeding one million.

Tableau Reader

The Tableau Reader is a free desktop application that can be directly deployed for working with the various Tableau data visualization features. The Tableau Reader is directly built in the Tableau Desktop. Using the Tableau Reader, you can do a lot of tasks like drilling down data, discovering data and filtering of data.

It consists of a Tableau workbook which is a file that has the data saved with it. When you have access to the workbook on the server it is possible to download it and the data. This way you can directly work with the Tableau Reader. But the Tableau Reader cannot be connected to the Tableau Server.

3 Benefits of Using Tableau

  1. Amazing Visualizations

    Tableau provides great data visualizations at scale. It takes unorganized data and provides a range of visualizations for a deeper understanding of trends. It makes it easy for users to analyze data by using differentiating factors like colors, labels, and shapes. By allowing for easy switching between different visualizations it brings in greater context as we drill down the data and explore on a granular level.

  2. Great Insights

    Tableau allows the user to analyze data without any specific goals in mind. You can freely explore the visualizations and look for different insights. Moreover, by using “what if” queries you can adjust data hypothetically and visualize data components dynamically for comparisons. Hence, when combined with real-time data these capabilities enhance dramatically.

  3. Ease of Use

    Tableau is a highly interactive solution for business intelligence. It is designed for people who don’t have coding skills. Howerver, with Tableau, anyone can visualize and understand data without the need for any advanced skills in data science. As compared to other tools Tableau showcases visuals in a presentable way hence, they can be used in presentations and reports. All of this makes Tableau a great tool not only for data scientists but also for business executives.


Thus, as you can see, Tableau is the one of the best tools available in the market currently for data visualization. In case you are interested in learning tableau, there are many institutes that conduct courses on the same.