Getting started with Tableau

Tableau is a very powerful and fast growing data visualization tool used in many industries. It helps in simplifying raw data into a visual format which is very easy to understand at the first glance.

Tableau helps to create stories describing the data that can be understood by professionals at any level in an organization. The great thing about Tableau is that it doesn't require one to be from a technical background to work with it. It allows non-technical users to create customized dashboards. Thus this tool has garnered interest among people from all sectors such as business, researchers, different industries, etc.

What makes Tableau stand out from the rest is that data analysis is very fast with it and the visualizations created are in the form of dashboards and worksheets.


Let's introduce you all to this wonderful tool.

If you don't already have Tableau installed, please download it by referring to this blog.

The first screen that appears when you open Tableau is it's start screen.

On the left hand side of the start screen you get options to load data in various formats such as Excel, Text, JSON, Pdf files etc. or you can load data directly from a server as well. Here, you can also find dataset that comes with Tableau so that you can explore various functions of the tool.

On the right hand side there are several tutorial videos to help you get started with this tool.

Loading Dataset

In this tutorial we will work with the superstore dataset. Although it is already available in Tableau please download it from below here since some changes have been made to it for the purpose of this tutorial.

NOTE: Please get familiar with the dataset. All the column names are self-explanatory.

Our dataset is an Excel file therefore on the start screen we will click on 'Microsoft Excel' , in the dialogue box that pops up go to the directory containing the dataset file.

Once you open the dataset, another page appears that let's you know that the data set is now connected.

Here you can also see the name of sheets ('Orders', 'People', and 'Returns') available in this file on the left hand side under a tab named 'Sheets'. You can also preview the data before getting things started, by dragging the sheets to the 'Drag sheets here' space on the screen.

You can also perform various join and sort operations on the data according to your needs in this space and preview it.

NOTE: We won't be performing join on our data in this tutorial, since we don't need it.

Even at this point you can add more data by clicking on the 'add' button near the 'Connections' tab.

Congratulations! we have reached our first milestone.