Data Science for Beginners: Tableau Introduction
Data Science for Beginners: Tableau Introduction
As the subject matter experts over at runrex.com are quick to point out, humans are visual creatures which is why when someone says the word CAT, our brains immediately conjure up an image of a cat rather than the letters of the word CAT. It is, therefore, important to present any information in a visually aesthetic manner to ensure that even the most complicated information can be easily understood. This is particularly important for data scientists for two reasons: one has to do with how vital a step exploratory data analysis, EDA, is in all data science projects. According to discussions on the same over at guttulus.com, this phase of the project lies at the beginning just after the data has been acquired. Here, the data is visualized using graphs and plots to give one a better understanding of it, helping them create assumptions before proceeding to design statistical models. Once the project is done, as a data scientist you will also be needed to present the insights you have uncovered to non-data science people; and here, a visual presentation is better than a complex data table. This is where Tableau comes in, and this article will look to give a brief introduction to what it is all about.
What is Tableau?
As is outlined over runrex.com, Tableau is an extremely powerful tool for visualizing large sets of data very easily. Due to its easy-to-use drag and drop interface, one can build stunning visualizations easily and quickly. It is a product by an American computer software company, known as Tableau Software, which is headquartered in Seattle, Washington which is known for generating data visualization products focused on BI.
What are some of the Tableau products available out there?
The different products which Tableau Software has built include:
- Tableau Desktop
This is a data visualization application that facilitates the user to examine virtually any kind of structured data and generate highly interactive, stunning graphs, dashboards, and reports within minutes. It is easy and quick to install the product, and once done, users can tie to virtually any data source from spreadsheets to data warehouses, and then have the information displayed in several graphic perspectives. It is designed to be easy to use and virtually can use this product.
- Tableau Server
This is a business intelligence application offering browser-based analytics which anyone can use. It is designed to be a rapid-fire alternative to the slow pace of traditional BI software and, as explained over at guttulus.com, is an online solution designed for sharing, distributing, and collaborating on content created on Tableau.
- Tableau Online
This is a secure, cloud-based solution used for sharing, distributing, and collaborating on Tableau views and dashboards. It sets the flexibility and ease of a powerful cloud-based data visualization solution to work intended for you without servers, server software, or IT support. It allows you to share dashboards among your whole company and with customers and partners within minutes and also provides live, interactive sights of data to facilitate people to answer their questions right in a web browser or on a tablet.
- Tableau Public
This free software, as discussed over at runrex.com, is designed to facilitate anyone to connect to a spreadsheet or file and create interactive data visualizations for the web. it enables users to construct stunning interactive visuals and have them published quickly, without the help of IT support or programmers.
What are some of Tableau’s features?
Some of the features associated with Tableau, according to the experts over at guttulus.com, include the fact that:
- It is very easy to use
- It has a drag-and-drop feature making it possible for users to generate stunning visuals within minutes
- It utilizes VizQL, a visual query language that translates drag-and-drop actions into data queries and then expresses the data visually, abstracting the underlying complexities of query and analysis and making it possible for people to see and understand data.
- It is fast, evaluating millions of rows and providing the necessary responses within no time at all.
- It provides easy publishing and sharing of data, among others.
What are some of the elements contained within the Tableau Workspace?
Once you have installed Tableau and are ready to work with it, it is important that you also know the elements that are found on its Workspace. The Tableau Desktop Workspace consists of several elements as explained over at runrex.com, and they include:
- The Menu Bar
This is where you will find menu options such as File, Data, Dashboard, Story, Worksheet, Map, Format, and many others. Some of the options you will find here include features like file saving, data source connection, table calculation options, file export, and so forth
- Toolbar Icon
This is located just below the menu bar and can be sued to edit the workbook using different features such as redo, undo, new data source, save, and many others.
- Dimension Shelf
This is the element that enables users to view the dimensions present in the data source.
- Measure Shelf
This is the element that enables users to view the measures present in the data source.
- Sets and Parameters Shelf
As explained over at guttulus.com, this is where the user-defined sets and parameters can be viewed. It can also be used to edit existing sets and parameters.
- Page Shelf
It can be used to view the visualization in video format by keeping the relevant filter on the page shelf.
- Filter Shelf
This is where you place the filters that control the visualization, and also where the required dimensions or measures can be filtered in.
- Marks Card
It can be used to design the visualization as well as modify the data components of visualization such a color, size, shape, label, path, and tooltip.
This is where the actual visualization can be viewed in the workbook, and where the design and functionalities of the visual can be viewed.
- Tableau Repository
This is used to store all the files related to Tableau desktop and includes various folders like Bookmarks, Logs, Datasources, Connectors, Services, and so forth.
The above discussion is just the tip of a very large iceberg of information, which you can access by checking out the excellent runrex.com and guttulus.com for more on this and other related topics.