Tableau Quick Start – Day 1 – Tableau Product Family

 

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Full Transcript

Welcome to day one. Today, we’re gonna talk about the Tableau product family, all the different components, and how they fit together. I’ll see you back here tomorrow. All right, let’s start off by taking a look at the Tableau product family. The first component is the most important one, which is Tableau Desktop. This is where we author and create our data visualizations. We pull our data in, we can extract it, we do all of our work essentially in Desktop to begin with. Now, this is the case of an author. Now, there are other cases I’ll get into here in a little bit which explain other ways where people can still achieve the same thing of being able to deliver their own insights, but you don’t need Tableau Desktop. This is an often under-discovered or under talked about product family member. This is the Tableau Reader. Now Tableau Reader is like Adobe Reader. It’s free, it’s offline, so it’s not something that you use on the web, and there’s no security to it. It literally is if you were e-mailing an Excel file around and somebody were opening it in Excel. Now, the exception is is that people can interact with your vis, you can make it with filters and actions, and all that kind of good stuff, but essentially you are emailing them all the data, so the data, if it’s super-sensitive, or contains personally identifiable information, any of those things, I’d be really cautious here. On the other hand if you don’t want to buy any of the server or web-based options, this is a totally legit, totally awesome way to share your insights. The next one, which is kind of the web-based version of Tableau Reader is Tableau Public. This one is also free. It’s online, but again there’s no security. Here what I can do is I can publish a vis and I can share with others via the web. They don’t have to have anything installed, doesn’t matter what operating system or anything that they’re using. They go there and they can browse it for free. Now, you can restrict somewhat the data and what people can see, but again, it is public so if you had something sensitive there, I’d be very careful about publishing it there and leaving it up. Now, that said, there are cases I know of people that will publish their Tableau Public, and then download the workbook so they can get it for free, so you could use Tableau Public instead of Tableau Desktop as a desktop or author and creating tool, and then use Tableau Public online, publish it up there, download it, and share your workbook without having to actually pay for anything. Now again, this is a very lightweight, just beginning, not something I would recommend for the long term, but if you want to give it a go and start actually getting some value out of this and see if it’s really for you, that’s one way to do it, for sure. Now, there’s Tableau Server, which is the exact opposite of those two I just talked about. Tableau Server is the enterprise solution. It’s something that you host yourself. Now of course, you can do it in the cloud like Amazon or Microsoft Azure or whatever. It is a scalable solution where you can have multiple nodes, you can have dozens and dozens of these instances, and it also provides self-service capability. Here’s that idea I was talking about where you can actually have the data living on there, and let people themselves build their own visualizations. Coming out in Tableau 10, already most of it’s available in Tableau 9.3, you’re gonna be able to do nearly everything you can do on Tableau Desktop in Tableau Server on the web, so no software to install or anything else. The one big caveat is that the data has to already exist on the server, or at least the connection has to already exist on the server. If you were able to publish a bunch of connections, or have somebody publish all the data there, as a user, I could, just from the web, from an iPad or mobile device even, browse to the site, choose what data I want, and start analyzing and visualizing it. It’s really awesome. Now again, it’s not cheap, so this is an enterprise solution, and mostly what people do is they start out with Desktop, they maybe try Reader, Tableau Public, and then eventually they can work their way up to Server. The other side of this is Tableau Online. It’s just like Tableau Server with the exception of, Tableau themselves host it, so it’s a cloud-based solution. Now, it’s a lot cheaper than getting Server, but it is in the cloud, so again if you have a company that’s maybe sensitive about some of their data, or they’re really weary of putting things in the cloud, you’re gonna maybe have some challenges getting it approved. That said, with a few clicks, I can get a totally enterprise solution up and running in a matter of minutes. It’s really awesome and really easy. There are some differences in how the data sources work, so if you are gonna explore either of these options, make sure that you dig into that first and figure out, all right, am I using Amazon Redshift, MySQL, SQL Server, Oracle, whatever, how am I gonna get my data there? Because with all cloud-based business intelligence systems, that is generally the challenge. I need to get my data to there somewhere. Now my data is living on someone else’s servers. I don’t know how secure it is. All those kind of concerns come to play, but I would say it is a great option to get up and running, and if you aren’t using super-sensitive information like personally identifiable data, or you can just make a live connection out so that data doesn’t live in that system, you’re all good to go. Okay, so that’s the Tableau product family. I’ll see you back here tomorrow where we learn to connect to our data sources.

All right, let’s start off by taking a look at the Tableau product family. The first component is the most important one, which is Tableau Desktop. This is where we author and create our data visualizations. We pull our data in, we can extract it, we do all of our work essentially in Desktop to begin with. Now, this is the case of an author. Now, there are other cases I’ll get into here in a little bit which explains other ways where people can still achieve the same thing of being able to deliver their own insights, but you don’t need Tableau Desktop. This is an often under-discovered or under talked about product family member. This is the Tableau Reader. Now Tableau Reader is like Adobe Reader. It’s free, it’s offline, so it’s not something that you use on the web, and there’s no security to it. It literally is if you were e-mailing an Excel file around and somebody was opening it in Excel. Now, the exception is that people can interact with your vis, you can make it with filters and actions, and all that kind of good stuff, but essentially you are e-mailing them all the data, so the data, if it’s super-sensitive, or contains personally identifiable information, any of those things, I’d be really cautious here. On the other hand, if you don’t want to buy any of the server or web-based options, this is a totally legit, totally awesome way to share your insights. The next one, which is kind of the web-based version of Tableau Reader is Tableau Public. This one is also free. It’s online, but again there’s no security. Here what I can do is I can publish a vis and I can share with others via the web. They don’t have to have anything installed, doesn’t matter what operating system or anything that they’re using. They go there and they can browse it for free. Now, you can restrict somewhat the data and what people can see, but again, it is public so if you had something sensitive there, I’d be very careful about publishing it there and leaving it up. Now, that said, there are cases I know of people that will publish their Tableau Public, and then download the workbook so they can get it for free, so you could use Tableau Public instead of Tableau Desktop as a desktop or author and creating tool, and then use Tableau Public online, publish it up there, download it, and share your workbook without having to actually pay for anything. Now again, this is a very lightweight, just beginning, not something I would recommend for the long term, but if you want to give it a go and start actually getting some value out of this and see if it’s really for you, that’s one way to do it, for sure. Now, there’s Tableau Server, which is the exact opposite of those two I just talked about. Tableau Server is the enterprise solution. It’s something that you host yourself. Now of course, you can do it in the cloud like Amazon or Microsoft Azure or whatever. It is a scalable solution where you can have multiple nodes, you can have dozens and dozens of these instances, and it also provides self-service capability. Here’s that idea I was talking about where you can actually have the data living on there, and let people themselves build their own visualizations. Coming out in Tableau 10, already most of it’s available in Tableau 9.3, you’re gonna be able to do nearly everything you can do on Tableau Desktop in Tableau Server on the web, so no software to install or anything else. The one big caveat is that the data has to already exist on the server, or at least the connection has to already exist on the server. If you were able to publish a bunch of connections, or have somebody publish all the data there, as a user, I could, just from the web, from an iPad or mobile device even, browse to the site, choose what data I want, and start analyzing and visualizing it. It’s really awesome. Now again, it’s not cheap, so this is an enterprise solution, and mostly what people do is they start out with Desktop, they maybe try Reader, Tableau Public, and then eventually they can work their way up to Server. The other side of this is Tableau Online. It’s just like Tableau Server with the exception of, Tableau themselves host it, so it’s a cloud-based solution. Now, it’s a lot cheaper than getting Server, but it is in the cloud, so again if you have a company that’s maybe sensitive about some of their data, or they’re really weary of putting things in the cloud, you’re gonna maybe have some challenges getting it approved. That said, with a few clicks, I can get a totally enterprise solution up and running in a matter of minutes. It’s really awesome and really easy. There are some differences in how the data sources work, so if you are gonna explore either of these options, make sure that you dig into that first and figure out, all right, am I using Amazon Redshift, MySQL, SQL Server, Oracle, whatever, how am I gonna get my data there? Because with all cloud-based business intelligence systems, that is generally the challenge. I need to get my data to there somewhere. Now my data is living on someone else’s servers. I don’t know how secure it is. All those kind of concerns come to play, but I would say it is a great option to get up and running, and if you aren’t using super-sensitive information like personally identifiable data, or you can just make a live connection out so that data doesn’t live in that system, you’re all good to go. Okay, so that’s the Tableau product family. I’ll see you back here tomorrow where we learn to connect to our data sources.