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Reliable Software Tech Talk: An Introduction to Tableau

There are several business intelligence tools on the market used to analyze and visualize data, but Tableau has emerged as a leader in the field. Giving users quick and easy access to analytics, the software connects to flat files, relational databases and big data sources to process data and distribute insights through interactive, sharable dashboards.

With Tableau, users get a real-time, self-reliant platform capable of blending diverse data sets and centralizing data for comprehensive, easy to implement dashboards and insights. But before taking advantage of the tool’s capabilities, companies need to ensure they are feeding it with the right data and asking the right questions to inform their business strategies.

Data Sources

The first consideration when beginning a Tableau implementation is the type of data connection you use to load data. This can either be completed through a live connection in which data is loaded into the software directly and in real-time. Alternatively, a data extract allows users to create specific data extracts and upload them for analysis. Data types compatible with Tableau include:

  • Date
  • Date/Time
  • String
  • Numeric
  • Boolean
  • Geographical
Filters and Queries

Once data sources have been identified and connected, users need to set the appropriate filters and queries to ensure the software is providing insights that effectively measure and inform their specific business strategies and objectives. These can include:

  • Level of Detail (LOD) expressions – Used to run complex queries, involving many dimensions at the data source level rather than within the Tableau interface.
  • Filters – Allow users to select the categories or data points that will be included in their dashboards for more customized and focused insights.
  • Parameters – Dynamic values that can replace constant values in calculations, filters and reference lines.

At Reliable Software, we facilitate implementation of Tableau solutions tailored to each customer’s specific needs. We work with customer teams to identify the business objectives that are vital to success, and the sources, filters and queries that will help measure and track progress towards those objectives to inform more targeted, data-driven strategies.

If you are interested in implementing a Tableau solution in your organization, contact us today.


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