Chapter 1Introduction and Getting Started with Tableau

Tableau was created to empower people to analyze their data regardless of the level of their technical know‐how. At the core of Tableau is VizQL, an innovative visual query language that translates mouse inputs such as drag‐and‐drop into database queries. This allows the user to quickly find insights in their data and to share the results with others.

Crucially, it is not necessary to know what you are looking for or how you want to present your findings. Instead, with Tableau, you can immerse yourself in data. Through visual analysis, you will be able to unearth patterns and relationships in your data that you might not have known existed. In this regard, Tableau is different from other tools, which often require you to know beforehand in what form you want to display your data.

The purpose of this chapter is to introduce you to the different products that make up the Tableau application suite, the Tableau user interface, and to how Tableau processes your data. We will also introduce the sample dataset that is used throughout this book and provide a first glimpse of the possibilities that Tableau gives you for creating data visualizations.

By the end of this chapter you will be able to:

  • Install Tableau on your computer.
  • Identify data that is suitable for analysis.
  • Create your first data visualization in Tableau.


The first thing you typically do in Tableau is to connect to ...

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